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Added May 20 2012

A thread to let everyone know when you run across something that is especially yummy at a store or market and you want them to try it too.

  • I have had bad luck with the heirlooms at Family (just about the only thing). I found them mealy in the past. I will give them another try.

  • @John AP: Happy Foods is at Central and Devon. There is another larger location on Northwest Highway, but I'm not sure of the exact address. I would suggest that you let your fingers do the walking. They do include food ads in the Tribune on Sundays and Wednesdays. I love, love, love their deli. Another terrific item is their Chicken Salad with Celery and Grapes. Deeeeeeelicious!!!

  • pattymelt is mostly in charge

    If you have too many tomatoes and they are starting to go bad or tomatoes that seem less than stellar, you can try and salvage them by making pan con tomate (bread with tomato). It sounds too simple but you will see when you taste it that simple is good. This is also a way to use stale Italian or French bread.

    Toast the bread well, rub a clove of garlic on it, cut a tomato in half and rub one half all over the bread, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt, preferably sea salt.

    If you have some nice cheese it can almost be a meal when the summer heat hits. I also like to eat it with my scrambled eggs in the morning, it is less boring than plain old toast. Read more here:

    Yes, I know this is like the Italian bruschetta but that uses the meat of the tomato as well and this is more about the juice. Of course, if you have too many tomatoes from your garden you can always post here that you are giving them away!

  • jeb Portage Park resident

    @pattymelt Too many tomatoes? Is there such a thing? :-)

    Recipe sounds awesome. You can also roast tomatoes with olive oil and garlic @ 200 degrees (forget for how long. A long time.) and then freeze them to make pasta sauce later.

  • Conor McGrath Portage Park

    We can our tomatoes. They last all winter long (probably longer, but ours never make it that far) as we use them for sauces, chili, soups, etc.

  • . . .

    BBQ'd up some baby back ribs (3.99 per lb), baby red's and corn on the cob from Family Fruit Market yesterday. Wishing I had leftovers.

  • kenji Find us here -->

    @that guy, you should sign up for the cookoff contest at this year's BBQ Fest.

  • . . .

    Maybe in a couple year Kenji. Still perfecting my bbq'n skills.

  • For those who don't like to have tomato skins in everything, you can blanch the tomatoes in a pan of boiling water and the skin will slip right off of the tomato. I do that frequently as I don't like thick skins on tomatoes when I make sauce or stewed tomatoes. They maintain their flavor and you don't have those little skin rolls in everything.

  • First, does anyone know where to get Veal bones?

    Second, I do a lot of canning and I hate, repeat, hate canning tomatoes. Oh, I do it, but I hate taking off the skins. A couple of weeks ago I was watching one of my new favorite cooking shows, "French Food at Home." The host was doing some preserving. One of the recipes was taking raw tomatoes and putting them in a jar (canning jar with lid) and processing them raw, in the jar. When you want to use them you dump the jar in a food mill and crush them. This will obviously take the skin off and remove the seeds.

    I had made two jars from store bought tomatoes for a trial to see if it works. If it does, my life has just become easier.

    P.S. I did the Carrot Confiture also, different, not bad.

  • kenji Find us here -->

    for veal bones call ahead to Josephs:

    Joseph's Finest Meats
    7101 W Addison St
    Chicago, IL 60634
    (773) 736-3766

  • cheesecake chick i want to be the person my dog thinks i am

    lovelovelove happyfoods on central. homemade turkey in the deli...yum!

  • Paul Informed

    I heard a rumor that Happy Foods on Central sells Blue Bunny ice cream.. can anyone here confirm?

  • Inactive user

    The Happy Foods on Northwest Highway is a little south of Canfield.

  • LMK

    I know for sure Butera on Gunnison & Nagle has Blue Bunny

  • kenji Find us here -->

    why is Blue Bunny ice cream special?

  • Paul Informed

    @kenji - Because it is so darn tasty....

  • pattymelt is mostly in charge

    @Gerard, I am crazy about cookbooks and came across something about winter tomatoes in Italy, not sure if it would work here but you can just tack them up on the vine if you have an appropriate place to hang them, see the excerpt here:

  • Dee Third generation in 45th Ward, now in 39th

    Paul--Happy foods does carry Blue Bunny and it is on sale May 23 thru May 29; 56oz for $2.50

  • At the end of summer tomatoes get down to 20 cents a pound near my house. I just buy them and put the entire bag into the freezer. I use them all winter for anything (except fresh salad) -- soup, stew, chili, casserole, etc. If you want the skin off you take the frozen tomato and run it under some warm water. It is so easy that I have not canned tomatoes since.

  • Dirk Portage Park

    Not today but last weekend found Hanger steaks at the Whole Foods in Oak Park. Rarely see them anywhere but restaurants. Delicious.

  • @Paul: Yes, Happy Foods DOES sell Blue Bunny Ice Cream. It's on sale for the Holiday weekend!!! YAY!!!!!

  • @ Dirk, Problem is there is only one per cow. I know Chicago Meat (or whatever their name is now) has them, but you need to ask. They call them "Hanging Tenders." To be honest, they need to open a case to get them and I always feel bad. I am sure they sell the rest, but...

    If people are interested, I will go and ask what the price of a case is. We can buy the case and divide accordingly...

  • I don't want to rain on the "Blue Bunny" parade (I like it also) but one of my favorites is Hudsonville out of New Holland Michigan. If you have ever been to an ice cream shop in Michigan chances are you have had it.

    A&G carries some flavors. They are the closest I know.

  • Dirk Portage Park

    @Gerard. Yes, they call them the butcher's cut as usually they will keep them for themselves. I've been getting meat from Hasselmann Family Farms and put in a request. Hope that comes through.

    Butcher's Block doesn't carry non-hormone meats sadly. Good selection, but don't want those hormones.

  • kenji Find us here -->

    @Dirk, on Butcher's Block website,, says this:

    "We bring you the finest prime beef, fresh poultry, lamb, veal and pork that we select from a handful of small Midwestern farms we know and trust. "

    If it's true that's a big difference than the meats that come from other sources in our neighborhood. Most places will have a supplier like this for their retail beef:,_Inc.

    I wonder if BB names the local farms/operations their product comes from?

  • kenji Find us here -->

    @dirk, in terms of travel time from jeff/portage park, an alternative to Whole Foods is The Butcher and Larder on Milwaukee Ave. down by Division. If the Kennedy isn't backed up you can make it in very little time.

    They can have what you are looking for:

  • Dirk Portage Park

    @kenji. Love Butcher and Larder. Have you tried the Publican's butcher shop? Great selection, and they have a sandwich shop attached.

    Re: Butcher's Block. Just because they consider it 'the finest' meat from 'small Midwestern farms', there is no guarantee that these are hormone free. To our household this is a big issue for health and flavor. Would like a better option locally.

    Hasselmann Farms delivers frozen meat once a month to St. John's church on Kostner. They are Animal Welfare approved, meaning these animals live the good life and are humanely slaughtered. Just yesterday they delivered a chicken straight from the processor. It was never frozen. Got it home, added a little seasoning, threw it in the oven. The taste and texture was so different from previously frozen. Very rich flavor, almost gamey. It was so delicious even my wife tried some, and she's a pescetarian.

  • kenji Find us here -->


    I'm Roman Catlick.

  • JennS 6-year portage park resident

    @ Dirk: We grilled some of that Hasselmann Family Farm chicken last night ourselves, amazingly tasty!

  • Dirk Portage Park

    @JennS. Have you tried their Jowl Bacon? Just had it for the time with their eggs. 75% fat, but it is so creamy. Now I've got to go work it off before my arteries harden.

  • YIKES!!! I just put on five pounds reading this thread!!!

  • Bob's Tinfoil Hat

    Jewel started selling grass fed beef. It's expensive but they have an instant in-store coupon on the packs. Save $0.50 or $1.00,

  • JennS 6-year portage park resident

    @ Dirk: We have some in the freezer, but haven't tried it yet. We buy a half hog at a time from him, and this last time he had the jowl smoked. We're looking forward to it!

  • Tony B. 36 ward resident

    My favorite supermarket is Meijer (for ads go to The closest one is in Melrose Park at North Ave and 9th on the east side of Winston Park SC. There is another one on Golf Rd., west of Golf Mill SC. Unfortunately none in Chicago.
    They have great prices. Excellent meat, Produce, Deli and Bakery.
    I love their cutup fresh fruit in the Produce dept.

  • kenji Find us here -->

    OK, this one isn't grocery, but I had to post it.

    Johnny's Hot Dog Express, for his greek salad with Chicken.

    Great homemade greek dressing with it, a grilled pita, chicken is top notch on top of the veggies, fresh tomatoes.

    about 7 bucks or so, and I eat it over 3 meals.

    I hate Yelp but it's the best link for info:

  • I shop at Happy Foods for meat. After hearing about Blue Bunny ice cream and the chicken salad on this thread, I made sure to try them. The black cherry chocolate chip ice cream was great and so was their deli chicken salad.

  • Inactive user

    I noticed that they had Blue Bunny ice cream at a suburban Jewel, so maybe it is available at our local ones.

  • thanks for the tip on Johnny's. driven by a zillion times, never thought to go in (of course I don't really eat hot dogs, much). But that's a great bicycle destination for me & the kids.

  • @ kenji: Thanks for the hot dog tip. Since the owners of my favorite hot dog stand sold the place, I haven't been able to find one as good as it was. The new owners don't measure up. Although, I do like King's at Foster and Milwaukee. I will have to try this placeand see if they can capture my hot-dog-heart.
    @Polonia Chelonia: I'm so glad that you enjoyed your groceries from Happy Foods. It is sometimes difficult to recommend places because taste is subjective.

  • howiehandles NW sider

    @ kenji, agree on Yelp, it's a fraud. A good number of the reviews are bs, and they were reported to have been shaking down business for better reviews.

  • We had a short conversation a bit back on preserving tomatoes. This months Cooks Magazine has some information on what we were talking about. They agree with Barbara Tahir (see above) that the best thing to do is freeze them (not that I doubted Barbara I just havent done it yet...). It's a good article and will give you a reason to go and buy the new Cooks at at City News.

  • kenji Find us here -->

    Is City News serving beverages and food yet?

  • No, as of the open house a couple of weeks ago he is going into the final phase of city review and license for the food service. He was expecting another 30 or so days...

  • I love City News. Where else can you find magazines on urban chickens and pick up The Onion?

  • kenji Find us here -->

    Don't forget about the adult stuff too. One would think the internets would have killed off that part of the publishing industry.


  • Six Corners Sam proud father and husband

    Looks like @NW Chicago Mom pretty much said it all. Both approaches are Italian in origin, and are project/inquiry-based. Reggio has an emphasis on the natural environment which is nice to see in the city. The rates are so reasonable: we're saving $300 monthly after moving from a different center.

    More about Reggio Emilia here:

  • Six Corners Sam proud father and husband

    OOPS. Wrong thread!

  • Dennis 30 year Jefferson Park resident

    Good for a minute there thought I was blind looking for NW Chicago Mom.

  • justbabs chgo lifer - now in pp

    Zorba's Bakery on Central south of Belmont and south of Central Gyros. Spinach/cheese pies for $2.00!!! And they have those great cookies for coffee - made fresh. Baklava is another steal there. Honey from Greece. I'm smiling thinking about it.

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