We appreciate and like a lot of what F&O has brought to the city but we were inspired to go to Caputo's when shortly after a dicussion here re "where's the best place for Prosciutto" we found ourselves at an event in Oak Park.
On the treck home we dediced to do a bit of shopping at Caputo's and what a trip (though incovenient). The title suggests a comparison but they aren't competing with one another, they are doing completely different things.
The first experience walking in after somewhat difficult parking was a 40 ish Italian woman shopping for produce and singing along to the Italian music that was piped in overhead. This is not Fox & Obel. The produce was extensive Italian with many varieties of fresh egg plant and other fresh vegetables true to the cuisine. Chicago in winter so not the best time of the year for the produce. Interesting that they are also addressing the hispanic market which is significant in and around the store...in the produce section and throughout the store.
The deli and meat section were ridiculous. Came home with their fresh Italian sausage, among other items, and it was very good. Great variety of dried and fresh cold cuts and meats (a few prosciuttos and dried hams) and great selection. Bought a huge wedge of Parmagiana Reggiano...$4 a pound less at Caputos than where I buy on the north side.
The pasta aisle is heaven on earth. You got a sauce, they've got ten options. Some whole wheat options as well (which I'm not crazy about). Kids were restocking the olive oil as fast as people were taking it off the shelves, great selection at every price point.
A gal asked if we were finding everything and I asked where the pre made pizza dough is. I was looking for the flats that we sometimes buy that you can sauce, add cheese and bake. I went where she sent me and found two options of frozen balls of pizza dough.
Our basket looked like we had just ended a fast.
Caputo's is a fabulous experience and offers more Italian selections than you can find in the city. Not easy to get to, but a wonderful, authentic experience. A stock up a couple of times a year place. Real people shop there.
Fox & Obel is grand. Caputo's is real. They're different