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  • Healthy Food Lithuanian

    Post #1 - November 22nd, 2004, 9:00 am
    Post #1 - November 22nd, 2004, 9:00 am Post #1 - November 22nd, 2004, 9:00 am
    Now may be the time to pay a visit to Healthy Foods. Perhaps the last outpast for Lithuanian cuisine in Chicago, its business is being severely damaged by heavy-duty construction on Halsted through spring (and next year as well). But their quality hasn't suffered. Their combination plate (two kinds of meat dumplings and a slice of kugel--the lightest I've ever had, if that's not some kind of oxymoron--covered with a generous sprinkling of bacon) was as satisfying as ever. Framed by a hearty bowl of split pea soup and a slice of homemade five-fruit pie, the meal came to around $15 a head. Blinyas--with toppings from apple-cinnamon to sour cherry are on the menu for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and bacon buns are usually available Saturday mornings. Although Halsted's a mess, there's parking on side streets (most neighborhood permit parking is in effect only when the White Sox are playing). In short, any restaurant selling sweatshirts (available in X-large) touting the body-building benefits of kugel IMO deserves support!

    Healthy Food Lithuanian Restaurant
    3226 S. Halsted St.
    Chicago
    "The fork with two prongs is in use in northern Europe. In England, they’re armed with a steel trident, a fork with three prongs. In France we have a fork with four prongs; it’s the height of civilization." Eugene Briffault (1846)
  • Post #2 - November 22nd, 2004, 9:05 am
    Post #2 - November 22nd, 2004, 9:05 am Post #2 - November 22nd, 2004, 9:05 am
    For some reason I keep forgeting about that place and remember it only when I'm passing it on my way to Ed's Potsticker House, just up the street. The point of this post, though, is to say that, at least as of a few weks ago, there was no construction up around Ed's and there's almost always lots of parking on that block. I think Healthy Foods is only two blocks or so south of Ed's, no?

    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 #3 - November 22nd, 2004, 9:16 am
    Post #3 - November 22nd, 2004, 9:16 am Post #3 - November 22nd, 2004, 9:16 am
    Thanks for the reminder about Healthy Foods. Ms. EC and I are big fans of Eastern European dining (and are frequent diners at Paprikash). HF has been on our list to try for a while, but when we saw it on "Check, Please" a few weeks ago, we moved it down the list for fear of crowding. I think the time has come to move them back up the list.

    Best,
    EC
  • Post #4 - November 22nd, 2004, 10:05 am
    Post #4 - November 22nd, 2004, 10:05 am Post #4 - November 22nd, 2004, 10:05 am
    I went to Ed's Potsticker House last week and the northbound lanes of the street are torn up and barricaded so that you have to walk at least a block away from the entrance to even get to the east side of Halsted. It's a treacherous walk at the moment. Don't know if it is as bad in front of Healthy Food Lithuanian.
  • Post #5 - November 22nd, 2004, 11:16 pm
    Post #5 - November 22nd, 2004, 11:16 pm Post #5 - November 22nd, 2004, 11:16 pm
    Perhaps the last outpost for Lithuanian cuisine in Chicago,

    That's a good reminder about Healthy Food but don't forget there is another Lithuanian restaurant in Chicago, Seklycia, the last holdout in the once heavily Lithuanian neighborhood of Marquette Park (I sure hope it's still in business; anyone been recently?). Also there's another in Burbank, Mabenka, right across the street from Chicago.

    Healthy Food
    3236 S Halsted St
    Chicago
    312-326-2724
    Note early closing!
    Mon-Wed 6:30am-4pm, Thu-Sat 6:30am-8pm, Sun 7:30am-5pm

    Seklycia
    2711 W 71st St
    Chicago
    773-476-1680

    Mabenka
    7844 S Cicero Av
    Burbank
    708-423-7679
  • Post #6 - July 8th, 2005, 5:48 am
    Post #6 - July 8th, 2005, 5:48 am Post #6 - July 8th, 2005, 5:48 am
    JBW,

    Happy to say Healthy Food Lithuanian Restaurant survived road construction and was doing a brisk pre July 4th business last Sunday. This was my first time at Healthy Food, I met Dickson for breakfast, Healthy Food is one of his favorites, and most certainly will not be my last.

    We started breakfast with an appetizer of Bacon Buns, hummm, can one have a breakfast appetizer? :)

    Bacon Buns
    Image

    And very good, though quite rich, Kugelis.
    Image

    Dickson went with Buckwheat pancakes. He was kind enough to share and I thought the taste excellent, in a very hearty fashion. Add a slice of ham, which he did, and you are ready to fell trees alongside Paul Bunyan.

    Buckwheat Pancakes
    Image

    Healthy Food's Breakfast Ham
    Image

    When we asked our waitress her recommendation, ham, bacon or sausage, she offered she was a meat eater, loved em all, including the breakfast steak, but if pressed, would go with the sausage. Marie, who is Gina, the owner's daughter, was absolutely correct, the sausage was excellent.

    Eggs, sausage, potatoes.
    Image

    Pie is house-made with lard in the crust, we could not resist taking a couple of slices of apple/strawberry home.
    Image

    Gina slicing pie
    Image

    Healthy Food has friendly, and very efficient, service, is clean as a whistle, good food, fair portions and Gina and Marie, who Dickson and I chatted with after breakfast, are very nice people. I'll be back soon.

    Dickson, great call on where to meet for breakfast.

    Enjoy,
    Gary

    Healthy Food Lithuanian Restaurant
    3236 S Halsted
    Chicago, IL
    312-326-2724
    http://www.cityinsights.com/healthyfood.htm
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #7 - July 8th, 2005, 12:55 pm
    Post #7 - July 8th, 2005, 12:55 pm Post #7 - July 8th, 2005, 12:55 pm
    ah, healthy foods. the bacon buns are delicious, but the last couple of times i have been there the rest of the food was less than great. there used to be a whole slew of lithuanian restaurants on the southwest side, i think healthy food survived because they were the most homogenous. once you sit down to homemade lithuanian sausage and kraut, and kugelis, etc, you start to feel bad taking people to healthy foods. Perhaps this is akin to growing up Chinese and then going out for chinese food in the USA. good food, but not the food you grew up with.

    Erik, from a long line of south side lithuanians (we WILL work harder) and south side irish (we WILL drink harder).
  • Post #8 - July 9th, 2005, 4:46 pm
    Post #8 - July 9th, 2005, 4:46 pm Post #8 - July 9th, 2005, 4:46 pm
    G Wiv wrote:Dickson, great call on where to meet for breakfast.

    LTH,

    Just occurred to me I neglected to mention Dickson and I ran into TonyC and his lovely dining companion at Healthy Food.

    Always nice to run into a fellow LTHer, which seems to be happening more and more often. More support for Aaron's LTHForum as a neighborhood theory .

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #9 - July 10th, 2005, 8:57 am
    Post #9 - July 10th, 2005, 8:57 am Post #9 - July 10th, 2005, 8:57 am
    SushiGaijin wrote:ah, healthy foods. the bacon buns are delicious, but the last couple of times i have been there the rest of the food was less than great. there used to be a whole slew of lithuanian restaurants on the southwest side, i think healthy food survived because they were the most homogenous. once you sit down to homemade lithuanian sausage and kraut, and kugelis, etc, you start to feel bad taking people to healthy foods. Perhaps this is akin to growing up Chinese and then going out for chinese food in the USA. good food, but not the food you grew up with.

    Erik, from a long line of south side lithuanians (we WILL work harder) and south side irish (we WILL drink harder).


    I have a couple of thoughts in response to this, tho it is not my intention to argue the points made.

    First, most of the customers the last morning I was there were of Lithuanian extraction (TonyC, Gary and me being the exceptions). I know this because we had this sort of group discussion going on for a while. So I wonder if the food is not pretty decent, but a choice primarly for those who like Lithuanian, but do not cook it at home for whatever reason? So it could be both good, and not as good as homemade.

    I have a confession to make, as well. As a primary supporter of HF on this Forum, I admit to never going there for anything other than breakfast. And then I almost always have Buckwheat Pancakes. I also like the Rye bread french toast (buckwheat and rye - some sort of theme here) and the atmosphere and the staff.

    Anyway, for me it is more like a good, interesting, diner than anything else. I think I did have dinner there once, probably over 10 years ago. Can't really say much about that other than it did not motivate me to run back soon.
    d
    Feeling (south) loopy
  • Post #10 - July 10th, 2005, 8:00 pm
    Post #10 - July 10th, 2005, 8:00 pm Post #10 - July 10th, 2005, 8:00 pm
    it is completely pathetic how LTH drives my eating pattern. equally pathetic how my own neighboorwood places joints would be lost to me (Chinatown Cafe, Johnny's Mother-in-Law per ReneG) w/o LTH.

    thank goodness, then, I'm not w/o LTH.

    back on track:
    healthy food's blintz just ain't the way i like, but that deep fried potato pancake.. o man.. so wrong, yet so right, for breakfast.

    Per Erik M/ReneG's convo during the 1000th Member dinner, I hope to run into someone at Ramova Grill (3510 s. halsted?) shortly for their all-meat chili...
  • Post #11 - July 11th, 2005, 3:09 pm
    Post #11 - July 11th, 2005, 3:09 pm Post #11 - July 11th, 2005, 3:09 pm
    TonyC wrote:I hope to run into someone at Ramova Grill (3510 s. halsted?) shortly for their all-meat chili...


    Part of me can't believe I'm about to admit this, but...

    When unbeknowneth and I got married (part 1, the civil ceremony - long story), it was just the two of us, and we went from the courthouse to Ramova Grill. I had a BLT, and he had the all-meat chili, and we shared fries (and possibly a hamburger). The very few people we've told this story to who are actually familiar with the Ramova Grill cannot believe that THAT was where we chose to have our first meal as a married couple. What can I say? I love a good BLT.

    It's still one of my favorite places, and I'm sure we'll run into you at some point.
  • Post #12 - July 11th, 2005, 4:30 pm
    Post #12 - July 11th, 2005, 4:30 pm Post #12 - July 11th, 2005, 4:30 pm
    What'd you do for an anniversary to top it?
    Watch Sky Full of Bacon, the Chicago food HD podcast!
    New episode: Soil, Corn, Cows and Cheese
    Watch the Reader's James Beard Award-winning Key Ingredient here.
  • Post #13 - September 26th, 2006, 2:18 pm
    Post #13 - September 26th, 2006, 2:18 pm Post #13 - September 26th, 2006, 2:18 pm
    Healthy Food Lithuanian Restaurant

    I have a very sizeable backlog of places and dishes that I've wanted to post about but there seems to be less and less time to get them done. One post which I've wanted badly to finish for some four months or so is on Healthy Food, the little Lithuanian restaurant on Halsted in Bridgeport. The above posts focus primarily on breakfast at HF and, given their hours, breakfast is a large part of their business. But I wanted to focus a little more on some of their other offerings. I'll keep it short and let the pictures do most of the talking...

    One of our favourite items offered at HF is the cold beet soup, which in my opinion is quite delicious and even better (and more filling) with the boiled potato on the side (sometimes it arrives with bacon bits, sometimes not):
    Image

    Filling, tasty and quite good are the misleadingly named 'veal cutlets', which -- to my mind, at least -- calls up images of Schnitzel-like slices of meat. These are 'cutlets' of the ground meat variety and, as I said, pretty tasty, as such:
    Image

    The freshly made Lithuanian sausage I had the other day was in my humble opinion really delicious. Perhaps indeed not up to the home-made versions SushiGaijin mentions above but to my Prusso-Alsatian tastebuds (and we are not sausage-lightweights), HF's fresh Wurst was quite nicely made; the kraut was good too and the kugelis was kugelacious; I enjoyed this meal very much:
    Image

    I'm very fond of dumplings of all kinds and I think HF's koldunai give considerable dumpling-bang for the buck. If one belongs to the class of people who need never worry about cholesterol, this is a healthy dish, but for the rest of us, this is a very tasty and filling dumpling fix that one should enjoy without worry and then atone for thereafter:
    Image

    Here's the inside of one of these little guys:
    Image

    One can also order a specialty sampler platter, featuring cheese dumplings (only on the menu as a special on Fridays now, though last spring we had them on a Saturday or Sunday), kugelis (a baked potato 'pudding' with onion and bacon) and the aforementioned pork-filled koldunai:
    Image

    Amata recently had their blynai and, since she finished the entire ample portion they served her, I suspect she thought them reasonably tasty!:
    Image

    Lucantonius, being still young and less adventurous, generally opts for their regular pancakes and likes them mightily:
    Image

    The food at HF is very good and satisfying and the place itself is charming in its old fashioned way. The service is very friendly and the decorations on the walls and the items in the showcase (yes, they sell amber) are quite cool:
    Image

    All in all, this is one of my favourite little neighbourhood restaurants in Chicago and, while I cannot compare it with Lithuanian home-cooking, I can compare it with some of the not terribly dissimilar North German cuisine that I know from family contexts and travel. The refreshing cold beet soup, the tasty koldunai, the fine fresh sausage, these are nice dishes to be able to enjoy in a very pleasant and friendly setting.
    Image

    Antonius

    Healthy Food Lithuanian Restaurant
    3236 South Halsted
    Chicago
    312.326.2724
    Hours: Tu.-Wed. 7-4; Thu.-Fri.-Sat. 7-8; closed Mon.

    Typos fixed.
    Last edited by Antonius on September 26th, 2006, 2:39 pm, edited 2 times 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 #14 - September 26th, 2006, 2:23 pm
    Post #14 - September 26th, 2006, 2:23 pm Post #14 - September 26th, 2006, 2:23 pm
    Antonious, looks especially healthy! Is their a Lituanian paradox :wink:

    I have to get there soon.

    Rob
    Think Yiddish, Dress British - Advice of Evil Ronnie to me.
  • Post #15 - September 26th, 2006, 2:28 pm
    Post #15 - September 26th, 2006, 2:28 pm Post #15 - September 26th, 2006, 2:28 pm
    Vital Information wrote:Antonious, looks especially healthy! Is their a Lituanian paradox :wink:

    I have to get there soon.

    Rob


    :lol:

    I think there will have to be more research in that regard...

    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 #16 - September 27th, 2006, 8:08 am
    Post #16 - September 27th, 2006, 8:08 am Post #16 - September 27th, 2006, 8:08 am
    Antonius wrote:Amata recently had their blynai and, since she finished the entire ample portion they served her, I suspect she thought them reasonably tasty!:
    Image



    Yeah, it was good. Especially after I poured the container of sour cream on top. :) Barely visible in the upper left corner of the picture is a bit of the cheese filling inside the blynai (a mild dry farmer's type cheese). The blynai with both fruit and cheese is $8.95; with only cheese or with only fruit it's 7.95. Besides the blueberries seen above, you can have apple, banana, strawberry, or (I think) cranberry as toppings.

    Healthy Food also offers buckwheat pancakes, which we haven't tried yet.

    We love this place, and hope it thrives despite the current gentrification of Bridgeport. :roll:

    Amata

    p.s. Some of the above pictures are from last Father's Day -- this was Antonius's choice of where we should take him out. Like I said, this is one of our favorite spots.
  • Post #17 - September 27th, 2006, 8:54 am
    Post #17 - September 27th, 2006, 8:54 am Post #17 - September 27th, 2006, 8:54 am
    One of my favorite things at healthy food is the sauerkraut soup. This stuff is mellow and rich with a slight tang and a great cabbage flavor...not what you might expect from the name. Definitely worth a try.
  • Post #18 - September 27th, 2006, 9:16 am
    Post #18 - September 27th, 2006, 9:16 am Post #18 - September 27th, 2006, 9:16 am
    By the way, if you're offered their five-fruit pie fresh out of the oven do NOT pass it up, no matter how many dumplings you've ingested.
    "The fork with two prongs is in use in northern Europe. In England, they’re armed with a steel trident, a fork with three prongs. In France we have a fork with four prongs; it’s the height of civilization." Eugene Briffault (1846)
  • Post #19 - September 27th, 2006, 9:44 am
    Post #19 - September 27th, 2006, 9:44 am Post #19 - September 27th, 2006, 9:44 am
    jbw,

    I haven't tried the pies yet, despite the fact that they look fabulous but, alas, I'm always way too stuffed even to think about dessert, in part because, in addition to whatever hefty main dish I order, I have soup as well, either the cold beet soup (with spud) or the very fine sauerkraut soup that Kuhdo mentions above. I also end up eating a few slices of the brown and the black breads (Baltic Bakery? Bruno's?) they offer, which are very good too.

    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 #20 - September 27th, 2006, 11:17 am
    Post #20 - September 27th, 2006, 11:17 am Post #20 - September 27th, 2006, 11:17 am
    The dumplings, kugelis, pancakes are all truly tasty, as mentioned.
    The owner picks her own blueberries, from which she makes the topping for the pancakes. She is a charming, sweet woman.
    I also recommend Dadu - the Lithuanian ice cream in the cooler there. I swear all dairy products from the Baltics, or Europe for that matter, taste a million times better than here.

    I think there is a Baltic paradox in addition to the Czech paradox. If go to the Baltics in the winter and you will see tall, lean mini-skirt laden women maneuvering the cobblestone streets in their high-heels.

    LO
  • Post #21 - September 30th, 2006, 9:44 am
    Post #21 - September 30th, 2006, 9:44 am Post #21 - September 30th, 2006, 9:44 am
    Healthy Foods is a remaining eatery from the days of the family Lithuanian restaurants that are long gone in Marquette Park. The restaurant is owned and operated by the daughter of the original owners. When we arrived, she was lunching with her senior swimming team members. I had the cheese dumplings for lunch. Very sweet and buttery, the way I like them. A nice compliment to the zeps my wife made for Thursday's dinner.
  • Post #22 - September 30th, 2006, 11:41 am
    Post #22 - September 30th, 2006, 11:41 am Post #22 - September 30th, 2006, 11:41 am
    I was there for lunch with two friends at the same time as the previous poster. Also witnesses the senior swim team group. The owner Gina told uas that the made it to Springfield in competition. This is a serious team. Gina loves to chat and sincerely enjoys people. My friends told her we were celebratimg my Birthday. She sid they will sing to me and so they did in Lithuanian. A first in my lifetime. Best Kugelis I've ever tasted.
    :D
  • Post #23 - November 7th, 2007, 10:59 am
    Post #23 - November 7th, 2007, 10:59 am Post #23 - November 7th, 2007, 10:59 am
    Presentation
    of the GNR Award to
    Healthy Food Lithuanian Restaurant

    It was my pleasure to have the opportunity to attend the presentation of the GNR Award to Healthy Food. As one can see from my other posts on this Bridgeport institution, it is a place that Amata, Lucantonius and I all really love. And clearly, there are many other people around Chicago who have similar feelings about this restaurant and the folks who work there.

    Here are some photos from the presentation meal, a small but very festive gathering that took place late last week.

    Hot beet soup with my can of Gira in the background (Gira is a slightly sour tasting rye-based drink that is traditional in Lithuania):
    Image

    Excellent blynai with sour cherries:
    Image

    Koldunai, the exquisite little pork dumplings dressed in minced bacon:
    Image

    Outstanding potato pancakes (a special on this Friday):
    Image

    A sampler plate, featuring pork-stuffed cabage, kugelis and koldunai:
    Image

    Here is a close-up showing the inside of the stuffed cabbage:
    Image

    So pleasantly filled with our soups and main dishes, we only had room yet to share a dessert and the choice, a five fruit pie, was really delicious; both the crust and the filling were excellent:
    Image

    As I said the gathering was small but we had a great time. It was a pleasure to have a chance to see my friends SteveZ and Santander again and also finally to meet in person crrush:
    Image

    Three important people of the past:
    Image

    Three important people of the present, two of them, Amata and Lucantonius, presenting the GNR to Healthy Food owner, Gina Santoski:
    Image

    Ačiũ labaĩ, Gina!
    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 #24 - November 7th, 2007, 1:35 pm
    Post #24 - November 7th, 2007, 1:35 pm Post #24 - November 7th, 2007, 1:35 pm
    Antonius, thanks for taking and posting the nice pictures of our lunch.

    A note on the delicious five fruit pie: before the pie arrived at the table we asked Gina what the five fruits are. She challenged us to figure it out ourselves. We got apple and rhubarb right away, soon added raspberry and strawberry, but were stuck on the final ingredient. Then Lucantonio (down at more or less eye level with the pie) offered "Blackberry?" Yes -- the prize went to the junior chowist at the table.
  • Post #25 - November 13th, 2007, 2:47 pm
    Post #25 - November 13th, 2007, 2:47 pm Post #25 - November 13th, 2007, 2:47 pm
    Let me chime in here and add my voice in praise for HF's pies. My breakfast only view of the place has been challenged. So far, I have been able to combine a breakfast of buckwheat pancakes with a fruit pie dessert, but I like the idea of the beet soup, maybe some dumplings and then pie. Seems more traditional.

    And they are very nice people, always treated me quite well.
    d
    Feeling (south) loopy
  • Post #26 - January 12th, 2008, 4:22 pm
    Post #26 - January 12th, 2008, 4:22 pm Post #26 - January 12th, 2008, 4:22 pm
    My wife and I were driving around the city today and decided to find a restaurant from the GNR guide. We spotted the Healthy Food Restaurant where I hadn't been to since I worked at IIT in the early 1980s. Since HF had recently received a GNR citation, I figure the food would be remarkable.

    I'm sorry to say that I was greatly disappointed. The sauerkraut soup was tasteless, the beef liver was overcooked and tough and accompanied by a bland tomato-based sauce and the blueberry pie tasted strange and had a flavor that would be difficult to describe.

    Maybe I should has tried some of the house specialties, but I haven't had liver and onions for a long time. My cholesterol level is low enough now that I figured I could treat myself to an organ meat.

    Gina was pleasant and hospitable but the food was just so-so. Considering the restaurant has been in the family for many years, I couldn't understand why other LTHForum folks have gotten so excited about the restaurant.

    BTW - My wife, who is not a big fan of Eastern European cooking but agreed to go since I often had talked about the place, ordered the steak burger. It was smothered with the same red sauce that I got with my liver. She couldn't eat the dish.
  • Post #27 - January 12th, 2008, 4:54 pm
    Post #27 - January 12th, 2008, 4:54 pm Post #27 - January 12th, 2008, 4:54 pm
    Last week I finally got around to listening to a Vocalo radio production about Bridgeport. I wasn't giving it my full attention, but I recall now that there was a portion where the interviewee was talking about keeping her restaurant a Lithuanian restaurant. Without going back to verify, I suspect they were at Healthy Food, so fans may want to check it out.

    One salient quote (can't recall whether the same person spoke it): "We're not gonna stop the change. But I hope that we salvage some of the good stuff, and integrate it into our lives."
    Joe G.

    "Whatever may be wrong with the world, at least it has some good things to eat." -- Cowboy Jack Clement
  • Post #28 - January 13th, 2008, 12:30 pm
    Post #28 - January 13th, 2008, 12:30 pm Post #28 - January 13th, 2008, 12:30 pm
    Today, we stopped off at Healthy Food. In the interest of kind of, sort of eating healthier (would like to fit into the other half of my wardrobe) I ordered the bran pancakes, for which I did no have high expectations.

    But they were wonderful! Not dry or tough in the least, which has been my unfortunate experience with the genre previously. I got a side of sour cherry, which I also felt a little trepidatious about, as I am not a huge cherry fan - it was a day to live dangerously - but that too was delicious.

    No pie for us, though, as rhubarb was the only kind of offer, and while they had succeeded in making two borderline food items downright tasty, I just can't hold out any hope for rhubarb, that nasty thing that fouled up many a perfectly good strawberry pie in my youth.
    As a mattra-fact, Pie Face, you are beginning to look almost human. - Barbara Bennett
  • Post #29 - January 13th, 2008, 4:42 pm
    Post #29 - January 13th, 2008, 4:42 pm Post #29 - January 13th, 2008, 4:42 pm
    I stopped by Healthy Foods a few weeks back because I was very excited to try it after the many wonderful comments I had read about it on this site. I have been to many GN restaurants and I am always quite pleased. Unfortunately, I have to agree with Grandpa Bob, that I was pretty disappointed this time with the food. I must say, that the woman at Healthy Foods was great! She was so welcoming, enthusiastic and humorous. She shared stories with us, instructed us wisely, and did her best to make everyone's meal as enjoyable as possible. Perhaps my expectations were too high-- I was expecting really tasty, satisfying, exceptionally hearty food. At the time I enjoyed eating there alright, mostly because of the woman, but upon leaving when I thought about the meal I knew that it was not as gratifying as expected. I did not leave with the bubbles of excitement that a great meal arouses in me.

    We ordered the fried chicken, the potato pancakes, the sampler plate of kugelis and stuffed cabbage and pork dumplings, the beet soup, and a sampler of dumplings. The fried chicken was good-- it had a thick, crisp breading atop very moist, tender chicken-- but, it didn't knock me off my seat. I think I would have liked a little bit more flavor-- it was right on texturally, but it needed a little more in the taste department. The beet soup was much enjoyed, as were the cheese dumplings. I thought the potato pancakes were OK-- I recognize that they are certainly different than other kinds of potato pancakes that I have had, but still I did not like the taste of these as much. The inside was very thick and soft, and the outside was only slightly crisp.
  • Post #30 - October 15th, 2008, 8:15 pm
    Post #30 - October 15th, 2008, 8:15 pm Post #30 - October 15th, 2008, 8:15 pm
    I just wanted to add a data point for the next time Healthy Food Lithuanian comes up for a GNR renewal. I stopped by for my first visit at lunch time today. I've never had a better piece of pie (rhubarb!) and I've never received a more genuinely warm welcome at any restaurant.

    Okay, so the lunch special (roast chicken) was home cooking that maybe I could cook better in my own home. But it was fine. On the other hand, the soup (beef barley) was outstanding, and the pie, oh my. Let's hear it for lard in the crust and that sprinkling of confectioner's sugar on top as it's served.

    I was alone. There were six other people in the restaurant, four at a booth and two more at a nearby table. They were singing and laughing and writing notes to themselves, obviously trying to remember a song. They were all women; I'd guess they were all in their 70's. I thought to myself "Bridgeport, how cute, they're obviously trying to remember some Lithuanian song." Before long they brought me into the conversation, explaining that they were all (including, I believe, Gina) on the same senior swim team. They're the only professionally coached senior swim team in the Chicago Park District. Many of them just learned how to swim in their 70's. They were just back from a meet in Springfield, where they picked up a bunch of medals but marveled at the 96 year old on another team who was competing in the 500 meter, and were talking about an upcoming meet in San Francisco. They invited me to join the team. Then another guy who looked like a Streets and San man, or maybe a supervisor somewhere downtown, came in. But he had his son with him-- 20 something, full sleeve tattoos, and the tallest spikiest Mohawk I've ever seen. The swimming ladies went over to meet him, admire the tattoos, and feel the spikes. Son owns a gallery/shop over on Morgan called "Made in Chicago." Dad is obviously proud. We all discussed pie.

    Oh, and that song they were working on? It turns out that one of the six women, who had her back to me in the booth, is Mexican and two of her fellow swimmers are seriously studying Spanish with her. They were working on a Spanish birthday song to surprise a friend with.

    It was just one of those "damn, Chicago's a great city" moments. A great neighborhood restaurant indeed.

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