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Heartland Gathering Nosh-Stops


Fresser
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At the behest of Fat Guy, I've compiled brief write-ups of the places we invaded on our Niles Ethnic Food Tour. Pictures should be posted sometime tomorrow.

First stop was New York Bagels & Bialys, our initial gathering point. Driving up in the Fressermobile, I spied Fat Guy in himself, wielding a bagel no less. "Very authentic," Steve proclaimed after sampling our fine Midwestern wares. Naturally, I had to share his praise with the counter crew--"See that big nosher over there? He's a NYC food critic and he likes your bagels!" :laugh: This place also has a 24-hour store in Lincolnwood, just off the I-94 and Touhy Avenue exit. Remember it the next time you get the 2 A.M. munchies.

Next stop for the caravan was Uni-Mart One Stop, a large Filipino grocery and bakery. Fish-lovers will be in heaven here, as a large freezer case of fresh catches sits in the front of the store. They also bake lots of sweets on the premises. Most interesting was Uni-Mart's "Nurse's Station," kind of a break room for all the Filipino nurses who work at nearby hospitals.

Meat-lovers should converge on Schmeisser's Meat and Sausage, an old-school wurstmacher. They were kind enough to bring us into the kitchen where they hand-cut their meats and grind them fresh daily to make any one of a dozen different sausage recipes. "We can make custom sausages for any recipe," said the amiable chap who showed us around. "Big grocers like Costo can't do that--they're factories. We're a butcher shop," he emphasized. Schmeisser's seemed like the kind of place where employees stay for a long time, so I asked our host how long he had worked there. "Since age seven," he said and grinned. :rolleyes:

Whole Lotta Seoul

You'll forgive the pun--our next destination was less a grocery store than an entire ethnic mall. H Mart was a cornucopia of all things Korean: kind of a Koreacopia. A full-fledged Korean grocery sits surrounded by dozens of Korean merchants featuring everything from bookstores, beauty shops, banks and wire transfer services to shoemakers and massage therapists. Our gracious host Jin Oh and her associates showed our group to a private reception room where they screen subtitled Korean videos that explain their culinary traditions and cultures. Being somewhat prepared for the event, I greeted our hosts by saying Ahn Yong HaSeo, which is Korean for "Hello" and the extent of my Korean vocabulary. They're eyes LIT up and they greeted me in Korean as well--Koreans just love it when an American can speak even a bit of the mother tongue.

As we left, Jin gave each member of our group a goodie-bag with Korean teas and a luxurious bath-towel. If you're ever in their neighborhood, definitely call ahead and ask if they might be offering a tour. Here's a list of their stores nationwide: http://www.hmart.com/ourstore/ourstore_main.asp.

Our last stop before schepping to the communal kitchen was Himalayan Restaurant, an Indian and Nepali restaurant that serves a scrumptious lunch buffet. Though I'm not an expert on Indian food, I just loved the Mutter Paneer and fresh vegetable selection with coriander-based sauces. For only $8.95 per person, you enjoy fresh Indian buffet, naan bread and a comfortable atmosphere. That's a LOT for your money.

Thanks to everyone for such a wonderful, memorable time.

There are two sides to every story and one side to a Möbius band.

borschtbelt.blogspot.com

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I've compiled brief write-ups of the places we invaded on our Niles Ethnic Food Tour.  Pictures should be posted sometime tomorrow.

Fresser, wasn't there also a Middle-Eastern market and a Polish deli? We also had, I believe some Asian-inflected ice creams from the Village Creamery.

Looking forward to photos.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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I wish I'd known you were stopping at a NY bagel shop. I really really wanted to bring some back to the culinary wasteland in which I reside.

I had an Einstein bagel( not toasted, scooped) on Monday, but it just didnt cut it.

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I have a few pictures of the Ethnic Tour of Niles:

Impressive selection of seafood at Uni-Mart:

gallery_12922_6162_102353.jpg

gallery_12922_6162_63780.jpg

Prepared foods at Uni-Mart:

gallery_12922_6162_160059.jpg

Sausage making at Schmeisser's:

gallery_12922_6162_86018.jpg

The chicken we bought for the chicken-n-waffles course:

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The Leaning Tower of Niles :laugh:

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where we stopped for some yummy ice cream

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Lots of good stuff at Niles Polish Deli

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MMmmmm sausages

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flat bread at the Indian buffet

gallery_12922_6162_129294.jpg

galub jamun for dessert (not too sweet!)

gallery_12922_6162_3857.jpg

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I've compiled brief write-ups of the places we invaded on our Niles Ethnic Food Tour.  Pictures should be posted sometime tomorrow.

Fresser, wasn't there also a Middle-Eastern market and a Polish deli? We also had, I believe some Asian-inflected ice creams from the Village Creamery.

Looking forward to photos.

Steve,

I'll post some promo pictures from Pita Inn a wee bit later in the day. We made an impromptu stop there on the way to the Evanston kitchen.

I've eaten at Pita Inn since 1989 and the place has sprouted from one hole-in-the wall store to a group of three restaurants, bakery, grocery and furniture gallery. Many guys have worked at the restaurant for over 20 years--that's a tenure nearly unheard of in the restaurant business.

Edited by Fresser (log)

There are two sides to every story and one side to a Möbius band.

borschtbelt.blogspot.com

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Does anyone know where the Village Creamery is?  I'm headed to that area this weekend.

Village Creamery is at 8000 West Oakton (intersection of Oakton & Waukegan). Here's a review: http://www.pioneerlocal.com/oakton/1098505...1408-s1.article.

There are two sides to every story and one side to a Möbius band.

borschtbelt.blogspot.com

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Does anyone know where the Village Creamery is?  I'm headed to that area this weekend.

Does anyone know where the Village Creamery is?  I'm headed to that area this weekend.

Village Creamery is at 8000 West Oakton (intersection of Oakton & Waukegan). Here's a review: http://www.pioneerlocal.com/oakton/1098505...1408-s1.article.

Actually, there are 2 locations:

Village Creamery

4558 Oakton St

Skokie, IL 60076

(847) 982-1720

Village Creamery

8000 N Waukegan Rd

Niles, IL 60714

(847) 965-9805

Enjoy!

=R=

"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

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