Thursday, August 4, 2011

Living European With Dogs: Eating Local, Inspiration from Paris

 One of the reasons we started our How to Be a Tourist with Your Dog series was because we were planning on taking a summer vacation with our dogs. And we got a lot of amazing advice. But just as we were about to plan our trip, I happened upon one of those amazing airfare deals that are always too good to be true--but this time it really was true.
So we were lucky enough to spend the last 2 weeks traveling in Copenhagen, Paris and Italy.
While we had an amazing time exploring and trying to live like locals, I think the true value of traveling is recognizing something interesting and valuable about another culture and thinking about how to incorporate a similar experience into our everyday lives. So we've been inspired to recreate these experiences back home, and with our dogs.
 One of the things we really liked about Paris was the fresh food and how everybody bought locally. It seems everyone goes grocery shopping every day, which is super easy because all the stores are located next to eachother. Each couple of blocks there would be a clustering of a bakery, cheese store, butcher, fish store, fruit market and wine store.
We liked seeing how the locals seemed to have such a great relationship with their local vendors, and the idea of getting fresh food that is sustainable and helps support the local community.
We loved how it was so easy to pop in and grab a baguette, go next door to choose some cheeses, then go to the next shop for a battle of wine and head to the park for an impromptu picnic:
Since this was one of our favorite parts of our travels, we thought it would be fun to do this in Chicago with our dogs. It's also important to us to buy locally to support growth in our neighborhood. So we loaded up the pooches, Mr. B grabbed his backpack and we all headed out.
Our first stop was Butcher & Larder butcher shop. Butcher & Larder is locally sourced and cut to order. Sometimes they even throw in a knucklebone for the pooches. Here are the pooches trying to peer inside:
Our next stop was to pick up some wine at the wine store. We are lucky enough to have 2 neighborhood wine stores located quite close. Lush Wine & Spirits and The Noble Grape. We actually stopped in both stores, and both stores allowed the pooches to come in. Which may have been a bit overwhelming for Miss M, given her drinking problem. Both stores were quite helpful in describing and helping us choose a wine.
Next we headed over to our favorite local bakery La Farine. The owner has immersed himself in the art of bread baking and supplies bread for some of the top restaurants in Chicago. They make the most amazing ciabatta rolls. We also picked up a baguette because what can be more cartoon-stereotypical than a baguette sticking out of your grocery backpack?
Finally, we stopped by Hoosier Mama Pie Company.  They're this tiny little shop that serves amazing pie. They're so good they've been featured in Bon Appetit; plus, they have 'flights of pie slices' each Friday. Our all time favorite is the peanut butter pie with gingersnap crust and the chocolate creme pie.
On weekends we are even able to swing by the Farmer's Market to pick up fresh produce and some cheese and picnic in the park. The best part is that we are able to include our dogs, and Mr. B gets a 'job' by carrying the backpack. And this is something we can do on an everyday basis.

23 comments:

Two Crazy Coaches said...

Wow, I'm so jealous of your trip! I hope you post more about it! And now, I'm really wanting some chicken pot pie from Hoosier Mama's! I can only imagine how good the rest of their food is!!

Of Pit Bulls and Patience said...

What a great idea! One thing I've always wished we had here in town is a Farmer's market. There are some I can drive the dogs to, but nothing within walking distance. Congrats on your fabulous get away!

Pauley, the Mr. or the Mrs. said...

Please tell me we will be seeing many pictures from your trip? It is wonderful that you have so many mom & pop places to choose from.

Lacie Josephine said...

How fun! I wish my pooches were behaved enough to do that

loveandaleash said...

the photos are gorgeous, a. nice job. and, i love that you had this little outing with your dogs. it helps slow the pace of the day, doesn't it?

Kate@TwentySixToLife said...

What fun that you guys could go on that trip! It must have been amazing.

Mr. B looks like he would fit in perfectly with his baguette!

waldobungie said...

How fun! Paris and Italy are two of my favorite places!! The food there is delicious and all of the dogs seem so much fancier...not sure why, but they do!

Nigel Stolting said...

Great Job!
In the past we've taken one of our dogs to the farmers market and she did great. It's just a shame that everything is car ride away for us in CA. When we lived in London, we could easily walk to the stores.
Thank you for sharing your experiences.

loveandaleash said...

also- we had a walkable local living/shopping trip the other night -- we went to the old-school indy movie rental store, the hardware store, the liquor store. not quite as charming :)

Sarah said...

You make me miss Paris! I love how everyone who goes there has the baguette, fromage and wine experience in a park. :)

Wyatt said...

Love it, Love it! But, we could never be trusted to carry bread and pie!

Wyatt and Stanzie

Patty said...

Love the pictures! Looks like a fun trip around Chicago.

I am so jealous of your trip to Europe! I would love to take some time off and travel again soon. I need to get my tourist post of SF soon, when is the deadline for submissions?

Tucker The Crestie said...

You are SO sneaky! We didn't even know you were gone!

Sounds like you had a great time, and I hope you will share some pictures of your trip!

Kari in Vegas said...

so glad you had such an amazing vacation!

kari
http://dogisgodinreverse.com

road-dog-tales said...

Wow! EXCELLENT trip! I've always known I really am European at heart - and this post just proves it! I've always preferred shopping for one meal at a time instead of that whole shop-for-the-week thing. Um, is that air fare deal still going on???

Looking forward to more European adventures!

PeeS - sent you an email re calendar project.

The Road Dogs' Mom

Kristine said...

Too much fun! I just wish in Canada we could take that bottle of wine to the park without getting in trouble. Now that is something to love about Europe!

I can't wait to read more about your experiences. You must have had an incredible time and I am very jealous!

brooke said...

That sounds like an awesome trip!
Now I really feel like i need to get Darwin a backpack. It would make shopping trips like that so much easier. Though with a baguette sticking out of her bag she may just do circles trying to get at it!

Two Pitties in the City said...

LoveandaLeash--We do love your local shopping trip too! I think it is fun just to be able to get out with the pooches doing different things.

Patty--We would absolutely love to hear about SF. It's one of our favorite places! Please send it in the next 2 weeks.

Benny and Lily said...

mom is whining that she is jealous or something
Benny & Lily

Shane Kent Louis said...

Wow! what a great trip! its so nice in that place! I feel starving when I see the bread and wine! ^_^


Dog Fence

Amy said...

Paris is definitely inspirational - I remember those impromptu picnics fondly. What I especially love is how people take their dogs everywhere, and the dogs just take it all in.

Flights of pie slices?!? OMD, I'd never eat anywhere else on Fridays!

kissa-bull said...

we love reading your blog as we get ideas for our pibbles. we are going to look for a backpack for our pibbles tomorrow.

Brenda said...

Wow, this looks GREAT!!! How wonderful that you got to take this trip. The local food movement has gotten really big here in western North Carolina - tailgate markets are booming in popularity. There's also a "slow food" movement. There's nothing I love more than wandering around the tailgate market on Saturday morning, it's such a feast for the senses!

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