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  • Pastoral's Most Popular Sandwich Makes A Comeback

    nutty figWe're bringing back everyone's favorite grown up PB&J - the Nutty Fig!

    Soft whole wheat is topped with fresh chevre, fig and black tea preserves, crisp, tangy sliced granny smith apples and our signature housemade spiced almond butter to top it all off.

    Hurry and get one soon, the Nutty Fig is back for a limited time only!

  • Say Cheese!

    zagat gcBar Pastoral's Grilled Cheese is not only comfort food at its finest; it was selected as one of  30 Awesome Grilled Cheese Sandwiches Around the U.S. according to Zagat. Congratulations Bar Pastoral!

  • The Sandwich King is Coming Back, and His First Stop is Pastoral

    We're big fans of The Sandwich King here at Pastoral, which would come as no surprise if you saw the amount of sandwich experimenting going on during our staff's lunch breaks. As many of you will have probably guessed, we definitely share his passion for all things sandwich.

    Long-time customers will know that our sandwich business grew out of our intense (borderline disturbing) love of cheese and the wonders of pairing cheese with different items. We at Pastoral view pairing as the centering philosophy of our business: everything in the stores is selected specifically because of the pairing possibilities that it offers the other items that we carry, whether we're talking about cheese, wine, beer, charcuterie, vegetables, or even confections.

    Sandwich creation possibilities and ingredient pairings are two things we spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about so we were thrilled that the Jeff and the good folks over at The Sandwich King thought of us. We're even more excited to watch what happens this Sunday April 15th at 10 AM Central! 

    Which sandwiches do you think Jeff will feature? What's your favorite? Leave your thoughts in the comments and keep an eye out for some new sandwiches making it into a Pastoral near you in the near future!

  • Pastoral Partners with Intelligentsia Coffee!

    Pastoral is proud to offer our artisan products at Intelligentsia Coffee's Chicago Locations.

    Each day the cafes will offer a new rotating selection of sandwiches, salads and cheese plates.

    Eater, Chicago calls the partnership a perfect pairing and we couldn't agree more! Read the article here.

    Chicagoist is "stoked" and so are we! Read the article here.

  • Merchant Park Community Garden Recipes: A trio of toasties

    Our friend and fellow cheese-lover Jane McKay at the Merchant Park Community Garden is back with another fantastic recipe marrying our artisan cheeses and the seasonal, local produce from our own backyard in Chicago. Artisan breads, smothered with American cheeses are the perfect way to celebrate American Cheese Month and the incoming chilly weather!


    Cheesy Fall Fixes - a trio of toasties

    This month I’ve witnessed some spectacular golden, red and orange hues burning against the blue skies, and with them the reality that our summer growing season is ending. Some plants in the garden, as they wilt and decay, beg to be relieved of their last fruits, with it bringing hope that the goodness in the soil is being replenished for next year. A rebirth. So as the curtain falls on summer, I’ve turned my thoughts to preserves.

    By saving any surplus from our garden bounty, I can keep the memory of summer alive on a plate. I’ve pulled some end of season beets from my patch to make a spiced relish with orange, and jellied the excess of my Mediterranean herbs. With the colder weather in mind, I’ve matched these with a trio of melt in your mouth grilled American cheeses, comfort food for the long, cold nights ahead. What better way to highlight some of our nation's artisans as part of American Cheese Month. I’m keeping my winter bed warm with straw, and wait tentatively for new season garlic sprouts in the Spring.


    Rustic seeded roll smothered in a blanket of melted Appalachian cheese - a slightly sweet, nutty and supple cow’s milk cheese from Meadow Creek Dairy in Virginia - mixed with leek, egg and cream. This is an indulgent treat not to be missed.

    Rustic roll with Appalachian, leek, egg and cream topping

    • 1tbsp olive oil
    • 1 medium leek, chopped small
    • 6oz Appalachian cheese, grated
    • 2 egg yolks
    • 1tsp thyme
    • 2 tbsp cream
    • ½ tsp grainy mustard
    • seasoning
    • butter for spreading
    • 2 rustic rolls, halved lengthways

    Gently soften the chopped leek in the olive oil for 10 minutes. In a bowl, mix the remainder of the ingredients and add the cooked leek. Toast the rustic roll lightly on both sides, butter it, and put the cheese mixture evenly on top and to the edges. Place under a medium grill until the cheese begins to bubble and colour.


    Walnut bread topped and toasted with Point Reyes Blue from Point Reyes Farmstead in California - a silky, salty organic blue with a spiced beetroot relish on the side. The mustard seeds add a crunchy texture to this relish, and for any beet sceptics out there this is a relish to relish. Try it.

    Walnut bread with Point Reyes Blue and beet relish

    • 6oz Point Reyes Blue
    • 2 slices walnut bread from a large loaf (or 4 from a small)
    • butter to spread

    Toast the walnut bread lightly on both sides. Butter the toast and crumble or spread the Point Reyes blue onto one side. Return to the grill and toast lightly until the cheese bubbles on top. Serve with the beetroot relish below.

    Spiced beetroot relish

    This makes approximately 4lbs or 8 x 8oz jars.

    • 3 lbs beetroot washed, peeled and chopped into small cubes
    • 3 onions peeled and finely chopped
    • 3 apples peeled and grated
    • 3 oranges zested and juiced
    • 2 tbsp yellow mustard seeds
    • 1tbsp ground cloves
    • 1 tbsp cinnamon
    • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
    • 3 cups / 24oz red wine vinegar
    • 1 1/2lbs golden sugar
    • pepper

    In a large saucepan, mix all the ingredients and bring to a gently simmer. Cook for 1 hour with the lid on, stirring occasionally until it appears thick and the beetroot tender.

    While the relish is cooking, sterilize your jars. Either put them through a short wash in the dishwasher or boil for 15 minutes in a large pot. Be careful to lift the jars with clean tongs so as not to introduce any new bacteria.

    Spoon the cooked relish into the jars and, using a clean cloth, wipe the jar clean of any residue around the rim before sealing. It can be stored in the fridge for up to 6 months and use as desired. Once opened the shelf life is 2 months.


    Crusty french baguette topped with Hooligan - a pungent, creamy washed rind cheese from Cato Corner Farm in Connecticut - served with a dollop of fragrant mediterranean herb jelly

    Baguette with Hooligan and herb jelly

    • 1 medium sized baguette, halfed length and widthways into 4
    • butter to spread
    • 6oz Hooligan, sliced thinly

    Toast the baguette lightly on both sides. Spread with butter and lay the sliced Hooligan on the bread. Return to the grill and toast lightly until the cheese bubbles on top. Serve with Mediterranean herb jelly spooned over the top.

    Mediterranean herb jelly

    This makes approximately 3, 1 pint jelly jars / 5 - 6 cups

    • 3 cups apple juice
    • 1 cup chopped fresh herbs (Rosemary, Oregano and Mint work well)
    • 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
    • 1 pouch of liquid pectin Sure Jell OR 1 pack (1 ¾ ounces or ⅓ cup) powdered pectin
    • ½ teaspoon butter
    • 4 cups sugar
    • sprigs of herbs rinsed and dried to decorate jars

    Sterilize your jars. Either put them through a short wash in the dishwasher or boil for 15 minutes in a large pot.

    Heat the apple juice and chopped herbs to a low simmer. Remove from the heat and stand for 20 minutes. Strain the herbs and juice into a large bowl and put the juice only back into the pot. Return to the hob on a medium - high hear, add the lemon juice, stir in the pectin and butter and stir until it comes to a full boil. Add the sugar and stir until it returns to the boil again. Cook at a rolling boil for exactly 1 minute.

    Remove from the heat and skim off the foam with a clean spoon. Place a sprig of herb into each jar and spoon in the jelly. Using a clean cloth, wipe the jar clean of any residue around the rim before sealing. It can be stored in the fridge for up to 6 months and use as desired. Once opened the shelf life is 2 months.

    To tantalise the tastebuds even further, pair with a sweet cider or a beer with a sparkle. I also think these can be dressed up accordingly for the occasion. For a lunch with friends, toss a few salad leaves in citrus and olive oil and add to the plate.

    All the cheese recipes serve 2 generously. The relish and jelly recipes will make a “batch”.

    Jane McKay is a member of the Merchant Park Community Garden - "a backyard for us all."
    Merchant Park Community Garden (MPCG) strives to provide an opportunity for neighbors and their children to work, play, learn and grow together. MPCG is not only for the benefit of our members, but also aims to benefit the community at large through outreach efforts such as donations to local food pantries. In short, MPCG is an oasis in the 30th ward - a backyard for us all.
    Everything we grow is within 8' x 8' raised beds, constructed by the members in May 2011. Each raised bed has a dedicated owner for a year and all of our produce is organically grown.
    Please visit our website or facebook page for more information or contact Jane McKay at
  • Metromix Chicago heads to Pastoral for a Picnic

    Metromix's Picnic PicksWe think this is one of the best times of the year to get out and explore Chicago, too!

    Metromix wrote this article about where to go and what to take with you as you picnic through the city this summer. They urge us to remember:

    Mother Nature does not charge a corkage fee


    In their photo you will see:

    Skyleaf Riesling

    Stiegl Lager

    Pastoral Turkey Sandwich on a Baguette!

  • Lucy Loooooves Sandwiches

    Super perky Lucy loves sandwiches so much that she can only express it through song and dance. [wpvideo xaDXmRTw]

  • Mentions in the News

    In today's issue of Red Eye we were mentioned in the "Random Acts of Greatness" feature specifically for our new sandwich the Smokey Finnochi. The Smokey Finnochi is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to our new menu.

    A completely new salad lineup that includes one salad offered at half-size. The B.L.T.A and the Ciao 'Bello are new and are quickly becoming customer favorites. Our cheese plates have changed as well, we now offer an American cheese plate and a charcuterie plate.

    We haven't eliminated everything from our old menu. Some of the your favorites are still on the menu. The Bocadillo de la Mancha and Sinfully Healthy to name a couple. Some sandwiches got revamped, or cut, but not to worry, we have plenty of options for you to choose a new favorite from!


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