This is my love letter/free advertisement to the best spot to buy spices in the U.S., The Spice House.
This place holds a special place in my cabinets because the spices are not only high-quality, they are also really, really inexpensive.
A few months back when I was still a Chicago resident I lived in an apartment about a mile away from The Spice House. The shop was around the corner from my gym, so I often rewarded myself post-workout by buying a new exotic spice or replenishing one of my staples.
If I wanted to experiment with a new cuisine, I would buy several one-ounce bags of the cuisine's essential spices. One day when attempting to make an Indian eggplant dish I bought small portions of cumin, garam masala, turmeric and coriander all for about $7. Because the spices are so inexpensive and can be sold in quantities as small as one ounce, I found myself experimenting and having more fun in the kitchen during the time I lived nearby.
I also love their spice blends. My little brother, Andrew, and I use to have “jerk chicken parties” and invite friends over to grill in the backyard at my old place in Chicago. He agrees the Spice House's jerk chicken spice is perfection, and he has even been to Jamaica. Another one of my favorite spice blends is the Pilsen Latino Seasoning which I use on fish tacos.
And if you don't believe a small fry like me, believe the head chef of the Palmer Place, the People's Choice winner of the Hamburger Hop last year. I was
working as a caiter-waiter attending the event with a group of friends and remember him dedicating his winner's speech to the incredible spice selection at the Spice House.
Now that I no longer live in Chicago, I order the spices I need online. And whenever I'm in Chicago I use the Spice House as an excuse to wander around Old Town, the adorable neighborhood pictured below.
Oh Spice House. Couldn't you set up shop in Detroit, too?