Picnics You Pick Up

picnicsWhen it’s just you, the kids and the beach, it’s easy to throw a few PB&Js in a backpack and go. But sometimes we want to make it special, and by the time you draft a menu, the grocery list is a mile long and is going to cost more than any respectable picnic should.

Why not let someone else do the work for you? That way you can enjoy that trip to the park, the zoo, Ravinia, a family day at the beach, or heck, even a blanket in your own backyard. Here are just-pick-it-up picnic picks.

A La Carte
111 Green Bay Rd., Wilmette – 847-256-4102

If you’re looking to impress, this is the place to go: Can you say mustard baked chicken? Tomato bleu cheese tarts? Charmula beef kababs? This isn’t your mother’s cheese-sandwich-and-carrot-sticks picnic. Call ahead, preferably 48 hours in advance, and owner Chrisi DiClementi-Harlow and her staff will have your order ready and waiting for pick up. You could also stop on your way and put together a fantastic basket. And it’s all online, visit their box lunches or regular menu to see what’s on tap.

Instant Picnic @ Ravinia

Place your order two days in advance, and pick it up at the north end of the Gatehouse. Or, stop by the Dining Pavilion where picnic items are sold separately as well. We like the “enhanced” version, from which you can select items like a thyme roasted sirloin sandwich, Israeli couscous and bleu cheese spread with flatbread crackers. Don’t miss the carrot cake cupcake.

Grand Foods
606 Green Bay Rd., Winnetka – 847-446-6707
341 Hazel Ave., Glencoe – 847-835-2842

Give the deli 24 hours, and they’ll give you a boxed lunch to go. We especially like the low-carb sandwich wraps made with chicken salad, tuna, egg, turkey or roast beef.

2106 Central St., Evanston – 847-328-7704
338 Park Ave., Glencoe – 847-835-5105
1456 Waukegan Rd., Glenview – 847-832-9999
255 Westminster Rd., Lake Forest 847-234-6600

Here’s a place you can grab and dash all over the North Shore. Foodstuffs offers all kinds of sandwiches, salads and even soup. You have to love a menu that includes poached salmon with cucumber dill sauce. The desserts will have your crowd yelling “Dibs!”

Sunset Foods
1812 Green Bay Rd., Highland Park – 847-432-5500
825 S. Waukegan Rd., Lake Forest – 847-234-8380
1127 Church Rd., Northbrook – 847-272-7700

Give them 48 hours, and they can put together your box lunch outing, with a menu that includes croissants, focaccia, wraps and salads. The raspberry bars rock.

  Who We Are       NFP Support       Magazine       Programs       Donate