As my daughter approached grade school age, we looked around the spacious San Fernando Valley for a facility adequately challenging for her – having found none, and with daily smog alerts that made it nearly impossible for children to play outside, we packed up the house and went in search of Norman Rockwell-ville.
After a brief stop in Dallas for biz, we settled in Barrington, IL, one of the posher zip codes in the US of A, approximately 40 miles NW of downtown Chicago. Why Barrington? I had been in Chicago once for business, and had gotten ‘lost’ on a drive, ended up winding my way around Barrington and thought it looked lovely, with it’s hoity toity shops, ritzy restaurants, and mini manses on rolling hills. It was, and remains so.
Moving there was about 85% successful for us. The downside isn’t worth discussing, all in all, it’s a great town to raise a family, close to one of the greatest cities in the world, but far enough away that a family can do their best to try and protect their hatchlings from the world’s evils.
I passed through again recently, and not much has changed, though one would not expect much change to occur. The names on some of the shops have changed, and there has been a modest amount of new construction – the wheels of change grind slowly in places like this.
One of the ‘new’ spots, is the first out of state branch of an Ohio supermarket chain, called “Heinen’s”, named for the founder’s family, which opened the doors in 1929 in Cleveland.
And what a perfect addition it is to Barrington, as fresh and lovely a grocery offering as you will ever see, equal to Whole Foods, not quite as spendy, and shelves and coolers stuffed full of the hoity-toity fixin’s Barrington families would clamor for. The woman ahead of me in the check out purchased eight (8) seemingly nondescript items, less than one bag full, and “ker-ching!” it rang up north of $160! (I might have to take back that comment about being less pricey than Whole Foods).
Anyway, nice place. If you’re around Cleveland, or Barrington, IL, and feel the need to buy some pretty groceries, check out Heinen’s. Even the website is above par, with great recipes, and how-to videos.
At the “opposite end of the spectrum” as it were, on the way out of Barrington on US Highway 14, which makes a mad dash for the even more distant burbs and eventually, Wisconsin, one first comes to the burg of Fox River Grove, home to, for as long as I can remember or have knowledge of, “Mr. Beefy’s”, a typical Chicago burger and hot dog joint.
Mr. Beefy’s manages to fine some pretty fine grub at very reasonable prices. In addition to the “American fare”, one can also grab a gyro, or that Chicagoland favorite, an Italian beef.
As for the burgers? Frozen 1/3 burgers are started on the flattop and finished on the char-broiler, and are pretty ample and tasty. The bun was ultra fresh. The cheese fries? Guilty pleasure. I don’t think that “cheese” has never been near a cow, but as it coursed (sloshed? oozed?) through my veins, it was delicious!