A Roadfood Tour of Chicago's South Suburbs

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carolina bob
Filet Mignon
2009/02/25 21:36:07
To all roadfooders in the Chicago area and beyond....
At the suggestion of our friend BuddyRoadhouse, I am organizing a day-long tour of several restaurants in the south suburban region of Chicago. At this time I have a tentative list of five places that I've been to, where I feel that the food is worthy of roadfooders' attention. The five are: Popolano's ( fried chicken ), Simply Slices ( thin-crust pizza ), Nick's Barbeque ( ribs ), the Country House ( burgers ), and Cunis Candies ( ice cream. ) This list is, of course, not carved in stone; I'm open to suggestions from potential attendees who know the area ( maybe we can even squeeze in a sixth stop; Portillo's does a dynamite italian beef. ) As to a date, I'm thinking of possibly sometime in mid to late August. So whaddaya think, folks? Feedback please.....                                  Bob
MilwFoodlovers
Filet Mignon
Re:A Roadfood Tour of Chicago's South Suburbs 2009/02/25 22:43:44
That's quite a bit away but for now I'm in.
BuddyRoadhouse
Filet Mignon
Re:A Roadfood Tour of Chicago's South Suburbs 2009/02/25 23:16:13
I'll need to pace myself so I don't explode before we hit the fourth stop, but it all looks good to me.  Time of the year should be good too.  You'll probably need to refresh this thread as we near the actual tour date.

Buddy
stricken_detective
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:A Roadfood Tour of Chicago's South Suburbs 2009/02/25 23:16:26
You're kidding about Portillo's, right? (Although their cake has ruined me for all other chocolate cakes, EVER)
BuddyRoadhouse
Filet Mignon
Re:A Roadfood Tour of Chicago's South Suburbs 2009/02/25 23:19:26
Kidding or not, I don't think I'd be able to stand up after fried chicken, pizza, Barbecue, burgers, and dessert.  Portillo's (or any other place for that matter) would be one Roadfood stop too far...

Buddy
carolina bob
Filet Mignon
Re:A Roadfood Tour of Chicago's South Suburbs 2009/02/25 23:33:32
Okay, okay, I can take a hint! You're right; forget Portillo's. Five places is enough. Aimee, what's wrong with Portillo's? Did you have a bad experience there? 
buffetbuster
Porterhouse
Re:A Roadfood Tour of Chicago's South Suburbs 2009/02/26 07:02:04
nocarolina,
I can't give you a definitive yes until a date is named.  But no hurry on that.  You know I will do my best to be there.

You really are jumping in both feet first.....you deserve credit!!!
ChiTownDiner
Filet Mignon
Re:A Roadfood Tour of Chicago's South Suburbs 2009/02/28 07:42:03
This sounds pretty good...nice job nocarolina!  I would do my best to amke it once we lock in on dates!

Which Country House we trying?
carolina bob
Filet Mignon
Re:A Roadfood Tour of Chicago's South Suburbs 2009/02/28 10:27:07
CTD, glad to have you aboard. The date for this thing is really up in the air, since I'm going to try to accomodate everyone's schedule ( I'm assuming a Saturday works best for folks - feedback needed. ) The only one of the three Country House locations that I've been to is the original in Clarenden Hills, so that's the intended "target". 
BuddyRoadhouse
Filet Mignon
Re:A Roadfood Tour of Chicago's South Suburbs 2009/02/28 15:07:42
Sundays are the best day for me, but if given enough notice, I can make a Saturday work.  Are all these places open on Sunday?

Buddy
carolina bob
Filet Mignon
Re:A Roadfood Tour of Chicago's South Suburbs 2009/02/28 15:27:13
Buddy, I'm afraid Sundays are out. Cunis Candies is closed that day, and since old-fashioned ice cream parlors are among Buffetbuster's favorite places, that stop is a must. I'll make sure everyone has plenty of advance notice on the date ( at least four weeks. ) Actually, I can't set a date until I've had feedback from everybody involved, plus we're talking about something over five months away, so discussing dates might be a bit premature right now. Like I said, though, I'll eventually need feedback from all potential attendees to come up with a day that works for everyone. 
carolina bob
Filet Mignon
Re:A Roadfood Tour of Chicago's South Suburbs 2009/03/02 23:41:42
buffetbuster
Porterhouse
Re:A Roadfood Tour of Chicago's South Suburbs 2009/03/03 07:15:15
nocarolina-
Although I would love to visit Cunis Candies, there is no guarantee that I will be able to attend the Meet-n-greet.  If you need to switch it to a Sunday so that more people can make it, don't let me stand in the way.  If I do get out to Chicago, you and I could go on Saturday.
BTB
Cheeseburger
Re:A Roadfood Tour of Chicago's South Suburbs 2009/03/03 10:00:31
Not to say that Cunis' ice cream and candy isn't very good (it is and I remember them very well from Chicago's South Shore area near where I earlier lived), but there are -- in my personal estimation only -- two slightly better specialty ice cream and rich chocolate candy shops in the south suburbs, in which I lived in for over 30 years of my life.  The old fashioned ice cream and candy shops often are not open on Sundays in the winter, but probably will be in the summer.  (The chains like Coldstone, which are pushing the old ones out of business unfortunately, are open on Sundays normally.)  And Mitchell's in Homewood (formerly from 71st St. on Chicago's south side) I remember as always being open on a Sunday and they are great, too.  Mitchell's is one of the best places to get homemade milk chocolate chip ice cream anywhere in the world.  But my personal favorite has been the Greek Grandfather PappaGeorge's famous ice cream at Gayety's on Ridge Rd. in Lansing, IL (http://www.gayetys.com/history.html).
 
Gayety's Chocolates and Ice Cream Co.
Gayety's
3306 Ridge Rd., Lansing, IL
800-491-0755
 
http://chicago.metromix.com/restaurants/ice_cream_frozen_yogurt/gayetys-chocolates-and-ice-lansing/147794/content
 
http://www.squidoo.com/60438/gayetysinlansingil
 
http://www.judysbook.com/cities/lansing-il/Food-and-Dining/21299/p1/t1/Gayety_s_Chocolates___Ice_Cream.htm
 
 
 
Mitchell's Candies & Ice Cream
18211 Dixie Hwy
Homewood, IL 60430-2205
Phone: (708) 799-3835

http://chicago.citysearch.com/profile/3568970/homewood_il/mitchell_s_candies_ice_cream.html

carolina bob
Filet Mignon
Re:A Roadfood Tour of Chicago's South Suburbs 2009/03/03 10:51:10
Although I have long been familiar with Mitchell's in Homewood, I have never actually been in there; with Cunis so close, I never felt the need to try it. I have been to Gayety, but I didn't care for it at all. Cunis has been "my" ice cream shop for almost forty-five years, and I can't imagine any other place being as good, let alone being better.
carolina bob
Filet Mignon
Re:A Roadfood Tour of Chicago's South Suburbs 2009/03/03 11:01:00
Another fact about Cunis Candies: thanks to South Holland's antiquated and , IMO, unconstitutional "blue laws", Cunis is always closed on Sunday. The owners couldn't open on Sunday if they wanted to. Even the big Jewel/Osco supermarket and all but one or two gas stations are closed on Sunday. Why the US Supreme Court hasn't done something about this nonsense, I'll never understand.                  
BTB
Cheeseburger
Re:A Roadfood Tour of Chicago's South Suburbs 2009/03/03 14:30:56
My friends and family all prefer Gayety's over Cunis' but different likes and dislikes are what makes the world go around, right?.  I just got an email back from Gayety's customer service and they are open on Sundays all the time from noon till 9 p.m.  They are the best in my book.        --BTB

X1
Double Cheeseburger
Re:A Roadfood Tour of Chicago's South Suburbs 2009/03/24 21:42:07
As far as I know, I can make this.
I'll know better when the actual date is set.
stricken_detective
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:A Roadfood Tour of Chicago's South Suburbs 2009/03/25 13:26:03
nocarolina

Okay, okay, I can take a hint! You're right; forget Portillo's. Five places is enough. Aimee, what's wrong with Portillo's? Did you have a bad experience there? 


I didn't have a bad experience there, but I would rather have beefs @ a mom & pop type of establishment & save Portillos for their awesome orgasmic toe-curling chocolate cake.
carolina bob
Filet Mignon
Re:A Roadfood Tour of Chicago's South Suburbs 2009/03/25 14:40:48
Aimee, I had that chocolate cake recently, and while I didn't find it "orgasmic", it sure was some damn good cake. And Christin, I'm very glad to hear that you'll probably be joining us. BTW, thanks for the Nawlins hotel recommendation; I've got my rez made and I'm getting ready to hit the road next week.  
irisarbor
Double Cheeseburger
Re:A Roadfood Tour of Chicago's South Suburbs 2009/04/02 19:19:47
It all sounds good to me- pretty far off yet, but good
carolina bob
Filet Mignon
Re:A Roadfood Tour of Chicago's South Suburbs 2009/04/24 09:09:06
I'd like to have a rough idea of how many people will be part of the South Suburban meet n' eat, so if you're planning on attending or even seriously considering it, please give a yell and let me know. Thanks.
buffetbuster
Porterhouse
Re:A Roadfood Tour of Chicago's South Suburbs 2009/04/24 09:56:26
NC-
I am going to try my best, but no promises.  I will know more once a date is set.
BuddyRoadhouse
Filet Mignon
Re:A Roadfood Tour of Chicago's South Suburbs 2009/04/24 12:49:24
Barring any major family commitments (and I won't know until we firm up a date), you can count on two Roadhouses to attend.

Just a note on choosing the date: August 14th & 15th are the primary days of this year's Milwaukee Irish Fest, which Mrs. Roadhouse and I usually attend.  Not a deal killer mind you, but if we can avoid that weekend it would be just fine.

Buddy
stricken_detective
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:A Roadfood Tour of Chicago's South Suburbs 2009/04/24 19:03:32
Yeah, I can't make a committment until I know the date.
Benzee
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:A Roadfood Tour of Chicago's South Suburbs 2009/05/06 19:01:23

Hello all ,

Although I won't be able to make it to the Windy City I do have fond memories of ther South Side . Back in 95 and 96 we marched in the St. Pats Day Parade . The south side was the best , can't even tell you some of the places we hit but   the time spent was great , the people great , the food and drinks , you guessed it great . 

Benzee 
abe_froeman
Double Cheeseburger
Re:A Roadfood Tour of Chicago's South Suburbs 2009/05/07 11:52:18
August is pretty clear for me.  I usually do the Ginza Fest the second weekend in August (the 7th-9th), but I'm flexible about going Saturday or Sunday. 

And of course, any Roadfooders who want to go to Ginza Fest with me are more than welcome- the BEST teriyaki chicken ever, fabulous udon and Pocky as far as the eye can see.  As well as cultural exhibits, information about Buddhism (no, they won't try to recruit you or anything) and really cool Taiko, Kendo and Japanese folk dancing performances.
carolina bob
Filet Mignon
Re:A Roadfood Tour of Chicago's South Suburbs 2009/06/04 14:59:08
Since photos of Popolano's and Cunis were posted on another thread ( Buffalo Tarheel's South Chicago/Northwest Indiana trip report ), I thought I'd post a few pictures of the other three places that will be on this tour. Here's the Country House in Clarendon Hills...
carolina bob
Filet Mignon
Re:A Roadfood Tour of Chicago's South Suburbs 2009/06/04 15:05:23
... and here is their delicious Country Burger. It's a half-pound of quality ground beef, charbroiled just the way you like it. I get mine medium rare on the very good dark bread. The steak fries and cole slaw are great too.
carolina bob
Filet Mignon
Re:A Roadfood Tour of Chicago's South Suburbs 2009/06/04 15:28:36
Simply Slices in Crestwood.
post edited by nocarolina - 2009/06/04 16:20:49
carolina bob
Filet Mignon
Re:A Roadfood Tour of Chicago's South Suburbs 2009/06/04 15:32:21
carolina bob
Filet Mignon
Re:A Roadfood Tour of Chicago's South Suburbs 2009/06/04 15:44:16
Both whole pizzas and slices are available at Simply Slices. The crust is one of the best thin-style ones I've found; thin and crispy and not the least bit droopy. The toppings are tasty and plentiful. 
carolina bob
Filet Mignon
Re:A Roadfood Tour of Chicago's South Suburbs 2009/06/04 15:52:10
Nick's Barbecue in Palos Heights ( they have four other locations. ) My photo of the restaurant itself didn't turn out.
post edited by nocarolina - 2009/06/24 13:02:13
carolina bob
Filet Mignon
Re:A Roadfood Tour of Chicago's South Suburbs 2009/06/04 16:00:57
The ribs at Nick's are prepared in an oven rather than being pit-cooked, but that doesn't keep them from being among my favorites. They are amazingly lean, fall-off-the-bone tender and delicious. Nick's private-label BBQ sauce is great, and the sides are very good too.
carolina bob
Filet Mignon
Re:A Roadfood Tour of Chicago's South Suburbs 2009/06/04 16:09:06
I'm happy to say that I finally have a firm date for the South Suburban Chicago tour, and I hope it works for everyone. I've selected Saturday, August 22nd for the event, but it can be changed if it causes problems for y'all. It does have to be a Saturday, though, as Cunis is closed on Sunday. I'd appreciate feedback from all you potential attendees regarding this date as soon as possible.
post edited by nocarolina - 2009/06/24 13:03:22
Jim2903
Cheeseburger
Re:A Roadfood Tour of Chicago's South Suburbs 2009/06/04 16:48:35
I was born and raised in the Sout' Suburbs, and I would assert that Popolano's is out of the woods, being in Porter County, Ind., as its Web site notes. Never heard of it myself until just now. If you're looking for fried chicken, try White Fence Farm -- far southwest suburbs, but at least in the state. Dell Rhea's would be pushing the upper limits.

Speaking of which: While the Country House offers a fine burger, I don't consider Clarendon Hills a South Suburb -- it's a western suburb.

And I've never tried Simply Slices, but I would think Aurelio's and Palermo's would be more appropriate choices as representative of the south 'burbs. Alas, Vito & Nick's is just inside in the city limits and doesn't qualify, though it was my family's pizza of choice during my formative years.

Nick's is a good choice -- I ate there often while working down the street at the Reporter/Regional News ...

Just my thoughts as a native south suburbanite now exiled to Hoffman Estates ;)
post edited by Jim2903 - 2009/06/04 16:49:42
carolina bob
Filet Mignon
Re:A Roadfood Tour of Chicago's South Suburbs 2009/06/04 17:16:26
The Popolano's in Indiana is not the one on the tour; we'll be going to the one here in Lansing, just down the street from me. You're right about Clarendon Hills not being a southern suburb, of course, but I'm including it because I feel that roadfooders should know about the Country House and its great burgers. I have never cared for the pizza at Aurelio's, and I've never even heard of the other place that you mentioned. Besides, the purpose of this Roadfood tour is not to visit "familiar" places; it's to give roadfooders a chance to experience five virtually unknown eateries that I feel do not deserve their current state of obscurity. After all, one of the reasons that Roadfood.com exists is to inform people of all the still-undiscovered places with great food that are out there.
myterry2
Double Cheeseburger
Re:A Roadfood Tour of Chicago's South Suburbs 2009/06/04 17:28:11
My wife and I are probably in for this one...need to zero in on the dates and keep posted.
BuddyRoadhouse
Filet Mignon
Re:A Roadfood Tour of Chicago's South Suburbs 2009/06/04 19:22:06
Sounds like a good day is planned.  The Roadhouses will be there on the 22nd.

Buddy
carolina bob
Filet Mignon
Re:A Roadfood Tour of Chicago's South Suburbs 2009/06/07 20:59:56
Hello? Hello? Is anybody out there? Hellooooo....      Come on, folks, I need feedback on the date I selected.  
abe_froeman
Double Cheeseburger
Re:A Roadfood Tour of Chicago's South Suburbs 2009/06/08 05:06:21
22nd's good for me and Mr. Maki.

Don't fret, nocarolina- my date's in two week's and I'm just getting stuff worked out now.  Off to that thread....
ChuckL50
Hamburger
Re:A Roadfood Tour of Chicago's South Suburbs 2009/06/08 20:03:28
I'm in.
Sounds like a great line-up to me, Bob.
stricken_detective
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:A Roadfood Tour of Chicago's South Suburbs 2009/06/09 18:17:51
I'm in so far, let me see who else wants to come.
X1
Double Cheeseburger
Re:A Roadfood Tour of Chicago's South Suburbs 2009/06/12 08:13:06
As far as I know, I'm in, as well.

abe_froeman
Double Cheeseburger
Re:A Roadfood Tour of Chicago's South Suburbs 2009/06/23 10:38:27
Hey, nocarolina, can you repost the itinerary for the trip, in order, at least names and cities they're located in, again?  stricken & co. and I were thinking of doing a girls night on Friday (so the Wisconsin ladies wouldn't have to get up at the crack of dawn to get down to the south suburbs on Saturday) and getting a hotel room- I just want to start looking at our options for that. 

Thanks!
carolina bob
Filet Mignon
Re:A Roadfood Tour of Chicago's South Suburbs 2009/06/24 12:37:26
Can and will do, Abe. We'll be meeting up in the parking lot of Popolano's here in Lansing at 10:30 AM. It's easy to find; about a mile south of I-80 on Torrence Ave. From there we'll head west to Simply Slices for pizza at 142nd & Cicero in Crestwood. Next comes Nick's Barbecue, my favorite area rib place, at 127th & Harlem in Palos Heights. After that, we'll travel northwest to Clarendon Hills for burgers at the Country House on 55th Street. Assuming that we've all survived the caloric overload up to this point, it's back to Popolano's for dinner; I strongly recommend the fried chicken, but steer clear of the spaghetti n' meatballs ( bad news! ) Finally, it's over to nearby South Holland for ice cream at Cunis Candies on 162nd St. just west of I-94. I hope that everyone enjoys the food at these five places; they all put a big smile on my face ( and that ain't easy to do!! ) BTW, the interchange of I-80 and Torrence here in Lansing is surrounded by several chain motels ( Red Roof Inn, Days Inn, and a couple of others ); staying at one of these would put you within five minutes of Popolano's. 
post edited by nocarolina - 2009/06/24 12:42:21
Re:A Roadfood Tour of Chicago's South Suburbs 2009/06/24 12:51:27
I doubt I'll be able to make it.  6+ hours traveling time will make it a long day, and I'll probably need the weekend to get ready for a road trip I'm taking the following Wednesday.

Now if it was a tour of Harvard or Marengo it'd be a different story!

Brad
post edited by Brad_Olson - 2009/06/24 12:54:05
carolina bob
Filet Mignon
Re:A Roadfood Tour of Chicago's South Suburbs 2009/06/24 12:59:56
No problem, Brad. I'll just use my extra large-size teleportation device to "relocate" those five places to Marengo. See you there in August!    ;~)   
post edited by nocarolina - 2009/06/24 17:10:35
carolina bob
Filet Mignon
Re:A Roadfood Tour of Chicago's South Suburbs 2009/07/10 15:39:35
Anybody else planning to attend? I'm making a list ( and checking it twice, gonna find out who's naughty or... oops, wrong list!! )                   
post edited by nocarolina - 2009/07/10 16:05:23
quijote
Double Cheeseburger
Re:A Roadfood Tour of Chicago's South Suburbs 2009/07/11 23:13:56
nocarolina

Anybody else planning to attend? I'm making a list ( and checking it twice, gonna find out who's naughty or... oops, wrong list!! )                   


Hi Bob, I'm pretty darned sure I can go. The only contingency is that a friend of mine is moving to Connecticut in mid/late August, and I might travel with him and the U-Haul. But barring that, I'm good to go. I'll let you know for sure in early August, if that's okay!
 
John
 
 
carolina bob
Filet Mignon
Re:A Roadfood Tour of Chicago's South Suburbs 2009/07/12 09:23:55
No problem, John. Hope you can make it.
MilwFoodlovers
Filet Mignon
Re:A Roadfood Tour of Chicago's South Suburbs 2009/07/12 12:15:28
Looks like Mrs MFL and I won't be able to make it. We have a wedding that weekend.
MilwFoodlovers
Filet Mignon
Re:A Roadfood Tour of Chicago's South Suburbs 2009/07/12 18:42:56
One of my favorite hamburgers in Wisconsin, which of course is then one of my favorite hamburgers anywhere, is from Kroll's West directly across from Lambeau Field in Green Bay. Many's the day of the annual Bears spanking which had begun with a butter cheeseburger at Kroll's. http://www.krollswest.com/ Lo and behold I found that the Kroll's family sent an angel of mercy to bring this scrumptious repast to poor Chicago http://www.krolls-chicago.com/default.aspx I'm wondering if any flatlanders (a term of endearment previously unknown to me, taught to me by Buddy Roadhouse) had tried one of these? It looks like a pretty nice place. Located at 18th and Michigan, you could almost walk there from Soldier's Field when Aaron Rodgers and company pay a visit. 


carolina bob
Filet Mignon
Re:A Roadfood Tour of Chicago's South Suburbs 2009/07/12 19:38:01
MFL, sorry to hear that you and the missus won't be joining us next month, but I'm glad to learn about Kroll's Chicago location ( I'm always on the lookout for a good burger. ) Thanks for the info.
MilwFoodlovers
Filet Mignon
Re:A Roadfood Tour of Chicago's South Suburbs 2009/07/12 20:17:42
NC, as good as the real charcoal grilled hamburger is, Kroll's West fame is equally brought on by its unique Sheboygan-style light crispy buttered roll. I'm wondering if that is possible to duplicate in Chicago? Now I'll grant Chicago has some bakeries who turn out breads unseen in Milwaukee for decades but if Krolls Chicago doesn't have them shipped in from Wisconsin, the end product will not be the same.
BuddyRoadhouse
Filet Mignon
Re:A Roadfood Tour of Chicago's South Suburbs 2009/07/12 22:30:24
Directly across from Lambeau Field and walking distance from Soldier (note the lack of a possessive "s") Field???  Sounds like Kroll's is trying to play both sides of the fence.

Haven't been, hope to try it out sometime.  Maybe I'll wear my Kansas City Chief's T-shirt and pi$$ off everybody!  Damn hotel computer--it's programmed so I can't even type ....!

Buddy
ChuckL50
Hamburger
Re:A Roadfood Tour of Chicago's South Suburbs 2009/07/18 08:53:08
I'm afraid I'm going to have to back out of this trip. Got a phone call from my daughter. Apparently hell has indeed frozen over and she and her long time SO have decided to get married that weekend. I'll be in Vegas.
abe_froeman
Double Cheeseburger
Re:A Roadfood Tour of Chicago's South Suburbs 2009/07/18 10:50:15
Wow, that's a good reason, Chuck!  Congrats!
quijote
Double Cheeseburger
Re:A Roadfood Tour of Chicago's South Suburbs 2009/08/11 16:38:54

Hi Bob-- Unfortunately, it looks like I won't be able to attend this one. There's a still a small chance my friend will have movers do the dirty work for him, but at this point, I'm the designated barge-toter and bale-lifter. If things change I'll let you know....

John

Big Ugly Mich
Double Chili Cheeseburger
Re:A Roadfood Tour of Chicago's South Suburbs 2009/08/11 16:42:37
Can't do a Saturday. Have fun without me and Big Beautiful Mich.
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