Search
Advertisement
View my food journey on Zomato!
US Food Safety Recalls and Tips
Tabelog Reviewer burgerdogboy

Archive for the ‘Deli’ Category

Spartan Brothers Greek Grocery Review, Chicago, IL

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Spartan Brothers Greek Grocery ReviewOne of the joys (for me) of living in Chicago (or any big city and I’ve lived in a raft of them!) is having access to a preponderance of ethnic supermarkets. Within 20 minutes of me, I can partake of markets dedicated to Italian food, Indian, Asian, Polish, Ukrainian, Spanish, Middle Eastern, and Greek.

It’s that last one that I visited most recently, Spartan Brothers Grocery, in the outer reaches of Chicago, but prior to the burbs.

They’ve been around for fifty years, and have a wide variety of Greek staples, canned and boxed good, as well as frozen entrees from large manufacturers and made in-house.

Through a back window in the shop, you can see hanging carcasses of goat and lambs, so they get busy here, making entrees and sausages, It’s sausages that I have come for.

I first ran into Loukaniko (there are apparently different spellings) sausage at a Greek fest in the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles maybe thirty years ago.

It’s a lamb sausage that is mildly spiced, but an unusual feature is that it commonly has citrus zest as an ingredient, which makes it have a taste that I can only describe as “bright.” If you order it in a Greek restaurant (and Chicago has dozens and dozens), it’ll come on a platter with lemon slices usually, which further amplifies the citrus flavoring.

I like it a lot. Spartan Brothers sell theirs at around $4 a pound, the ones I bought were out of the freezer in a two-pound pack. They make them in-house.

A refrigerated deli counter has imported cheese, olives and other goodies.

Location, hours.

Spartan Brothers Greek Grocery Review

 

Spartan Brothers Greek Grocery Review

 

 

 

 

Spartan Brothers Greek Grocery Review
Spartan Brothers Greek Grocery Review

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Jungle Jims Dry Salami Review

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Jungle Jims Dry Salami ReviewWhen I did my post last week about my first visit to the magical food kingdom of Jungle Jims, I didn’t talk about specific products, wanting to give them their own space and time.

Like their packaged (house brand) dry salami. Now if you love salami of all types as much as I do, Jungle Jims is the place for you with dozens and dozens of varieties from producers all over the world.

I picked up this one as an afterthought, an impulse item, stock stuffer, what have you.  I’ve written so much about processed meats over the past ten years that I’ve committed to memory (mostly) an awful lot of the USDA plant numbers you will see on processed meats in the US.  And I recognized this one – Jungle Jims is no slouch in who they dole out their in-house product manufacturing to, this salami is made by Busseto in California, one quality operation (Link leads to their Facebook page, their website is a little wonky today).

You can’t find many salumis (the word means Italian cold cuts in general) purer than this product, which contains pork and salt and traces of flavors and cures. Nothing alarming at all. And the true measure of any processed meats for me these days, and you know this if you’ve read any of my posts, is DOES IT TASTE LIKE THE ANIMAL?  So many processed foods have been over processed as to not really resemble the original muscle meat anymore.

Not so with Jungle Jims. Bite after bite, it tastes like pork off the farm, before one even gets the sense of the seasoning.  And that’s important to me.

Their dry salami is very mild, great ‘bite’ (texture), and is great for snacking, or appetizers, even a sandwich, depending on how thin you slice it. I’m having some tonight as an accompaniment to fondue, both perfect for a chilly winter night.  Wish I’d picked up multiples.  Next time.

A pic of one of Busseto’s ultra-modern processing plants is below.

Jungle Jims Dry Salami Review

Jungle Jims Dry Salami Chub

Jungle Jims Dry Salami Review

Busseto’s California Processing Plant

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Jungle Jims Grocery Review – Cincinnati, OH Area

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
Jungle Jims Grocery Review

Entrance

Another place that’s been on my bucket list for years, Jungle Jims opened in 1971 and has been described as a “theme park of foods.”  That’s an understatement, in my opinion.  Clocking in with square footage about two times a WalMart, Jungle Jims specializes in a great depth of product choices, and foods from all over the world, separated in separate “country aisles.”  Of course, they have a service deli, carrying only the top US brands as well as many imports. Full-service butcher, live seafood, bakery, wine section.

Things you wouldn’t see anywhere else or would have to make many stops to fill out your shopping list.

I got off easy, only spent an hour and $150 there, could have easily been an all day thing, and I will be back, but with a car full of coolers and dry ice.

As it was, I came away with some unique things I hadn’t seen before and certainly will use, like “prosciutto bones” (to flavor white beans, or soup!), a pig’s head (for the crock pot) and many other tasty beautiful things.

I can’t wait to go back.

 

Jungle Jims Grocery Review

About 1/4 of their olive bar!

 

Jungle Jims Grocery Review

Say cheese, please!

 

Jungle Jims Grocery Review

Looking for some hot stuff baby..

 

 

 

 

Locations, hours.

Jungle Jims Grocery Review

Jungle Jims Grocery Review

@JungleJimsMrkt

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Lake Geneva Country Meats Review, Lake Geneva Wisconsin

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Lake Geneva Country Meats ReviewI have been known to take road trips in search of small producers of processed pork products, especially hams. Jumping off the interstates, traveling back roads, stopping in diners to inquire about local products. Never disappointed.

The other day, I had been to a “pick your own” tomato farm, had a bushel of the beautiful red fruit, stopped at a great bakery and scored a loaf of rustic bread, so I knew I needed one more thing, some bodacious bacon to make BLTs (I had lettuce in the garden at home).

And with great delight, I happened upon Lake Geneva Country Meats, on State Road 50, a few miles east of the beach in Lake Geneva, WI.

The establishment is a large store of meats butchered and processed on the spot (factory/store picture below), dozens of kinds of sausages, hams, chops, beef, as well as specialty grocery items. It’s a modern, spacious, sparkling store, with friendly and knowledgeable help.

I scored the bacon, as well as an outrageously good ham steak. Both products were nicely cured with seasoning and just the right amount ofLake Geneva Country Meats Review
smoke. The thick cut bacon had great flavor and was very meaty.

Products are a little bit on the spendy side, but I’m good with that, to get diligently prepared products that actually taste like the animal they come from. I’m a snob about that. So much of the mass produced pork product in groceries these days doesn’t resemble actual pork in either taste or texture.A real disappointment.

Lake Geneva Country Meats is open from 8 AM Monday through Saturday.

Most importantly, pay them a visit. If you can’t, follow them on FBTwitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+. They have regular specials with good discounts. They sell some house-made rubs and spices on their website as well and there are some good recipes.

Family owned since 1965. P.S. The char on the ham? No, I didn’t burn it. I like it that way!

Lake Geneva Country Meats Review

Prepared Bacon

Lake Geneva Country Meats Review

 

Lake Geneva Country Meats Review

Reward! Ham & Eggs!!!

Lake Geneva Country Meats Review

Store Front

Lake Geneva Country Meats Review

State of the art plant

 

 

 

 

 

Lake Geneva Country Meats Review

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Jersey Mikes Subs Review – Nationwide Chain

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Jersey Mikes Sub ReviewSo I saw this “pseudo-documentary” the other night, and one segment was on the founding of Jersey Mike’s Subs.

After reading a bit on Wikipedia, one or the other took a little poetic license. No matter. The shop started in Point Pleasant, NJ, a seaside down equidistant between Manhattan and Philly.

After 3 owners, long time employee Peter Cancro, around 18 purchased the shop in 1975, with financial assistance from a high school mate and a local banker/football coach (yeah, I don’t get that either).

They began franchising in 1987 and today there are over 1000 locations. Their “hook” is sub sandwiches made to order, slicing the meats and cheeses as needed.

They’ll ask your choice of bread (white, wheat, herb) and size (small, medium, and gigantic), and you can order by number from their menu, their recipes of hot or cold combinations, about a dozen of each, or of course, design your own.

They’ll ask you if you want it “Mike’s Way”, which involves sliced onions, shredded lettuce, tomatoes, oregano, salt (spices) and “The Juice” – a mixture of red wine vinegar and olive oil.

They don’t seem to have as many toppings as competitors, tho it was my first visit and maybe they just don’t have them on display.

I went with a #13 “The Original Italian” – Provolone, Ham, Prosciuttini, Cappacuolo, Salami and Pepperoni. I didn’t request cheese, should have.  The meat is ok, nothing distinguishable.

I elected for the white loaf, and it’s good bread, better than competitors.

I don’t get the point of “slicing as needed.” It’s just ordinary deli meat, and this just adds an employee to the payroll. When I say “ordinary deli meat” I am talking about the formed, seasoned ‘loafs’ we’re used to seeing in deli counters. Slicing on site does enable Jersey Mikes to have the meat be paper thin – nearly translucent, and that means profit, I imagine.

Don’t know how (most) deli meat is made? Here’s a video (Dietz & Watson, pretty high quality).

Having not been in before, I ordered the large. Shouldn’t have – it’ll end up being 2-3 meals for me. It also game with a large price tag, $15. If I added extra meat and cheese, it’d top $17. That’s a helluva lot for a sandwich that is not coming out of the Carnegie Deli.

Overall verdict? Better than the competitors, with the exception of our local guy, who actually roast meats on site. The standard add-ons of chips and cookies available. Order your “sandwich” as a wrap or salad if you like that kind of thing.

Caution tho, as with any vegetable laden sandwich, if you’re not going to consume immediately, the bread is going to get soggy over a fairly short period of time.

If you’re saving it for later, consider disassembling, at least the tomato, lettuce. Really. Postscript:  I forgot to say, the employees at this location were VERY happy and courteous.  The only other chain I have experienced this level of “hospitable” employees is Chick-Fil-A.  So whomever is motivating franchisee employees, good job!

Jersey Mikes Sub Review

Jersey Mikes Sub Review

Jersey Mikes Subs Review

Jersey Mikes Subs Review

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Dodges Southern Style Chicken Review

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Dodges Southern Style Chicken

I’ve written a lot about what I (and apparently others) call “gas station chicken.”

Across the deep south, you’ll run into these fairly often. Some call them “fry delis,” and the independent ones often have a melange of offerings, fried chicken, tenders, egg rolls, corn dogs, catfish nuggets, potatoes.

There are franchised operations, like Chesters, and Krispy Krunchy.

I’ve done kind of an overview in the past, traveling across the south.

I’ve driven by another operation with multiple locations, Dodge’s Southern Style, but my attempt at research to find their origins or number of locations came up dry. (Other than they are old, and possibly based in Tupelo, MS). But I bumped into one recently in Dyersville, AR, near the Tennessee border. For many people, Dodge’s is a gas only operation, they pull in, fill up without every experiencing the wonderment which lies just inside the glass doors.

In a word, I like Dodge’s a LOT.  Their batter has more cornmeal than competitors, so it comes out crispier. They also feature “Jo Jo” potatoes, and while different places offer a product with the same name, most often they are deep fried potato wedges, quarters.  Why no one ever trademarked/patented it/them, I’ll never know. First time I ever recall seeing them was on a Shakey’s pizza buffet. Various places attribute the name originally to a joint in Waconia, MN, and the name spread across the Upper Midwest.  Who knew?

“Dinners” or “plates” also come with a dinner roll, which is fine, nothing to write home about. In any case, lacking a national director of Chesters, Krispy, and Dodge’s, and having to rely on highway information signs to locate them, usually, I know now I can be satisfied at any of these three operations!

Dodges published monthly specials on their spartan website.
Dodge's Chicken Store Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
Dodge Southern Style Chicken Review

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Malincho Euro Market & Deli Review, Des Plaines, IL

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
Malincho Euro Market & Deli Review

“Home style” Dry Salami

Hit another ethno-centric market this weekend;  Malincho promises a full selection of Bulgarian meats, cheese, canned and boxed groceries.

They didn’t disappoint, although the store was considerably smaller than I imagined it would be, having based my impression via their online presence.

They have a good selection, but if you don’t speak or read Bulgarian, be sure to take along the Google translate app. While most imported groceries I see have a ‘stick on label’ with English ingredients and nutrition, most items here didn’t.

The freezers are full of specialty meat products, primarily made by Tandem, a Bulgarian company that purchased a small processor in Schaumburg, IL (pictured below)  to make and distribute Bulgarian specialty meats.  There are a lot of great dried salamis and related products that I was happy to pick up. Also grabbed some imported cheeses, fruit juice, and olive pate.

I’d hit it again.  It’s got a small sign in a strip mall off Mannheim, so keep your eyes peeled to the right if traveling north!

Open daily at 1475 Lee St, Des Plaines, IL 60018, and some items are available to purchase online.  Prices in the store seem very reasonable.

Malincho Euro Market & Deli Review

Tandem Meat Processors, Schaumburg, IL

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Malincho Euro Market & Deli Review

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Felicias Meat Market and Deli Review, Schaumburg, IL

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Felicias Meat Market and Deli ReviewSome weeks ago, I wrote about an Italian deli I stumbled on in suburban Chicago. Nottoli’s has a great selection of house-made sausages, pastas and an ample selection of imported Italian canned and box goods.

This week I hit Felicia’s, an Italian-centric meat market and deli in Schaumburg.

Felicia’s is smaller in size than Nottoli’s, but there’s no shortage of quality goodies.

The store has two narrow aisles as you walk in, on the right are freezer cases of pre-made frozen meals for two, as well as home-made soups. Lining the other side of the right hand aisle are canned tomatoes, sauces, and pasta.

As you round the bend at the back of the store, you’ll come to the deli case, well-staffed and able to take care of a crush of customers simultaneously. In addition to house-made meats, like Italian sausage, franks, and meatballs, they also carry Boar’s Head brand deli meats, a wide assortment of cheese and house-made salads, like buffalo/tomato and cold pastas.

I scored some hot Italian rope sausage and meatballs.  The sausage is very flavorful and has a little heat. The meatballs are dense (the way I like them, not all crumbly) and only lightly seasoned.  When I make them at home, I’ve been accused of using too much fennel.  But hey, I’m at the stove, not you!

Felicia’s will make you sandwiches to go, on demand, and also do catering. Both menus are shown below.

Nice people, knowledgeable, helpful, quality goods.  I like.  Most everything I purchased I thought was a good value.

Felicia’s opens daily at 8AM, til 6PM Monday – Friday, 5 PM Satuday, and 2 PM Sunday.  Map follows at the bottom of the post.

Felicias Meat Market and Deli Review

Felicias Meat Market and Deli Review

Felicias Meat Market and Deli Review

Felicias Meat Market and Deli Review

 

 
Felicia's Meat Market Deli Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
 

 

Felicias Meat Market and Deli Review

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Morris Liquors and Deli Review, Louisville, KY

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

 Morris Liquors and Deli ReviewI love country style cured ham. Dry aged for months and months, salty, flavorful, still tastes like an animal instead of some heavily processed, brine injected, flavored pink stuff.

I quizzed Chowhound folks ahead of time to see where I might score some good Kentucky Country Ham in Louisville, and got lots of great suggestions where I could get it to nosh on or get a big ‘un to go.

I ended up at one of the top suggestions for sandwiches, Morris Liquor and Deli, a small liquor store in the center of the city with a deli counter. You walk up to the counter and select your bread, meat, cheese and condiments; sandwiches are sold by weight, and I can’t tell you what the price per pound is, but I can tell you I paid $13 for two sandwiches, two sodas and a bag of chips, which seemed quite reasonable to me.

I went with country ham on dark rye with provolone and yellow mustard. Also got a corned beef with Swiss on pumpernickel with German mustard. Both with superb. I would have bought sliced ham by the pound there ($16) but I knew I would be hitting a couple of groceries in search of a big chunk later, which I did.

This is a really excellent sandwich place, mostly take-out, a few tables inside and outside, great liquor selection as well as liquor mixers and such. Parking and entry/exit is a little dicey, but it’s worth taking your life in your hands for this country ham. Truly.

Morris Liquors and Deli Review

Country Ham & Provolone

 

Morris Liquors and Deli Review

Click for larger image

Morris Liquors and Deli Review

Morris' Liquors & Deli Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

“My Mother Gave Me A Nickle…” Oh Snap Pickles Review

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

Oh Snap Pickle Review“to buy a pickle…”   so goes an old ditty my dad used to break into spontaneously on occasion.  I love most pickles, really love them.  I love kosher dills, half sours, hamburger dills….most anything but sweet relish and bread and butter. IxNay on those.  I’m not quite old enough to remember pickle “barrels” but I am old enough to remember pickle “jars” at corner groceries and at the movie theater concession stand. Don’t remember how much they cost – more than a nickle, but certainly less than a quarter.

Today’s version of the ‘pickle barrel’ can be found in C-stores and gas station, with individually wrapped pickles.  There’s one brand that has different (ample) sizes, and different heats, and yesterday I ran into a new brand (to me), “Oh, Snap!” Dilly Bites brand, made by GLK Foods, from upstate Wisconsin.  They were priced at 75 cents each, you could get a whole pickle or “chips” (slices).  Unlike the other brand I referred to, where you have to be careful to negotiate  your way around the amount of brine in the package, GLK calls theirs “brineless,” and they aren’t actually, they just have a very small amount of liquid in the package. I opted for the “sliced” variety, and the package boasts that they are “Super Crunchy.”

Got to say I really enjoyed them and will be a regular customer.  By the way, GLK claims to be the largest manufacturer of sauerkraut in America.

 

oh snap pickles review

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail
Select a Topic
Restaurant Delivery!
The Food You Love, Delivered - Order Now!
Tweet! Tweet! Tweet!
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisment
Advertisement