Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Chicago Foodie trip

A couple times a year, the cook store KitchenArt in West Lafayette, IN does some unique tours of ethnic regions in Chicago. It was our third trip but it changes nearly every time in the 12 years they've been guiding folks thru the backroads and along Lake Shore Drive. We live for the "feel" of the city since we live a rural life and the change does a soul good. We loaded up on fresh fish at the Isaacson L and Stein Fish co. during our first stop. Top notch whole fish packed on ice for you to bag up, get cleaned if you choose, while sloshing around in the cool , puddled crowded room. I sometimes wish we lived closer just for that. The fresh fish in Wabash is usually frozen and who knows how long it's been that.

Another run was to the ethnic area of the Italian section which is really dying out. Conte di Savola European Specialties is a great Italian deli featuring domestic pastas, cheeses and hand made Buffalo mozzarella that is wonderful. The homemade salamis & cannoli aren't bad either.

The Greek area on S.Halsted St. is barely thriving as "Greek" but has many other stores surrounding it. We visited Artopolis Bakery & Cafe' which had a beautiful pastry and bread section, wines and gifts. The artisan bread we purchased was very tasty. The BEST shop was a couple doors down. The Pan Hellenic Pastry Shop has the best handmade Greek pastries in the Midwest and I couldn't resist the powdered sugar almond cookies, some nutty chocolate macaroons, and an assorted box of tradition pastries. The service was friendly, informative and very attentive.

We were really trying to save ourselves for the Indian/Pakistani area on W.Devon as that was our lunch stop and I had already reviewed the area for a lunch idea. It is restaurant row intermixed with sari shops and food stores. Heaven!!!! We ate lunch at Sabri Nehari where we shared our dishes with each other. The menu can be found on a site called Menu Pages which helps making food choices easier ahead of time. Four of us thoroughly enjoyed the entire experience from the friendly attentive waiters to the freshness and presentation of the food. Loved it, loved it, loved it. The naan was over the top with lots of garlic and onion - Yummm..Worth the trip-Yes!!Thanks Kitchen Art!