Garrett Popcorn Shops – Michigan Avenue
After a long day at the hospital, my dad I headed to our hotel to get some sleep. Northwestern Memorial has deals with surrounding hotels for discounted rates for hospital patrons. When my mom went up for a pre op appointment a couple weeks ago, she walked down to the Red Roof Inn to reserve a room for my dad and I.
My dad still has a bum ankle so I didn’t want to make him walk anymore than I had to. It is about a two block walk from the hospital to the hotel and that was pretty tough on him, but he wouldn’t let me take the car out of the parking ramp. It was going to be cheaper just to leave it at the hospital overnight instead of using the valet at the hotel.
We didn’t have our overnight bags with us though, so I offered to go back and get them after we checked in.
Once my dad was in the room, I headed back out to get our bags. As I was walking out of the hotel, I noticed a pink awning across the street. It caught my eye because of the bright color, but it was the words on that awning that made me dodge traffic to get to it.
The word on that awning was “Garrett” as in Garrett Popcorn Shop. As a Chicago native, J will tell you there is no better popcorn in the world. So many places attempt the “Chicago Mix,” but no one does it as well as Garrett’s.
Since it was fairly early on a Thursday evening, there wasn’t a huge line. My mom told me later she stopped in there one day on a weekend and there was a line out the door.
The interesting thing about this location is the location. The address is a Michigan Avenue address, but the shop is on Onatrio Street. I’m assuming the Michigan Ave. address is the Coach store which takes up most of the bottom floor of the building Garrett is in. If you try to put this in to navigation though, you’re going to have a hard time finding it.
The store is a series of crowd control ropes that eventually lead to the cashier. There was only one person in front of me, so I had to make a decision quickly when I got to the front of the line. It really wasn’t that much of a challenge. I know what J likes. I know what I like. I just had to make a decision on how much to get.
I ended up getting a large bag of the Chicago mix (CheeseCorn and CaramelCrisp) and a large bag of CheeseCorn. I didn’t want J to know I was buying Garrett’s (wanted to surprise her), so I paid cash. The bill was a little over $15 for the two large bags.
After paying, I walked past the big display cases of popcorn to a small waiting area while my bags were prepared. After a minute or two, the number on my receipt was called out and I grabbed my two bags of popcorn and headed back to my car.
I should have at least brought my bag of cheese back to the hotel room to share with my dad, but I didn’t. I waited until I got back to Kalamazoo on Friday afternoon before I even broke in to it. J was very excited to see me walk in to the house with a Garrett’s bag and broke into her Chicago Mix almost immediately.
It has been a along time since I have had Garrett’s and I was shocked at just how cheesy the popcorn was. I mean, popcorn is popcorn. It’s all about how you dress. Garrett’s just had this really rich cheesy taste to it while the caramel in the Chicago mix has a crunchy, sweet taste to it. I’m not a huge caramel corn fan, so I was happy just to eat up my cheese popcorn. J’s bag didn’t last very long. She loves Garrett’s. I probably should have went for a tin, but that would probably be gone already too. Garrett Popcorn is so hard to put down. There’s a reason ex-Chicagoans miss Garrett’s Chicago Mix once they move away. The stuff is very addicting and it’s like nothing else anywhere in the country.