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What new-to-you grocers/retailers do you plan to visit soon?

What new-to-you grocers/retailers do you plan to visit soon?
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  • What new-to-you grocers/retailers do you plan to visit soon?

    Post #1 - January 30th, 2021, 9:16 pm
    Post #1 - January 30th, 2021, 9:16 pm Post #1 - January 30th, 2021, 9:16 pm
    Thought this would be a nice aspirational topic for a snowy weather/continuing pandemic evening.

    For me, Bende (Hungarian foods) in Vernon Hills and Epic Spice. Bende is not much of a stretch as I travel through Vernon Hills fairly often. Epic is a little more difficult as it's only open Friday-Sunday. I've very rarely gone to the city since March and I usually am at home on weekends. Hoping Epic will be a good upgrade to Spice House even if not as convenient.

    Also, I've never been to Chinatown.
  • Post #2 - January 30th, 2021, 9:42 pm
    Post #2 - January 30th, 2021, 9:42 pm Post #2 - January 30th, 2021, 9:42 pm
    I have moved on to Penzey's which is in downtown Evanston. They frequently have good sales. I got a $50 GC from them back in November for $35, and then I got a bag of dried basil to get it up to $40 so I could get free shipping. I also got two free jars of no salt seasoning, and a small bag of another no salt seasoning. I was supposed to get a free mug too, but they ran out of them, and I was supposed to get a replacement mug, but so far, I have not heard about that. I assume they would ask me to pick up the mug in their Evanston store so they don't have to pay for shipping. When I ordered everything, their Evanston store was not open yet, but now it is. Right now they have small jars of oregano for $1. There is also a spice shop in Highland Park too, but I have never been there.

    Pensey's is owned by the son of the couple that started the Spice House, and the quality of his spices is as good if not better than the Spice House. Currently they have contactless pickup. You place your order online, and then tell them that you want to pick it up at their Evanston store. Somebody from the Evanston store calls you up, and you set up a time to pick up your order at the store.

    I will be glad when the pandemic is over, and I can shop at the store myself. The thing that the Spice House has going for it, is that if you order your spices in flat packages, you don't have to pay for shipping.
  • Post #3 - January 31st, 2021, 2:00 am
    Post #3 - January 31st, 2021, 2:00 am Post #3 - January 31st, 2021, 2:00 am
    Ironic, I restarted going to the Spice House as an upgrade to Penzey's. I had gone regularly to the Old World 3rd St location in Milwaukee when I lived there in the mid 80's. At the time it was a real old fashioned spice store with open bowls of red powders, dry green leaves and blackish seeds scattered about, sheaves of cinnamon stacked in the corners.

    Later, I went to the various Milwaukee iterations of Penzey's when visiting relatives. The stores, selection and Bill's marketing style have changed quite a bit over the years. For several years, Ruth, Bill and Patty's mom, had a little shop in Wauwatosa. That truly was a throwback with odd jars and bins of whatever interested her. At one point she was looking for an apprentice to learn the trade and, I suppose, carry on the little store. It closed several years ago. I think Ruth may still be alive - she has a marginally active Facebook page.

    As the Penzey empire grew, I continued to shop at his various outlets but found them increasingly sanitized and generic. The employees were friendly and helpful but most couldn't tell me a whole lot about spices. Prices went up, package sizes went down, and the product line became less imaginative and heavy on blends with clever names.

    So, I tried the Evanston Spice House. The business wasn't quite the same as it was 35 years ago but there was some of the old charm. Spices were scooped out of big jars, labels were located in folders and binders (although they weren't typed on a typewriter as in days of yore), and a sniff or a pinch were offered to the undecided.

    Now I understand it's been taken over by a couple of high tech corporate types. That topic's been beat pretty hard in another thread here. I haven't been to the store for about a year. From the website, it looks like prices have gone up dramatically and a lot of product is sold by volume instead of weight. Ultimately I suspect it will wind up like Savory Spice, not particularly bad but not very inspiring either.

    I have still done a few pickup orders from Penzey's over the past year. Some of the bargains are too good to resist - I recently got a 1/2 c jar of his excellent Sarawak white peppercorns plus some other stuff for a total of $1. And the Kenosha store, in front of Woodman's, is convenient.
  • Post #4 - January 31st, 2021, 4:01 am
    Post #4 - January 31st, 2021, 4:01 am Post #4 - January 31st, 2021, 4:01 am
    NFriday wrote: There is also a spice shop in Highland Park too, but I have never been there.

    Love That Spice
    1893 Sheridan Rd.
    Highland Park, IL
    (847) 780-4658
    https://www.lovethatspice.com/
    Never order barbecue in a place that also serves quiche - Lewis Grizzard
  • Post #5 - January 31st, 2021, 10:36 am
    Post #5 - January 31st, 2021, 10:36 am Post #5 - January 31st, 2021, 10:36 am
    tjr wrote:Also, I've never been to Chinatown.


    While you've been waiting, Chinatown has moved closer to you. Chinatown is still a worthwhile outing but far less so with the expansion of Asian megastores into the area. Obviously not all are Chinese but the ingredients do tend to overlap. So you have Joong Boo in Glenview (and other locations in Chicago proper), Mitsuwa in Arlington Heights, multiple H-Mart locations, Assi in Niles.
  • Post #6 - January 31st, 2021, 10:57 am
    Post #6 - January 31st, 2021, 10:57 am Post #6 - January 31st, 2021, 10:57 am
    I plan to visit La Casa Del Pueblo in Pilsen, which I've never been to. I live in the northern burbs and have been very happy with Carniceria Jimenez in Wheeling, which was an LTH recommendation for me. My interest, of course, is in the Mexican items.
  • Post #7 - January 31st, 2021, 12:10 pm
    Post #7 - January 31st, 2021, 12:10 pm Post #7 - January 31st, 2021, 12:10 pm
    About 6 months ago I told my wife that my first in-person, post-pandemic retail stop would be Crate & Barrel. Why? Because they sell the biggest collection of unnecessary items imaginable. And even the kitchen items they sell can be purchased elsewhere, unless you're looking for a C&B-exclusive-color stand mixer. I'm not trying to knock the place. I've always enjoyed browsing and shopping there. So, when I'm back inside at Crate & Barrel, I'll know things are mostly back to normal, whatever normal means.

    =R=
    By protecting others, you save yourself. If you only think of yourself, you'll only destroy yourself. --Kambei Shimada

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #8 - January 31st, 2021, 8:47 pm
    Post #8 - January 31st, 2021, 8:47 pm Post #8 - January 31st, 2021, 8:47 pm
    ALDI as they opened their first Arizona store last month.

    WINCO FOODS as they will be price matching as they consider them selves to have lower prices than Aldi.

    US Foodservice's Chef Store - similar to Gordon's but they have some really surprisingly great prices on their curbside pickup menu.
  • Post #9 - February 1st, 2021, 12:31 am
    Post #9 - February 1st, 2021, 12:31 am Post #9 - February 1st, 2021, 12:31 am
    spinynorman99 wrote:While you've been waiting, Chinatown has moved closer to you.

    I've been to Super H-Mart on Oakton in Niles. Very interesting, and lots of housewares to browse along with foods. But not the others. What's Assi like? I've driven past many times.
  • Post #10 - February 1st, 2021, 8:34 am
    Post #10 - February 1st, 2021, 8:34 am Post #10 - February 1st, 2021, 8:34 am
    tjr wrote:
    spinynorman99 wrote:While you've been waiting, Chinatown has moved closer to you.

    I've been to Super H-Mart on Oakton in Niles. Very interesting, and lots of housewares to browse along with foods. But not the others. What's Assi like? I've driven past many times.

    viewtopic.php?f=16&t=12808
    Never order barbecue in a place that also serves quiche - Lewis Grizzard
  • Post #11 - February 1st, 2021, 8:44 am
    Post #11 - February 1st, 2021, 8:44 am Post #11 - February 1st, 2021, 8:44 am
    tjr wrote:
    spinynorman99 wrote:While you've been waiting, Chinatown has moved closer to you.

    I've been to Super H-Mart on Oakton in Niles. Very interesting, and lots of housewares to browse along with foods. But not the others. What's Assi like? I've driven past many times.


    I don't get to Assi much anymore since JB is on the way. But Assi is pretty good -- not quite up to Niles Super H-Mart, but mostly on par with Joong Boo (but lacking the dumpling stand). They have a wider variety of other nations' foods: much more Philippino, more Japanese and Chinese -- but it's still mostly Korean. There's also a small Mexican section, which always looks odd. Ramen varieties abound -- you'll find Thai and Vietnamese ones you won't see at JB or H-Mart. Fish and meat are maybe a small notch under JB, a big notch under H-Mart in terms of variety, but never any quality issues.

    The food court has a lot of stands, but they're more meal-oriented than snack-oriented: few stands have anything under say $9. Quality has been good, and generous portions. There are also a bunch of other stores, similar to the ring around H-Mart.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #12 - February 1st, 2021, 12:25 pm
    Post #12 - February 1st, 2021, 12:25 pm Post #12 - February 1st, 2021, 12:25 pm
    The main thing differentiating them is product lines; they carry similar categories but not all labels. My initial impression of H-Mart was similar to my impression of the Patel Brothers on Golf and Milwaukee, huge, but I feel like I've passed the same products 2 or 3 times in different locations through the store. So large selection, but not very deep.
  • Post #13 - February 2nd, 2021, 11:19 am
    Post #13 - February 2nd, 2021, 11:19 am Post #13 - February 2nd, 2021, 11:19 am
    I've always wanted to visit Bende in Vernon Hills because they closed down the Glen Ellyn store. We are fans of some of their sausages. We have had them shipped but its expensive.
    Toria

    "I like this place and willingly could waste my time in it" - As You Like It,
    W. Shakespeare
  • Post #14 - February 2nd, 2021, 12:20 pm
    Post #14 - February 2nd, 2021, 12:20 pm Post #14 - February 2nd, 2021, 12:20 pm
    toria wrote:I've always wanted to visit Bende in Vernon Hills because they closed down the Glen Ellyn store. We are fans of some of their sausages. We have had them shipped but its expensive.


    Not much breadth to their offerings, but not much competition either.
  • Post #15 - February 2nd, 2021, 1:31 pm
    Post #15 - February 2nd, 2021, 1:31 pm Post #15 - February 2nd, 2021, 1:31 pm
    If you are interested in good sausage, try Underground Meats out of Madison, Wi. They ship and I have ordered from them multiple times. Always top notch. Prior to Covid, they had classes on sausage making and whole hog butchering. Of course, that is on hold today. Enjoy.
  • Post #16 - February 2nd, 2021, 2:28 pm
    Post #16 - February 2nd, 2021, 2:28 pm Post #16 - February 2nd, 2021, 2:28 pm
    Puckjam wrote:If you are interested in good sausage, try Underground Meats out of Madison, Wi. They ship and I have ordered from them multiple times. Always top notch. Prior to Covid, they had classes on sausage making and whole hog butchering. Of course, that is on hold today. Enjoy.


    Bende is old-school Hungarian, pretty much the only source for traditional Hungarian sausage/salamis/cured meats.
  • Post #17 - February 2nd, 2021, 3:40 pm
    Post #17 - February 2nd, 2021, 3:40 pm Post #17 - February 2nd, 2021, 3:40 pm
    Does Bende make them or import them?
  • Post #18 - February 2nd, 2021, 8:14 pm
    Post #18 - February 2nd, 2021, 8:14 pm Post #18 - February 2nd, 2021, 8:14 pm
    toria wrote:I've always wanted to visit Bende in Vernon Hills because they closed down the Glen Ellyn store. We are fans of some of their sausages. We have had them shipped but its expensive.

    I went in once to the Glen Ellyn store ( are we talking the same place ? - on Roosevelt which I always thought was Wheaton ) and was totally unimpressed.
  • Post #19 - February 7th, 2021, 10:33 am
    Post #19 - February 7th, 2021, 10:33 am Post #19 - February 7th, 2021, 10:33 am
    I believe the Bende store was in Glen Ellyn, very close to the Wheaton border. It did not have much in it but what it had was a necessity if you were a fan of that item.

    I don't believe Bende sausages are imported, correct me if I'm wrong but I think they are made here and are "Hungarian style" sausage. I liked their smoked meats, sausages, their Hungarian paprika, and they had a bunch of other imported items like Dr. Oetkers stuff.
    They did not have much and could have been much much better than they were.
    Toria

    "I like this place and willingly could waste my time in it" - As You Like It,
    W. Shakespeare
  • Post #20 - February 7th, 2021, 12:26 pm
    Post #20 - February 7th, 2021, 12:26 pm Post #20 - February 7th, 2021, 12:26 pm
    toria wrote:I believe the Bende store was in Glen Ellyn, very close to the Wheaton border. It did not have much in it but what it had was a necessity if you were a fan of that item.

    I don't believe Bende sausages are imported, correct me if I'm wrong but I think they are made here and are "Hungarian style" sausage. I liked their smoked meats, sausages, their Hungarian paprika, and they had a bunch of other imported items like Dr. Oetkers stuff.
    They did not have much and could have been much much better than they were.

    I was under the impression that many of Bende's Hungarian-style meat products were made in Canada but I could be misremembering that. There's not much information on their website.

    =R=
    By protecting others, you save yourself. If you only think of yourself, you'll only destroy yourself. --Kambei Shimada

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #21 - February 8th, 2021, 12:02 am
    Post #21 - February 8th, 2021, 12:02 am Post #21 - February 8th, 2021, 12:02 am
    Bende's downloadable catalog has photos of their sausages. The labels say "Hungarian Brand Made in U.S.A." There are USDA stamps on the sausages but I can't read the establishment numbers. Bende's number is 6964. If they are making the sausages that will be the number on the stamp. If they are reselling another US company's sausage, it'll be a different number that can be looked up at https://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/inspection/mpi-directory
  • Post #22 - February 8th, 2021, 8:21 am
    Post #22 - February 8th, 2021, 8:21 am Post #22 - February 8th, 2021, 8:21 am
    toria wrote:They did not have much and could have been much much better than they were.


    When I was in Budapest I made a point of trying several different salamis and was disappointed that they weren't an improvement on Romanian Kosher salami. I feel like they could compete effectively over there.
  • Post #23 - February 8th, 2021, 10:42 am
    Post #23 - February 8th, 2021, 10:42 am Post #23 - February 8th, 2021, 10:42 am
    Not groceries but I plan to visit several bakeries soon, once the weather gets a bit warmer. I will go to visit Spilt Milk, Sugar Fixe, and Happy Apple Pie in Oak Park. Also a few places nearer to my home that have opened that I have not visited yet.
    Toria

    "I like this place and willingly could waste my time in it" - As You Like It,
    W. Shakespeare
  • Post #24 - February 8th, 2021, 10:54 am
    Post #24 - February 8th, 2021, 10:54 am Post #24 - February 8th, 2021, 10:54 am
    spinynorman99 wrote:
    toria wrote:They did not have much and could have been much much better than they were.


    When I was in Budapest I made a point of trying several different salamis and was disappointed that they weren't an improvement on Romanian Kosher salami. I feel like they could compete effectively over there.


    Wow. That's quite a plug. I'll have to try this Romanian Kosher salami. I've never been to that place, so it's on my list now. I love Hungarian salamis, especially the spicy and paprika-heavy ones. But I also enjoy just your regular ol' téliszalami ("winter salami.") I'll be curious to see how these are to my tastes. Do they have various types and, if so, which one(s) should I look out for?
  • Post #25 - February 10th, 2021, 10:54 am
    Post #25 - February 10th, 2021, 10:54 am Post #25 - February 10th, 2021, 10:54 am
    Binko wrote:Wow. That's quite a plug. I'll have to try this Romanian Kosher salami. I've never been to that place, so it's on my list now. I love Hungarian salamis, especially the spicy and paprika-heavy ones. But I also enjoy just your regular ol' téliszalami ("winter salami.") I'll be curious to see how these are to my tastes. Do they have various types and, if so, which one(s) should I look out for?

    Pick up some garlic hot dogs while you're there.
  • Post #26 - February 10th, 2021, 10:56 am
    Post #26 - February 10th, 2021, 10:56 am Post #26 - February 10th, 2021, 10:56 am
    Artie wrote:
    Binko wrote:Wow. That's quite a plug. I'll have to try this Romanian Kosher salami. I've never been to that place, so it's on my list now. I love Hungarian salamis, especially the spicy and paprika-heavy ones. But I also enjoy just your regular ol' téliszalami ("winter salami.") I'll be curious to see how these are to my tastes. Do they have various types and, if so, which one(s) should I look out for?

    Pick up some garlic hot dogs while you're there.

    Best bologna on earth, imo.

    =R=
    By protecting others, you save yourself. If you only think of yourself, you'll only destroy yourself. --Kambei Shimada

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #27 - February 15th, 2021, 8:50 am
    Post #27 - February 15th, 2021, 8:50 am Post #27 - February 15th, 2021, 8:50 am
    toria wrote:Not groceries but I plan to visit several bakeries soon, once the weather gets a bit warmer. I will go to visit Spilt Milk, Sugar Fixe, and Happy Apple Pie in Oak Park. Also a few places nearer to my home that have opened that I have not visited yet.


    I see you're in Wheaton - are there any good bakeries further west than Oak Park? I'm in Villa Park and there's a lack of really good coffee shops and bakeries out this way, I feel. Probably more once you hit Naperville but that's just as far in the other direction for me.
  • Post #28 - February 15th, 2021, 10:15 am
    Post #28 - February 15th, 2021, 10:15 am Post #28 - February 15th, 2021, 10:15 am
    Binko wrote:
    spinynorman99 wrote:
    toria wrote:Wow. That's quite a plug. I'll have to try this Romanian Kosher salami. I've never been to that place, so it's on my list now. I love Hungarian salamis, especially the spicy and paprika-heavy ones. But I also enjoy just your regular ol' téliszalami ("winter salami.") I'll be curious to see how these are to my tastes. Do they have various types and, if so, which one(s) should I look out for?


    They're a kosher operation so it's limited to beef products. They have a rack on the back wall with whole (1,2,3 lb) salamis hanging. They rotate them up the wall as the moisture evaporates. The hard salami (sliced extra thin) is the best. They also make a garlic ring sausage (i'll buy a couple and them hang them in my dark dry pantry for a couple of weeks) great garlicky polish and also regular dogs. On occasion they also have a pretty great Italian sausage. All their cold cuts are made in house and you can ask them for a whole pastrami (about 2-1/2 lbs) which is amazing in a crock pot or low oven for a couple of hours.

    Image
  • Post #29 - February 15th, 2021, 10:36 am
    Post #29 - February 15th, 2021, 10:36 am Post #29 - February 15th, 2021, 10:36 am
    Kid Charlemagne wrote:
    toria wrote:Not groceries but I plan to visit several bakeries soon, once the weather gets a bit warmer. I will go to visit Spilt Milk, Sugar Fixe, and Happy Apple Pie in Oak Park. Also a few places nearer to my home that have opened that I have not visited yet.


    I see you're in Wheaton - are there any good bakeries further west than Oak Park? I'm in Villa Park and there's a lack of really good coffee shops and bakeries out this way, I feel. Probably more once you hit Naperville but that's just as far in the other direction for me.


    There are some worthwhile to visit bakeries out west. I've only been to a couple.
    Busy Bee in Downers Grove, Sauers in Carol Stream, Lilac Bakery in Lombard. There is also a bakery in Naperville but I can't remember the name right now. Oh it just popped into my head I think its called De Etta. Have you tried Kuppies Bakery? https://www.yelp.com/biz/kuppies-bakery-villa-park
    Toria

    "I like this place and willingly could waste my time in it" - As You Like It,
    W. Shakespeare
  • Post #30 - February 19th, 2021, 3:23 pm
    Post #30 - February 19th, 2021, 3:23 pm Post #30 - February 19th, 2021, 3:23 pm
    NFriday wrote:Pensey's is owned by the son of the couple that started the Spice House, and the quality of his spices is as good if not better than the Spice House. Currently they have contactless pickup. You place your order online, and then tell them that you want to pick it up at their Evanston store. Somebody from the Evanston store calls you up, and you set up a time to pick up your order at the store.


    I recently somehow dug out an article about the family history between Spice House (which was recently bought out, hence their new marketing, packaging, flat packs etc..) and Penzeys and I have to say it is equally facinating and entertaining to read.
    I will be trying Penzeys too now that they open their store to compare.

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