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Pete and Will's Big Adventure (Long)

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YourPalWill Feb 1, 2004 11:41 PM

This past Saturday morning, under the guise of scouting out Soul Food Places to cater some items for a charity soul food dinner we are participating in next weekend, PDaane and I set out for the South and West side of Chicago to discover two highly recommended but rarely sampled soul food places.

Now, all said, Pete ate me under the table. But, I must admit that I was in the early throes of my first cold/flu thing of the winter. Thus my appetite, appeared to have been duly affected as I did end up on the couch sleeping it off all night at 5 pm.

Our first stop was an unknown introduced to us, in theory only, by the mysterious and usually dead on RST. Johnson's Family Soul Food is a rather non-descript yet clean place located on Ashland Avenue near the intersection of 82nd Street,

Pete and I ordered two entrees and then a bevy of vegetables and sides. The smothered chicken was fork tender and moist, but somewhat bland. The smothered porkchops were excellent, tenderly and flavorfully braised in their own gravy (I noted that it was too smooth to have been homemade, but good none the less). The sides ranged from exquisite (wonderful sticky candied sweet potatoes)to average (mac and cheese that could have used a bit more cheese to bulk up its egg custard base) to less than average (canned green beans doctored up with tomato). Pete really liked the greens here (mustard). I thought they could have used a more potent pork infusion. I really liked the blackeyed peas mashed into a stew which Pete didn't care for.

Johnson's offers a varying list of 10-13 entrees and 15-20 vegetables daily. The average price of a meal with two sides is around $6.50. Each day, you can count on fried chickenb and pork chopss being available. Chicken and Dumplings is available on Tuesday and Sunday. There is also a breakfast menu and sandwiuch menu available.

Johnson's deserves some greater attention and I intend to give it some over the next few weeks.

Johnson's Family Soul Food
8233 S. Ashland
773-488-5700

Therafter we proceeded to the west side despite one failed attempt to find the name and location of a beef jerky place that Pete knows of in or near Bridgeport.

Our second stop was O.T's soul food just west of Cicero on Division. Again, I was introduced to this place by RST who discovered it in his research of Honey One Barbeque.

At O.T.'s, Pete, at my recommendation ordered the smothered sirloin steak with its bacony fatty gravy. For some reason, when the food arrived. Pete was served Salisbury Steak with gravy that was very tasty and a hefty serving. Pete's steak was served with pintos and greens. Peter preferred the Pintos at OT's to the black eyed peas at Johnsons. I agree with him. Otis, the owner/chef of O.T.'s does a fantastic job with his pintos.

I ordered fried chicken. After being served my Pinto's and beans first, our waitress announced that my chicken was "just about ready to come out of the grease." How could you not love a place where they make such a statement? To my surprise, I received six good sized wings-crispy, well spiced and flavorful. a side bottle of Louisiana hot sauce made a nice accompaniment.

In my opinion, O.T's greens (collard) are among the best that I have eaten.

A couple of notes on O.T.'s. I have stopped in there a couple of times after seven to pick up dinner. My advice is to avoid the steam table nad ask O.T. to cook something fresh for you. The food on the steam table, cooked early in the day, sometimes suffers from the damage inflicted by being on the steam table all
day.

O.T.'s Soul Food Place and Catering
4817 W. Division
773-378-3555

Upon departing O.T's, I decided that we couldn't visit the neighborhood without visiting the recently discovered Honey One Barbeque.

We were in and out pretty quickly. Me, with a small order of tips. Pete, with a large order of tips. My excuse- the flu was starting to kick in hard here.

The more I try Honey One's sauce, the more I like it. But, that doesn't mitgate the fact that this sauce is just too overpowering considering how good the meat is at this place. So, I must recommend ordering one's Honey One ribs sauceless.

In my opinion, H1 does some of the best tips in Chicago. Smokey, fatty and delicious. If it needs a sauce at all, I prefer to take the tips home and whip up a quick simple Lexington (NC) style vinegar and pepper sauce that highlights the quality of this excellent slow cooked pork rather than covering it with the spicy sweet sauce they make in house.

Honey One Barbeque
Division One Block east of Laramie

OK, so now the cold/flu is kicking hard. But, I'm due at the Original Nottoli & Son Sausage Shop to pick up for a sandwich for a party that night. We stop by. I pick up my pre-ordered Italian three footer (Salami, Mortadella, Cotto, Cappicola and Provolone). The place has some excellent looking sausage, homemade sauce and nice arancini that look interesting. This place deserves some more attention. The woner seems like he really wants you to like his store. That, in and of itself, makes me want to go back.They serve hot meatball sauage and italian sausage subs Tuesday through Friday that seem like an interesting lunch option for anyone on the northwwest side.

The Original Nottoli and Son Sausage Shop
7652 West Belmont
773-589-1010

So, as were waiting for the party sub at Nottoli, I mention the Will Special Sammie and homemamde giardinara at Riviera Italian Foods which is nearby at Belmont and Harlem. It become our next unplanned stop.

Unfortunately, on the way out the door, I mention to Pete that I remember seeing a coal oven bakery on Bemont in the area and begin waxing poetic about the incredible coal oven pies at Lombardi's in Manhattan.

So,we decide to check the Bakery across the street from Nottoli to see if it is the owner of the Coal Oven of Legend. It wasn't. As a matter of fact, we had a hard time stirring up any counter help there until Pete opened the door to the attached commercial bakery which seemed to bring the owner running to the front counter.

I'm remiss in not having noted the name of this place. So, I'll just refer to it as the bakery across the street from Nottoli. The botom line: good crusty italian bread excellent italian butter and meringue cookies, nice looking cakes. Pete picked up a box of cookies which we sampled on the way to the Riv.

As we rounded the corner from West Belmont to Harlem, we nearly missed the turn into the parking lot for Riviera Fine Italian Foods.

As we approached the bread bin, there were but two pillowy ciabatta left (the correct bread for the Will special sammie). I grabbed them both and started giving construction orders (hot capicola, sopressata, prosciutto salami, prosciutto ham. fresh mozzarella and hot giardinera).

We got a special treat as the older counter man was there and he chose to share some of their homemasde soppresata with us. I was so impressed that I bought one to take home with me. Our sandwiches ran five bucks a piece. That's as much as I have ever spent on a sandwich at the Riv and worth every penny (though I didn't get to sample mine until Sunday.

Riviera Fine Italian Foods
Harlem Avenue just North of Belmont.

By this time, I'm full, the cold is kicking in and I'm dead tired. So, we head back south where I drop Pete off at his place and then head home where my short nap turns into an all nighter. I point out the Penguin to Pete on our way down Lawrence, but don't stop out of sheer misery at this point

Anyone knopw where I can get rid of a three foot italian sub?

All in all, it was enjoyable day with yet another interesting and entertaining Chowhound.

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    Ed Fisher RE: YourPalWill Feb 2, 2004 12:24 AM

    A friend and I sampled Honey One's wares recently and were also pretty impressed. The tips were far better than the ribs, and I think a tips and links combo is a wonderful choice when you're there.

    I really do like the sauce, tho I think it complements the links better than the tips. I grew up, in oak park, with robinson's sauce, and prefer honey's to it.

    -ed

    11 Replies
    1. re: Ed Fisher
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      G Wiv RE: Ed Fisher Feb 2, 2004 01:15 AM

      Ed,

      I agree, Honey One has quite good BBQ and Mr. Adams seems quite dedicated to traditional methods and quality.

      Here's a picture of spare ribs and tips on the smoker at Honey One, not bad looking BBQ. (smile)

      Enjoy,
      Gary

      Honey One BBQ Spare Ribs and Tips on the Smoker

      Image: http://www.sptsb.com/HoneyOneSmoker.jpg

      1. re: G Wiv
        v
        Vital Information RE: G Wiv Feb 2, 2004 11:23 AM

        Great picture, and I can surely see why no sauce would be needed. While not quite a real taste, I do feel like I can get an idea of what the stuff is like from that pic.

        Rob

        Link: http://vitalinformation.blogspot.com

        1. re: G Wiv
          r
          RST RE: G Wiv Feb 2, 2004 06:11 PM

          Gary's picture shows a little bit of that "thin blue smoke" that defines the technique at Honey One BBQ. "Thin blue smoke" is the way BBQ enthusiasts describe what happens during very very slow BBQing, at very low temperatures. On my earliest visits a couple of weeks ago, I was a bit mystified by the seemingly inactive "aquarium smoker": a couple of ribs passively sitting on the grill without any sign of heat or fire. I still have a vivid impression of Robert Adams Sr laughing at me, opening the glass door and telling me to "listen". "Do you hear the meat?" (As a matter of fact, the meat was crackling away gently and slowly.) He then put his hands in and waved a little bit, stirring up some of the "thin blue smoke". Honey One BBQ smokes both ribs and tips for way over 2 hours. This is one of the longest regimen in the entire city. Lem's, I think, is about one hour, but the style is completely different. Another BBQ owner proudly boasted about how he could get his BBQ done in 20 minutes. The result was not impressive at all.

          I have reams of notes on Honey One that I will add to this thread slowly. For now, I would like to copy and paste the set of tasting notes I wrote on my first visit. The notes have notably been very consistent over the course of 4 different visits. I made a few corrections to minor errors of fact:

          Found an extraordinary BBQ on the westside tonight. 7 months old. All wood: no charcoal, no briquettes (I looked in the pit). Red oak mostly, then hickory and some apple (on subseq visits, Robert Adams added they also use cherry). Very slow BBQing temperature. Trace of smoke-ring "pink" on mini-tips I ordered. Perfectly pull-apart-tender meat that is not mushy. Subtle sweet smoke flavor, and it's unmistakeably smoke. And it's gently persistent: I could savor the smoke on the palate long afterwards on the bus. Beautiful "crusting" of meat (but no "burns") from radiant heat, with all the delightful "char" nuances that implies. Homemade sauce that is slightly viscous with honey. Owner has never run a storefront before but has been doing BBQ "catering" for 30 years. He's from Arkansas (he's 54), the wife's from Mississippi (the sauce recipe is hers) and the young son Robert Jr (25 yrs old) mans the front counter and is learning the art. Robert Sr. is originally a southsider and says that there is no essential difference between southside and westside styles EXCEPT that the westside has always been known in the black community to have the better BBQ. He says that years ago, a certain Dave's (located on Harrison) was famous for pork sandwiches (i.e. pulled pork sandwiches). He will soon also be BBQing pork shoulder to make "pork sandwiches". He quietly says that Coleman's is widely considered the best on the westside but that his BBQ is better. Very family-oriented kind of family: hard-working, middle-class etc. No pretensions, lots of kindness, lots of pride in their work.

          End of tasting note.

          Richard

        2. re: Ed Fisher
          s
          Sarah RE: Ed Fisher Feb 2, 2004 12:40 PM

          Showing my Q ignorance here, but what exactly are tips?? Well, whatever they are, I want some!

          1. re: Sarah
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            YourPalWill RE: Sarah Feb 2, 2004 01:30 PM

            Sarah, the tips are the meat encased cartilege from the inside of the rib slabs. If you loo at Gary's picture below, on the far right is a slab or ribs, just to the right are tow nice slabs of tips.

            Unlike the ribs, they are sliced between the cartilege before serving. Very tender and flavorful.

            1. re: YourPalWill
              s
              Sarah RE: YourPalWill Feb 2, 2004 01:46 PM

              So it's the meaty strip above and across the bones...thanks!

              1. re: Sarah
                s
                Sandy RE: Sarah Feb 3, 2004 06:03 AM

                Sarah

                I'm the one from SC who didn't know what rib tips were, since we don't trim spare ribs at all. What they turn out to be is simply the "brisket" section of the pig, including the sternum. If the pig is standing, it's the section of the ribs closest to the ground. It's connectied to the rest of the ribs mainly by cartilage, and is what is trimmed off to produce a St. Louis cut of ribs.

                1. re: Sandy
                  r
                  RST RE: Sandy Feb 3, 2004 09:17 AM

                  Hi Sandy,
                  I'm glad that you saw this. I was wondering how to get hold of you to alert you. I argued earlier that Chicago BBQ can only be understood in the context of packing houses and Chicago former role as Hog Butcher of the World. It is not whole hog BBQ but a BBQ of parts. A very thoroughly urban expression.

                  If there are any long important discussions of BBQ on your board that I absolutely must read, I would really appreciate it if you could alert me at opplicario (at) aol.com.

                  Thanks,
                  Richard
                  (Heading out for another impromptu BBQ foray)

            2. re: Sarah
              r
              RST RE: Sarah Feb 2, 2004 03:07 PM

              Hey Sarah,
              On another thread, I tried my best to explain (to Sandy, a fellow hound from S Carolina who was unfamiliar with the terminology) what rib tips are. The whole discussion started on the post I am linking to below. The actual attempt to describe rib tips is a few posts after this one linked. I was writing that in such a hurry that I didn't have time to polish or proof or clarify, and reading it again now, I realized how confusing (and in fact contradictory) some of my terms were. So here goes again. Another attempt.

              The urls for those 2 posts mentioned are here in case the links "break" in the future:
              http://chowhound.com/midwest/boards/c...

              On this post, I wrote a bit about the status of rib tips as one of the most popular and important streetfood forms of Chicago. I mentioned that tips are generally discarded as "waste" in other parts of the country and thought a bit about its striking presence on our streetfood scene.

              http://chowhound.com/midwest/boards/c...

              On this post, I took a stab at defining rib tips.

              I started by pointing out the wonderful illustrations on these following webpages, which you might consider reading first before continuing with the rest of my post:

              http://www.virtualweberbullet.com/rib...

              http://www.virtualweberbullet.com/rib...

              http://www.ribman.com/abtribs.html

              On this last webpage, you will find an anatomical drawing showing a pig and its ribs: both the front ribs (called spareribs) and the back ribs. You will find the rib tips area pointed out. (Note the alternate name of "brisket bone", used elsewhere in the country, but not in Chicago.) This corresponds to a strip in human beings (put your hand on your chest) extending a few inches to each side from the central breast bone (called sternum).

              On the first weberbullet page, you will see a similar anatomical drawing (figure 1). The sternum (like our chest bone) is highlighted in green. The purple part is the part of the front (spare) ribs. The picture next to that (figures 2) shows a "rib cage cross section". Photo 1 shows a whole untrimmed rib or actually 2 untrimmed ribs (more on "trimming" below). The lower rib in the picture shows a kind of triangular peak: this is the sternum or breast bone. Scroll down some more and look at figure 3 which has a simple line drawing of ribs. The tips would be the part on the bottom in this case.

              Remember that a strip of "tips" includes the sternum at one end and cartilage bones at the other. You will know what cartilage bones are once you eat around them: they're white, slightly slippery and a delight to suck and pick on with the teeth.

              On the second weberbullet page, you will find a picture alongside the section called "Trimming the slab St Louis style".

              You will see here that the entire slab of spareribs (front ribs) has been trimmed (separated into 2 parts), yielding the ribs itself and a long irregular vaguely sinuous form (the tips).

              Look at Gary's picture of Honey One BBQ now, and you will see the ribs on your extreme left (look for the rib bones). All the long sinuous irregular forms to the right are tips.

              Ribs are "trimmed" to yield the so-called St Louis cut. How the St Louis cut became the important form is beyond me at this point. I speculated on those earlier posts that it might be a (pork) industry attempt to standardize the shape and the recommended cooking techniques or even the aesthetics of ribs. What is important to remember here is that the trimmed off part (the tips) was once considered "waste" but have been retrieved for streetfood glory in the Chicago BBQ scene.

              On the previous post, I suggested that there might be ways for a BBQ house to trim the ribs so as to yield a better (i.e. more lucrative) balance of ribs versus tips.

              But this is incorrect.

              Robert Adams of Honey One demonstrated the trimming process to us one afternoon (and Gary has pictures of this). He takes the entire slab, feels for a loose cartilage at the end of the slab (the end away from the sternum), cuts through the meat around this part to start dividing the slab in 2, and simply "follows the line" through meat and bone with his knife in one clean sweep. There is no calculation at all (nor is there really a point to calculating) of where the line should fall.

              Chicago BBQ shacks generally buy entire slabs in whole boxes and do the trimming themselves. But since tips are more popular (and cheaper!) than ribs, a shack goes through far more tips than ribs per day and needs to buy separate cases of tips-only to supplement.

              One shack's ribs may be far far meatier than the next one depending on the number of ribs per standard case of ribs selected. (Standard box is 30 lbs I think.) Robert Adams for instance uses a company that packs 30 ribs per box. Another brand might yield 35-36-37 ribs.

              As you can see from Gary's picture, all tips are irregularly shaped. This is one reason (among many) why there is no science to BBQ. Some tips are more sinuous, or less sinuous. Some are long, some are shorter. Some are thicker in certain places, some have it the other way around.

              A "strip" of tips always includes the sternum at one end, and a flat (thin) tapering end at the other. This "pointy" end generally dries out (or becomes burnt) way before the other parts are done.

              The Chicago standard is to include the chopped up part of this "burnt end" as part of an order.

              In all innocence, without knowing the way things are done in town (and I will post later on Mr. Adams' story separately later), Robert Adams chops up this tougher, dried-out part and throws them away!!!

              Gary has a picture of a wastebasket full of these ends!!!

              To my chagrin, both Joel and Gary asked him to put these ends back on the orders bec there are a lot of people out there who like this burnt part!!! Here is a man who is doing something purely, correctly (at his financial loss) for once and they had to ask him to pander to the "way it's done". Harrump! Evil, corrupting forces etc etc ;0) We talked with Robert Adams quite a bit about the marketing of "burnt ends" at Arthur Bryant's (see Aaron Deacon's post on previous thread) and also about the possibility of "saving" these dried-out crunchier/tougher parts to use in baked beans (instead of throwing them away!
              )
              Robert Adams offers one of the most generous portions of tips around town. After the tapered ends are cut off (and he showed us how he "listens" with his cleaver for the crunchy sound to determine where to chop), he chops up the rest of the "strip" into approx inch-wide pieces. Again the motion is natural and clean and even and does not follow any form in the "strip" itself (cutting through the sternum in the same way).

              An order of minitips at Honey One is a half a strip chopped up. A "small" order is a whole "strip" (such as one of those in Gary's pic). A "large" here is 1 1/2 strip. An extra large is 2 whole strips of tips.

              Again, I emphasize that these are a most generous helping/portioning size and one may nor may not get the same elsewhere. For comparison's sake, I am listing the prices of Honey One's tips here:

              Mini $4
              Small $7.75
              Large $9
              XL $12

              Ribs
              Full $14.50
              Half $8.50

              Links
              Large $7.75
              Small $5.75

              Tips and Links combo: $4.5 mini, $7.75 small, $9.75 large. No XL.

              Ribs, tips and links are the grand trilogy of Chicago BBQ, although I personally think that links are not as important in the overall picture. On another post on the same thread, I called ribs and tips the Don Quixote and Sancho Panza of Chicago streetfood forms.

              For the record, since we are trying to explain rib tips and define it for those who may be reading this from other parts of the country, let me add that a standard order (of tip, ribs or links) is served in a low-sided cardboard container of the appropriate size. A helping of fries is first put in. Then the meat (BBQ) on top. Then sauce is slathered. From experience, sauce is ALWAYS poured over each order in Chicago. In our BBQ forays, we have had to be very extremely careful always to ask to have the sauce served on the side. It is my conviction (contra many other opinions) that this is the only true way to eat BBQ: having the sauce on the side, so as to savor the purity of the carefully-BBQd meat. On top of the mound of meat and fries, 2 slices of Wonder-Bread-type white bread (I see a lot of Country Style brand around town) finish off the order. The soft, pillowy, comforting, bland bread actually serves as a great palate cleanser and balance to the richness of the rest of the order.

              Richard

              Link: http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

              1. re: RST
                s
                Sarah RE: RST Feb 2, 2004 07:04 PM

                Whew, that was intense. Thanks again. Now I'm ready for my orals!

                1. re: Sarah
                  r
                  RST RE: Sarah Feb 2, 2004 07:06 PM

                  LOL. Go eat!

          2. c
            CAthy2 RE: YourPalWill Feb 2, 2004 12:30 AM

            "Anyone know where I can get rid of a three foot italian sub?"

            Sounds like an impromptu office party. (Or maybe a shelter could benefit -- why not Peter's favorite charity?)

            I love these meandering chowtours. Begin with one idea. As you pass you begin to recall posts and places in Chicago you need to "just check out." Can you imagine if you two had a fully loaded PDA with all the Chow ideas in it? If Marco Polo had had one, he would be too distracted to ever return home!

            Look forward to checking out your collective food choices next week.

            Hope you feel better.

            Best regards,
            Cathy2

            1. g
              G Wiv RE: YourPalWill Feb 2, 2004 01:06 AM

              Will,

              You and Peter are ChowGods, what an afternoon!

              I've talked to the 'older' man at Riviera before, though he has never even hinted at homemade soppresata. I am going to have to put on my schmoozing hat next time I go to the Riv and see if I can score some soppresata.

              RST, Rene, Joel and I stopped at Johnson's Soul Food one cold windy BBQ exploration day a few weeks ago. Mrs. Johnson was incredibly friendly and, from what you describe, and the few items we tried, we were in BBQ mode, I can't wait to go back.

              Rene talked with Mrs. Johnson about setting up a Chowhound dinner, she seemed quite enthused.

              I took a picture of Mrs. Johnson making her delicious corn cakes, she serves them with a little butter and honey. Man, could I go for one right about now.

              RST and I also stopped in OT's, though I only ordered a cup of coffee. I have a great picture of OT behind the counter, though I seem to have misplaced the picture at the moment.

              Enjoy,
              Gary

              Mrs. Johnson of Johnson's Soul Food

              Image: http://www.sptsb.com/JohnstonsSoulFoo...

              1. d
                dickson d RE: YourPalWill Feb 2, 2004 06:46 AM

                Clarification please: Peter did this last Saturday, in the morning, immediately after attending the Thai Avenue dinner? Peter, you are setting a standard that is hard to match.

                Can you share what you ate Saturday night and Sunday? I stand in awe and envy particularly because my Saturday fare consisted primarily of gloppy chicken rice soup, grey prime rib, duchess "potatoes" with the flavor and consistency of - words escape me, just imagine you start with instant mashed potatoes, and then leave them in the oven for three weeks to get a nice brown exterior. And I will not even mention the wine selections. It was for a very good cause, but maybe I can help plan the menu next time. Of course, this delight was catered and hosted by the west suburban pipefitters union (I kid you not), so it could have been worse (wait, now I know what the potatoes really were!).

                Sorry for the digression.

                d

                1 Reply
                1. re: dickson d
                  r
                  RST RE: dickson d Feb 2, 2004 09:20 AM

                  Wait a minute! You have to remember that after the long 22-course banquet at Dragon King, Peter was the only one to complain ;0) that there was not enough food (!!!)

                  Will,
                  I think that it was actually ReneG who "discovered" Mrs. Johnson (the cook, not the space). Her restaurant is currently in the location of an old (now-long-gone) BBQ house. This was one of the stops we made while systematically trying to verify all the addresses on ReneG's "list of 100" one by one. But they also kindly allowed us to use the bathroom, which we desperately needed on that freezing winter afternoon (we had just been eating and analyzing another BBQ at a parking lot). While I was in the bathroom, Rene and Joel started chatting with Mrs. Johnson, probing her about her cooking. We ended up spending a wonderful half hour here, hearing her stories, sampling her corn cakes (which I know of as Johnnycakes), watching her assistant Yvonne (another wonderful lady) clean and destem (or de-rib) greens meticulously leaf by leaf in preparation for the pot. Of special note is the fact that Mrs. Johnson's family comes from Arkansas. Earlier that day, we had spent nearly 2 hours interviewing Robert Adams of Honey One BBQ and had found out that he is orginally from Maryanna (sp? Marianna?) Arkansas. Apparently Mrs. Johnson came from not far from Maryanna. And Marianna itself is according to Joel not too far away from Memphis, TN itself. Is this a key piece in the jigsaw puzzle to understanding the roots of Chicago BBQ?

                  Re: Nottoli and the "bakery" across the street = Mazzeo's

                  I believe the bakery is Mazzeo's whose bread is well-represented in all the far-west side Italian supermarkets. They have wonderful things here and I would rate their pane pugliese (and pane pugliese is the great Italian bread form of Chicago!!!) among the very very best in the city. One just wishes that they used a wood/coal oven!

                  Also on Belmont (just e of Harlem) is Casa Nostra. Generally not as good as Mazzeo's for breads, but there are a couple of very nice biscotti-like things here. Also pan pizza (hmmmm). Casa Nostra is less than a block away from Riviera and Bar Nazionale.
                  (Also tiny Polish deli across from Casa Nostra with
                  delicious little things.)

                  Also not very far is Joseph's Food Market which I think should be on your chow-map as well. It's on Irving Park about 1 blk e of Cumberland. I posted a long message last October on the homewinemaking equipments and the crates of (wine) grapes sold here. They make a fantastic focaccia which is available at the butcher counter at the back.

                  ************

                  While we talking of the area of Honey One and OT's (about 3-4 blocks apart), I might as well list down the place ReneG mentioned on the old BBQ thread where one could find sorghum syrup. I have the business card in front of me. Here's the address:

                  M & C Fish Market
                  Live Catfish, Buffalo, Silver Bass, Perch
                  5622 W. Division St
                  (773) 921-5444

                  My bottle of sorghum syrup (use as you would molasses etc: over pancakes etc) has the ff info on the label:

                  Sandy Bottom
                  Sorghum
                  Made from Sorghum Cane Juice
                  Packed by S.K. Farms
                  DeKalb, MS

                  Richard

                2. p
                  pdaane RE: YourPalWill Feb 2, 2004 01:50 PM

                  Will,

                  I just want to clear up a few things from your post and answer a few questions from the other posters. I did not “eat Will under the table.” Although I like Will a whole bunch, I would never eat him or any other guy under the table.

                  I did manage to eat a bit more than Will on Saturday, but I attribute it to my healthy practice of getting up at the crack of 10:30 on Saturdays to work out at the gym. It was member appreciation brunch at the gym and I was already eating that when Will called. Goodness, I hope my Nutritionist chooses this post to read!! Just remember this is all in the vein of a good cause.

                  But, yes, I was slowed a bit by the effects of the Thai Avenue dinner the evening before. I started the day off with an orange, four ibuprofen, one Hydroxycut and two Herbal cleanse supplements. After a short workout, I had some fruit and yogurt and some egg white frittata and about three turkey links with coffee. I was hungry by the time we hit Johnson’s.

                  I thought Johnson’s an all ‘round better meal, though as Will and I discussed, it had more to do with the style of cooking. I think Will said I eat soul food like a honky (or was it cracker?), which means I like my black eyed peas with a bit of texture. We discussed a few P.C. terms to use with referring to the different styles, but decided that for our purposes that day our terminology would remain simply black and white, with shades of gravy.

                  Both places deserve more attention. Although, I would like to make it clear, other than the greens and johnney cakes, we really did not compare apples to apples. I thought the greens better at Johnson’s simply better because I like a bitter counterpoint to the sweet and rich foods, as for eating greens on their own, I would choose O.T.’s. Also, I don’t really care for cornbread served in Johnny cake fashion, unless it is hot and fresh, which is the only reason to cook them thin. We were at the tail end of the lunch hour, but cold JC’s at Johnson’s just didn’t do it for me. O.T.’s was piping hot. And yes, I love it when a place is not embarrassed (or even with a bit of pride) to say that your food is going to be coming to you hot from the grease!!

                  For those keeping track at home, that is brunch and two lunches so far.

                  The name of the jerky place is:

                  Metropolis Beef Jerky
                  9250 S. Kedzie
                  Evergreen Park
                  (708) 425-5149

                  We were not all that close, but I do plan to hit them someday. This was a board rec BTW. Honey One is great, the smokey flavor is deep in the tips. Makes for re-heating quite well….more on that later.

                  As Will said, we picked up the 3 footer sub next. I noticed they had petite arancini on the menu board, but none in the case. I usually like this Italian comfort food, but I wouldn’t mind having some around that are not as big as a softball. That gets put on the list.

                  My post on the Will special Sammie appear’s on Ponzu’s Riv thread below, but since it is short, I’ll just copy here, rather than link:

                  YourPalWill and I took a quick tour of the Southside on Saturday to scope out a few Soul Food places. On our way back north beclause we were so close we hit a few Eye-Talian joints including the Riv, where I was introduced to the Will special sammie.

                  I was in pain from having eaten so much, but I just had to have a few bites on the way home. D-lish. We were also treated to some of the owner’s homemade sopressetta, which was pretty dang good, even if I couldn't eat another bite. Let's just say Will walked out with a sammie and a link of the soppie. If we don't hear from him for a few days, now you'll know why. This is a must stop for Eye-talian sammies.

                  While we contemplated a few stops on the way back from the Riv, it was really just loose talk brought on by the effects of a food-induced coma setting in. When I got home, I was putting away the cookies trying my best to stay in the ratio of one for me and two for the pantry. I thought it best to clean up the rough edges of the sandwich, so only about half was eaten and about a third of the rib tips.

                  Sunday started with a fruit smoothie, followed by the rest of the sandwich. I had the rest of the tips on the way to watch the game and a bowl of gumbo while watching. Net gain from Friday morning (weigh in at nutritionist) to Monday morning, only two pounds. I can work that off with about two extra hours at the gym. It was an excellent adventure, thanks for doing the driving pal.

                  …I think just a small salad for lunch today.

                  pd

                  p.s. If you want to join us at St. Leonard’s for the soul food charity event, please email me from the list serve.

                  1. l
                    laurajanine RE: YourPalWill Feb 2, 2004 06:35 PM

                    Certainly, Johnson's provides the yummy snacks, but if you're in the area, your belly will thank you if you head a block and or so south to Morrison's (8312 s. ashland)--holy bananas, their food is delicious. You can spend a three hour lunch feeling like you're a guest in a friend's home. just thinking about it makes me hungry.

                    best,

                    -ljm

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