Alef Sausage and Deli Review – Mundelein, IL

Alef Sausage and Deli Review

 

Alef Sausage and Deli Review

Alef Sausage and Deli Review

Dry smoky salami. Delish.

I had a delightful time at Alef and found the clerks helpful and friendly. So you can pronounce some of the names of the meats in the service counter? TRY? It goes a long way. Just as it would be appreciated if you were traveling abroad.

Take some time to read the bio of the founder online, an American dream come true for an immigrant. Amazing accomplishments!

The store is bigger than it looks from the outside, and has a very good selection of Russian, Polish, and other Eastern European fresh and boxed groceries, as well as a wide choice of hearty breads. There’s a hot food counter as well.

I picked up some bresaola, a favorite of mine, it’s air-dried beef that can be eaten as a snack or as part of a sandwich. I’ve seen it across Switzerland, but it originated in the Northern Alps on Italy’s border. It’s salted before air drying for 2-3 months, when it turns almost purple you know it’s ready. Usually made from top round, it’s lean and tender.

I also bought a salami I could not pronounce, so many choices. It is delicious, frim, dry, lean, very smoky.

I see they offer droewors, another favorite of mine, a South African style of dried meat stick with interesting spices.

Alef Sausage packaged products are widely available in grocery stores throughout Chicagoland and can be purchased online at their website.

I had a delightful time at Alef and found the clerks helpful and friendly. So you can pronounce some of the names of the meats in the service counter? TRY? It goes a long way. Just as it would be appreciated if you were traveling abroad.

Take some time to read the bio of the founder online, an American dream come true for an immigrant. Amazing accomplishments!

The store is bigger than it looks from the outside, and has a very good selection of Russian, Polish, and other Eastern European fresh and boxed groceries, as well as a wide choice of hearty breads. There’s a hot food counter as well.

I picked up some bresaola, a favorite of mine, it’s air-dried beef that can be eaten as a snack or as part of a sandwich. I’ve seen it across Switzerland, but it originated in the Northern Alps on Italy’s border. It’s salted before air drying for 2-3 months, when it turns almost purple you know it’s ready. Usually made from top round, it’s lean and tender.

I also bought a salami I could not pronounce, so many choices. It is delicious, frim, dry, lean, very smoky.

I see they offer droewors, another favorite of mine, a South African style of dried meat stick with interesting spices.

Alef Sausage packaged products are widely available in grocery stores throughout Chicagoland and can be purchased online at their website.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alef Sausage and Deli Review

Alef Sausage and Deli Review

Old Warsaw Buffet Review, Chicago, IL

Old Warsaw Buffet Review

Old Warsaw Buffet Review

Chicago’s rich melting pot of immigrants makes for some really good eats, often time at a real value as well.

There are many, many Polish restaurants like the White Eagle, where food is served family style.  Check out Czech grub at the Czech Plaza. Whatever you like, whatever you’re curious about – Ukrainian, any kind of Chinese, Eastern European, Malay, Italian – you’re apt to find it in Chicago. Restaurants and grocers.

I was dropping off a friend at O’Hare, and we had time to kill, we stopped at Old Warsaw, a legendary Polish buffet. The spread was magnificent, and included hot and cold entrees, borscht, many salads, and desserts.  Sausages, blintzs, potato pancakes, rustic bread.

All in, around $12 per person and of course it’s all you can eat.  The restaurant has group space and has special menus on holidays at different pricing. Full bar. Distinctly Eastern European decor, which is a fun ambiance as well.

I was in Poland as it was just emerging from its decades of darkness.  This was much better food. LOL

On Harlem, just south of the Kennedy.

Old Warsaw Buffet Review

Plate #1 of many!

Old Warsaw Buffet Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
Old Warsaw Buffet Review

Anns Bakery & Deli Review, Ukrainian Village, Chicago

 Anns Bakery & Deli ReviewThe first time I was in Russia it was before “the change.” It was not unusual to see dozens or hundreds of people in line at food stores, even though they knew that probably there would be no inventory.

Outside of each subway station there were long lines of people selling ‘silly’ things: one shoe, two inches of vodka in a bottle, a couple of pencils.

People were hungry and would overlook conventional norms for food safety and ingredients.

And such was the feeling I got at Ann’s Bakery and Deli in Ukraine Village in Chicago.If you don’t speak Russian, I wouldn’t recommend stopping in, you’ll be treated like a 2nd class citizen by both the help and the other customers. The Russian shoppers are just plain rude, the help, not only rude, but unhelpful to non-Russian speakers.

Why I felt the resemblance between the bakery goods and pre-change Russia? A lot of the food on the shelves is past the expiration date, but it doesn’t stop the locals from grabbing it up like the just got the deal of the century on caviar.

Bakery goods are mismarked for prices and the shelf order is nothing short of chaos – with different goods all mixed up so you wouldn’t be able to tell the price in any case.

As many other customers have opined, I got home to find 1) not only were many of the baked goods stale (odd, as it was the day before Easter and one would expect a bakery to be chock-a-block full of fresh goods), and 2) the hustle of the cash register and treatment by both customers and help alike, made me miss the fact I was drastically overcharged for some items.

If you regularly read my reviews, you know that I endeavor to find something redeeming out of every visit. Not so here.

Pass on Ann’s Bakery, even for the curiousity factor. But I don’t want to discourage anybody from visiting Ukrainian Village; the cathedrals are magnificent and there are authentic Russian restaurants and culture to absorb. As well as a place distinctly NOT Russian, Fatso’s Last Stand, a superb example of a Chicago hot dog stand.

Ann's Bakery & Deli Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
Anns Bakery & Deli Review

Anns Bakery & Deli Review

Niles, IL – White Eagle Restaurant and Banquets

The White Eagle has been the go to banquet center in Near NW Chicago for over 50 years. They can accomodate groupss as small as 6 or as large as 1500. When we were there in their restaurant today, there were four events going on somewhere else in the massive hall.

The menu is Polish, as the location, on Milwaukee Avenue, is just a short jog up from the Polish center of Chicago. Chicago is the largest Polish population concentration in the world, after Warsaw.

The best deal, for two or more people, is the “Host Family Style Dinner”, at $10.50 per, includes soup or salad, bread basket, two types of pierogies, noodles, mashed potatoes, and three entrees.  On the latter, we opted for sausage/kraut, chicken, and goulash.  The server goofed and brought us brisket in gravy instead of the sausage, but when it was pointed out, quickly brought the sausage (and left the brisket!).

These very ample servings, and while there is a “no seconds” policy, you are able to take home the leftovers, and I’m sure we have enough for another two meals.

The taste, quality was top-notch.  Certainly not what you would expect from a banquet type facility.   For a couple bucks more, you can add a soup or salad (whatever you didn’t opt for on the previous menu, and dessert).

White Eagle on Urbanspoon