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  • Post #31 - December 21st, 2007, 10:05 pm
    Post #31 - December 21st, 2007, 10:05 pm Post #31 - December 21st, 2007, 10:05 pm
    Growing up in NW Indiana, I remember grocery shopping at Strack's and Van Til's (they merged about 20 years ago). I also remember grocery shopping at Scheeringa's and getting produce at Zandstra's, Jansma's, and De Jong Brothers. You would never know that NW Indiana was originally settled by Dutch farmers who saw the flat lake bed with its fertile, sandy soil as "just like home", would you?

    Anyway, S&VT has that time-warp aspect of so many NW Indiana places, complete with the paper bags and the carry-out service to your car. During the day, they have meat and produce people who will, for no charge, actually cut and package items if you ask them to do so (re-packaging is a small charge).

    Since the Chicago S&VT is its only location in Cook County (and one of only two in Illinois), does it also offer these time-warp items?

    Oh, and if anyone gets to the south suburbs or NW Indiana, another Dutch grocery chain to try is Walt's.
  • Post #32 - December 22nd, 2007, 9:25 am
    Post #32 - December 22nd, 2007, 9:25 am Post #32 - December 22nd, 2007, 9:25 am
    Well, they do offer the carryout service, which took me aback. In a good way. So "aback" is not really the right word, but anyway. The nice young man helped me fill my trunk, which made me very glad I had cleaned it out recently so he didn't witness my shame. I couldn't decide if I was supposed to tip him or not, but after loading up my car he disappeared so quickly I decided chasing after him with a dollar would be a kind of awkward end to the interaction.

    No paper bags, fortunately. We have two big dogs at the moment, and they poop more than we shop.

    The whole experience - friendly people, low prices, fast checkout - was discombobulating. It was like being in an alternate universe, or possibly Iowa.
    As a mattra-fact, Pie Face, you are beginning to look almost human. - Barbara Bennett
  • Post #33 - December 23rd, 2007, 1:52 am
    Post #33 - December 23rd, 2007, 1:52 am Post #33 - December 23rd, 2007, 1:52 am
    As along time Cub Food shopper (who used to enjoy The <b>Fresh Fields </b> for my specialty items, just down the way on Elston )- I was intigued by the whole experience of a new grocery store.
    At 1st my impressions of the visual decor- were "oh-my-how-Suburban"......and later when I saw the new and improved deli counter,made a quick check to see if the Produce Section stocked fresh stalks of LemonGrass as Cub Foods did (did NOT), and scanned the Bakery area- kind of STILL felt the same.

    BUT- when I was warmly greeted by THE HARDEST WORKING manager in the grocery store business- Mike G.- I knew all was well.
    Mike G. (fmr. Mgr@ Cub Foods) is the kind of manager who carries a small reporters notepad - and records all of those "special requests" that customers have (Peach Flavored Propel ....Silk Soy Creamer,Vanilla flavored....Walkerswood Jamaiican Jerk Seasoning Paste......you get the idea!!).When he's not busy doing that- he may be filling in stock,moving carts-directing cashiers to open- he's everywhere...and nowhere...
    An amazing individual- who is eevn portrayed on some Outdoor Media Advertising on a building on Milwaukee Avenue just below Diversey....his face beaming to all of Logan Square!

    Now- I recently discovered, a grocery store chain- that until previous- I had "thunk" was only a one-off (2558 North Harlem) ......I am speaking of <b>CAPUTO'S</b>.
    WOW!
    Imagine a store that has domestic Asiago Cheese at 5.95lb and in the bakery area fresh Pignoli Cookies and, in the Deli Counter- when asked- the Deli-Man will make ya a "sub" jus' like Tony Soprano would order- with some "Gabbi-gol" (cappicolla), "Pro-chute" (Prossicutto) an' some Provo-lone.....what a sandwich-drizzled w/ Giardinara and Onions...mmmmmmmmmmmm...

    <b>Caputos</b> has a bunch of stores in the Western burbs- the one I encountered was on Lake Street in Bloomingdale.
    Bloomingdale
    (SW corner of Lake street & Fairfield Way)
    166 East Lake Street
    Bloomingdale , IL 60108
    Phone 630 924-0900
    Hours Mon –
    Fri 7:00 am to 10:00 pm
    Sat & Sun 6:00 am to 10:00 pm

    I highly recommend it!

    http://shopcaputos.com/
  • Post #34 - December 23rd, 2007, 2:08 am
    Post #34 - December 23rd, 2007, 2:08 am Post #34 - December 23rd, 2007, 2:08 am
    I've only been to the Angelo Caputo's on Harlem, but I'd like to note that the bulk of the Caputo groceries in the suburbs are "Joe Caputo & Sons", and so owned by a different brother's branch of the family.

    But they all learned from the same place, so the grocery stores are all fairly similar. Just wanted to clarify the ownership aspect.
    Ed Fisher
    my chicago food photos

    RIP LTH.
  • Post #35 - December 23rd, 2007, 3:50 am
    Post #35 - December 23rd, 2007, 3:50 am Post #35 - December 23rd, 2007, 3:50 am
    gleam wrote:I've only been to the Angelo Caputo's on Harlem, but I'd like to note that the bulk of the Caputo groceries in the suburbs are "Joe Caputo & Sons", and so owned by a different brother's branch of the family.

    Actually, Joe Caputo & Sons has only three stores:

    959 E. Oakton St., Des Plaines, (847) 827-6700
    2070 N. Rand Road, Palatine, (847) 705-7200
    100 S. Randall Road, Algonquin, (847) 458-9100

    The bulk of the stores are Angelo Caputo's Fresh Markets:

    2560 N. Harlem Ave., Elmwood Park, (708) 453-0155
    1250 Lake St., Hanover Park, (630) 372-2800
    166 E. Lake St., Bloomingdale, (630) 924-0900
    510 W. Lake St., Addison, (630) 543-0151
    622 Randall Road, South Elgin, (847) 289-0600
    3115 111th St., Naperville, (630) 579-3300

    Then there is Caputo Cheese Market, launched by Pasquale Caputo and now operated by his son, Natale:

    1931 N. 15th Ave., Melrose Park, (708) 450-0074, ext. 217
  • Post #36 - December 23rd, 2007, 1:33 pm
    Post #36 - December 23rd, 2007, 1:33 pm Post #36 - December 23rd, 2007, 1:33 pm
    My bad, thanks for the correction LAZ! For some reason I thought it was the other way around.
    Ed Fisher
    my chicago food photos

    RIP LTH.
  • Post #37 - December 24th, 2007, 10:52 pm
    Post #37 - December 24th, 2007, 10:52 pm Post #37 - December 24th, 2007, 10:52 pm
    I checked out SvT when provisioning for a recent trip. I liked the full line of Bob's Red Mill products, and the great checkout service. The produce was eh, and the deli was poor (poor service, dried out pre-cut meat, high prices, prices by the half-pound).

    Overall, the A&G (at Belmont and Central) is much better-- more variety of produce, cheaper, and a great deli. The house-made sofrito is great.

    Of course, just the checkout service makes the SvT orders of magnitude better than the Cub that inhabited that space before.
  • Post #38 - December 26th, 2007, 3:14 pm
    Post #38 - December 26th, 2007, 3:14 pm Post #38 - December 26th, 2007, 3:14 pm
    Mike G-

    Thank you for putting up that picture of the ham flavored split peas. Had I not remembered it while grabbing stuff for split peas soup today, i may have accidentally grabbed those in my rush to get in and out.

    Jamie
  • Post #39 - January 13th, 2008, 2:03 am
    Post #39 - January 13th, 2008, 2:03 am Post #39 - January 13th, 2008, 2:03 am
    Figured I'd add here that a couple S&VT stores in NW Indiana (in Schererville and St. John) were selling 1.5lb bags of organic fingerling potatoes for $1.49. They had both the French red-skinned and the Russian brown-skinned varieties available. This is a great price...Whole Foods sells the identical bags for $3.99!
  • Post #40 - January 19th, 2008, 6:56 pm
    Post #40 - January 19th, 2008, 6:56 pm Post #40 - January 19th, 2008, 6:56 pm
    Just got back from a quick Strack and VanTil trip:

    2 lbs of good looking carrots: 1.50
    JennieO Lean Ground Turkey: 40 oz for $5

    great selection of mexican staples, all three flavors of my precious laughing cow light cheese (yes, i know it's not exactly haute cuisine but I like the stuff, particularly as a snack when I'm in diet mode)

    And, have you SMELLED that fried chicken? Great googly moogly that is some fragrant poultry.

    Add all of that to a great selection of all of our other regular staples AND a checkout gal who was friendly, fast, and knowledgeable and both hubby and I left wondering why we ever stop anywhere else. The only thing Dominick's has on them at this point is that our bank has a branch in the lobby and Dnick's is 24 hrs.
  • Post #41 - January 20th, 2008, 10:23 pm
    Post #41 - January 20th, 2008, 10:23 pm Post #41 - January 20th, 2008, 10:23 pm
    Mike G wrote:So please, discover my favorite grocery store, go there. We've got a 27-page thread on why people hate Jewelnicks, the answer is right here:

    Strack and Van Til was moderately busy Saturday afternoon, though by no means crowded. I quite liked the overall feel of the store plus they had my new favorite regular potato chip on sale Peerless out of Gary, Indiana, which Mike Sula writes about here

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

    Low & Slow
  • Post #42 - January 20th, 2008, 10:51 pm
    Post #42 - January 20th, 2008, 10:51 pm Post #42 - January 20th, 2008, 10:51 pm
    Peerless are peerless. My favorite chip for over 40 years. I'm glad they're available in Chicago now, I was considering picking up a few cases on my next trip to Gary, for interested LTHer's, but now I don't have to. Peerless really deserves a lot more recognition than they get; it is an excellent product. Cooked perfectly, never greasy, with just the right amount of salt. Try 'em, you'll like 'em.
    What if the Hokey Pokey really IS what it's all about?
  • Post #43 - January 20th, 2008, 10:53 pm
    Post #43 - January 20th, 2008, 10:53 pm Post #43 - January 20th, 2008, 10:53 pm
    Hi,

    Peerless also makes fried pork rinds.

    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 #44 - January 21st, 2008, 12:23 am
    Post #44 - January 21st, 2008, 12:23 am Post #44 - January 21st, 2008, 12:23 am
    Our last couple of trips to S&VT have been devoid of carryout. The first few times, it was a happy novelty - but now that we've come to expect it, we find ourselves staring down the glum checkout clerk, wondering if they're just hoping we give up and leave.

    I suppose we could have asked, but where's the fun in that?
    As a mattra-fact, Pie Face, you are beginning to look almost human. - Barbara Bennett
  • Post #45 - January 21st, 2008, 1:25 am
    Post #45 - January 21st, 2008, 1:25 am Post #45 - January 21st, 2008, 1:25 am
    G Wiv wrote:. . . they had my new favorite regular potato chip on sale Peerless out of Gary, Indiana, which Mike Sula writes about here

    If you enjoyed the article, you'll want to watch the video.

    Cogito wrote:Peerless are peerless. My favorite chip for over 40 years. I'm glad they're available in Chicago now, I was considering picking up a few cases on my next trip to Gary, for interested LTHer's, but now I don't have to. Peerless really deserves a lot more recognition than they get; it is an excellent product. Cooked perfectly, never greasy, with just the right amount of salt. Try 'em, you'll like 'em.

    I don't eat a lot of potato chips but you're right about Peerless. They're thinner and more lightly fried than most others and not oversalted. A delicate chip. By the way, according to Mike Sula, you can no longer buy them at the factory.

    Cathy2 wrote:Peerless also makes fried pork rinds.

    Peerless distributes a variety of snack foods but manufactures only potato chips (per Sula). In the picture below, note another local chip: Katies from Hobart, Indiana.

    Image

    Image

    Image

    Image
    Last edited by Rene G on January 21st, 2008, 2:41 am, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #46 - January 21st, 2008, 1:48 am
    Post #46 - January 21st, 2008, 1:48 am Post #46 - January 21st, 2008, 1:48 am
    Rene G wrote:By the way, according to Mike Sula, you can no longer buy them at the factory.

    "Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated." -- Mark Twain
    What if the Hokey Pokey really IS what it's all about?
  • Post #47 - January 21st, 2008, 11:56 am
    Post #47 - January 21st, 2008, 11:56 am Post #47 - January 21st, 2008, 11:56 am
    I didn't like this place much. Everything was just ok and I have had better french bread in prison.
    I'm not Angry, I'm hungry.
  • Post #48 - January 27th, 2008, 3:00 pm
    Post #48 - January 27th, 2008, 3:00 pm Post #48 - January 27th, 2008, 3:00 pm
    I visit the Strack in Joliet (Rte. 59 and Caton farm rd). At first...it was a welcome change to Jewel and the dreaded Dominick stores (which I totally refuse to shop at!). But it seems they're turning tides to join the rest of the less than adequate grocery stores in the Joliet area.

    I never have bought beef at Strack...but the chicken and pork are OK. The fruits and vegetables were usually acceptable. But the last several times I've gone to Strack I've found nearly all of their vegetables to garbage! Soft potatoes, horribly soft onions sprouting new growth. The garlic is green as ever.

    I did have high hopes for Strack...but it looks like they've gone the same route as the other stores :(

    I suppose I'll keep driving to different grocery stores to put together a meal (Whole foods, Caputo's, H-mart and Tichler's).

    Come'on summer...I want some garden vegetables!

    dan
  • Post #49 - January 27th, 2008, 3:11 pm
    Post #49 - January 27th, 2008, 3:11 pm Post #49 - January 27th, 2008, 3:11 pm
    gonefishin wrote:But the last several times I've gone to Strack I've found nearly all of their vegetables to garbage! Soft potatoes, horribly soft onions sprouting new growth. The garlic is green as ever.


    This describes my experience at S&VT's sister, Ultra Foods in Forest Park. S&VT, however, still had fine produce on my last visit. Hopefully they don't slip into the same habits as the other stores.
    Ed Fisher
    my chicago food photos

    RIP LTH.
  • Post #50 - January 27th, 2008, 5:56 pm
    Post #50 - January 27th, 2008, 5:56 pm Post #50 - January 27th, 2008, 5:56 pm
    I love their crumb cake!
    Lacking fins or tail
    The Gefilte fish
    swims with great difficulty.

    Jewish haiku.
  • Post #51 - January 31st, 2008, 10:21 am
    Post #51 - January 31st, 2008, 10:21 am Post #51 - January 31st, 2008, 10:21 am
    In light of one of my regular grocery stores closing (see: Sunflower Market), I am determined to keep Strack & Van Til on the radar in the hopes they can survive the fierce grocery store competition.

    In reality, this isn't hard, as it has become my #1 stop, as it is close to Logan Square. Rarely do I make an occasional trip to Jewel (never was a Dominick's girl) anymore, mostly just rotate in trips to TJs, various little corner markets, and probably Whole Foods again to stock up on more organic/healthy options & cheap fruit (<--- at the corner stores, not WF!).

    But there is just something about S&VT that I love. Maybe it is the easy to navigate aisles, or the friendly service, or the prepared ham salad (don't ask me where that came from, but I love it!). Maybe the coupons (uh oh, is this a bad sign?) that I used last night which resulted in FREE peanut butter & a FREE dozen eggs. Could've also gotten a FREE 2-liter of Diet Coke/Coke, but I skipped that as I am not much of a soda drinker.

    No discount card to deal with & the ads actually have sales on things I use...last time it was Silk for $2.50; this week Morningstar products were on sale. I got a great loaf of organic whole grain bread for only $2. And a huge box of Cheerios for $2!

    Now my bank (5/3) is there, so it keeps getting better. I understand it might not be for everyone, but if you haven't made it over & live in the area, check it out. My checkout lady said things have been steady lately, which is good to hear. Not as good as "busy", but steady is better than empty, especially during the winter; plus I wasn't there until 8 pm or so last night.

    Happy shopping!
    miss ellen
  • Post #52 - September 23rd, 2008, 3:57 pm
    Post #52 - September 23rd, 2008, 3:57 pm Post #52 - September 23rd, 2008, 3:57 pm
    Strack & Van til is in my normal rotation and I will never go to jewel or Dominicks over this place...ever. The selection compared is no contest and S&VT carries the La Morena brand canned chipotle peppers recently named best in class in Saveur magazines taste off ($.95).

    Image

    In fact there Mexican aisle has almost anything your going to need and plenty of different brands of each product from pop to canned everything. they had about 5 different brands of sliced jalapenos.

    I like the St. Loius cut ribs they always have in stock, great for Chinese ribs. I also love the wing "drummettes" they carry from Rosebud farms. Though not always available these are the best wings you can buy to put on the grill, they are all drummette parts and cook perfectly, no cutting the wings and tips off, easy work. I always buy them when there in stock. With the ribs and the wings you can create one hell of a pupu platter.

    Image
    Some jerked wings and chorizo stuffed 'shrooms with chihuahua

    Im also a fan of the Amish rotisserie birds and the fried chicken is pretty damn goo too. Today I stocked up on 1 liter bottles of Green river which were on sale for $.79, you dont see them too much anymore. Reminds me of eating hot dogs at the Byron's that was over on Clybourn with the crazy ball with needles coming out of it. Always had a GR with my dog. Still love it.
  • Post #53 - September 24th, 2008, 1:52 pm
    Post #53 - September 24th, 2008, 1:52 pm Post #53 - September 24th, 2008, 1:52 pm
    I liked the S+VT signage when I noticed it a while back, and wondered if it was high-end with retro branding, or authentic old-school. Glad to see it's more along the lines of old-school.

    I shopped there for the first time a week ago and was pleased. I live in Ukranian village, and our closest choices are the Jeeeeeewwwwls at Division and Ashland, and the new "Dom-Mini-nicks" at Damen and Chicago (which is too small to stock 1/2 the things I need). Both of those stores have horrid meat departments.

    I think S+VT will be my "big shopping days" store, when I stock up on stuff. It was pretty busy when I was there, lots of families.
  • Post #54 - October 8th, 2008, 12:00 am
    Post #54 - October 8th, 2008, 12:00 am Post #54 - October 8th, 2008, 12:00 am
    Stopped by S&VT after reading this thread. Loved the meat section! Prices were right, particularly for USDA Choice meats. And so tender and flavorful that my parents could enjoy it, even with bad dentures. Produce was an "eh." Did find my Goya "Tuna Stuffed Olives." Yum!! Also bought some Goya "Salmon Stuffed Olives" that I have yet to try. Ran through quickly so will have to wander longer next time to get a better idea of their other offerings.

    Had been hesitant to try after seeing the S&VT sign go up after Cubs closed, so thanks for the news!
  • Post #55 - January 11th, 2009, 1:01 pm
    Post #55 - January 11th, 2009, 1:01 pm Post #55 - January 11th, 2009, 1:01 pm
    cito wrote:
    tyrus wrote:
    Not being able to have our needs met at any one store, we patronize Costco ( for everyday meats ), Zier's ( special occasion meats ), Sunset ( general groceries--Cheaper than Jewelnick's BTW ), Whole Paycheck ( produce ), Marketplace ( Deli ).

    We are back to shopping the way people did prior to the invention of the supermarket!


    The supermarket idea is much like communism or other "great ideas." They are great ideas in theory but almost impossible to execute. You obviously cant please all of your customers with your offerings because if you tried, you would go out of business.

    I think shopping at various stores for items makes the most sense. Go to a fish market to buy fish, a green grocer for produce etc, etc Its just unfortunate many of Chicago's neighborhoods dont have the foot traffic to support small businesses like other cities, NY, London, Paris.

    In Manhattan, I would walk from the train on my way home, go to the italian market and pick up some odds and ends, head over to the deli to get some mozz and other bits and bobs, despana for a piece of cheese or some olives then over to chinatown for a piece of fish and some vegetables. all of this would take about 20mins.

    Sometimes I spend 20 mins just trying to manuever around a bunch of people at the ol' "green jewel."
    But back on topic, I went to S&VT a few months ago and bought some meat that turned green a couple days later so I returned it and they gave me my money back and a new piece of meat.

    Now that doesnt mean I'll buy meat there again but I would buy just about anything else from there. Their customer service was fantastic. N.B. I still havent been back though, I often forget it is there and whole foods and the green jewel are closer to me anyhow.
  • Post #56 - April 13th, 2011, 12:44 pm
    Post #56 - April 13th, 2011, 12:44 pm Post #56 - April 13th, 2011, 12:44 pm
    In the Liquor Section there's a display of Chicago's Half Acre beer-
    Daisy Cutter in a 4-pack of 16oz. cans for $9.49.
    Turns out Sean the Assistant Manager really likes this brewery-
    and so has sought to support it at Strack and VanTil's.

    It's great to see local products like this and other "craft beers' being sold to a wider audience.

    yum.
  • Post #57 - March 4th, 2017, 8:29 am
    Post #57 - March 4th, 2017, 8:29 am Post #57 - March 4th, 2017, 8:29 am
    Strack & Van Til to close five stores, including their store on Elston.

    --
    edc
  • Post #58 - March 4th, 2017, 10:07 am
    Post #58 - March 4th, 2017, 10:07 am Post #58 - March 4th, 2017, 10:07 am


    Saw this yesterday--bummed! I didn't go often but it was the only "traditional" supermarket that I ever really shop. Wonder what will go in there...
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #59 - March 4th, 2017, 12:08 pm
    Post #59 - March 4th, 2017, 12:08 pm Post #59 - March 4th, 2017, 12:08 pm
    Damn. I depend on the Elston store for 3 important things: lake perch, Topo Chico 12oz glass bottles, and Crystal hot sauce.
  • Post #60 - March 4th, 2017, 2:02 pm
    Post #60 - March 4th, 2017, 2:02 pm Post #60 - March 4th, 2017, 2:02 pm
    JeffB wrote:Damn. I depend on the Elston store for 3 important things: lake perch, Topo Chico 12oz glass bottles, and Crystal hot sauce.

    Probably out of your way but they carry these Topo Chicos at Cermak Fresh Market on the corner of Diversey and Pulaski.

    =R=

    4000 W Diversey Ave
    Chicago, IL 60639
    (773) 647-1416
    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain

    Another beer before happy hour to put me in the mood for drinkin', uh huh huh, oh, forget thinkin' --Beaver Nelson

    I find it a matter of note that in New York or Terre Haute, school cookies always seem to be oatmeal --Mr. French

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