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That Obscure Pizza of Mundelein

That Obscure Pizza of Mundelein
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  • That Obscure Pizza of Mundelein

    Post #1 - November 15th, 2004, 6:19 pm
    Post #1 - November 15th, 2004, 6:19 pm Post #1 - November 15th, 2004, 6:19 pm
    Every once in a while I think of what must be, without doubt, the most obscure book I have ever read. I found it in the library of my Catholic high school, was perversely attracted to it by the fact that it had not been checked out since 1958 or something, and read it-- or more likely only part of it-- for a religion class book report.

    Alas, I don't remember the precise name, and I'm sure it's unretrievable by the usual means. The title was something like "Unknown Saints of Rural France," by Father Somebody or other, S.J. And basically it was an effort in ecclesiastical expense account justifying; shortly after WWII this priest had had a bicycling vacation in France, and to make more than a holiday out of what he was doing, he spent part of it going from village to village, tracking down tales of especially pious people who had been mentioned to him by someone else a village or two over.

    Most of them were farmwives, the long-suffering women who are the mainstay of every church, and there was little enough remarkable in the story of any of them-- no unsuspected Bernadette Soubirouses or Therese Martins having visions among them, just hardworking peasant mothers. Had the good father been more of an artist, he might have made something of his theme, that in the devotions of these unremarkable women, often half-ignored even by their families, was to be found the truest sainthood and love. This was, after all, the time and countryside of Bernanos' Journal d'un Cure de Campagne (and Bresson's masterful film of it), about saintly grace going unnoticed and even despised by the world. But he wasn't an artist, and I was a high school punk amused by the book's flimsiness as a vacation document rather than touched by the artistic portrayal of grace, and so here we are, 25 years later, probably more of us reading this now than ever read the book in the first place, using it merely as a device for a review of a pizza place in Mundelein.

    * * *

    What made me think of Father whoever and his forgotten book was the fact that I had had to go up to Gurnee Mills, of all ultra-worldly places (though the Bass Pro Shop is certainly worth a visit), and then decided to take some meandering old-school road back rather than zip back on boring 94, the idea being-- like Father bicycling from village to village-- to see what unknown historic or culinary curiosities might be revealed along the former highways now shoved aside by the giant expressways and the chains they draw like magnets. I wound up on Route 45, whose supply of old road houses and such things was none too plentiful except perhaps around Gages Lake-- but I only needed one, and at Diamond Lake Road and 45, I found it. A handsome vintage neon sign announcing a little hot dog and pizza stand called Bill's, next to which sat a larger, hunting-lodge-like establishment called Bill's Pub.

    The Pub was not open but in the window of Bill's the stand, they promised "Fabulous Hot Dogs." I was prepared to try them but secretly I had my heart set on pizza, because I saw a box which said "Since 1957," and one of my rules is, always try a pizza that dates back to the 1950s. There is always a small possibility that in the intervening 35+ years, they have NOT screwed it up by trying to make it more like Domino's or something.

    I asked the young lady behind the counter which I should have, the hot dog or the pizza. At first she answered with the answer that always shows a lack of imagination, "They're both good," but then, warming to her theme, she said that she has gladly come in on her days off to have the hot dogs, and she has gladly come in on her days off to have the pizza, and that I couldn't go wrong either way. And so, bowing to her enthusiasm, I ordered a small thin pizza.

    Fifteen minutes later the box was perched on the hood of my car. The verdict? This pizza, unknown and unheralded in Mundelein, was worthy of the same devotion given to any cracker-crust thin pizza to be had in Chicago-- not better, perhaps, than Vito & Nick's, Candlelite, Zaffiro's, etc., but undoubtedly comparable in its paper-thin crackliness, its foldability, its boldly spicy tomato sauce and thin layer of quality mozzarella. Given its location off the beaten path in a far northern suburb, it is unlikely ever to be known to the greater world; it is unlikely pilgrimages will be made to it from Chicago; but I can only say that I hope it is appreciated by its family and friends, that they are grateful to have its example among them, providing warmth and sustenance night after night, and that I have been encouraged to continue my quest by the fact of having found this example of pizza grace toiling in obscurity.

    Bill's Pizza & Pub
    Diamond Lake Road and Route 45
    Mundelein, IL 60060
    847-566-5380
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  • Post #2 - November 15th, 2004, 7:05 pm
    Post #2 - November 15th, 2004, 7:05 pm Post #2 - November 15th, 2004, 7:05 pm
    Glad to see Bill's is still around. I haven't been there in over 20 years but remember it as being good pizza and a fun place.
    Objects in mirror appear to be losing.
  • Post #3 - November 16th, 2004, 1:08 am
    Post #3 - November 16th, 2004, 1:08 am Post #3 - November 16th, 2004, 1:08 am
    Mike G wrote:I asked the young lady behind the counter which I should have, the hot dog or the pizza. At first she answered with the answer that always shows a lack of imagination, "They're both good," but then, warming to her theme, she said that she has gladly come in on her days off to have the hot dogs, and she has gladly come in on her days off to have the pizza, and that I couldn't go wrong either way. And so, bowing to her enthusiasm, I ordered a small thin pizza.


    When I ask "What's good?" and the waiter says "Everything," my contempt rises to such an extent that my normally genial exterior seems to melt away and I just want to bark, like an Andalusian dog, something like "Well, if everything is equally good then everything is equally bad!" or some such vile exterminating angel-type nonsense.

    So, I'd like to know what discreet charm you deployed to actually get some kind of actual answer from the young lady behind the counter.

    Hmamond
  • Post #4 - November 16th, 2004, 1:12 am
    Post #4 - November 16th, 2004, 1:12 am Post #4 - November 16th, 2004, 1:12 am
    I think I said "Yeah, but which is better?"

    Under the relentless, Perry Mason-like force of my questioning, she finally gave in.
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  • Post #5 - November 16th, 2004, 1:17 am
    Post #5 - November 16th, 2004, 1:17 am Post #5 - November 16th, 2004, 1:17 am
    I am just old enough to remember pizza before Dominoes. I hadn't thought about it until now. It was a different world. What I remember, at least about the pre-dominoes place we went to in Oxford, Ohio, in addition to the cracker crust, was the generous slathering of olive oil.
  • Post #6 - November 16th, 2004, 1:33 am
    Post #6 - November 16th, 2004, 1:33 am Post #6 - November 16th, 2004, 1:33 am
    Mike G wrote:The verdict? This pizza, unknown and unheralded in Mundelein, was worthy of the same devotion given to any cracker-crust thin pizza to be had in Chicago-- not better, perhaps, than Vito & Nick's, Candlelite, Zaffiro's, etc., but undoubtedly comparable in its paper-thin crackliness, its foldability, its boldly spicy tomato sauce and thin layer of quality mozzarella. Given its location off the beaten path in a far northern suburb, it is unlikely ever to be known to the greater world; it is unlikely pilgrimages will be made to it from Chicago; but I can only say that I hope it is appreciated by its family and friends, that they are grateful to have its example among them, providing warmth and sustenance night after night, and that I have been encouraged to continue my quest by the fact of having found this example of pizza grace toiling in obscurity.


    I am very surprised by your fondness for Bill's pizza. In the past, you have been a dissident of Chicago pizza. Growing up in Chicago, I think I have eaten a lot of good pizza. I've never felt Bill's was better than mediocre; the only reason to go was for the North Woods atmosphere. I haven't eaten it in at least a couple of years, so who knows, maybe it has improved. I will have to give it another try.

    FWIW, the population of Mundelein is 31,000. Mundelein is usually linked to neighboring Libertyville (21,000) and Vernon Hills (20,000). There are also quite a few other 'towns' in central Lake County. Reading this I would have thought Bill's was the only business open in a ghost town.

    It is also not the back-water area that you make it out to be. There are many homes in the area where I live that are well over $1,000,000, with some exceeding $2,000,000. This is not counting estates on large parcels of land, some of which are owned by people with recognizable names, like Wirtz. Besides the seven golf courses in Mundelein, there are probably over a dozen more in neighboring towns. I am not a golfer, but I point this out because usually those towns toiling in obscurity don't even have one. Or a shopping mall like Hawthorne in Vernon Hills, which has a Marshall Fields, Crate & Barrel, etc. Just like Chicago.

    Since you mentioned the Catholic Church, our new church was designed by Dirk Lohan (and it was his first place of worship), Ludwig Mies van der Rohe's grandson, who has designed public buildings around the world. Maybe you should stop at St. Mary of the Lake Seminary, next time. Founded by Archbishop George Mundelein in the 20's, it is a very civilized place (with many beautiful buildings on the campus, many which are filled with art and antiques) and educates priests for across the US and abroad.

    Because there are three lakes in town, Mundelein used to be a vacation spot many years ago, but there are a few year round residents.

    I lived in Chicago until I was 27 and still come into Chicago regularly, but I enjoy coming home to open space. There are about 45 houses and a golf course on the 350 or so acres in my neighborhood. Horses walk down my street from the stables at the end of the block. We have kayaks and swim at a private lake, built by Samuel Insull, the founder of ComEd. We can bike on the Millennium Trail which is connected to a few hundred miles of trails. There is a 2,600 acre forest preserve (and an adjacent 400 acre preserve) within a short bike ride or walk. We have beautiful sunsets every night and star filled skies.

    Yes, there are other quality places to live other than Roscoe Village.
  • Post #7 - November 16th, 2004, 8:54 am
    Post #7 - November 16th, 2004, 8:54 am Post #7 - November 16th, 2004, 8:54 am
    Oh good, it's the annual Mike Hates the Suburb Fest!

    Seriously, no one could miss the growth and development in the burbs. Especially no one who was making a point of taking the pre-expressway roads precisely in order to find the areas which are not the brand-spanking-new consequence of that development, but have a little history to them-- that still have roadhouses, pizzas that were made as they were in 1957, etc.

    Route 45 shows a side of that region that is still a bit rustic, forgotten by time. I think the only chain I saw in the immediate vicinity of Bill's was a Dairy Queen, which would be as true of a small town in Kansas as it seemed to be of that part of Mundelein. Yes, of course a place like Bill's is not unknown to thousands and thousands of people in the immediate area, and yet even so, I doubt Mundelein, or at least the Rte. 45 side of it, is a shopping and eating destination even for folks living a burb or two over. We all know there are burbs which build up concentrations of new, mostly chain retail which make them destinations, and others which are nearly invisible to all but their residents right next to them. I was... celebrating that. If I only thought the city was interesting I'd have taken 94 to get back to it as quickly as possible, wouldn't I?
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  • Post #8 - November 16th, 2004, 10:12 am
    Post #8 - November 16th, 2004, 10:12 am Post #8 - November 16th, 2004, 10:12 am
    Obscure pizza of Mundelin. That's a point I've made many times before. Growing up in Chicago(land), I've always found good pizza around me. When I lived in Niles, when I lived in Northbrook, when I moved near Wrigley Field, Logan Square, Uptown, and now Oak Park, I've come across plenty of pizza joints that may be obscure to you. Not all of it was great pizza, but I always found pizza I plenty liked. I mean, Vito and Nick's, Fox's, Candelite, these places were all pretty obscure to me (and I do not necessarily find these places better than others that remain obscure). Take Grand Slam Pizza on North Avenue. It is still pretty damn obscure but for my monthly or so praises. Yet, to the people living near these places, they are neither obscure nor pale imitations of the grand pizza of our Eastern cousins. Just good pizza.

    Rob
  • Post #9 - November 16th, 2004, 11:05 am
    Post #9 - November 16th, 2004, 11:05 am Post #9 - November 16th, 2004, 11:05 am
    Hi,

    I was to Bill's pizza some years ago after a mushroom foray. I never thought much of the experience, though I am in the area enough visiting friends I can now point them somewhere new-to-us. Al - what about the roadhouse with the windmill on route 60 in the Diamond Lake area?

    Not only is there a Dairy Queen, just before Route 60 there is an independent custard stand: Greg's Custard.

    When you reach Route 60, on the northwest corner strip mall there is a Russian delicatessan Alef, which is just as idiosyncratic a place as you would find on Devon Avenue. Neighboring is a Korean restaurant serving dolsot bi bim bop. In the same strip mall, a large vegetable market which provides unusual produce for immigrants of various ethnicities. Not very far from here is a Hungarian sausage factory in a corporate park.

    Something you cannot find in the cityscape resides in Mundelein: an apple orchard. Quig's where you can buy or pick your apples, have lunch and buy a gift.

    My friends in Chicago are always commenting how far away I live from the city. I always think I live quite near Chicago and easily enjoy the best of both worlds.

    ALEF Sausage & Deli
    354 Townline Road
    Mundelein, IL 60060
    847-566-0008

    Greg's Frozen Custard
    1490 South Lake Street
    Mundelein, IL 60060
    847-837-4175

    Quig's Orchards
    300 South Il Route 83
    Mundelein, IL 60060
    847-566-4520
    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 #10 - November 16th, 2004, 11:41 am
    Post #10 - November 16th, 2004, 11:41 am Post #10 - November 16th, 2004, 11:41 am
    Is Alef perhaps Israeli? Alef being the first letter of the Hebrew alphabet, and also the name of a very cool Israeli-Persian grocery store in LA.

    I gotta try that custard place at some point too.

    Rob
  • Post #11 - November 16th, 2004, 12:47 pm
    Post #11 - November 16th, 2004, 12:47 pm Post #11 - November 16th, 2004, 12:47 pm
    Is Alef perhaps Israeli?


    Everything is possible, though everyone I have met there are Russian. They even had some signage transliterated from Russian to English, which was really of no help at all.

    I have long promised to organize a tour here. I want it for a Saturday because we can include the Hungarian sausage factory shop; which is closed Sundays. If people are willing to drive a bit further, there is a German sausage factory in Volo (roughly rt 12 and 120). Now my thoughts are pointed toward getting factory tours, where we can see the sausage being made.

    Greg's Custard does go on winter hiatus soon. They post their flavors of the day at www.custardlist.com - so you can plan your tour 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 #12 - November 16th, 2004, 1:08 pm
    Post #12 - November 16th, 2004, 1:08 pm Post #12 - November 16th, 2004, 1:08 pm
    Vital Information wrote:I gotta try that custard place at some point too.
    Rob


    Rob,

    Before you try to hit Greg's, call first. Last week they said they will close for the season in a few weeks. There did not seem to be a firm date. I have tried to get a specific butterfat content out of them, but no one seems to know when I ask. I have not been to Kopp's, but it is as good as any other custard place I have been to, including Michael's in Madison (which always gets a lot of praise).

    Since you have a soft spot for donuts, don't forget Quig's. Their apple cinnamon donuts are maybe the best I've ever had. Made with their apply cider, they have a crisp, cinnamon-sugar coated exterior and a nice moist crumb. Very light in body for a 'cake' donut. Fortunately, Krispy Kreme (Lake County's first, down the road on Rt 60) has not hurt their business, which has been owned by the same family since 1947. The Quig's are very nice people, good neighbors, and very hard working. Their breakfast is pretty decent as well.

    Greg's Frozen Custard
    1490 South Lake Street
    Mundelein, IL 60060
    847-837-4175

    Quig's Orchards
    300 South Il Route 83
    Mundelein, IL 60060
    847-566-4520
  • Post #13 - November 16th, 2004, 1:10 pm
    Post #13 - November 16th, 2004, 1:10 pm Post #13 - November 16th, 2004, 1:10 pm
    I have been to ALEF Market a few times. It is definitely a Russian market with a wide variety of sausages and is worth a stop.

    Right down the street is Farm Fresh Supermarket which is one of the better supermarkets in the area. They also have a number of Russian specialties, especially a good fish selection.

    I saw a another Russian market (and a complete book store and video store) down the street from Bob Chinn's on Milwaukee Ave.
  • Post #14 - November 16th, 2004, 2:18 pm
    Post #14 - November 16th, 2004, 2:18 pm Post #14 - November 16th, 2004, 2:18 pm
    Hi,

    I just reposted on Greg's Custard in a seperate thread. It took me so long to find it, I had to manually search because it never showed up in CH or CH-google searches, I decided to simply repost it.

    Greg's butterfat is 10%.

    &&&

    The store jlawrence refers to is near Bob Chinn's is on Dundee Road just a 1/2 block west of Milwaukee Avenue on the south side of the street.

    Fresh Farms
    291 East Dundee Road
    Wheeling, IL 60090
    847-215-2663
    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 #15 - November 16th, 2004, 2:42 pm
    Post #15 - November 16th, 2004, 2:42 pm Post #15 - November 16th, 2004, 2:42 pm
    You are right. Just checked my wallet as I had not cleaned out the receipts from the weekend.
  • Post #16 - November 16th, 2004, 2:55 pm
    Post #16 - November 16th, 2004, 2:55 pm Post #16 - November 16th, 2004, 2:55 pm
    I believe that a Farm Fresh Market is about to go into a new center that is being built in the greater Kildeer/Deer Park area. It's on the east side of Rt. 12 between Quentin and Long Grove Rds.

    Al and Cathy, you forgot to mention that Mundelein also boasts of a Luke's at 300 N. Lake St.

    Kim
  • Post #17 - November 16th, 2004, 4:31 pm
    Post #17 - November 16th, 2004, 4:31 pm Post #17 - November 16th, 2004, 4:31 pm
    Just about everybody that lives in central Lake County has heard of Bill's Pub. I first went there around 1974 or so. They also have a location on Washington in Grayslake near CLC. Popular with families and the after-work crowd. Pretty average pizza by today's standards. They are pretty well known for gnarly pizza sausage (bring toothpicks and dental floss or order pepperoni instead), and their very good Mexican pizza.

    I am jealous of you city folks as I haven't found excellent pizza in central Lake County yet. Every pizza I've had locally in Lake County uses imitation mozarella or some kind of cheap pizza cheese. I know there must be good pizza, but I havent found it yet amongst local places like Pat's, Italian Ovens, Wayne's, Bill's Pub, Quonset, Rosatti's, etc.

    I was at my bro's in the city and he got some pizza from Pete's Pizzeria 5847 W Montrose. A world of difference!!! Real Cheese instead of cheese food product. I couldn't stop eating it.

    Bill's Pub menu for the curious:
    Image
    Image
  • Post #18 - November 16th, 2004, 4:57 pm
    Post #18 - November 16th, 2004, 4:57 pm Post #18 - November 16th, 2004, 4:57 pm
    I'm not sure about the pizza, but I might have to make a tip just to see what mac and cheese bites are :lol: :roll:
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #19 - November 16th, 2004, 5:29 pm
    Post #19 - November 16th, 2004, 5:29 pm Post #19 - November 16th, 2004, 5:29 pm
    Tater Tot like lumps of breaded, deep-fried mac n cheese. Remarkably, not as good as they sound. Strictly frozen food service stuff, IME.
  • Post #20 - November 16th, 2004, 6:15 pm
    Post #20 - November 16th, 2004, 6:15 pm Post #20 - November 16th, 2004, 6:15 pm
    Y'all are proving my point. Bill's makes great pizza and you don't even appreciate it!
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  • Post #21 - November 16th, 2004, 11:12 pm
    Post #21 - November 16th, 2004, 11:12 pm Post #21 - November 16th, 2004, 11:12 pm
    JeffB wrote:Tater Tot like lumps of breaded, deep-fried mac n cheese. Remarkably, not as good as they sound. Strictly frozen food service stuff, IME.

    They sound like a very, very 'dumbed down' version of frittatine, as served in the fry joints in Naples: small maccheroni in a sauce of besciamella with peas and cheese, rolled in egg and bread crumbs, deep-fried in olive oil. Nice hint of nutmeg from the besciamella...

    Che saporito!

    A
    Alle Nerven exzitiert von dem gewürzten Wein -- Anwandlung von Todesahndungen -- Doppeltgänger --
    - aus dem Tagebuch E.T.A. Hoffmanns, 6. Januar 1804.
    ________
    Na sir is na seachain an cath.
  • Post #22 - November 16th, 2004, 11:45 pm
    Post #22 - November 16th, 2004, 11:45 pm Post #22 - November 16th, 2004, 11:45 pm
    I'd gladly make the trek to the hinterlands of Mundelein for some frittatine, but I doubt I'll invest in the gas for some mac & cheese flavored tater-tots. :lol: :wink:
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #23 - November 17th, 2004, 11:24 pm
    Post #23 - November 17th, 2004, 11:24 pm Post #23 - November 17th, 2004, 11:24 pm
    Cathy2 wrote: Al - what about the roadhouse with the windmill on route 60 in the Diamond Lake area?


    Cathy,

    I've never been. I just found out, via their website, that they serve food.

    Irish Mill Inn
    26592 North Hwy 83
    Mundelein, IL 60060
    847-566-7044

    http://www.irishmillinn.com/
  • Post #24 - November 19th, 2004, 4:31 pm
    Post #24 - November 19th, 2004, 4:31 pm Post #24 - November 19th, 2004, 4:31 pm
    Is the Irish Mill Inn nicer now? Used to be a dive years ago, but things can change.

    BTW, the Gilmer Road House (Gilmer & Midlothian) used to have great pizza. Don't know if they still do.
  • Post #25 - November 19th, 2004, 11:18 pm
    Post #25 - November 19th, 2004, 11:18 pm Post #25 - November 19th, 2004, 11:18 pm
    I lived in mundelein in the late 70's. The place with the windmill on 60 is Irish Mill, an old hangout of mine and a place where they swept up the eyeballs at closing. Being a biker I have no problem with saying it was an after hours biker joint frequented by 1%'rs . Of course it may be regentrified by now as much of the area is headed that way.

    Before I get into Bills pizza does anyone remember a place downtown near hawley called Annes Deli or something similair? Her menu had 50 specialty sandwiches if it had one. And all where good. I dont think she is still there but if someone says she is I would go there tomorrow.

    Bill's was best known as inventor of the double decker pizza. Also known for being decorated with every known form of taxidermy known to man, except human, and for throwing the peanut shells on the floor. Very family oriented with sports on TV and a large gameroom. They also have a bar. When we went I always got the double decker perhaps only because I grew up in chicago and had never seen or heard of one before. I enjoyed it and it is/was differently made then the double deckers offered by the chains and cannot really be considered what we know as stuffed pizza. The fries also used to be good and similair to Mcdonalds. To me it is a high point on the suburban pizza scene.

    I am glad to see someone posted on Bill's as they really do reserve some recognition.

    Bob
    Bob Kopczynski
    http://www.maxwellstreetmarket.com
    "Best Deals in Town"
  • Post #26 - November 20th, 2004, 10:49 am
    Post #26 - November 20th, 2004, 10:49 am Post #26 - November 20th, 2004, 10:49 am
    Eat! You look so thin. wrote:I was at my bro's in the city and he got some pizza from Pete's Pizzeria 5847 W Montrose. A world of difference!!! Real Cheese instead of cheese food product. I couldn't stop eating it.


    Another great neighborhood thin crust place from my youth. In the 60's the place was called Double Z pizza and if you lived in St Robert Bellarmine parish you either ordered from them or Marsi's on gunnison near Elliots Dairy (which was called Swiss Dairy at the time, Casey Swiss was our neighbor and was known for driving around in his caddy with his poodle on his lap, head out the window) . I am glad to hear that the quality is still there.
    I had mentiond it in other posts but it seemed that most of the families in our hood would have a little party night on fridays and when pizza was ordered in it was usually from Double Z or Marsi's. As Friday's where bath nights at our house I always assumed the pizza party was a little reward for us taking our baths. Do anyof the other posters here recall any such tradition from their youth?

    Back to our program, already in progress.

    Bob
    Bob Kopczynski
    http://www.maxwellstreetmarket.com
    "Best Deals in Town"
  • Post #27 - November 20th, 2004, 12:07 pm
    Post #27 - November 20th, 2004, 12:07 pm Post #27 - November 20th, 2004, 12:07 pm
    bob kopczynski wrote: Do anyof the other posters here recall any such tradition from their youth?


    Bob


    Saturday night was hot dog night in our house. More specifically, Lerner's hot dog night, which was a hot dog stand on Kimbel just south of Bryn Mawr (on the site of the current Northside Prep High School). Their hot dogs were very much in the Jene & Jude's school of hot doggery. I suspect that Saturday hot dog night was more of an excuse to get us kids fed so that my parents could go out.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #28 - January 29th, 2006, 4:31 pm
    Post #28 - January 29th, 2006, 4:31 pm Post #28 - January 29th, 2006, 4:31 pm
    Just got back from the 'burbs visiting friends who took us to Fresh Farms.
    Only managed to escape with an armload of salamis(German beer, Ruskya, and Finnish), an awesome Armenian string cheese with nigella seeds, chocolate-covered coffee beans, and a loaf of an incredibly aromatic pumpernickle. Their produce compares favorably with that of the vaunted Stanley's. Immense, extremely busy deli counter(don't bother to take a number, just do what one smooth talker did: she popped in front of other customers, made the just a moment hand signal, asked for a taste of some cured meat product glistening redly on the counter, then proceeded to place her multiple order). Such chutzpah!

    Afterwards we went in search of a quality fishmongerer for our friends and ended up at Mitsuwa(it was between them and Sea Ranch). I've always wanted to go, but sans vehicle it's always been out of reach. We didn't eat at the food court :((we had a train to catch), but the aromas wafting overhead were intoxicating. Again, more shopping...I tried to google it, but does anyone know the difference between the "ohba leaf" and the "shiso?"...nothing to really keep me from patronizing the Uptown markets, but a wonderful experience nonetheless.
    Being gauche rocks, stun the bourgeoisie
  • Post #29 - January 29th, 2006, 5:50 pm
    Post #29 - January 29th, 2006, 5:50 pm Post #29 - January 29th, 2006, 5:50 pm
    Christopher Gordon wrote:I tried to google it, but does anyone know the difference between the "ohba leaf" and the "shiso?".

    Christopher,

    To my knowledge both are Perilla leaf, shiso refers to green, oba (obha) red. Perilla leaf is also referred to as Beefsteak plant.

    Next time in that area looking for fish try Tensuke, which I slightly prefer over Mitsuwa.

    Enjoy,
    Gary

    Tensuke (True World)
    3 Arlington Heights Rd
    Elk Grove Village, IL 60007
    847-806-1200
    Sauce on the side, always, implied, axiomatic..........never a doubt, BBQ sauce without.

    Low & Slow
  • Post #30 - January 29th, 2006, 6:08 pm
    Post #30 - January 29th, 2006, 6:08 pm Post #30 - January 29th, 2006, 6:08 pm
    G Wiv wrote:
    Christopher Gordon wrote:I tried to google it, but does anyone know the difference between the "ohba leaf" and the "shiso?".

    Christopher,

    To my knowledge both are Perilla leaf, shiso refers to green, oba (obha) red. Perilla leaf is also referred to as Beefsteak plant.

    Next time in that area looking for fish try Tensuke, which I slightly prefer over Mitsuwa.

    Enjoy,
    Gary

    Tensuke (True World)
    3 Arlington Heights Rd
    Elk Grove Village, IL 60007
    847-806-1200


    Thanks for the speedy reply. Your descriptions of the red obha echo what very little I've been able to excavate on the net. The Mitsuwa obha, however, is green and looks exactly like shiso. We picked some up; it was cheap-unlike the fresh, real wasabi :roll:.

    I will forward the seafood rec to my friend in Buffalo Grove. She's new-to and working as a private chef in the area. She'd had little luck finding fresh fish. I just named the places I've seen on LTH; so Mitsuwa it was...
    now, she was okay with the pre-cut seafood, but I was under the impression that the market also offers fishmongering services. We were unable to locate the correct counter(if it exists). She(and I) were quite pleased with the refrigerated and dry goods, so a worthwhile trip anyhow. And she'll definitely be back. Again, thanks :).
    Being gauche rocks, stun the bourgeoisie

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