Chicago Day Trips - Vol IV

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ChiTownDiner
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2009/02/08 17:10:16 (permalink)

Chicago Day Trips - Vol IV

With 4 new Chicago restaurants listed and no real references or pictures, we decided to enjoy or 60 degree Chicago day and head into the city for some exploring.
 
First up...Uncle Johnny's Grocery....
 

Located in the Bridgeport neighborhood of Chicago's south side, Uncle Johnny's is a corner Italian grocery store right in the middle of a working class neighborhood.
 

Small by today's standards, the look and feel really grabs you as you enter.
 

 

Over seventy years old, the original wooden coolers from its butcher days remain along with ceiling meat hooks used to hang sides of beef.
 

We ordered three sandwiches, each split in two.  First up, the breaded steak sandwich.  We added red sauce, mozzarella cheese an sweet peppers.
 

A south side staple, this one didn't disappoint.  This sandwich was the perfect marriage of bread and contents.  While this can be a messy sandwich, it held together to the last bite!
 

Next up, a solid Italian beef sandwich.  We ordered our sweet and wet, therefore it was accompanied by sweet green peppers and dipped in the au jus gravy.  The beef is slow cooked on site with all the spices.
 

The small was close to a foot long!
 

We finished with a perfect ratio Italian hero.  While I've had thicker sandwiches, this beauty included ham, cappicola, salami, pepperoni, lettuce, tomatoes, mozzarella and oil & vinegar.  Both sandwiches were served up on the same bread as the breaded steak....much to our enjoyment!
 
While there is no indoor seating, there is a picnic table outside for fair weather dining.  It had just melted off that morning, hence a little al fresco dining in Chicago in February!  We enjoyed Filbert's flavored sodas in Black cherry, Blue Raspberry and Grape among others.  Our tab for three monster sandwiches and three bottled sodas was $19.25 including tax!  Perhaps we should have joined in with then neighbors who were pitching pennies for quarters and eventually lunch!
 

 
Uncle johnny came out and inquired about our meal. 
 

A lifelong lover of Elvis, the back walls of the store are almost a monument to the King!
 
Uncle Johnny also made a strong case for his Italian sausage, either by the sandwich or in bulk.  Perhaps as BBQ season heads our way, we'll pick up a box!
 

Uncle Johnny's Grocery...
 

Good stuff...
 

and more good stuff!
 
 
Uncle Johnny's Grocery
500 West 32nd Street
Chicago, IL 60616
Tel: 312-225-6111
 
We're on our way to stop number two....
 
 
#1

26 Replies Related Threads

    FriedClamFanatic
    Double Chili Cheeseburger
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    Re:Chicago Day Trips - Vol IV 2009/02/08 17:56:37 (permalink)
    Whoa, Momma!............those are a thing (s) of beauty!  Thanks for sharing and why you didn't just hit the GPS for home is beyond me, but I'll just have to find out in the other posts!
    #2
    stricken_detective
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    Re:Chicago Day Trips - Vol IV 2009/02/08 19:59:30 (permalink)
    OMG, those look awesome!!!
    #3
    carolina bob
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    Re:Chicago Day Trips - Vol IV 2009/02/08 21:32:42 (permalink)
    As usual, CTD, great photos! Uncle Johnny's italian beef sandwich looks quite inviting...gonna have to try one. I've had the breaded steak sandwich at Ricobene's and was less than impressed, so maybe I'll give Uncle Johnny's steak a try and see how it compares.             
    #4
    leethebard
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    Re:Chicago Day Trips - Vol IV 2009/02/08 21:44:09 (permalink)
    I'll take two of those Italian beef...hell give me one of each sandwich!!!!
    #5
    Nancypalooza
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    Re:Chicago Day Trips - Vol IV 2009/02/09 09:12:48 (permalink)
    /me stands in line with everybody else for the sammitches
    #6
    buffetbuster
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    Re:Chicago Day Trips - Vol IV 2009/02/09 09:21:24 (permalink)
    Excellent stuff CTD!  That Uncle Johnny's looks like a great find and a true Roadfood gem.  Based on the photos, I would go with the breaded steak, but they all look like winners.

    I'm not familiar with Filbert's sodas.  Is it a local Chicago product?

    Greatly anticipating your next stop.....
    #7
    CajunKing
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    Re:Chicago Day Trips - Vol IV 2009/02/09 10:34:58 (permalink)
    CTD

    You are makin me miss chicago!  Man do those sandwiches LOOK so good.

    I was droolin on my keyboard.  Keep up the good work.
     
     
    BB
     
    Filbert's is one of the few remaining local bottlers, I think they bottle on..... Ashland??
     
    They have many good flavors
     
    Banana
    Blueberry
    Black Cherry
    cola
    Cherry
    Blue Raspberry
    lime
    ginger ale
    cream soda (clear, not red or brown)
    peach
    pineapple
    draft root beer
    draft rootbeer with real sugar
    red raspberry
    strawberry
    watermelon
    fruit punch
    diet rootbeer
     
    Filbert's and the old canfield's are my favorite windy city soda, canfields was bought years ago and is not the same.
     
    Filbert's is good.
    post edited by CajunKing - 2009/02/09 10:44:00
    #8
    ann peeples
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    Re:Chicago Day Trips - Vol IV 2009/02/09 10:38:20 (permalink)
    As usual, my friend, you picked a fun place to share with us.Food looks awesome.
    #9
    the grillman
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    Re:Chicago Day Trips - Vol IV 2009/02/09 11:25:15 (permalink)
    great looking sandwiches.  Next time I'm in Chicago, I'll have to try one of the breaded steak sandwiches; I've seen them, but I always get the italian beef, dipped, with both sweet peppers and giardina.
    #10
    HotDogHead
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    Re:Chicago Day Trips - Vol IV 2009/02/09 14:21:05 (permalink)
    CajunKing

     
    Filbert's is one of the few remaining local bottlers, I think they bottle on..... Ashland??
     
    They have many good flavors
     
    Banana

     
    Have you tried the banana?  Curious how a banana soda tastes.


    #11
    CajunKing
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    Re:Chicago Day Trips - Vol IV 2009/02/09 16:33:27 (permalink)
    I have not had the pleasure of trying the banana

    The pineapple and peach and cream soda and draft root beer and......
    #12
    ChiTownDiner
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    Re:Chicago Day Trips - Vol IV 2009/02/09 20:09:31 (permalink)
    After departing Uncle Johnny's, we drove around a little to check out future stops.  Both of us had a taste for BBQ so headed deeper south.  As advertised, Barbara Ann’s Bar-B-Que sits in front of and in the parking lot of a south side of Chicago motel by the same name.  We double parked just out front for convenience and speed.  It was mid-afternoon and business was slow, but as soon as we opened the car doors, the aroma hit us!

     

    While there are many different choices, the menu and boards are not arranged chronologically,
     

    ...so are number 7 combo was arranged between #39 and #8. 
     

    The #7...
     

    Accompanied by a standard issue cole slaw...
     

    The #7 was listed as Combo hot Links/Rib Tips…and that’s exactly what we got.  As there is no dining on site, all orders begin with a Styrofoam tray. 
     

    First went a couple of handfuls of fries.  Next came the rib tips, loudly cleavered right in front of us.  Add a couple links of hot sausage and it was ready for the sauce.  A thin and fiery mix with a dash of sweetness, several ladles were poured on top.  All this was crowned with 2 slices of white bread and a piece of wax paper before the top was closed. 
     

    The rib tips were flavorful but had to much fat for my liking.  The sausage was thick and smoky and paired well with the sauce. 
     

    The bottom of the container contained the treasure or pot of gold.  In the pools of sauce were fries, pieces of rib meat and sausage all combined together creating a BBQ sampler in one bite!
     
    Drinks are from a vending machine just inside the door and on our side of the bullet proof glass wall.  Your order is passed through a mini revolving door as an added security measure.  While the food was delicious and everyone was gracious, we did get a “you’re not from this neighborhood” kinda look! 

    Best hot links around!
     
    Barbara Ann's Bar-B-Que
    7617 South Cottage Grove Avenue
    Chicago, IL 60619
    Tel: 773-723-4780
     
    Not bad for a springtime day in early February...hoping the weather holds out, cause we got another stop to go! 
     
     
    #13
    ann peeples
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    Re:Chicago Day Trips - Vol IV 2009/02/09 20:37:04 (permalink)
    I absolutely love good rib tips, and would love to learn how to make them.But I cant seem to find them in the grocery store...The hot links sound wonderful,CTD.
    #14
    buffetbuster
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    Re:Chicago Day Trips - Vol IV 2009/02/10 08:26:02 (permalink)
    CTD-
    The rib tips and sausage both look really good, but there are few things I enjoy more than fries doused in a quality bbq sauce.  So it is safe to say Barbara Ann's is in a rough neighborhood?
    #15
    carolina bob
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    Re:Chicago Day Trips - Vol IV 2009/02/10 13:00:22 (permalink)
    BB - I've driven through that neighborhood, and, yeah, you could call it "rough".
    #16
    BuddyRoadhouse
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    Re:Chicago Day Trips - Vol IV 2009/02/10 13:50:49 (permalink)
    There are rougher, but it ain't the suburbs neither.

    It's a funny thing about Barbecue; it somehow seems to bring us together regardless of race, ethnicity or economic class.  While I have not visited Barbara Ann's, I have been to many other 'Que houses in similar neighborhoods throughout the Midwest; Leon's when they had a spot right across from Cabrini Green housing development here in Chicago, Mt. Pleasant BBQ at 127th & Kinsman in Cleveland, Arthur Bryant's before the neighborhood got gentrified, and never once did I feel unsafe or threatened.  Everyone was there for good Barbecue and we all recognized and appreciated the talents of the folks who created it.

    I've always said, to achieve world peace we all need to eat more Barbecue!

    Buddy
    post edited by BuddyRoadhouse - 2009/02/10 14:32:42
    #17
    carolina bob
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    Re:Chicago Day Trips - Vol IV 2009/02/10 17:08:04 (permalink)
    Buddy, you made a very good point. Good Q does bring people together. I've eaten at a couple of barbeque joints over the years where I felt a little out of place, but I was never bothered or hassled by anyone. Like you said, folks are there to enjoy delicious Q, and that's what it's all about.   
    #18
    ChiTownDiner
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    Re:Chicago Day Trips - Vol IV 2009/02/11 07:32:15 (permalink)
    leethebard

    I'll take two of those Italian beef...hell give me one of each sandwich!!!!


    leethebard -
     
    Only if we're sharing! 
    #19
    ChiTownDiner
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    Re:Chicago Day Trips - Vol IV 2009/02/11 07:34:53 (permalink)
    CajunKing - BB - HDH -

    The filbert's do come in many flavor choices as Cajun pointed out.  they are stronger flavored in some flavors and weaker in others.  They would be even better with real sugar.  They are a Chicago local on Ashland Avenue.
    #20
    irisarbor
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    Re:Chicago Day Trips - Vol IV 2009/02/13 17:09:09 (permalink)
    Very true about BBQ- one of my favorite spots up north is Hillerys in Waukegan, and it's not in the nicests of places either- in fact I'm usually the only "paleface" when I go in, (there's also no dining in) and I've never felt threatened or been treated badly- the folks there are always very friendly to me and whatever kids if any I have along-
    Sometimes they ask my boys how they are doing in school or such-
    I do think BBQ is one food that does bring us together
     
    Oh and BTW that BBQ at Barbara Ann's looked OUTSTANDING!
    post edited by irisarbor - 2009/02/13 17:10:20
    #21
    kirstine
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    Re:Chicago Day Trips - Vol IV 2009/02/13 17:14:32 (permalink)
    I've really been enjoying this series of roadfood reports.  Would really love to sample all of those sodas, especially the banana one! :)
    #22
    ChiTownDiner
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    Re:Chicago Day Trips - Vol IV 2009/02/21 09:18:15 (permalink)
    While many folks look for rest on the 7th day, we were in search of a great diner breakfast....
     

    ...and we found it in the north suburbs at Patty's Diner.  Located at the end of a non-descript strip mall, its charm is that it has no outside curb appeal.  Even the sign is a window only banner with the outside sign pole devoid of information and only a rusted bracket remains.
     

    Coffee and donuts were dropped off before our coats hit the back of the chairs.  Patty was manning the flattop and her sister would see to our order.  
     

     

    My share of the table included an extraordinary garbage omelet which included sausage, bacon, ham, onions, peppers, mushrooms and cheese.  With almost 2 inches of fillings, each bite was a different flavor!  I also switched the potatoes to old potatoes which are the day’s home fries, deep fried and then returned to the flattop with onions and seasonings thrown in.  
     

    Here's the inside goods!
     


    Add ons  included a side of ham, cut right off the bone and grilled quickly.  It had a wonderful smoky taste and was among the best I have ever had. 
     

    We also enjoyed the house corned beef hash which was served as requested, crispy!  It consisted of a grilled marriage of the regular breakfast potatoes and chopped, corned beef.  Together on the flattop, they became one in flavor.
     

    The bacon, egg and cheese on a roll was a real surprise as all the bread products are made on premises. 
     

    The homemade roll that served as the foundation would have been a fine accompaniment to any meal.  Combined with eggs and cheese and the four thick slices of bacon folded over, it really was a specialty of the house.

    I passed on the toast for a side of biscuits and gravy with the leftover gravy being the perfect partner for all of the above.  The rich but darker style gravy was studded with sausage and had a rich, peppery taste.
     
    What a great start to the morning.  These three stops are all newly listed on Roadfood and each one merits a stop!
     
    Patty's Diner
    3358 Main Street
    Skokie, IL 60076
    Tel: 847-675-4274
     
     
     
    #23
    Nancypalooza
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    Re:Chicago Day Trips - Vol IV 2009/02/21 09:34:20 (permalink)
    Yeah, now that's a new gravy on me, but I bet it was delicious.  I would love a place where you didn't have to pick between donuts and other breakfast foods, and that sandwich is going to haunt my dreams.  Lovely pictures Gregg!
    #24
    firecommander3565
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    Re:Chicago Day Trips - Vol IV 2009/02/21 11:52:30 (permalink)
    CTD,

    I enjoyed the post, I have eaten at Uncle Johnny's too and found it to be very good, not quite as good as Freddy's Pizza, but much closer to my job.
    #25
    ChiTownDiner
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    Re:Chicago Day Trips - Vol IV 2009/02/21 13:15:46 (permalink)
    Nancy -

    Thanks...all three of these were interesting stops...but for different reasons...and the donuts were good!

    firecommander3565 -

    Thanks...we got to get you out with us one of these times...I gotta feeling you have a wealth of Roadfood stops waiting for us to explore!
    #26
    ChiTownDiner
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    Re:Chicago Day Trips - Vol IV 2009/02/28 08:19:47 (permalink)
    stlouisguy

    great looking sandwiches.  Next time I'm in Chicago, I'll have to try one of the breaded steak sandwiches; I've seen them, but I always get the italian beef, dipped, with both sweet peppers and giardina.


    stlouisguy -
     
    You can never go wrong with that combination!  But the Breaded Steaks are worth the taste.
    #27
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