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Lewis Produce Market, Waukegan

Lewis Produce Market, Waukegan
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  • Lewis Produce Market, Waukegan

    Post #1 - November 22nd, 2009, 11:11 am
    Post #1 - November 22nd, 2009, 11:11 am Post #1 - November 22nd, 2009, 11:11 am
    Hi,

    Yesterday I was at Lewis Produce Market in pursuit of an ages old quest: fresh raw turkey tails. I have been searching for these for at least eight or more years. My Dad and I happen to admire these appendages on any bird we consume. He assumes they are always for him. Somestimes I will snag the tail before it leaves the kitchen fending irritation none was delivered with the bird. Long ago, Helen commented she bought extra turkey tails to roast. It has been on my shopping wish list ever since. Finally it was quenched yesterday.

    Lewis Produce Market is really quite an interesting place to visit. Your visit begins by giving a quarter ransom to obtain a cart. Aldi and Lewis are both right about refundable payment for using a cart. You are quite motivated to return it to the store to collect your quarter. If you don't bother, there is someone lingering who will happily take it back to earn a quarter tip.

    In the vestibule, they have a taco stand with tacos priced at a dollar. There is also fresh squeezed juice available. I can see people popping in for an inexpensive lunch, then shopping to pick up a few odds and ends.

    You walk straight into the produce department like H-Mart. The vegetables and fruits are priced well like you see at Stanley's. These places are reasonable places for purchasing if you consider the deal you make: cook it now or forever hold your peace. The vegetable selection covered a broad range from plantains in various degrees of ripeness to bitter melons. While there is definitely a leaning toward Hispanic clients, their range of offerings accomodate Indian and Asian produce requirements, too.

    They have a butchers on the premises who are preparing meats for their mostly Mexican clientelle. You can likely get what you want prepared your way, if you can convey your thoughts to them. Most of the counter staff speak so-so English. If you can patiently described what you want, it can be interesting. For instance, yesterday they were selling pork shoulder for 88 cents a pound. I wanted two shoulders of roughly the same weight. The counter person thought I wanted the pork shoulder sliced. He eventually grasped I wanted a second shoulder. I gave up on having the same weight.

    They seem to work more from primals than boxed meat. I saw a leg of beef being trimmed from just above the hoof to the knee. I think I might be able to get the steak with fat cap Kari Underly showed at the beef cutting demonstration. She said it is a popular cut in South American never seen here. I feel a challenge! (If it can take me 8-10 years to obtain raw turkey tails, I can wait.)

    They had quite a bit of prepared food such as carnitas (with some intestines coiled in there) and various rice preparations including Puerto Rican variants with Pigeon Peas. There is more than I am suggesting, which I will elaborate after a future visit.

    The frozen foods had roti and parantha. There were calamasi concentrates as well as straight unadulterated calamasi juice, which is native to the Philippines. While it may not be a straight substitute for going to Devon Avenue. It certainly is a stopgap and delays visits to the Chicago for some foodstuffs. From where I live, it is quicker trip to Waukegan than to Chicago without as much traffic issues.

    Where I live there are two Jewels, a Whole Foods, two Sunset Foods, a Garden Fresh Market and a Dominicks less than 4 miles from home. Waukegan has two Jewels, a Dominicks, an Aldi and quite a few independent grocers large and small. North Chicago does not have any major grocer. If Waukegan were more ethnically diverse, it would rival Niles.

    Lewis Produce Market
    (847) 693-3100
    2727 Grand Ave, Waukegan, IL 60085
    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 23rd, 2009, 11:58 am
    Post #2 - November 23rd, 2009, 11:58 am Post #2 - November 23rd, 2009, 11:58 am
    When passing by on Hwy 41 North Bound I have made it a practise to stop at Lewis Produce for a couple of years now after my landscaper told me about the place. I agree with Cathy2's comments pretty much. But now there is a new SuperMercardo in Kenosha, 'Kenosha Fresh Market' which obviates the need for me to visit Lewis Produce.-Dick
  • Post #3 - August 24th, 2020, 8:48 pm
    Post #3 - August 24th, 2020, 8:48 pm Post #3 - August 24th, 2020, 8:48 pm
    Cathy2 wrote:In the vestibule, they have a taco stand with tacos priced at a dollar. There is also fresh squeezed juice available. I can see people popping in for an inexpensive lunch, then shopping to pick up a few odds and ends.

    They have closed the taco bar at the entrance. You can still get a taco, you need to walk to southwest corner of the store where fresh pork and prepared foods are kitty corner to each other. They opened a rather large space between these two counters featuring seating for over 100.

    There is an L-shaped prepared food area. On one side, you can buy carnitas, empanadas and other prepared foods. The other side is tacos, elotes and other fast foods. Each side has its own cashier, you cannot buy from both sides and pay once. It will be two different transactions.

    When I was there recently, it was late afternoon. There were only two tables eating there separated by at least 30 feet.

    Cathy2 wrote:They seem to work more from primals than boxed meat. I saw a leg of beef being trimmed from just above the hoof to the knee. I think I might be able to get the steak with fat cap Kari Underly showed at the beef cutting demonstration. She said it is a popular cut in South American never seen here. I feel a challenge! (If it can take me 8-10 years to obtain raw turkey tails, I can wait.)

    Last year, I finally got the cut of meat I was thinking of: Picanha. I have bought it there in cryovac. I like the whole cut with the fat cap. Quite often, they sell it cut into wide strips. I now understand why, because it can be rolled, skewered and grilled.

    Some things I have learned over the years about Lewis Market:

    - I don't know if it still there, but it is the only grocery store where an aisle index marker promises Yugoslav ingredients.

    - There are two Lewis Produce Markets: one on Lewis Ave and the other on Grand Avenue. Unless something has changed, these two locations are run distinctly different. I was advised the son manages the Grand Ave location and his father runs the Lewis Ave location. I vastly prefer the Grand Ave location and have no reason to visit Lewis. I probably should check it out sometime to see if things changed.

    - On facebook, I noticed they were giving away food just before Easter.

    - It is the only store where I have bumped into Dino from Captain Porky's. It is so nice to see him relaxed and not under the pressure of customers.

    - For the last six months or so, I get color sales pages from Lewis Market in Highland Park. I wonder how many have been inspired to check it out.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    Lewis Produce Market
    (847) 693-3100
    2727 Grand Ave, Waukegan, IL 60085
    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 #4 - August 25th, 2020, 10:52 am
    Post #4 - August 25th, 2020, 10:52 am Post #4 - August 25th, 2020, 10:52 am
    Cathy2 wrote:- There are two Lewis Produce Markets: one on Lewis Ave and the other on Grand Avenue. Unless something has changed, these two locations are run distinctly different. I was advised the son manages the Grand Ave location and his father runs the Lewis Ave location. I vastly prefer the Grand Ave location and have no reason to visit Lewis. I probably should check it out sometime to see if things changed.


    I recently learned this lesson - the sales flyer has some items (chinese eggplant) that were not available at Lewis location. Having gone to both in the span of an hour, the Grand one is better, with more space leading to more produce/meat/bakery options.
  • Post #5 - August 25th, 2020, 11:17 am
    Post #5 - August 25th, 2020, 11:17 am Post #5 - August 25th, 2020, 11:17 am
    dudefella wrote:
    Cathy2 wrote:- There are two Lewis Produce Markets: one on Lewis Ave and the other on Grand Avenue. Unless something has changed, these two locations are run distinctly different. I was advised the son manages the Grand Ave location and his father runs the Lewis Ave location. I vastly prefer the Grand Ave location and have no reason to visit Lewis. I probably should check it out sometime to see if things changed.


    I recently learned this lesson - the sales flyer has some items (chinese eggplant) that were not available at Lewis location. Having gone to both in the span of an hour, the Grand one is better, with more space leading to more produce/meat/bakery options.

    For those who need it, they offer Halal meats.

    Their flyer will often indicate an item is Grand-Ave-Only. Since I don't go to Grand, it is a non-starter for me.

    Regards,
    Cathy2
    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 #6 - August 28th, 2020, 8:33 pm
    Post #6 - August 28th, 2020, 8:33 pm Post #6 - August 28th, 2020, 8:33 pm
    I've visited the Grand Avenue store a couple of times recently. I went looking for picanha, which I've missed since it's been so long since I had a chance to have it at a Brazilian steakhouse. I was pleasantly surprised to find ground lamb there for $3.99/lb, and some other meat/poultry/seafood items that I didn't buy but that I noted because I haven't seen them anywhere else around here.

    I agree that it's an interesting place, but I wouldn't do my routine grocery shopping there. I was put off by the high prices on routine shelf, refrigerated, and frozen items ($7.99 for Blue Bunny ice cream?) and the number of times that I saw something I thought about buying but then noticed it was missing a shelf price tag. That's a trick that long ago turned me off from shopping at the local Garden Fresh Market---just taking the prices off items you hope people will be suckers enough to buy without knowing the price. Or at least, that's how it feels to me.
    "Your swimming suit matches your eyes, you hold your nose before diving, loving you has made me bananas!"
  • Post #7 - August 29th, 2020, 7:11 am
    Post #7 - August 29th, 2020, 7:11 am Post #7 - August 29th, 2020, 7:11 am
    Katie wrote:the number of times that I saw something I thought about buying but then noticed it was missing a shelf price tag. That's a trick that long ago turned me off from shopping at the local Garden Fresh Market---just taking the prices off items you hope people will be suckers enough to buy without knowing the price. Or at least, that's how it feels to me.

    When I encounter this anywhere and may want the item, I bring it to the front to the cashier. I ask them for the price. If it is reasonable, I take it. If not, they have the joy of restocking.

    Regards,
    Cathy2
    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

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