Upon landing in Chicago, we took the train into town and our hotel. Our hotel room was several floors directly above Eataly, the new hot trendy Chicago eatery backed by Mario Batali and his associates. We went there and found it indeed full of wonderful food. The place is dedicated to Earnest Hemingway for some reason that I didn’t take time to find out.
At the grand opening of this restaurant/deli/grocery store, people were lined up around the block. Like locusts, they stripped the store bare. The owners had to shut it down for a few days while restocking. It had just reopened when we were there.
This is a picture of the giant wood burning bread oven that they have on the second floor (I sneaked into the bakery area when no one was looking). This oven was brought over from Spain on a container ship and assembled, brick by brick, in the bakery. The oven is powered solely by sawdust that was compressed into logs by hydraulic pressure. Each tile within the oven has a different temperature and the loaves of bread have to be moved to account for these variations. Every ten minutes, the large plate in the oven is rotated by hand and finished loaves are removed from the oven and newly formed loaves are put into the oven. You can see many bags of flour on the left; this one oven goes through a lot of flour.