Simply Sweet

A Look at the Sweet Things in Life with Sarah Levy and Friends

S. Levy Foods | Mariano’s Fresh Market

Mariano’s Fresh Market

Posted in Feast | Dec 28, 2012 | Written by Sarah Levy

I recently interviewed Bob Mariano, owner of Mariano’s Fresh Market, for my article in Today’s Chicago Woman. I’m still not entirely sure how Mariano’s is able to offer high quality produce, food and drink, all with extraordinary customer service and such affordable prices, while still making some type of profit. I swear, every time I go to Whole Foods I spend at least $100, and every time I leave Mariano’s I’ve managed to ring up a tab around $30.








The new Mariano’s in Greek Town is truly like paradise to me, and I feel lucky to live nearby. It’s arguable the “best” Mariano’s, as Bob explained that they don’t follow a cookie cutter model, but try to make each new store better than the last. Sounds great, right? 







I have a tendency to repeat myself when I get excited about something, and I’ve been asked a lot, “why do you love Mariano’s so much”? Here is my official answer:

Oyster bar: Pick your poison – oysters, crab legs, shrimp cocktail, all with house-made cocktail sauce.






Sushi bar: Sit at the bar or take it to go, at $7.50 per roll, it’s one of the best deals in town.








Cheese: Think twice as large as the cheese counter at the Whole Foods in Lincoln Park – and, they are always sampling. 


Booze: A phenomenal wine and liquor selection, and the pretty glass display that stares at me on my way out is brilliant.


Fresh flowers: My sister swears that they stay fresh for a solid week.







Pre-made dishes: From their salad bar, pizza station or fried chicken (featured in Time Out Chicago’s Top 100 things we ate and drank this year), to their salad and soup bar (they make all of their soups from scratch), I’m a happy camper.


Coffee bar: Their café downstairs features Vero coffee and I couldn’t believe when I was rung up for a latte, hot chocolate and hot tea for whopping $7 total.







Juice: Freshly squeezed orange, grapefruit, carrot, beet and more, in sizes large and small. Perfect for a pick-me-up. 








One stop shop: I don’t have to make a special trip somewhere else to get things like deodorant and Kleenex. Living in the city, this is key.



Sarah Levy

About Sarah Levy

Pastry chef and food consultant Sarah Levy delighted millions as the owner and proprietor of Sarah’s Pastries & Candies, one of Chicago’s most popular confectioneries since its opening in 2004. A graduate of Northwestern University and the French Pastry School, Sarah is the author of Sweetness: Delicious Baked Treats for Every Occasion, the winner of Food Network Challenge and has been featured in USA Today, Better Homes and Gardens, BRIDES magazine and the Chicago Tribune, among many others. Sarah transformed Sarah’s Pastries & Candies to “doing business as” S. Levy Foods in August, 2012. S. Levy Foods is a partner in airport food concessions, including JFK, Sacramento, Phoenix and San Diego airports. Sarah’s passion for food continues to thrive as a pastry consultant, brand ambassador, food writer, blogger and food stylist. Sarah is a brand ambassador for Callebaut chocolate, Karo and Fleischmann’s yeast. Sarah is also the dining editor for Today’s Chicago Woman magazine.

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