After nearly two decades in business, Big Delicious Planet owner Heidi Moorman Coudal could have coasted.
Instead, she hijacked (okay, rented) an abandoned parking lot and turned it into a verdant garden.
Today, with help from master gardener Katie Wiegman, Coudal continues to cater parties big and small and serve a hungry lunch crowd from her West Town digs, using fresh, organic produce harvested from an entire city lot (yes, she’s already expanded).
The garden is astounding: more than twenty beds rife with lettuces, kale, chard, tomatoes, eggplant, herbs, jalapenos and poblanos, fingerling potatoes, sugar snap peas, carrots, and Brussels sprouts. (In its first season, BDP planted 67 varieties of 34 crops.)
Cafe specials change daily, depending on what’s available (think quinoa-stuffed peppers, tilapia with wilted greens, flank steak with chili aioli and corn pudding, and rosemary-roasted potatoes).
Up next: becoming a certified green restaurant.
We’re rooting for it.
Big Delicious Planet, 412 North Wolcott Avenue, between Kinzie and Hubbard Streets (312-455-1019 or bigdeliciousplanet.com).
Photo: Courtesy of Big Delicious Planet