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 South Chicago / Northwest Indiana trip May 18 week - Popolano's, Cunis Candies, Portillo's

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Buffalo Tarheel

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  • Location: Royalton, NY
South Chicago / Northwest Indiana trip May 18 week - Popolano's, Cunis Candies, Portillo's Wed, 05/20/09 9:09 PM (permalink)
This week I traveled to northwest Indiana on another business trip and as usual tried to make the best of the trip, Roadfood-wise.   Building on my great experiences meeting RF-ers in Connecticut, this time I arranged to meet Nocarolina (Bob) one evening.
 
We met Tuesday evening for a meal at Popolano's in Lansing, IL:
 

Popolano's Restaurant

(708) 474-0425
17940 Torrence Ave, Lansing, IL 60438
www.popolanosrestaurant.com


 

 
Unfortunately I did a horrible job with the pictures inside the restaurant and did not adjust to the dim lighting, so I have no good pictures of the food.
 
Bob and I met outside and recognized each other: it helped that he had a Roadfood hat (and I am wondering how I can get one soon).  We went inside for a meal.  I had asked him earlier about the fried chicken in this part of Chicago, and he recommended the chicken at Popolano's.  It did not disappoint.  Four large, meaty pieces appeared on the plate, each one with crispy skin and juicy meat.  The garlic mashed potatoes were quite good as well.  I highly recommend this place and will come back when I return.
 
For dessert we went to Cunis Candies, an old-fashioned ice cream parlor:
 

Cunis Candies Incorporated

(708) 596-2440 1030 E 162nd St, South Holland, IL 60473
 
Here are a couple of pictures of the inside.  Quite a charming place:
 

 

 
We each ordered a hot fudge sundae.  Here is a picture on mine with the whipped cream:
 

 
Sorry I did not have many pictures.  I am sure that Bob's turned out well and look forward to seeing them when he posts them.
 
The food at both places was great, but it was even better to visit with a fellow Roadfooder and spend some time discussing our trips to places.  Bob has certainly hit the ground running with his trips to other gatherings and has met many folks.  Whether we have met many or few people, and whether the meetings have been on-line or in person, we agree that the meetings have been great.  Everyone we have encountered from the RF site has been a blessing to be around.  I certainly enjoyed my time that evening and look forward to a future trip to Chicago to see other places.  Thanks to Nocarolina for taking time out to visit with me.
 
Tonight (Wednesday) I stopped at Portillo's in Merrillville, IN, just across the street from my hotel.  Commiting the cardinal RF sin, I forgot to bring my camera along.  I ordered the regular beef hot dog, fries, and an Italian beef sandwich (dry - with a minimum of extra juice).  All were very good.  The hot dog was not grilled like the ones I eat at home, but it was still very good.  The Italian beef sandwich had very good flavor and was very moist even without a lot of extra juice.  The roll was fresh and did not overpower the meat.  Not the same as a beef on weck but very good.  That's the beauty of different regional ways of making food: they can vary and still both be good.  I will definitely return to Portillo's (with a camera next time, lest I be drummed out of Roadfood).  My only problem is that I could eat only half of the hot dog and half of the sandwich - I have some serious training to do before the September Buffalo / Rochester meet-up.

 
#1
    ayersian

    Re:South Chicago / Northwest Indiana trip May 18 week - Popolano's, Cunis Candies, Portill Thu, 05/21/09 3:22 PM (permalink)
    Rob, I'm glad you got to meet Nocarolina AND have an Italian Beef!  My first Italian Beef resulted in an out-of-body experience.  And don't worry about the pictures -- sometimes the lighting conditions for food photos just don't work out in our favor.  The RF caps are from the annual meetings, and Bob got his from the New Orleans trip.  Maybe they'll have some made again for the Buffalo trip?  Nice job, man!    Chris
     
    #2
      carolina bob

      • Total Posts: 3420
      • Joined: 1/1/2005
      • Location: Chicagoland
      Re:South Chicago / Northwest Indiana trip May 18 week - Popolano's, Cunis Candies, Portill Thu, 05/21/09 4:24 PM (permalink)
      Rob, I really enjoyed meeting you the other evening and hope to see you again on the Buffalo/Rochester bus tour in September ( hey Chris, we've gotta get Rob a Roadfood hat... do they ever show up on eBay? ) I did get a couple of good photos of the chicken and sides at Popolano's, but I still don't have a clue as to how to post photos on this site and it's making me crazy; if someone doesn't show me how to do this soon, I'm gonna burst a blood vessel!! Anyway, Rob, I'm glad that you enjoyed the food, especially since Popo's and Cunis are among the five places that we're hitting in August on my South Suburban Roadfood tour ( date to be announced soon. ) 
       
      #3
        ayersian

        Re:South Chicago / Northwest Indiana trip May 18 week - Popolano's, Cunis Candies, Portill Thu, 05/21/09 5:20 PM (permalink)
        nocarolina

        I did get a couple of good photos of the chicken and sides at Popolano's, but I still don't have a clue as to how to post photos on this site and it's making me crazy; if someone doesn't show me how to do this soon, I'm gonna burst a blood vessel!!

        Bob, you're an RF Insider so it's easy. Do you have some pictures saved on your computer?  If so:
        1. click on Insider on the top menu of the RF home page
        2. scroll down to the bottom and find Upload Photos
        3. type in the title for the photo (something like "popolano 1") into the Tag Line box
        4. click Browse, find desired photo on your computer, then click Open
        5. click Add Photo (and wait 20-30 seconds, depending on your Internet connection)
        6. look for the message: File uploaded successfully on the web server to appear underneath the Add Photo button
        7. if so, click on the link under said button that reads: You can view all your photos here
        8. this takes you to Roadfood Forum Photo Upload
        9. highlight the Forum Code to desired picture with your cursor then copy it (it's the web address that's bookended by [img] and [/img] -- this should start with http and end with .jpg)
        10. back in the Forums, when you're ready to insert a photo, click on Insert Image (the little button with the sun and mountains) or press CTRL+G
        11. paste the code that you copied in #9 above into the Enter Image URL box (remember, this should start with http and end with .jpg)
        12. click the Insert Image button, and you're all set!
        Whew, that looks complicated after typing it, but it's really easy once you get going.  Let me know if you have any problems!    Chris
         
        #4
          Buffalo Tarheel

          • Total Posts: 492
          • Joined: 3/1/2008
          • Location: Royalton, NY
          Re:South Chicago / Northwest Indiana trip May 18 week - Popolano's, Cunis Candies, Portill Thu, 05/21/09 7:08 PM (permalink)
          Chris and Bob,
           
          Thanks for your comments.  The visit with Bob really was a great time, and the Italian beef sandwich from Portillo's was very good.  The next time I am in Chicago I need to set aside more time to hit some of the other outstanding places.
           
          Chris,
           
          Thanks for the information about attaching pictures.  I have been using Photobucket, but I can use the other process now that I became an insider recently. 
           
          PS - Elizabeth saw your note about her chicken wrap and was glad to see it.  Maybe she will set up her own RF account and start posting.
           
          #5
            Buffalo Tarheel

            • Total Posts: 492
            • Joined: 3/1/2008
            • Location: Royalton, NY
            Re:South Chicago / Northwest Indiana trip May 18 week - Popolano's, Cunis Candies, Portill Thu, 05/21/09 8:05 PM (permalink)
            One more stop and a set of pictures.
             
            Tonight I headed over to a hotel near Midway Airport to stay overnight before flying home in the morning.  After a long week, I don't usually have the energy to go looking for food, but neither do I want to order the overpriced room service for the nearby Friday's.  I had read of a good hot dog place nearby and decided to give it a try:
             
            Windy City Hot Dogs Inc 4205 W 63rd St
            (between Keeler Ave & Tripp Ave)
            Chicago, IL 60629
            (773) 581-0332
            Windy City is very close to Midway on 63rd Street.  Here are a couple of exterior shots:
             

             

             
            Not being very hungry, I ordered only a hot dog and fries (I took it back to the hotel to eat).  What a deal!  It was less than $3.00 total.  Granted, the dog was not huge, but the meal was filling.  The dog was good and the fries, although not homemade, were still crisp and tasty.  The service was very friendly.  It is a small place with a counter and room for maybe a dozen people.
             
            Here is the food shot.  I have not taken the leap of eating a hot dog with the Chicago-style toppings, but one day I will:
             

             
            I would definitely return to Windy City Hot Dogs.
             
            #6
              carolina bob

              • Total Posts: 3420
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              • Location: Chicagoland
              Re:South Chicago / Northwest Indiana trip May 18 week - Popolano's, Cunis Candies, Portill Thu, 05/21/09 9:32 PM (permalink)

              <message edited by nocarolina on Thu, 05/21/09 11:04 PM>
               
              #7
                ayersian

                Re:South Chicago / Northwest Indiana trip May 18 week - Popolano's, Cunis Candies, Portill Thu, 05/21/09 9:51 PM (permalink)
                Hey Bob, your first picture looks great!  Keep it up!  Chris
                 
                #8
                  Buffalo Tarheel

                  • Total Posts: 492
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                  • Location: Royalton, NY
                  Re:South Chicago / Northwest Indiana trip May 18 week - Popolano's, Cunis Candies, Portill Thu, 05/21/09 9:57 PM (permalink)
                  Chris, you are right that Bob's picture is very good.  I can't wait to see the pictures of the fried chicken because I know they will be better than my unpublished and blurry ones.  Nice job of explaining how to post photographs. 
                   
                  #9
                    carolina bob

                    • Total Posts: 3420
                    • Joined: 1/1/2005
                    • Location: Chicagoland
                    Re:South Chicago / Northwest Indiana trip May 18 week - Popolano's, Cunis Candies, Portill Thu, 05/21/09 10:29 PM (permalink)
                    Chris, thanks so much for making the "impossible" possible. At least it seemed impossible for a borderline computer illiterate like me. My first posted photo looks really good... now I've got to see if I can do it again with my photo of the fried chicken. 
                    <message edited by nocarolina on Thu, 05/21/09 10:41 PM>
                     
                    #10
                      carolina bob

                      • Total Posts: 3420
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                      Re:South Chicago / Northwest Indiana trip May 18 week - Popolano's, Cunis Candies, Portill Thu, 05/21/09 11:09 PM (permalink)
                      Well folks, I just managed to accidently delete both the photos that I had posted ( I don't know whether to laugh or cry... cry probably. ) Once I'm through throwing my computer against the wall in a fit of rage, I'll try to repost those two pics ( stop laughing at me, Chris!! ) 
                      <message edited by nocarolina on Thu, 05/21/09 11:11 PM>
                       
                      #11
                        carolina bob

                        • Total Posts: 3420
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                        Re:South Chicago / Northwest Indiana trip May 18 week - Popolano's, Cunis Candies, Portill Thu, 05/21/09 11:33 PM (permalink)
                        Popolano's delicious fried chicken...
                         
                        #12
                          carolina bob

                          • Total Posts: 3420
                          • Joined: 1/1/2005
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                          Re:South Chicago / Northwest Indiana trip May 18 week - Popolano's, Cunis Candies, Portill Thu, 05/21/09 11:42 PM (permalink)
                          ...Popo's creamy chicken and dumpling soup ( available every day ) ...
                           
                          #13
                            carolina bob

                            • Total Posts: 3420
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                            Re:South Chicago / Northwest Indiana trip May 18 week - Popolano's, Cunis Candies, Portill Thu, 05/21/09 11:47 PM (permalink)
                            ...and Popo's cole slaw and french fries.
                             
                            #14
                              carolina bob

                              • Total Posts: 3420
                              • Joined: 1/1/2005
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                              Re:South Chicago / Northwest Indiana trip May 18 week - Popolano's, Cunis Candies, Portill Fri, 05/22/09 12:12 AM (permalink)

                              Cunis Candies and Ice Cream in South Holland IL. They've been in business since the 1930s.
                               
                              #15
                                carolina bob

                                • Total Posts: 3420
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                                Re:South Chicago / Northwest Indiana trip May 18 week - Popolano's, Cunis Candies, Portill Fri, 05/22/09 12:21 AM (permalink)
                                My chocolate sundae ( both the ice cream and the topping are made on-site. )
                                 
                                #16
                                  carolina bob

                                  • Total Posts: 3420
                                  • Joined: 1/1/2005
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                                  Re:South Chicago / Northwest Indiana trip May 18 week - Popolano's, Cunis Candies, Portill Fri, 05/22/09 8:02 AM (permalink)
                                  I just tried to post another Cunis photo, but I've found that I'm "stuck" on delete; I can't click on to paste. Anyone out there know how to undo this?
                                   
                                  #17
                                    buffetbuster

                                    Re:South Chicago / Northwest Indiana trip May 18 week - Popolano's, Cunis Candies, Portill Fri, 05/22/09 8:22 AM (permalink)
                                    Way to go nocarolina!

                                    BT-
                                    Really nice photos and it is nice to see what these places look like.  I really have enjoyed the reports you have done so far and am looking forward to more. What is a francheezy? 
                                     
                                    #18
                                      Buffalo Tarheel

                                      • Total Posts: 492
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                                      • Location: Royalton, NY
                                      Re:South Chicago / Northwest Indiana trip May 18 week - Popolano's, Cunis Candies, Portill Fri, 05/22/09 8:36 AM (permalink)
                                      Nocarolina,
                                       
                                      Great job of posting pictures of the food; they are certainly better than the blurry ones I have.  One day I will get the hang of it.
                                       
                                      Buffetbuster,
                                       
                                      Good question about the francheezy.  It is a terrible thing to admit, but I have no idea what it is.  After I took the picture, I didn't think to study the menu. I would imagine that it is a kind of cheese hot dog, but I will need to find out next time.  Now I have a goal for the next Chicago trip (along with visiting some other places).   Thanks for the encouraging words.  I need to do my best to capture what I find on an upcoming Kansas trip (Wichita).
                                       
                                      #19
                                        buffetbuster

                                        Re:South Chicago / Northwest Indiana trip May 18 week - Popolano's, Cunis Candies, Portill Fri, 05/22/09 8:48 AM (permalink)
                                        BT-
                                        No worries about the francheezy.  I saw it on the sign and it made me wonder.  Your guess about the cheese hot dog is probably correct.

                                        Looking forward to the Kansas report, since I love the Sunflower state!
                                         
                                        #20
                                          Nancypalooza

                                          • Total Posts: 3778
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                                          Re:South Chicago / Northwest Indiana trip May 18 week - Popolano's, Cunis Candies, Portill Fri, 05/22/09 9:20 AM (permalink)
                                          Nice job Bob--that is some lovely looking chicken.
                                           
                                          #21
                                            ScreamingChicken

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                                            Re:South Chicago / Northwest Indiana trip May 18 week - Popolano's, Cunis Candies, Portill Fri, 05/22/09 9:44 AM (permalink)
                                            Buffalo Tarheel


                                            Here is the food shot.  I have not taken the leap of eating a hot dog with the Chicago-style toppings, but one day I will:
                                             




                                            That's exactly how I like my Vienna Beef dogs: mustard and nothing else.  Although I order them with extra pickle so that I'll get 2 spears, and I eat them on the side.  Looks like the bun is missing the poppy seeds, though.  Or did you pick them all off and eat them before reaching for the camera? 
                                             
                                            Nocarolina, is Poplano's chicken deep-fried? 
                                             
                                            Brad
                                            <message edited by Brad_Olson on Fri, 05/22/09 9:49 AM>
                                             
                                            #22
                                              BuddyRoadhouse

                                              • Total Posts: 4086
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                                              Re:South Chicago / Northwest Indiana trip May 18 week - Popolano's, Cunis Candies, Portill Fri, 05/22/09 2:23 PM (permalink)
                                              Buffalo Tarheel
                                              Buffetbuster,
                                               
                                              Good question about the francheezy.  It is a terrible thing to admit, but I have no idea what it is.  After I took the picture, I didn't think to study the menu. I would imagine that it is a kind of cheese hot dog, but I will need to find out next time.
                                              The Francheezy (sometimes spelled Francheesy) is a lesser known Chicago specialty.  A grilled Hot Dog, split lenghtwise, stuffed with cheese, wrapped in bacon, and then regrilled to cook the bacon and melt the cheese.  They were a popular menu item at area coffee shops and family restaurants when I was a kid.  You don't see them offered as much anymore.

                                              Buddy
                                               
                                              #23
                                                buffetbuster

                                                Re:South Chicago / Northwest Indiana trip May 18 week - Popolano's, Cunis Candies, Portill Fri, 05/22/09 2:26 PM (permalink)
                                                BuddyRoadhouse


                                                A grilled Hot Dog, split lenghtwise, stuffed with cheese, wrapped in bacon, and then regrilled to cook the bacon and melt the cheese. 

                                                Buddy
                                                So what you are saying is that it is health food?


                                                 
                                                #24
                                                  MiamiDon

                                                  Re:South Chicago / Northwest Indiana trip May 18 week - Popolano's, Cunis Candies, Portill Fri, 05/22/09 2:29 PM (permalink)
                                                  nocarolina


                                                  I just tried to post another Cunis photo, but I've found that I'm "stuck" on delete; I can't click on to paste. Anyone out there know how to undo this?


                                                  nocarolina:
                                                   
                                                  I'm not sure what you mean, but you don't have to use the "Insert Image" function.  Just paste the [img]...[\img] string where you want it in your message.  I just highlight the text, push [CTRL+INSERT], then switch to the message that I am composing, place the cursor where desired, and type [SHIFT+INSERT].  It's faster for me.  YMMV.
                                                  <message edited by MiamiDon on Fri, 05/22/09 2:32 PM>
                                                   
                                                  #25
                                                    carolina bob

                                                    • Total Posts: 3420
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                                                    Re:South Chicago / Northwest Indiana trip May 18 week - Popolano's, Cunis Candies, Portill Fri, 05/22/09 3:28 PM (permalink)
                                                    MiamiDon, thanks for the information, but I'm afraid it didn't work. The fact that I'm pathetically ignorant of a lot of PC terminology and functions probably has a lot to do with it. At this rate, it looks like my first five posted photos may also be my last.
                                                    <message edited by nocarolina on Fri, 05/22/09 7:39 PM>
                                                     
                                                    #26
                                                      Buffalo Tarheel

                                                      • Total Posts: 492
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                                                      Re:South Chicago / Northwest Indiana trip May 18 week - Popolano's, Cunis Candies, Portill Fri, 05/22/09 3:50 PM (permalink)
                                                      BuddyRoadhouse


                                                      The Francheezy (sometimes spelled Francheesy) is a lesser known Chicago specialty.  A grilled Hot Dog, split lenghtwise, stuffed with cheese, wrapped in bacon, and then regrilled to cook the bacon and melt the cheese.  They were a popular menu item at area coffee shops and family restaurants when I was a kid.  You don't see them offered as much anymore.

                                                      Buddy


                                                      Buddy,

                                                      Thanks for that information.  It sounds very good (and probably not healthy).  Next trip I will have to try one.
                                                       
                                                      #27
                                                        Buffalo Tarheel

                                                        • Total Posts: 492
                                                        • Joined: 3/1/2008
                                                        • Location: Royalton, NY
                                                        Re:South Chicago / Northwest Indiana trip May 18 week - Popolano's, Cunis Candies, Portill Fri, 05/22/09 3:52 PM (permalink)
                                                        Brad_Olson


                                                        That's exactly how I like my Vienna Beef dogs: mustard and nothing else.  Although I order them with extra pickle so that I'll get 2 spears, and I eat them on the side.  Looks like the bun is missing the poppy seeds, though.  Or did you pick them all off and eat them before reaching for the camera? 
                                                         
                                                        Nocarolina, is Poplano's chicken deep-fried? 
                                                         
                                                        Brad


                                                        Brad,


                                                        Those buns did not have poppy seeds for some reason.  That is strange because the one I had at Portillo's the other night did have the seeds.
                                                         
                                                        #28
                                                          BuddyRoadhouse

                                                          • Total Posts: 4086
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                                                          Re:South Chicago / Northwest Indiana trip May 18 week - Popolano's, Cunis Candies, Portill Fri, 05/22/09 4:52 PM (permalink)
                                                          buffetbuster


                                                          BuddyRoadhouse


                                                          A grilled Hot Dog, split lenghtwise, stuffed with cheese, wrapped in bacon, and then regrilled to cook the bacon and melt the cheese. 

                                                          Buddy
                                                          So what you are saying is that it is health food?
                                                          Only if you're already dying of some incurable disease.

                                                          Still, that's never stopped a true Roadfooder, has it?

                                                          Buddy


                                                           
                                                          #29
                                                            carolina bob

                                                            • Total Posts: 3420
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                                                            Re:South Chicago / Northwest Indiana trip May 18 week - Popolano's, Cunis Candies, Portill Fri, 05/22/09 7:16 PM (permalink)

                                                            Here's Buffalo Tarheel ( Rob ) in front of Cunis.
                                                             
                                                            #30
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