After taking Damen Avenue out to a gourmet lunch, Debbie Sharpe (owner of Cru and Feast) brought her top-shelf takeout shop to the Gold Coast. Opened in the fall of 2006, the second location of The Goddess and Grocer stocks a craveable collection of savory sweets. Upon entering the shop, you'll see a slew of grab-and-go bites chilling in a brightly-lit cooler. Options change regularly and may include wild mushroom risotto cakes, parmesan-topped jalapeno corn polenta or mustard-crusted beef tenderloin. Across from the cooler, shelves are lined with dinner-party-appropriate groceries: artisanal cheeses, gourmet crackers, handmade chocolates and chilled wine.
A dining room in back provides a few tables where customers can sup on goods off the store menu. Lunchtime guests have a heap of sandwiches to choose from, including hot options like the Three Cheese Melt or Heavenly Ham Panini. Deli sandwiches feature the California Dreaming, loaded up with honey maple turkey breast, avocado, sprouts, Swiss cheese and lemon mayonnaise. A roster of salad options includes Greek, chicken Caesar and Asian tofu. And for dessert? Spring for the Goddess Cupcake, which comes in chocolate or vanilla with butter cream frosting or red velvet and topped with cream cheese. This takeout experience will set you back more than Subway; sandwich prices hover at about $7 a pop, and salads cost closer to $8. But you get what you pay for.
Average cost: <$10
Centerstage Reviewer: Jennifer Berg