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Restaurants & Bars 1

Affordable in Streeterville

N Tocus | Sep 28, 200205:32 PM

Recent postings have asked for food that is a) in Streeterville and b) affordable. Please hide your eyes if you are interested only in gourmet venues because I am going to suggest a hospital cafeteria. This is Spice of Life on the second floor of the new Northwestern Memorial Hospital that occupies the entire block bounded by St Clair, Fairbanks, Erie, and Huron. The public is welcome and many who live, work, and shop in the neighborhood are regulars. Try to go M-F at lunchtime when all the chef stations are open. Sample bargains: at the immaculate sandwich station they will custom-make you a sandwich for one-third of the Michigan Avenue price. At the Italian station a large plate of pasta and a chicken breast costs around $3. There are also an Asian station with woks, a grill line, many salads, and a "home cookin'" station with a Southern flavor and very good macaroni and cheese. There are always four soups. Forget the entire dessert station, however the hot fruit cobblers on the home cookin' station are pretty good. Spice of Life is open for breakfast with a nice lady who cooks your eggs to order and provides real (not instant) oatmeal with ad lib brown sugar and raisins (add a glop of cream from the coffee station). Open for dinner but it may be leftovers from lunch. Open 'way into the night (go in the Spice of Life exit if the front door is closed). Enter the hospital lobby at any point and go to the second floor (Spice of Life overlooks Fairbanks at the far eastern end of the building). Do not confuse the door with that of the rip-off Au Bon Pain next door. Spice of Life is a safe, clean, cheap place to eat: where else downtown can you get a huge made-to-order roast beef sandwich for $2.45?

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