Gapers Block has ceased publication.

Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
 Thank you for your readership and contributions. 


Saturday, August 13

Gapers Block

Gapers Block on Facebook Gapers Block on Flickr Gapers Block on Twitter The Gapers Block Tumblr

« Watch Three Chic Chicago Chefs Throw Down Mmm...Midweek Links »

Review Mon Oct 26 2009

Pay No Attention to the Man Behind the Curtain at Market

Cotton candy with candy shop treats

I made it over to Market, a restaurant that doesn't know what it wants to be when it grows up. The place is a combination of a sports bar full of flat-screens with a separate dining area that looks very modern and high-end. The food, however, is a dimension unto itself--not because it's bold or memorable, but because it's served in the weirdest contraptions that not even the most serious of psychedelic drug users could have conceived.

Picture 088I ordered "The Answer," one of the strangest names for a steak sandwich (or "sandwedge," as Market's menu faux-cleverly refers to them). The actual sandwich itself was served on a wooden cutting board. The fries that accompanied it were in a European-style cone that was stuck into a wrought iron stand (similar to what you suspend bananas from to avoid ripeness) that arced over the sandwich, with small ramekins of ketchup and aioli set into side bars that made me think this was a fuck swing for side dishes. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw another diner eating a pasta dish--a little grater that would have fit perfectly in a Cabbage Patch Doll's kitchen also hung on a device similar to the hardship that my fries were enduring, comically waiting to cover her rigatoni with a snowstorm of parmesan.

I spent a good half of my meal trying to get through several tough, rubbery chunks of skirt steak before I finally gave up and asked for a take-home container. To their credit, Market has awesome take-home containers.

Things got even weirder when dessert for the group of us in attendance was wheeled out--in a small grocery cart filled with caramel and cheese corn, and topped with a small aquarium-sized dollop of cotton candy. While the cart's wheels made for easy passing of the mountain of pure sugar that we were all giddily eating, I still came back to the same questions: who makes miniature grocery carts that double as serving dishes? Why all the visual fuss over the average-tasting food? Why did the bar, restaurant and food have such a huge disconnect? The silent cab ride home provided little guidance, my leftover Answer getting colder by the minute.

1113 W. Randolph

GB store

Mr. Greenjeans / October 26, 2009 9:28 AM

"a fuck swing for side dishes"

OK, now that's some funny shit! What's even funnier is I figured only a guy would used such a crude term...nope (at least I think Robyn is a chick, the "y" throws me off).

I have eaten at Market once and the food seemed pretty good.

By the way, was a professional hand model used in the cotton candy cart shot?

Jasmine / October 27, 2009 3:46 PM

I actually got tired of eating the fries after a while. I wasn't sure if the table was too high, the seat was too low, or if the fries contraption was just too contraption-y, but I hated having to reach up and still have to stick my hand down into that greasy paper cone.

The table behind us, the one with all the girls sporting matching flatironed hair, had this wrought iron doodad that looked like it was meant to hold votive candles. I think it held ramekins of different condiments.

GB store

Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

The State of Food Writing

By Brandy Gonsoulin

In 2009, food blogging, social media and Yelp were gaining popularity, and America's revered gastronomic magazine Gourmet shuttered after 68 years in business. Former Cook's Illustrated editor-in-chief Chris Kimball followed with an editorial, stating that "The shuttering of Gourmet reminds...
Read this feature »

GB store



Drive-Thru on Flickr

Join the Drive-Thru Flickr Pool.

About Drive-Thru

Drive-Thru is the food and drink section of Gapers Block, covering the city's vibrant dining, drinking and cooking scene. More...
Please see our submission guidelines.

Editor: Robyn Nisi,
Drive-Thru staff inbox:



 Subscribe in a reader.

GB store

GB Store

GB Buttons $1.50

GB T-Shirt $12

I ✶ Chi T-Shirts $15