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Bread 'n' Bowl Company - A Georgian Bakery in Niles

Bread 'n' Bowl Company - A Georgian Bakery in Niles
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  • Bread 'n' Bowl Company - A Georgian Bakery in Niles

    Post #1 - November 16th, 2008, 1:00 am
    Post #1 - November 16th, 2008, 1:00 am Post #1 - November 16th, 2008, 1:00 am
    For a few months, my sister has been bugging me to check out Bread 'n' Bowl Company, whose name reminded me of Louis Szathmary's Bowl and Roll. She brought home a menu with Georgian Khachapuri and various breads, Borscht and pelmeni. I inquired if they have a beehive oven built deep into the floor, which she affirmed.

    Image

    From talking to Arkady, formerly of Kiev, Ukraine, this tandoor or beehive oven is about 3 months old. He said there are maybe six of these in the country with one in Detroit and another in St. Louis, though he believes this location closed. I have a feeling this may be limited to Georgian bakeries, though in Chicago we are now fortunate to have two to select from. The other is the venerable Argo Bakery on Devon Avenue, a former employee is now a partner of Bread 'n' Bowl.

    When I arrived to Bread 'n' Bowl, I was greeted with, "Are you hungry?" "I might be, may I have a menu to check?" "This is not a typical restaurant, we don't have a menu but there is one posted at the door." I walked back to the entrance to read the menus tacked on the window.

    Image
    Image

    Upon returning, I asked for (Left to right) beef pirozhki, Khachapuri and sweet farmer's cheese pirozhki.

    Image

    I also bought their Georgian bread/puri. I was informed puri is the Georgian name for bread.

    Image
    Image

    There were a number of refrigerated soups, I went with the most exotic: Georgian Beef, Tomato and Apricot Soup:

    Image

    They also offer Pelmeni and Khinkali, which are Russian/Siberian and Georgian dumplings respectively. The pelmeni offered today was made entirely of pork. Arkady emphasized they do not buy ground meat for their products, they begin always with meat and grind it themselves. He believes the previously ground meat is already no good by the time they receive it. I asked Arkady how he likes to eat his pelmeni. He said he is a vinegar man with maybe a bit of ground pepper mixed in. He likes to just lightly dip his pelmeni and eat. I inquired how are Khinkali eaten, he said out of hand dipped either in pepper or in Georgian plum sauce called tkemali. He had at least two variations of tkemali to dress your food to eat in-house at the few tables available.

    Bread 'n' Bowl Company is on the southwest corner of Harlem and Dempster next to the Super Cuts and in the same strip mall as Big Lots. You may see the Big Lots long before you detect Bread 'n' Bowl at the opposite end.

    Bread 'n' Bowl Company
    7239 W. Dempster Avenue
    Niles, IL
    312/388-8494, 312/217-8494
    BreadnBowl@gmail.com
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #2 - November 16th, 2008, 11:33 am
    Post #2 - November 16th, 2008, 11:33 am Post #2 - November 16th, 2008, 11:33 am
    Funny - I was just there the other day wondering what Bread N Bowl was - the sign made me think bread bowl soups like Panera. Now I know...
  • Post #3 - November 16th, 2008, 11:39 am
    Post #3 - November 16th, 2008, 11:39 am Post #3 - November 16th, 2008, 11:39 am
    Cathy2 wrote:Arkady emphasized they do not buy ground meat for their products, they begin always with meat and grind it themselves. He believes the previously ground meat is already no good by the time they receive it.

    Cathy,

    Sounds like a very cool place that I may very well have passed over due to the cookie cutter sounding name, thanks for being always intrepid.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    Sauce on the side, always, implied, axiomatic..........never a doubt, BBQ sauce without.

    Low & Slow
  • Post #4 - November 16th, 2008, 11:44 am
    Post #4 - November 16th, 2008, 11:44 am Post #4 - November 16th, 2008, 11:44 am
    Hi,

    The name is so characterless, it could be just about anything.

    You can eat-in, though it appears the emphasis is on pick-up and go.

    I was just reading the rear of their business card:

    "Bread 'n' Bowl Company offers amazing flavor flat breads from ancient style brick overn. Giant sized slow cooked soups. Hot savory pastries. Meat n Veggies Pierogies. Gourmet sandwiches. Frozen Dough Things. Healthy Yummy Affordable"

    A lot of mixed messages there, especially describing their dumplings as 'frozen dough things.' The real deal is small batch Georgian and Russian food made on the premises from soups, dumplings, pastries and bread. Not this oddly hip thing someone's kid dreamed up, it just doesn't do the place justice.

    Gary wrote:Sounds like a very cool place that I may very well have passed over due to the cookie cutter sounding name, thanks for being always intrepid.


    It really was my sister who tuned me into this place. I was just slow getting there.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #5 - November 16th, 2008, 1:55 pm
    Post #5 - November 16th, 2008, 1:55 pm Post #5 - November 16th, 2008, 1:55 pm
    Arrrrrrgh. I thought for sure that I'd be the first one to post on this. Damn you and your peripatetic ways, Cathy2!

    Stumbled across this place while getting a tire fixed and perusing the Lands' End Outlet sale racks. Indeed quite small and difficult to see at first, tucked away in the west end of an undistinguished strip mall. I walked over to examine the store, but my attempts at engaging the owner in conversation turned out much less well than Cathy2's.

    I brought home a quart of Spinach Lemon with Turkey Meatball soup. While I wish that the broth had had a richer flavor, and maybe the lemon flavor could have been more pronounced, I enjoyed the tender meatballs and clearly hand-cut veggies. The veggies [spinach, carrot, potato and celery] were cooked to just the right amount of tenderness.

    One of my favorite things to cook at home is soup, so I generally have quarts of home-made soup in the freezer, but having made-from-scratch soup available near-by will be a good addition to the area. The price list, iirc, is $6 for a quart, and $3 for a pint, which includes 'breadsticks' [what I was handed was more like toasted crouton-like sticks from what I assume was older bread]. A sign on the refrigerator case states that the soups are never frozen. There was a honey cake in the refrigerator as well.

    And how was the beef-tomato-apricot soup? Should I get in the car and drive there now?

    Giovanna
    =o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=

    "Enjoy every sandwich."

    -Warren Zevon
  • Post #6 - November 16th, 2008, 2:39 pm
    Post #6 - November 16th, 2008, 2:39 pm Post #6 - November 16th, 2008, 2:39 pm
    Giovanna wrote:Arrrrrrgh. I thought for sure that I'd be the first one to post on this. Damn you and your peripatetic ways, Cathy2!


    We can share, that is if my sister can stake a claim, too. :)

    Giovanna - while I was led there by my sister. You simply walked in the door to check it out, so kudos to you!

    Giovanna wrote:And how was the beef-tomato-apricot soup? Should I get in the car and drive there now?


    I went straight to the dumpling zone. I haven't really tried the soup yet.

    ***

    Image

    I had all-pork pelmeni for my Sunday breakfast. I went a bit overboard salting the water and paid the price, though otherwise these Pelmeni served with melted butter were quite good.

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    I also made a first effort to cook khinkali. I cooked them in lightly boiling water with the pleated side down per Arkady's instructions. Arkady warned the dough was made with eggs making them dumplings extra tender and more easily broken. I think I was a bit over timid with the water temperature or I didn't leave them long enough, because they were somewhat undercooked. These are clearly a handmade product simply by the uneven portion sizing.
    Image

    I ate them as-is without the recommended pepper or plum sauce. The filling was a little bit more peppery than the pelmeni, though not by much. Probably I would raise eyebrows with the little bit of butter I ate with it.

    Good find Laura and Giovanna!

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #7 - November 16th, 2008, 3:57 pm
    Post #7 - November 16th, 2008, 3:57 pm Post #7 - November 16th, 2008, 3:57 pm
    Fifille and I just had a lunch of soup and dumplings. Per the owner's recommendation, we tried the spicy beef and rice soup with khinkali. The soup was tasty with olives, cilantro and a garnish of toasted garlic chips. Crispy, yet still posessing a sharp raw garlic bite, they went very well with the rich broth. The khinkali were perfectly cooked and with a little vinegar and pepper, made a tasty broth in the bottom of the bowl. The oven is called a tone (Ton eh) which has some linguistic connection to tandoori.

    I'll definitely be back soon to try more of their offerings. The owners' daughter was thrilled to see this thread, it made her day :)
    I used to think the brain was the most important part of the body. Then I realized who was telling me that.
  • Post #8 - November 16th, 2008, 4:15 pm
    Post #8 - November 16th, 2008, 4:15 pm Post #8 - November 16th, 2008, 4:15 pm
    Hi,

    Did you eat at Bread 'n' Bowl or at home?

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #9 - November 16th, 2008, 7:58 pm
    Post #9 - November 16th, 2008, 7:58 pm Post #9 - November 16th, 2008, 7:58 pm
    We ate there. There are three tiny tables along one wall max capacity is probably 6-7. Service was leisurely but very friendly. The owners' young daughter bussed our table and rang up some customers. All in all it was a fine way to spend a leisurely hour, I would call ahead for takeout if you are in a hurry.

    Sitting against the wall watching the regulars come in and chat with the owner while waiting for their orders, I got a good feeling from the customers who came in.
    I used to think the brain was the most important part of the body. Then I realized who was telling me that.
  • Post #10 - November 17th, 2008, 1:19 pm
    Post #10 - November 17th, 2008, 1:19 pm Post #10 - November 17th, 2008, 1:19 pm
    Cathy2 wrote:
    Giovanna wrote:Arrrrrrgh. I thought for sure that I'd be the first one to post on this. Damn you and your peripatetic ways, Cathy2!

    We can share, that is if my sister can stake a claim, too. :)
    Giovanna - while I was led there by my sister. You simply walked in the door to check it out, so kudos to you!


    Actually, if thats the case, I demand to deserve credit ahead of all of y'all... cos I first went to this place at least a couple of months ago, and purely as a walk-in at that :-) But I decline all such, because I failed to post about it (thought of it at the time, but it wasnt a priority, slipped to the backburner by the time I got home, and then slipped my mind completely :-)

    When I first went to this place, it had been open only about 2 weeks, so the owner told me (I had actually attempted to go for a haircut next door, and been rebuffed by a long wait, which is how I found the place :-) I had IIRC a khachapuri to go.. and I thought it was quite decent, but in my opinion the second-best khachapuri in the city that I had eaten.. and so didnt really make it a priority to write in :-) (The best khachapuri, by far, is IMHO the one I eat with a degree of regularity while at Devon near California - Georgian Bakery, I think? Thats a quite excellent place that seems to get little love on LTH, from what Ive seen). If the khachapuri had blown me away (as Georgian's did, the first time I ever had it), I might have made writing in a bigger priority...though I really ought to have, just for the location if nothing else (there arent *that* many great options in the vicinity I guess.. maybe the Filipino grocery store and deli down the street, or else a few blocks north for good regional-Indian and Pakistani options).

    Anyway. Have been back only once to Bread-n-bowl - in the area, dropped in and picked up a khachapuri once again on the run. Decent enough spot IMHO. The thing I found interesting was the menu claiming they would make "naan bread" in their oven too, maybe even Indian style.. I mentioned this to an Indian friends wife who resides in the area, and told her where the place was, but never followed up.. so Iam not sure if one can get fresh-Indian-style-tandoori-naan here as well. Would be quite a nice addition, if one could, as there is the prospect that the tandoori naan would actually be very good!

    c8w
  • Post #11 - November 17th, 2008, 1:47 pm
    Post #11 - November 17th, 2008, 1:47 pm Post #11 - November 17th, 2008, 1:47 pm
    c8w wrote:Actually, if thats the case, I demand to deserve credit ahead of all of y'all... cos I first went to this place at least a couple of months ago, and purely as a walk-in at that But I decline all such, because I failed to post about it (thought of it at the time, but it wasnt a priority, slipped to the backburner by the time I got home, and then slipped my mind completely

    When I first went to this place, it had been open only about 2 weeks, so the owner told me (I had actually attempted to go for a haircut next door, and been rebuffed by a long wait, which is how I found the place

    You and my sister can now do some thumb wrestling to win, because those were precisely her circumstances, too.

    Niles is really quite a good zone for international shopping. I never expected to find a similar operation as Argo (the Devon Avenue Georgian Bakery) in our region and better yet, for my convenience, Niles.

    While I received my khachapuri hot, I didn't eat it until much later. I liked the sweet farmers cheese more than I thought I would, because sometimes 'sweet' in their context is far different from mine.

    The good thing is the information is now available to anyone who cares to sample and offer their opinion.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #12 - November 17th, 2008, 3:45 pm
    Post #12 - November 17th, 2008, 3:45 pm Post #12 - November 17th, 2008, 3:45 pm
    Cathy2 wrote:Niles is really quite a good zone for international shopping. I never expected to find a similar operation as Argo (the Devon Avenue Georgian Bakery) in our region and better yet, for my convenience, Niles.
    While I received my khachapuri hot, I didn't eat it until much later. I liked the sweet farmers cheese more than I thought I would, because sometimes 'sweet' in their context is far different from mine.
    Regards,


    Its a decent place for international shopping, Niles - though I still dont really have a go-to spot for a quick cheap carryout snack when in the area (well, other than khachapuri :-) Anyone have any suggestions? Are the other offerings better, at Bread-n-bowl too?

    The Filipino deli/store down the street is decent too, as mentioned before.. but a bahn-mi type place would be great, if it existed. (A place like Malabar, a few blocks north, is one of my favourites in the city.. but its not for quick pickup snacks, more prepared food that you take home).

    I liked the khachapuri for similar reasons as you - a very flavourful farmers cheese. When hot, at Argo, its quite terrific - flaky and wonderful.

    c8w
  • Post #13 - November 20th, 2008, 6:53 pm
    Post #13 - November 20th, 2008, 6:53 pm Post #13 - November 20th, 2008, 6:53 pm
    Cold night, I'm tired and feeling meh. I get off at work in 7 minutes. I'm going to pick up some dumplings and have a nice dinner.

    FYI, they close at 6:30, I called and he said he will be there till 645 but I'm going to drive fast :)
    I used to think the brain was the most important part of the body. Then I realized who was telling me that.
  • Post #14 - November 21st, 2008, 5:04 pm
    Post #14 - November 21st, 2008, 5:04 pm Post #14 - November 21st, 2008, 5:04 pm
    c8w wrote:
    Cathy2 wrote: (A place like Malabar, a few blocks north, is one of my favourites in the city.. but its not for quick pickup snacks, more prepared food that you take home).


    c8w,

    I'm intrigued by this. Can you reveal the name and coordinates? Do you mean a few blocks north on Harlem?

    When Malabar closed on Montrose they told me they were moving to Glenview, but I've since been unable to track them down. Could you be talking about its reincarnation?
  • Post #15 - November 21st, 2008, 6:08 pm
    Post #15 - November 21st, 2008, 6:08 pm Post #15 - November 21st, 2008, 6:08 pm
    c8w wrote:...Niles - though I still dont really have a go-to spot for a quick cheap carryout snack when in the area (well, other than khachapuri :-) Anyone have any suggestions? Are the other offerings better, at Bread-n-bowl too?

    1) Assi Plaza has a food court. Not quite as good as Mitsuwa or H-Mart, and runs into the same problem as H-Mart: it's set up to sell you a whole meal, rather than a wide selection of small snacks. Inside the main store there are booths selling dumplings and sushi. They had 99-cent nigiri the first couple times I was in there, I haven't seen it since but there's still a sign (perhaps only at certain times)
    2) There's always the food court at Golf Mill (kidding)
    3) Asia Super (north of Golf) sells some remarkably cheap snacks like kimbap, and they may still have a kimchi bar with the ability to get a few random things in a deli container
    4) There's a Korean chicken and pizza place in Four Flags. Not that cheap, but fun.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #16 - November 22nd, 2008, 1:00 am
    Post #16 - November 22nd, 2008, 1:00 am Post #16 - November 22nd, 2008, 1:00 am
    m'th'su wrote:
    c8w wrote:
    Cathy2 wrote: (A place like Malabar, a few blocks north, is one of my favourites in the city.. but its not for quick pickup snacks, more prepared food that you take home).


    c8w,

    I'm intrigued by this. Can you reveal the name and coordinates? Do you mean a few blocks north on Harlem?

    When Malabar closed on Montrose they told me they were moving to Glenview, but I've since been unable to track them down. Could you be talking about its reincarnation?


    If I can answer for c8w, this must be Royal Malabar Catering which has been described a few times recently.

    Royal Malabar Catering
    911 Greenwood Rd
    Glenview, IL 60025
    847-998-5630
  • Post #17 - November 30th, 2008, 8:24 pm
    Post #17 - November 30th, 2008, 8:24 pm Post #17 - November 30th, 2008, 8:24 pm
    Hi,

    My sister and I went to lunch over the weekend. My sister ordered chicken dumpling soup, while light on dumplings for my taste. The chicken broth was certainly made on the premises.

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    I went for the heartier mushroom barley soup so densely packed with barley and mushrooms, there was no need for a spoon to highlight the contents. This is the type of hearty soup your Babushka greeted you with on a cold snowy day upon your arrival fresh from the street.

    Image

    I ordered pelmeni. I was thinking maybe 10-15 pelmeni. Instead, I received 50 pieces or a full one pound, which cost one dollar above cost of a retail cook-at-home pelmeni. I was fortunate they were making pelmeni, so my serving was freshly made instead of fresh from the freezer.

    Image

    My sister and I finished every dumpling on that plate. :D

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #18 - December 1st, 2008, 9:29 am
    Post #18 - December 1st, 2008, 9:29 am Post #18 - December 1st, 2008, 9:29 am
    When we had the dumplings, the owner told us to dress them with just vinegar and black pepper. I was eating them wondering why Iwas thinking about oysters when it hit me.

    Back into the kitchen, add some shallots to the vinegar and pepper mix and voila! Mignonette sauce:) It's the perfect foil for the pelmeni or khinkali.
    I used to think the brain was the most important part of the body. Then I realized who was telling me that.
  • Post #19 - December 5th, 2008, 11:56 pm
    Post #19 - December 5th, 2008, 11:56 pm Post #19 - December 5th, 2008, 11:56 pm
    There are dumplings that would wilt under a black pepper and vinegar dressing. When dumplings are filled with fruit and cheese, sour cream mixed with sugar (and perhaps some vanilla) is a fitting sauce. Like these cherry and cheese filled dumplings.

    Image


    The round dumplings are cheese and the half circles are filled with two sour cherries each. In their uncooked state, their hand crafted roots are far more evident.

    Image

    I have made these dumplings, which I love though I do it recognizing the time involved. I do purchase the machine made dumplings, largely to fill a void though not as satisfying as my homemade ones. These hand made dumplings is akin to buying frozen tortellini in Highwood where they came from some Grandmother. You just don't get access to the handmade product in retail stores, which I really appreciate about Bread 'n' Bowl.

    I learned the other day that Vitaly, one of the owners, lives in Highland Park. Before they settled on the Niles location, they were negotiating space in Highland Park on Deerfield Road near Ridge. Too bad for me, I would have loved to include them on my lunch rotation.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #20 - December 6th, 2008, 7:58 pm
    Post #20 - December 6th, 2008, 7:58 pm Post #20 - December 6th, 2008, 7:58 pm
    Cathy2 wrote:I inquired how are Khinkali eaten, he said out of hand dipped either in pepper or in Georgian plum sauce called tkemali. He had at least two variations of tkemali to dress your food to eat in-house at the few tables available.

    I've been here three times since Cathy first posted--it's a great find.

    PIGMON blanched at the suggestion, but I can't help but be think of an extremely rustic xiao long bao when I bite into a khinkali. They offer a pleasing squirt of hot juice that renders from the filling.

    On my last visit I sampled the two tkemali variants, which differ according to when the plums are harvested. There is a strong, sour version, which I like quite a lot, and one Arkady referred to as "girl tkemali" (not his nomenclature, it's what Georgians really call it apparently). It has has mellower, sweeter profile, but is still rather sour. Some like to mix them together.

    I spent some time that afternoon driving around looking for tkemali, but with no luck.
  • Post #21 - December 8th, 2008, 9:23 pm
    Post #21 - December 8th, 2008, 9:23 pm Post #21 - December 8th, 2008, 9:23 pm
    LTH,

    After an ok lunch at Rosded Too in Morton Grove, post forthcoming, I followed Cathy's breadcrumbs, or maybe more accurately, Cathy's sister's, to Bread n Bowl. Spartan, streamlined might be a better term, with a linear vibe I interpreted as commitment to quality.

    Image

    The baker, whose name I did not catch, worked the electric 'beehive' brick oven at Georgian Bakery on Devon prior to Bread n Bowl.

    Bread n Bowl 'Beehive' Brick Oven

    Image

    I was fortunate to hit B n B at Pelmeni making time, though I'd guess they are constantly in some type of production.

    Pelmeni

    Image

    Image

    Image

    Image

    Image

    Image

    I purchased a quart of Beef tomato apricot soup for dinner, subtle tart, hint of black pepper heat, even dice of beef and potato with red kidney beans and onion. Both Ellen and I liked the soup, especially with toasted Georgian Puri (The round loaves of bread pictured upthread by Cathy.

    Great find, thanks all.

    Enjoy,
    Gary

    Bread 'n' Bowl Company
    7239 W. Dempster Avenue
    Niles, IL
    312-388-8494

    Georgian Bakery
    2812 W Devon Ave
    Chicago, IL 60659
    773-764-6322

    Rosded Too
    9510 Waukegan Rd
    Morton Grove, IL 60053
    847-965-5561
    Sauce on the side, always, implied, axiomatic..........never a doubt, BBQ sauce without.

    Low & Slow
  • Post #22 - December 9th, 2008, 12:43 am
    Post #22 - December 9th, 2008, 12:43 am Post #22 - December 9th, 2008, 12:43 am
    Hi,

    I made yet another stop to Bread 'n' Bowl on my way home from the Christmas cookie exchange. I bought Ukrainian beef borscht plus one mushroom and one roasted cabbage peroshki, savory pastries often eaten with soup.

    Image

    I also bought some kapusta salat or cabbage salad, which is slightly fermented:

    Image

    In the farmer's markets in Moscow, there were many vendors of kapusta salat in large barrels. You were welcome to take a small pinch to taste and decide what level of sour you desired.

    Thanks Gary for documenting the pelmeni making. As much as I want this place to succeed, I hope they keep this element of handmade food and not switch to a machine. It really makes it special or at least as good as my memories for me.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #23 - December 10th, 2008, 1:02 pm
    Post #23 - December 10th, 2008, 1:02 pm Post #23 - December 10th, 2008, 1:02 pm
    m'th'su wrote:PIGMON blanched at the suggestion, but I can't help but be think of an extremely rustic xiao long bao when I bite into a khinkali. They offer a pleasing squirt of hot juice that renders from the filling.

    Mike,

    I can see that, khinkali are quite juicy, and spicier than I thought they were be. Count me a fan.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    Sauce on the side, always, implied, axiomatic..........never a doubt, BBQ sauce without.

    Low & Slow
  • Post #24 - December 10th, 2008, 8:05 pm
    Post #24 - December 10th, 2008, 8:05 pm Post #24 - December 10th, 2008, 8:05 pm
    I stopped by on Tuesday and picked up a bag of pelmeni, khinkali, and the kapusta salad. I'm going to make it for dinner in the next day or so with some boiled potatoes dressed with butter and dill.
    I used to think the brain was the most important part of the body. Then I realized who was telling me that.
  • Post #25 - December 18th, 2008, 12:22 am
    Post #25 - December 18th, 2008, 12:22 am Post #25 - December 18th, 2008, 12:22 am
    HI,

    Bread 'n' Bowl is featured in The Reader here: http://www.chicagoreader.com/features/s ... ts/081218/

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #26 - December 18th, 2008, 4:47 pm
    Post #26 - December 18th, 2008, 4:47 pm Post #26 - December 18th, 2008, 4:47 pm
    Thanks again to Cathy for the first intel. I posted some video here.
  • Post #27 - December 26th, 2008, 9:29 pm
    Post #27 - December 26th, 2008, 9:29 pm Post #27 - December 26th, 2008, 9:29 pm
    Off work for the day, hungry for lunch, and in possession of a rental car for the holiday week(end), I headed for Bread 'n' bowl this afternoon. I failed in my attempt to lure a neighbor of mine to accompany me, she being a fan of good breads and me quoting the reviews of the offerings at Bread 'n' Bowl. Situated off to one side of a Sports Authority store in a shopping center at the SW corner of Dempster & Harlem, I almost missed the place. I was the only customer when I arrived at about 2 p.m. Arkady came from the back of the store and asked if he could help, and I viewed the refrigerated display cases as he explained what was available today.

    My selection was the lentel with sausage soup and some pork/beef-filled Khinkali dumplings. Arkady explained that though the soup would warm quickly the khinkali would take a while to cook thoroughly. I told him I was in no hurry and wouldn't be bothered by a wait. Reaching into one refrigerated case, I grabbed a can of Diet Pepsi and sat at one of the three tables. Ten minutes later Arkady returned with the large bowl of soup and some bread. He explained, again, that the khinkali would take longer to cook. Fine.

    The memorable thing about the soup was the dark sausage. I didn't ask what the filling in the sausage was, but it was good. I was too hungry to offer questions, and Arkady was too busy in the back for me to corner to ask about it. I found the bread - puri - unremarkable, just "okay."

    During the soup course another two couples had arrived to eat-in. Arkady helped them with their selections and they occupied the two remaining tables. Several other customers came and went with take-out orders, mostly with bread.

    The khinkali come in bags of 5 or 10. I purchased the 10, and asked Arkady to prepare half - leaving the remaining 5 for me to take home, uncooked. The bowl with the khinkali arrived steaming hot and when I cut into one the fragrance captured then released in the escaping steam was wonderfully seductive. Even though the pork/beef filling was well-seasoned, Arkady stopped back at my table suggesting I add some pepper - which I did. He also suggested a cup of tea, saying the tea goes well with Khinkali. Who am I to argue with the guy? Tea it was!

    I very much enjoyed the Khinkali and decided to take home some soup and bread for the neighbors I couldn't convince to come with me, and some other things - particularly the sour cherry piergi - for myself. As I was in the process of gathering my take home purchases from the refrigerated cases who walked in the store behind me but the very neighbors who hadn't come with me.

    The three additional customers and I sat at the table and when we caught Arkady's eye I asked him to stop back when he was free. He was busily preparing the orders for the other two tables. When he came by the table and we made additional selections his behavior changed for the worse, and from that point on, for another half hour or so, the experience there turned somewhat unpleasant. He became aggressive and rude.

    The additional guests ordered the three mushroom barley soup and a bag of 10 farmers cheese pierogi. The soup came and one of the people at my table asked the woman who'd brought it if there was any bread to accompany the soup. The young woman advised us that there was no bread, they'd run out. Two of the three additional guests had made the trip just for the bread; they're bread fanatics. They expressed their disappointment and the young woman returned with slices of the puri that were rock-hard - as a substitute. The three mushroom barley soup was enjoyed, and the farmers cheese pierogi were flavorful and also enjoyed by all.

    During our meal, twice, Arkady walked to the service counter and yelled at us that we couldn't just order things when we wanted, that the food took time to prepare and we just couldn't do what we were doing. We were dumbfounded. We hadn't ordered anything else, nor had any of us four turned towards the back or said anything in that direction. At one point Arkady approached our table, talking very loud, saying the store had bad service. I rose to speak with him and said that both the food was excellent and we had no complaints about the service. He again started with the tirade about ordering food haphazardly. It was a very uncomfortable situation - so much so I decided not to purchase the items to take home with me.

    I suspect Arkady was put off-guard by the 8 people eating in the front of the store. The place isn't really set up for much eat-in, IMO - and I'm left with the impression Arkady isn't the type of person who's good at 'front of the house' chores. I think, too, that the other two tables were ordering things as they went along and that Arkady mistakenly thought we were part of that activity. Running out of bread and having people coming into the store leaving disappointed - not to mention diners being disappointed - probably added to his frustration.

    This is a business outside of my typical pattern of travel, so I doubt I'll revisit soon. If I lived closer I'd certainly stop-in for some take-out (definitely not to eat-in, though). My companions/neighbors - people who do get out and about in that area frequently and who love soups, pierogi, breads, etc. - will probably never again go near the place - because they believe Arkady's behavior was offensive, whether directed towards us specifically or the group of 8 customers in the store as a whole.
  • Post #28 - January 8th, 2009, 11:54 pm
    Post #28 - January 8th, 2009, 11:54 pm Post #28 - January 8th, 2009, 11:54 pm
    m'th'su wrote:On my last visit I sampled the two tkemali variants, which differ according to when the plums are harvested. There is a strong, sour version, which I like quite a lot, and one Arkady referred to as "girl tkemali" (not his nomenclature, it's what Georgians really call it apparently). It has has mellower, sweeter profile, but is still rather sour. Some like to mix them together.

    I spent some time that afternoon driving around looking for tkemali, but with no luck.

    I wish I'd known about the tkemali when we tackled a plate of pelmeni a month or so ago. I think they would have benefited from something other than black pepper and vinegar.

    If anyone's looking, Three Sisters on Devon carries about half a dozen varieties of tkemali, of both genders.

    Three Sisters Deli
    2854 W Devon Av
    Chicago
    773-973-1919
  • Post #29 - January 9th, 2009, 10:14 am
    Post #29 - January 9th, 2009, 10:14 am Post #29 - January 9th, 2009, 10:14 am
    Rene G wrote:
    m'th'su wrote:On my last visit I sampled the two tkemali variants, which differ according to when the plums are harvested. There is a strong, sour version, which I like quite a lot, and one Arkady referred to as "girl tkemali" (not his nomenclature, it's what Georgians really call it apparently). It has has mellower, sweeter profile, but is still rather sour. Some like to mix them together.

    I spent some time that afternoon driving around looking for tkemali, but with no luck.

    I wish I'd known about the tkemali when we tackled a plate of pelmeni a month or so ago. I think they would have benefited from something other than black pepper and vinegar.

    If anyone's looking, Three Sisters on Devon carries about half a dozen varieties of tkemali, of both genders.

    Three Sisters Deli
    2854 W Devon Av
    Chicago
    773-973-1919


    I've since discovered a couple varieties of tkemali on sale at Argo too. I really like the stuff.
  • Post #30 - January 27th, 2009, 11:00 pm
    Post #30 - January 27th, 2009, 11:00 pm Post #30 - January 27th, 2009, 11:00 pm
    I work about 5 minutes away from Bread n' Bowl, got off work at 1 PM and wondered what to bring home for dinner. I remember this thread and all the recommendations so headed down to Dempster and Harlem and got a bag of khinkali, a quart of split pea with ham soup and two loaves of bread. I didn't really mean to get the two loaves but when I inquired about bread, the big man at the front counter offered me a couple of options, both of which sounded great, so I ended up with a nice round loaf of Georgian sour-dough rye bread and a very unusual looking loaf of rustic looking bread that my husband dubbed "platypus" bread. It was about 2 1/2 foot long, narrow on the ends and about 4-5" wide in the center.

    I ripped into the sour-dough rye bread, literally, upon arriving home (I was starving), it was a dense, chewy rye with a nice sourdough overtone, great with butter. The other loaf, which we had with the soup, was also wonderful, dense and chewy with a great crust.

    The soup....sigh, I love split pea soup and this one was one of the best I've ever had. My husband said mine (home-made) is better but, when you don't have to make it yourself you have a different opinion. i loved it. Really big chunks of ham and a nice creamy texture and full-bodied tasted to the soup. I'm used to split pea ham soup with shreds of ham but this one had 1/2 - 1/3" chunks of ham, plus carrots, celery and onion, all perfectly souped up, if you get my drift. Perfect for a cold winter night.

    The khinkali dumplings were perfect alongside the soup and bread for a 'stick to the ribs' kind of meal that we were hankering for tonight. I definitely tasted the cilantro in the dumplings and loved, LOVED the flavor.

    I think I will be picking up soup, bread and dumplings from Bread n' Bowl after my Tuesday 1 PM shifts until the tulips come up.
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