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Nov 17, 2003 09:56 AM

Arlington Heights Road Chow

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I find myself on an occasional basis in Arlington Heights for my son's eye doctor. We've done the new Johnnie's a few times on the way to our appointments, but I'm wondering whether there are any home-grown places to stop nearby in the sandwich/deli/diner category to get out of the rut?

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  1. Not exactly what you are looking for. But whenever I'm in that area, I have to go to the Japanese bakery, Pastry House Hippo in Mitsuwa and load up. I love everything from there - bread, pastries, cakes, and sandwiches.

    1. A little out of the way, but not too bad is Chicago Hickory Roasters on New Wilke Road between Golf and Algonquin. Its a small place that serves roast chicken, turkey, BBQ that is just about the best I've had. The owner (Mike) is usually behind the counter and runs a great place.

      Besides the chicken, he has fish specials on Friday and has very good sandwiches, including Big Mike's Turkey Sandwich (roast turkey, cole slaw and pico de gallo salsa on a kaiser). Sounds strange, but its really very good. I don't know if this is available everyday. Its usually listed on a sign on the counter instead of the regular menu.

      I haven't been by there for a few months, but the place has been the same for years...

      Not too far away from there is Siegleman's Deli (on Algonquin just NW of Golf, in a strip mall near the Timberlodge Steakhouse. Very good sit-down deli with huge sandwiches and some of the best Sweet and Sour Cabbage Soup I've had.



      1. I know you mentioned deli/diner, but Siegelman's corned beef or pastrami is just ok in my book

        There are some very good places in the Arl Hts area.

        Mentioned below, Misuwa full Japanese food court w/many offerings, very fun and delicious to walk around and eat. NE Corner of Algonquin & Arl Hts Rd.

        Very good tortas on Algonquin, just west of intersection of Dempster & Algonquin

        Terrific, Terrific Vegetarian at Chowpatti on Arl Hts Rd, north of Golf, south of Central. I'm a confirmed carnivore and think Chowpatti is wonderful. Your kid will love the Indian Nachos. Chowpatti, 1035 South Arlington Hts Road (north of Golf, 1/2 block south of Central), Alington Hts, IL 847.640.9554
        hours: 11:30am-9pm Tuesday-Saturday

        There is a good sandwich wraps place called Roly Poly on Algonquin (extremely fresh ingrediants), NW of intersection of Golf & Algonquin. standouts for me include: Basil Cashew Chicken - white meat chicken salad, fresh basil mayo, cashews, spicy Thai sauce, avocado, lettuce, tomato, sprouts
        Salmon Club - smoked salmon, bacon, avocado, lettuce, tomato, scallions, spinach, horseradish dill sauce
        Sesame Mix - Swiss cheese, spinach, tomato, mushrooms, green pepper, carrot, cucumber, avocado, sprouts, chutney, sesame dressing. located at 1659 Algonquin Road, Rolling Meadows. Phone: 847.434.1007

        enjoy and let us know if you come across something else.

        10 Replies
        1. re: Sweet Willie

          i agree, mitsuwa is a fun place to go and eat. we have seen alot of people walk around the store with the food from the food court and i know it is not welcome. people drop there food and leave it and put there empty wrapping on the shelves. i work there and you never see japanese people eating while they shop. they know it is not the proper thing to do. so please keep your food in the food court. its not a pretty sight to see people shoveing food in there mouths in the grocery store, save that for the taste of chicago and not mitsuwa. thank you.

          1. re: wdc


            Well, I have been there on Saturday when food samples were prepared and offered IN THE STORE itself. So do you discourage your clientelle from trying your samples? Did you know people who sample these foods usually buy more than those who don't? By the way, I saw both Japanese as well as non-Asians partaking ... hmmm were these americanized Japanese ?

            If your management agrees with you, then it is their job to monitor and politely ask people to finish their meal in the food court. Though I find it hard to carry hot soups, bento boxes plus the accompanying utensils while meandering your store. Except for ice cream and pastries, there isn't much walk-around food. I somehow doubt you are for real.

            Since you have such a sweet demeanor toward your non-japanese customers, perhaps you can read the attached and answer from the filter of your experience.

            Best regards,


            1. re: Cathy2

              you have a very poor argument. samples are one bite at the sample table. which is fine, i am talking about food that you purchase from the food court. i think you missed that part.lunch should be eaten at the table that we provide in the food court. we have seen many people eating yakitori, tempura, sushi and even soup in the store area while on the phone and leaving there mess where ever they can put it. i see you don't think there's problem with that. we are trying not to be like a dominicks.

              1. re: WDC


                Frankly, as ill tempered as you seem to be, if you are really a representative of Mitsuwa, or should I say representative of Mitsuwa's corporate mindset, I am not anxious to shop at Mitsuwa in the future.

                Frankly, unless one is with out of town guests or children, who will enjoy the circus atmosphere of the various kiosks, food or otherwise, I see no reason to go to Mitsuwa when Tensuke is but a few miles South on Arlington Heights Rd.

                I, vastly, prefer the sushi and sashimi available at Tensuke to Mitsuwa.


                3 Arlington Heights Rd
                Elk Grove Village, IL 60007

                100 E. Algonquin Road,
                Arlington Hts., IL 60005

                1. re: G Wiv

                  why would you think i am ill tempered for wanting a clean store? we try to keep up with the mess that is left on the shelves, i think if you were shopping and seen the dirty plates that are left , you would agree that your lunch should be eaten in the food court. unless you are one of the people who does leave a mess and that is why you are upset and plan to shop at another store. i am sure tensuke will be happy to have you.

                  1. re: G Wiv

                    Gary, you're right to point out that there are alternatives for customers, but it's a little unfair to take this as an official statement from the company. This is just an employee, who's offering personal perspective (even if it's a perspective we may disagree with).

                    Cathy, you're right...if it were official store policy, the store would say/do something. They don't. So let's not get angry at the company for an employee's statement. I think it's pretty cool to get the employee's perspective (especially since there's no hyping or promo being done), it's an interesting facet of our forum that we can hear such views.

                    wdc, you're right, there's a cultural issue here. I learned quickly in Japan from all the dirty looks that eating while walking around is a faux pas. On the other hand, this is a whole other country.

                    Everyone, this is starting to stray beyond issues of chow and into issues of biz management, etc. Everyone's made their points, and it's only going to get angry from here on out. Let's move on, so we can keep it chowy, ok?

                    1. re: Jim Leff


                      I was careful to say, "if you are really a representative of Mitsuwa" But you're right, we are about to stray from Chowcentric conversation.

                      Thanks for the reminder.


                    2. re: G Wiv

                      I spent a little time in Japan recently and noticed people there do NOT eat while walking about. In very large food halls, the only place people were eating was the ice cream kiosk which had some seating.

                    3. re: WDC


                      It is your management's problem to straighten it out, if they want to. If they choose not to do something, then it is an employees job to grin and bear it. I doubt they would appreciate your post as all merchants want to encourage good will amongst all their customers. (By the way, I finish my meal in the food court and then go shopping. I buy less on a full stomach)

                      So what about the tofu vegetable salad? Would you grin and bear it or lecture the customer?


                    4. re: Cathy2

                      Interesting thread. As a Chowhound I crave an authentic dining experience. Generally, I include conforming to the host culture's norms... whether it's using chopsticks and eating family style in a Chinese restaurant, using a fork and spoon and wai-ing in a Thai restaurant or shouting "Opa" in greek joint (actually I'm not sure how authentic that is).

                      Personally, I would cringe if the table of Americans next to me in a traditional Japanese tea house were loud and raucous or otherwise violating the expected norms of the room. Regardless of whether the tea house was in NY, Chicago or Tokyo. (The same way I'd be embarrassed if one of my chinese friends started picking his teeth at the table of a French restaurant. Or a Spanish friend threw his trash on the floor of a bar here.)

                      Why should a grocery store be any different? It's their little bit of Japan in America. It's probably very tiring to constantly be in a foreign culture, I think they're entitled to a bit of safe cultural space. And why, if we enjoy visiting their cultural territory, should we spoil it by acting like ugly Americans?

                      Imagine if the shoe were on the other foot and you lived in a 'difficult' country like China, with crowds, noise and pollution, constant harranging and haggling, so you occasionally shopped at Walmart for a bit of comfort, i.e., familiar brands, fixed prices, non-counterfeit goods, decent customer service, and chinese locals came there to gawk at the American stuff and oh yeah, they forgot to check that nasty spit-on-the-floor habit at the door. You'd be upset. If you worked there you might say, "I know the pollution is bad and your lungs are clogged, and spitting on the street is a common and acceptable thing, but I appreciate it if you would either stop it or take your business elsewhere because it's grossing people out."

                      The poster who said management should address the issue misses a central point of Japanese culture... they would never do anything as 'crass' (in their eyes) as actually approach a customer and say please don't do that, anymore than a good American restaurant would ask someone to stop farting. You just expect that people understand common courtesy. Unfortunately, this particular courtesy is not common to both cultures.

                      Maybe management should say something, but as a Chowhound I try to make it my business to know enough about a culture not to offend people. And if I do step in it and someone is kind enough (or annoyed enough) to let me know, I don't go on the attack, I apologize and file it away for next time.

                2. Thanks for all the suggestions. I've passed Chowpatti often and wondered about it. In the end, I took the Mitsuwa suggestion and was not disappointed. The sushi was flash-fresh and very reasonably priced. I hope to have more opportunities to explore.

                  I was surprised to find ice cream, sold as "gelato" but somewhat lighter, surely a match for the Cold Stone product sold up the street, but without the gunk mixed in. The kids went for "soda" flavor, proclaimed delicious; red bean was good, also, and there were a variety of tea, nut and other flavors worth trying. Fans of the Village Creamery might consider a stop here.

                  Mitsuwa Market
                  100 E. Algonquin Rd.
                  Arlington Heights, IL 60005
                  Phone: 847-956-6699
                  Hours: 9-8, Mon-Sun

                  1. You may want to try Fausto's bakery for sandwiches. In a plaza on Evergreen just north of Sigwalt in downtown.

                    Decent Italian deli with good sandwiches. Let me know if you ever try their pizza.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: u.of.c. eddie

                      Interestingly, Fausto turned his bakery and restaurant over to a couple who tried to make it a restaurant with the bakery. Miserable! And now he's taken it back, it's closed for remodeling. He also had a bakery on NW Hwy in Mt. Prospect that I heard closed..

                      1. re: jan

                        Hmm... Very interesting. My wife and I tried to go there the other week and it was closed for remodeling.

                        Do you know how long the couple had it? Too bad, the bakery did some respectable bread.

                        1. re: u.of.c. eddie

                          I don't believe it was even a year. We went a few times for lunch, and every time it just got worse. The wife waited tables, the husband ran the kitchen and continuously blamed the 'help' for the terrible food. It was a shame because you couldn't beat the bread. Supposedly, Fausto took the place back and is reopening this week...