Since 1981, the fully stocked Riversides Foods has flung open its doors to throngs of customers and striving to provide them with exceptional service in their search of delectable fresh and frozen groceries. Union meat cutters at the in-house deli slice tender meats such as beef, pork, lamb, veal, and poultry sourced from locally owned vendors, whereas thirst is slaked with a cascade of boutique wines and spirits, whether it be a sauvignon blanc from New Zealand or an Argentine malbec. Flaky pastries, fresh breads, and cakes circulate their toasty aromas throughout the bakery, much to the delight of hungry cartoon characters prowling the store. Diners can stroll to the produce section to pluck from kaleidoscopic bushels of kosher, certified-organic, and locally grown fruits and veggies courtesy of Indianapolis Fruit Company, with whom Riverside Foods has a bountiful partnership.:m]]
Behind the small red brick storefront of Tonini's Italian Market, owners Dave and Taresa Goldman carry on the Italian cooking traditions that Dave followed years ago at the beloved––and now closed––D'Andreas Italian Market. These traditions include hand crafting four styles of italian sausage, sauces, pastas, and rustic breads each day. Though, Dave and Teresa are perhaps best known for their lean meatballs, which have garnered praise from local TV show Chicago's Best as well as the international grandmother syndicate. They fashion their many artisan specialties into a range of hot and cold Italian sandwiches, as well as deli salads ranging from piquant italian pasta to greek olive.
To compliment their homestyle cooking, they keep the store stocked with specialty groceries from Italy so customers can continue the tradition at home. Shelves brim with imported cheeses, canned tomatoes, and a gallery of olive oils, as well as colorfully painted ceramic plates and mugs.
For more than 40 years, Chicago-based Bobak Sausage Company has been creating Old-World sausages and gourmet deli meats. Though its most famous product is, perhaps, a classic polish sausage, the company's sausage scientists–also known as Sausageologists–scan the world's culinary traditions to produce hearty bratwursts, spicy chorizo, and fresh lithuanian sausage—all free of gluten, MSG, and trans fats. In addition to serving them from the 100-foot deli counter of the Bobak retail store and at gourmand-baiting events such as Taste of Chicago, the company ships its meats directly to homes, where they sizzle and plump as they’re pan-fried, grilled, or skewered on the fangs of a pet dragon. Bobak complements its stable of specialty meats with a collection of jarred pickles, kraut, and condiments from abroad.
Marion Street Cheese Market stocks its shelves with locally produced foodstuffs and craft beers, pairing the two to populate seasonal menus available in its café. Like water on pavement or water on a statue of a bathrobe, cheese finds its way into every nook of executive chef Leonard Hollander’s tastings for two. Previous menus have commenced with nearby Seymour Dairy’s culinary handiwork such as baby spinach leaves cushioning a smattering of plump dried cherries, crumbled blue cheese, and toasted walnuts beneath a drizzle of white-balsamic vinaigrette. Second courses have included an entree that stills stomach squalls with a choice of dinner bedazzlements—veggies or meat—atop a creamy maelstrom of elbow pasta and cheese. Craft beers from local breweries such as Two Brothers, Three Floyds, and Metropolitan chaperone each bite’s journey toward epicurean hunger lairs, and dessert might parachute onto savory-sweet tongue beaches with a velvety triple-crème cheese—flanked by local preserves, honey, and marcona almonds.
Though it may be hard to believe, Chicago hasn’t always been a sausage kind of town. When a group of European immigrants found their way to the city’s west side in 1925, they noticed a profound lack of the traditional sausages they were accustomed to. So they decided to band together and make sausages themselves, and thus Crawford Sausage Co. was born.
Today, the shop still churns out bratwursts, smoked meats, and cuts of sandwich meat, selling savory, precooked sausages onsite and throughout the country under the name Daisy Brand Meat Products. The specialty is prasky, a sausage made from lean pork and beef blended with garlic and a secret mix of spices. Crawford Sausage’s range of flavorings and meats makes it the perfect pit stop before hosting a big barbecue or barricading your house against marauding gangs of herbivores.
This old-fashioned, family-owned butchery houses handfuls of high-quality beef, chicken, and veal within a kitchen-like storefront. Portions of prime new york ($27.98/lb.) and choice rib-eye ($16.98/lb.) steaks tempt grill gurus from behind the store’s gleaming glass case, and Boar’s Head deli meats offer to graciously sacrifice themselves to sandwiches or museum walls. Ready-to-eat dinner fare includes pans of made-in-house filet mignon stroganoff ($19.98) and sides of au gratin potatoes ($7.98), and shoppers struck with sudden hunger can order a sandwich from the store’s counter. Meat-carving wizards layer 17 styles of protein between slices of five different breads, and eight cheese varieties ensure that eaters get their daily serving of moon.
Delta Sonic Car Wash renews tarnished transportation with an innovative touchless car-wash system that automatically guides vehicles through a tunnel of high-pressure sprays and overhead buffing cloths. The hands-free wash massages mild lotions into paint jobs, leaving vehicles with sparkling, fingerprint-free finishes that are backed by a five-day guarantee. Detailing technicians do get their hands dirty as they make use of more than 100 hours of training to dote on vehicle interiors and exteriors with products from ValuGard, Aquapel, and Blue Coral. The team wields AOCA certification know-how when injecting engines with oil and devising rustproofing treatments that avoid drilling holes or covering corrosion in zit cream.