Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Old World European Snack in the Loop

Hannah’s Bretzel: (Loop) Chicago
180 W. Washington St.

Muesli at Hannah’s Bretzel.jpgNothing conjures up Old World thoughts quite the way a carry-out eatery from a company that aligns itself (on their Web site and coffee cup sleeves) with the text “since 1477” does (turns out, or so I've heard, it's their Bretzel recipe that's that old) -except Hannah's has been laid out in a clean contemporary style. The place runs as narrow, deep and lacking of seating as you might expect from an efficient Loop carry-out. But Hannah’s selection of chocolate bars is quite extensive –including many of the dark chocolate vegan variety, lining the right wall as you come in. They can make a sandwich on hearty bread, too –small and about the same shape as the store. Torn between muesli and such a sandwich, a gentleman with a European sounding accent, pinstriped slacks, a black turtleneck and dress shoes explains that they make the muesli to order. It takes about five minutes; they heat it on the stove in the back -this time with soy instead of dairy. The gentleman goes on with some colleagues to discuss menu details and take measurements of the store. Mommy-O grabs the last of the place's four seats and tells me about her expedition to the Loop for lunch with Daddy-O at the Christkindlmarket (at Daley Plaza until December 24). I stand and enjoy my snack: a thick warm moist mess of whole grains, raisins, sunflower seeds, fresh apple cubes, and whole almonds whose toasted taste pleases my mouth with full-on nuttiness.

Hannah's Bretzel provides for recycling but goes farther. The December 2006 Conscious Choice reports Hannah's Bretzel to be Chicago's first LEED certified "green" retail building. According to the article, Hannah's uses biodegradeable containers and cleaning materials and makes other reduced-impact decisions.

Photo: thanks Mom for letting me use your camera and emailing me the pix. XO


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