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Italian Ice in Trib/Metromix

Italian Ice in Trib/Metromix
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  • Italian Ice in Trib/Metromix

    Post #1 - June 1st, 2005, 12:33 pm
    Post #1 - June 1st, 2005, 12:33 pm Post #1 - June 1st, 2005, 12:33 pm
    Nice article I just read at www.metromix.com regarding italian ice in the Chicago area. Being almost 2000 miles away in SoCal I yearn for the good stuff.

    I know Mario's (and I can't wait until August for my semi-annual trip there) but my other finds for great italian ice have been at "beef" stands...Johnnie's in Elmwood Park, Carm's in Hillside and Teddy's in Downers Grove.

    Here's the list of the places meniotned in the Metromix article...fill me in and give me some other great places!

    Anthony's
    Annette's
    Tom and Wendee's
    Icebox
    Miko's

    and here's the link to the article...
    http://metromix.chicagotribune.com/dining/mmx-050518-italian-ice-chicago,0,3797771.story?coll=mmx-dining_top_promo
    Bob in RSM, CA...yes, I know, it's a long way from Chicago
  • Post #2 - June 1st, 2005, 12:42 pm
    Post #2 - June 1st, 2005, 12:42 pm Post #2 - June 1st, 2005, 12:42 pm
    Of those, I've only been to Miko's. It's a very smooth product, few chunks of fruit or anything. It's also very good. I'm referring specifically to the Sacramento and Lyndale location, since I have no experience with the other location.
    Ed Fisher
    my chicago food photos

    RIP LTH.
  • Post #3 - June 4th, 2005, 9:07 pm
    Post #3 - June 4th, 2005, 9:07 pm Post #3 - June 4th, 2005, 9:07 pm
    As far as I am concerned, Mario's is the way to go. And I am sure that many would agree... I have seen out-of-state patrons walk away with big crates full of the italian ice there and there is always a line. I particularly enjoy the tropical fruit varieties such as pineapple.
  • Post #4 - June 5th, 2005, 2:19 am
    Post #4 - June 5th, 2005, 2:19 am Post #4 - June 5th, 2005, 2:19 am
    Do we not recognize a distinction between Italian ices and Italian lemonade? It's at least as fundamental as the New York/Chicago pizza styles. Not to open up another can of worms, but some of us miss the supersmooth and dense lemonless Italian ices found on every corner in NYC (also popular, and known as "water ice," in Philly). Some here come close but they're few and far between, and not really worth mention. Though I'll certainly nominate a few if pressed.
  • Post #5 - June 5th, 2005, 4:21 pm
    Post #5 - June 5th, 2005, 4:21 pm Post #5 - June 5th, 2005, 4:21 pm
    It's at least as fundamental as the New York/Chicago pizza styles.


    Hopefully u r not referring to Deep Dish Pizza. As anyone born and raised in Chicago knows Thin Crust is true Chicago Pizza.

    Growing up in Melrose Park all we had was Italian Lemonade smooth pure white with chunks of lemon peel.

    Is this the can of worms you mentioned?
  • Post #6 - June 5th, 2005, 4:31 pm
    Post #6 - June 5th, 2005, 4:31 pm Post #6 - June 5th, 2005, 4:31 pm
    I was born and raised in Chicago, or at least close enough, and deep dish and stuffed were both prominent in our households, along with the normal chicago square-cut short-dough thin.

    I don't think you can say true chicago pizza is chicago thin. You can say chicago thin crust has been around longer than deep dish, but I'm not sure that's even true. I'd guess they both arrived on the scene at about the same time.

    If you want to base it on what style of pizza has been in Chicago the longest, you'd probably find it's the sheet pizzas at italian bakeries.
    Ed Fisher
    my chicago food photos

    RIP LTH.
  • Post #7 - June 5th, 2005, 4:53 pm
    Post #7 - June 5th, 2005, 4:53 pm Post #7 - June 5th, 2005, 4:53 pm
    Tommy2dogs wrote:Hopefully u r not referring to Deep Dish Pizza. As anyone born and raised in Chicago knows Thin Crust is true Chicago Pizza.


    That is quite an extraordinary statement. Being born and raised in Chicago, I certainly love Chicago style thin crust and I often consider it to be overlooked by much of the local and national pizza media coverage.

    Nevertheless, I wouldn't back up your statement.

    I do invite you to join us on our the first leg of our first ever Chicago-thin-crust-a-thon, the details of which I hope to finalize within the next day or so.

    Best,
    Michael / EC
  • Post #8 - June 5th, 2005, 5:21 pm
    Post #8 - June 5th, 2005, 5:21 pm Post #8 - June 5th, 2005, 5:21 pm
    That is quite an extraordinary statement. Being born and raised in Chicago, I certainly love Chicago style thin crust and I often consider it to be overlooked by much of the local and national pizza media coverage.

    Nevertheless, I wouldn't back up your statement.

    I do invite you to join us on our the first leg of our first ever Chicago-thin-crust-a-thon, the details of which I hope to finalize within the next day or so.

    Best,
    Michael / EC



    Michael
    Not Sure I can make it. After 40 + years in Chicago area, I have been exiled to DFW for the last 8. The good news is I am returning and hope to be residing within the city limits within the next 90 days. My statement is based upon the fact that I was in my late 20's before I ever heard of Deep Dish. While I enjoy it on occasion, I much prefer thin crust which I gew up on in neighborhood joints. (I do of course realize that Deep Dish is thought of as Chicago Pizza nationally but feel it is sad that visitors don't experience our thin crust which I feel is unique to Chicago due to media coverage.
  • Post #9 - June 5th, 2005, 5:28 pm
    Post #9 - June 5th, 2005, 5:28 pm Post #9 - June 5th, 2005, 5:28 pm
    I appreciate that you weren't familiar with Deep Dish until about 30 years ago, but it's been available in chicago since the 1940s. I agree with michael that you just can't claim either is the one true chicago style. I think there are at least 2, probably more, chicago styles of pizza, and they're all about equally valid.

    Sure, it might be a shame that deep dish gets all the press, but it's got two things going for it: 1, a major marketing infrastructure thanks to the large chains of Uno, Lou Malnati's (and in the case of stuffed, Edwardo's and Giordano's); and 2, it's very obviously distinct from any other pizza style in the country.
    Ed Fisher
    my chicago food photos

    RIP LTH.
  • Post #10 - June 5th, 2005, 6:23 pm
    Post #10 - June 5th, 2005, 6:23 pm Post #10 - June 5th, 2005, 6:23 pm
    I have no personal opinion in this discussion but there does seem to be perhaps a generational difference of perception here. A good friend of mine, native Chicagoan (incidentally half-Italian and raised in and around good old neighbourhoods much of his life) was born back nearer the time of the Eisenhower regime rather than those of Ford or Carter or Reagan and, for what it's worth, from my conversations with him on pizzology, he clearly feels much as Tommy2dogs does. Deep-dish may reach back to the 1940's in its origins or initial popularisation in Chicago but it seems not to have taken a postion of particular priority or centrality in the minds of at least some -- if not many -- natives until a good bit later. Older Chicagoan Italian-Americans that I've discussed pizza with don't seem to give a flying flap-jack about deep-dish; it doesn't seem to mean much of anything to them, though they are well aware of its existence.

    Obviously, such perceptions can change over time.

    Antonius
    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 #11 - June 6th, 2005, 9:15 am
    Post #11 - June 6th, 2005, 9:15 am Post #11 - June 6th, 2005, 9:15 am
    (Warning: anecdote ahead) Historically I've elected not to descend into the LTH Pizza Crust Inferno, confident that I shouldn't add another log to the fire, but I've got to lend a word of support to brother Tommy2dogs. I'm a west sider by birth (Taylor St, Homan and Chicago, Melrose Park and over by dere) and never once recall seeing a deep-dish pizza until Papa Del's in Champaign (Like many of my UIUC experiences, I've dealt with that through counselling).

    None of this is intended to disagree with any of the foregoing, only to observe that lots of Chicago natives, many of whom have all the necessary Italian/American bona fides, believe that proper Chicago pizza is thin. Or "tin," as that adjectival pleonasm would be pronounced in Melrose Park.

    Antonius, that Eisenhower observation has left me in a deep, almost Shakespearean funk, full of ruminations about mortality. Clearly a restorative pizza margherita is indicated.
    Last edited by Choey on June 6th, 2005, 10:19 am, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #12 - June 6th, 2005, 9:33 am
    Post #12 - June 6th, 2005, 9:33 am Post #12 - June 6th, 2005, 9:33 am
    Perhaps it's generational :) I'd say that my generation (born in the late 70s/early 80s) certainly grew up with deep dish and stuffed as common alternatives.
    Ed Fisher
    my chicago food photos

    RIP LTH.
  • Post #13 - June 6th, 2005, 9:34 am
    Post #13 - June 6th, 2005, 9:34 am Post #13 - June 6th, 2005, 9:34 am
    Forget about the dead pizza horse, the bogus provocative claim here is that Chicago Italian ice suffers by comparison to Italian Lemonade and/or Philly wuoterice (no sic). First off, none of this is rocket science. There's no shortening issue, no oven issue, no sausage issue, no milkfat issue, just water, sugar, fruit and turnover. Maybe egg whites or corn starch etc. if you're cheating.

    I'm happy to concede that things are different and often better back East as concerns pizza, but really, the Italian lemonade is not really different and IME, it's rather better by in large here. My favorites are Teddy's sour cherry from the Western Burbs and Mario's water melon. I will tell you that a close friend from Philly who is obsessed with his Phillyness (not so unusual -- "imported" Tastycakes, complained about the alleged poor quality of Chicago sandwiches and pizza, etc) gave the edge to Chicago's ice culture before moving back to be closer to White House Subs and Tony Luke's.

    One thing that I find somewhat astounding about Chicago's Italian fast-food culture is that it remains the rule, and not the exception, that any place above marginal is almost artisanal in some respects: grinds its own sausage, cooks its own beef, and makes it's own ice, but (don't yell) pays little attention to pizza crust or the bread for the sandwiches. It's odd, I tell ya.

    Jeff(born in Philly)B.

    PS, I tried the newly relocated Anthony's on Southport. The lemon was incredibly lemony, dense and smooth. I liked it. The other fruits I tried, cherry and orange, did not appear to have a lemon base and were pretty bland. The low-key, spartan storefront is a breath of fresh air on the now fairly pretentious strip.

    This sort of dense, high-sugar ice is in the majority, numbers wise, in Chicago I think. The more icy, crystaline, watery product served at Mario's and Johnny's is actaully less common but is served at the two places that serve probably the most ice. I like the denser stuff as dessert, the icier stuff as a beverage to cut the grease on a combo, which is perfect given where the icy stuff is available.
  • Post #14 - June 6th, 2005, 10:40 am
    Post #14 - June 6th, 2005, 10:40 am Post #14 - June 6th, 2005, 10:40 am
    My observations about why so many people think that deep dish is THE Chicago pizza are:

    1) It's more novel. The difference between Chicago thick and pizza elsewhere is obvious enough; what makes Chicago thin different is a fairly arcane discussion by comparison. Attention naturally flowed to the more unusual item as being distinctively Chicago.

    2) The famous makers of thick are all in the lakefrontish areas where newcomers to the city quickly gain exposure to Uno, Gino's, Malnati's, Leona's, Edwardo's, etc. etc. The famous makers of thin are off in places like south Pulaski or Hickory Hills or wherever.

    No great mystery to any of that.

    * * *

    Since I visit Armitage about once every other year, I had never had Anthony's ice in its old spot. I've now had it twice in five days. Coconut, black raspberry and peach were all outstanding, not sure why I'd want them to be lemony, but they had really nice fruit flavor, hit the spot. I also agree with JeffB that it's great that the freshly transplanted Anthony's looks more like the oldest retailer on Southport than one of the newest.
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  • Post #15 - June 6th, 2005, 10:57 am
    Post #15 - June 6th, 2005, 10:57 am Post #15 - June 6th, 2005, 10:57 am
    Did I say I wanted a lemon base? :twisted:

    The unspoken points were (1) that many stands start with a lemon base for complementary fruit flavors (watermelon, orange, cherry) and (2) that the not-lemon flavors I sampled could have benefitted from that treatment. Of course, even the main lemon-basers don't use lemon as the starter for flavors such as the alarmingly popular chocolate, eg.

    But if a fruit can stand on its own, I encourage it to fly its flavor flag like that.

    I meant also to point out that Anthony's ices kind of straddle the boundary between the clear "Italian lemonade" or shall we say granita of, e.g., Johnny's on the one hand and sorbetto on the other. In this way, Anthony's is very much like the nieve de coco and nieve de fresa vendors of Humboldt Park. So the coco flavor makes sense.
  • Post #16 - June 8th, 2005, 12:16 pm
    Post #16 - June 8th, 2005, 12:16 pm Post #16 - June 8th, 2005, 12:16 pm
    They have italian lemonade at Ricobenes in the loop, if anyone is in that kind of mood for lunchtime. It seems like a summer thing, they have a ice cream cart outdoors with ice cream bars and italian ice. They usually have lemon, sometimes watermelon. It's the watery type with lemon rind, which I prefer...
  • Post #17 - June 8th, 2005, 1:16 pm
    Post #17 - June 8th, 2005, 1:16 pm Post #17 - June 8th, 2005, 1:16 pm
    Antonius wrote:Older Chicagoan Italian-Americans that I've discussed pizza with don't seem to give a flying flap-jack about deep-dish

    Choey wrote:lots of Chicago natives, many of whom have all the necessary Italian/American bona fides, believe that proper Chicago pizza is thin. Or "tin," as that adjectival pleonasm would be pronounced in Melrose Park.

    Why should Italian-Americans' opinions of Chicago pizza matter more than anyone else's?

    Chicago pizza is American pizza. Its relationship to any Italian forebear is even more tenuous than that of the Chicago hot dog to German wurst. That old Italians paid no attention to a dish invented by a guy named Ike Sewell on the North Side, I can believe.

    While there is a quantifiable Chicago flat pizza style, it's not very different from pizza offered in many other parts of the country, or even that served by some national chains; it also has clear derivation from its Old World ancestor.

    Chicago-style deep-dish pizza, thin-crusted and laden with an inch or more of hot, gooey cheese -- as introduced by Sewell and Ric Riccardo at Pizzeria Uno in 1943 -- is unique.

                      * * *

    On the cold front, I agree there's a difference between Italian lemonade and Italian ice. The quintessential version of the former is served at Mario's, can be slurped through a straw, and starts with a lemon base.

    As an illustration: Recently, I was there just before closing time and ordered a cupful of coconut and one of watermelon. The girl serving asked the manager if they had any more coconut. He disappeared into the back and came out with a big metal cupful of something. She poured it into one of the bins. A woman came up with a big paddle and stirred. They scooped out my order.

    While I was waiting for my second cup, a man came up and ordered lemon flavor. "We're out of lemon," was the reply.

    "What's that?" he asked, pointing at the bin my serving had come from.

    "That's coconut," she said. "It was lemon, but now she's mixed in the coconut."

    I said, "They all start with lemon." He looked surprised.

    "That's why it's 'lemonade,'" the girl said.

    Pizzeria Uno
    312/321-1000
    29 E. Ohio St.
    Chicago IL 60611

    Mario's Italian Lemonade
    1068 W. Taylor St.
    Chicago, IL 60607
  • Post #18 - June 8th, 2005, 1:21 pm
    Post #18 - June 8th, 2005, 1:21 pm Post #18 - June 8th, 2005, 1:21 pm
    I am a big fan of Freddy's in Cicero...it may be a little drive but it is worth the ride for some great Italian food, gelato and ices. As Vital Information qouted it earlier as " a REAL throw back" to the old neighborhood establishment...that was the perfect description and what gives this place its charm. Nothing fancy but great homecooked food (ices and gelato too). My husband had the cantalope ice and it was fantasic! Give it try if you are in the area.

    Freddy's Pizza
    1600 S. 61st Ave.
  • Post #19 - June 8th, 2005, 8:51 pm
    Post #19 - June 8th, 2005, 8:51 pm Post #19 - June 8th, 2005, 8:51 pm
    All this talk of Italian ice sent us on a quest one recent warm night, which ended at Miko's on Sacramento. Of all the ice places we've tried, this is our fave so far. My wife ordered the lemon (no surprise, she's full-blooded Italian) and raved about its tartness and firm texture. Even without rind, it's a winner. My coconut was really exceptional, intensely flavored with lots of chewy coconut shreds. Even got a thumbs up from the Italian! I plan to return soon during the day; there's an interesting Cuban grocery/sandwich shop next door on the corner.

    Miko's
    2234 N. Sacramento Ave.
  • Post #20 - June 8th, 2005, 9:07 pm
    Post #20 - June 8th, 2005, 9:07 pm Post #20 - June 8th, 2005, 9:07 pm
    Yeah, speaking of citrus I really liked a lime one from Miko's a year or two back, in fact I think it was on this. Though I've liked everything else the kids and I have tried at Anthony's, the lime was the one that didn't do much for me.
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  • Post #21 - June 9th, 2005, 4:28 pm
    Post #21 - June 9th, 2005, 4:28 pm Post #21 - June 9th, 2005, 4:28 pm
    [quote] Why should Italian-Americans' opinions of Chicago pizza matter more than anyone else's?

    LAZ, Like to buy you a drink at Gennaro's some night, I have some friends I would like you to meet.
  • Post #22 - June 9th, 2005, 4:56 pm
    Post #22 - June 9th, 2005, 4:56 pm Post #22 - June 9th, 2005, 4:56 pm
    Tommy2Dogs wrote:The good news is I am returning and hope to be residing within the city limits within the next 90 days.


    The beauty of this interactive internet food chat website is that YOU might dine with the people you dialogue with. Humor, interesting content will always put you in good stead. It sure beats wanting to eat your words someday.

    RAther than posting something which comes across like a thinly veiled threat, why not support why you do or do not believe Italian Americans opinions of Chicago pizza matter more than anyone else's? It's a lot more interesting.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
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  • Post #23 - June 9th, 2005, 5:00 pm
    Post #23 - June 9th, 2005, 5:00 pm Post #23 - June 9th, 2005, 5:00 pm
    Personally if the theory behind italian-americans getting more weight to their opinion is that they make more pizzas, I think Chicago's latino community should, perhaps, get the most weight.
    Ed Fisher
    my chicago food photos

    RIP LTH.
  • Post #24 - June 9th, 2005, 5:39 pm
    Post #24 - June 9th, 2005, 5:39 pm Post #24 - June 9th, 2005, 5:39 pm
    Tommy2dogs wrote: LAZ, Like to buy you a drink at Gennaro's some night, I have some friends I would like you to meet.

    Tommy,

    The above is inappropriate, on a number of levels, and not in the spirit of LTHForum.

    Gary.
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #25 - June 9th, 2005, 6:06 pm
    Post #25 - June 9th, 2005, 6:06 pm Post #25 - June 9th, 2005, 6:06 pm
    LAZ wrote:
    Antonius wrote:Older Chicagoan Italian-Americans that I've discussed pizza with don't seem to give a flying flap-jack about deep-dish

    Choey wrote:lots of Chicago natives, many of whom have all the necessary Italian/American bona fides, believe that proper Chicago pizza is thin. Or "tin," as that adjectival pleonasm would be pronounced in Melrose Park.

    Why should Italian-Americans' opinions of Chicago pizza matter more than anyone else's?


    Fine, but you didn't understand the point. Gleam said the following (which, incidentally, I do not dispute, as I said above):

    Gleam wrote: I was born and raised in Chicago, or at least close enough, and deep dish and stuffed were both prominent in our households, along with the normal chicago square-cut short-dough thin.

    I don't think you can say true chicago pizza is chicago thin. You can say chicago thin crust has been around longer than deep dish, but I'm not sure that's even true. I'd guess they both arrived on the scene at about the same time.


    My point was simply that from the perspective of older generations and different ethnic groups, including the one that introduced pizza to this city/country, the view was/is different. In other words, I was trying to say that Gleam is right but Tommy2dogs is also right. And there are yet other views.
    Last edited by Antonius on June 9th, 2005, 8:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
    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 #26 - June 9th, 2005, 6:28 pm
    Post #26 - June 9th, 2005, 6:28 pm Post #26 - June 9th, 2005, 6:28 pm
    I love the Italian ice at Miko's (I go to the one on Damen). It's very smooth though, and lacks the chunks of peel that the place I went to as a kid had. The kiwi, rasberry and lime are my favorites. Mario's is great for chunky, lemon-y authentic Italian lemonade
  • Post #27 - June 9th, 2005, 8:53 pm
    Post #27 - June 9th, 2005, 8:53 pm Post #27 - June 9th, 2005, 8:53 pm
    [My post was indeed inapprropriate and for that I apologize. It was was an obviously failed attempt at humor
  • Post #28 - June 10th, 2005, 6:23 am
    Post #28 - June 10th, 2005, 6:23 am Post #28 - June 10th, 2005, 6:23 am
    ...and on your left, ladies and gentlemen, we have the Emoticons :shock: :roll: :wink: :)


    I think lemon does go well with Chocolate.

    Mario's rules!
    Unchain your lunch money!
  • Post #29 - June 10th, 2005, 12:52 pm
    Post #29 - June 10th, 2005, 12:52 pm Post #29 - June 10th, 2005, 12:52 pm
    I was afraid this might happen.... Is there an emoticon that signifies, "Utterly chastened, I silently resolve to keep my opinions about pizza to myself and will henceforth confine my public speech to non-controversial foodstuffs like syllabubs and headcheese?" Embè, iette pe fa' 'a croce e se cecai n'uocchio.

    On a positive and uplifting note, the braised lamb with white beans I had for lunch today at Semiramis was excellent.
  • Post #30 - June 11th, 2005, 2:53 pm
    Post #30 - June 11th, 2005, 2:53 pm Post #30 - June 11th, 2005, 2:53 pm
    Antonius wrote:My point was simply that from the perspective of older generations and different ethnic groups, including the one that introduced pizza to this city/country, the view was/is different.


    My reading says that pizza was largely popularized in this country -- not only this city -- by returning World War II servicemen (like Sewell), so while American pizza is loosely based on what they ate in Italy during the war, it's not an immigrant dish in the sense of having its origins in Old World family recipes. Even Nancy's stuffed pizza, which Rocco Palese reportedly based on his mother's scarciedda, is so far from traditional recipes for that Easter pie that I doubt anyone who wasn't told the story would notice a link.

    I understood your point, Antonius. What I fail to understand is any special significance of Italian-American opinion to a discussion of Chicago pizza. Plenty of older, longtime Chicagoans of all ethnic groups like deep-dish and stuffed pizza just fine.

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