Keller's Farmstand was established only 21 years ago, but its roots run all the way back to the 19th century. Since emigrating from Bavaria in the mid-1800s, the Kellers have produced four generations of green-thumbed farmers, most of whom answered to the name Frank. It was during the reign of Franks I and II that the Kellers' first roadside produce stand opened, and the family's crop of grapes, raspberries, and potatoes helped their homestead survive the Great Depression. In the 1960s, brothers Frank III and Ray took over their father's farm and expanded the scope with corn, soybeans, oats, and hay grown on fields in Plainfield and Oswego. In 1991, Frank IV opened his first vegetable kiosk, and Kellers Farmstand was officially inaugurated.
These days, the three farmstands are open during the spring, summer, and fall, welcoming guests with fresh-picked seasonal offerings and annual harvest festivals. Depending on the location and the time of year, guests might find heirloom-tomato plants and flowers in finely wrought hanging baskets, ears of the family's specialty sweet corn, or homegrown pumpkins, gourds, and winter squashes. Their news page keeps shoppers up-to-date on the latest goings-on, with regular updates on flower sales, rain delays, and the farm?s ongoing battle with the mole men.
BizTraffik, a member of the Professional Association of Resumé Writers, continually educates its wordsmiths in traditional and current resumé- and cover-letter-writing techniques that capture the attention of recruiters and potential employers. Recent graduates and first-time job applicants benefit from entry-level resumé services, which translate past academic achievements, volunteer services, and tales of wildly successful childhood lemonade stands into assets desirable in the workplace. The company's professional resumé service helps applicants with several years of work experience to climb corporate ladders into exclusive executive treehouses, focusing on technical qualifications and the ways in which workers have thrived in previous positions. Executive-level resumés expound upon career achievements in detail, highlighting qualities such as leadership skills, management know-how, and the ability to properly rub an elbow. BizTraffik also creates online resumés with unique domain names, an asset in the digital age in which human eyeballs, like moths, gravitate toward the light of computer screens. Custom colors and styling give online resumés an eye-catching individuality, increasing visibility to potential employers.
When childhood pals Michael Caringella and Armand Christopher bought Elmwood Park's Victory Tap in 1956, one of their first orders of business was determining whom their new establishment would be named after. In the end Michael won the deciding coin toss and, to dodge any complaints that might arise, slyly chose to dub their eatery Armand’s Victory Tap. With Armand’s original artwork gracing the walls and Michael’s decadent thin-crust pizza flying from the oven, the restaurant received far more compliments than criticisms; and although Armand sold his portion to Mike in the 1960s, the eatery—since renamed Armand's Pizzeria—still thrives today.
City dwellers and suburbanites alike can taste a slice of the original thin-crust pie at any of Armand's 10 locations. Though menus differ slightly at each eatery, all contain thin- or pan-crust pizzas crowned with an array of fresh toppings, ranging from ham, bacon, and pineapple to feta and kalamata olives to italian beef and spicy giardiniera. Beyond pizza, the chefs pull fresh-baked mozzarella mostaccioli from the oven, glaze baby back ribs with tangy barbecue sauce, and assemble hearty sandwiches from italian beef, italian sausage, and genuine italian leather.
One fish peeks out inquisitively from behind a lichen-covered tank. Others swim through the windows and railings of a sunken ship, passing odd artifacts such as an electric guitar or a sign reading "Tricycle parking only." Surreal scenes like these aren’t accessible to most landlubbers, but they’re part of a worldwide subaquatic playground for Dive Right In’s students and staff of certified dive instructors and instructor trainers. An SDI, ERDi, and TDI five-star instructor training facility, the shop is helmed by teachers who coach their customers to achieve RTSC standards, and employ many of the same skills they use to train police, fire department, and lifeguard dive teams.
Among the caves and wrecks of local quarries and Lake Michigan, instructors prepare their trainees to dive down as far as 60 feet, the farthest depth at which they can guarantee there’ll be no sea monsters. They also lead courses in TDI technical diving, diver First-Aid, and specialty certifications such as adventure or rescue diver. Inside the dive shop, techs sell and repair masks, snorkels, wetsuits, and gear such as dive computers, regulators, and tanks.
In 2005, Golf Digest named The Links at Carillon among the best courses on Route 66?the highway artery that connects Chicago to L.A. and has famously served as inspiration for uncountable odes to middle-American life. Perhaps it's fitting, then, that the facility's three nine-hole sides are named the Red course, the White course, and the Blue course. Each enfolds golfers in a test that demands such all-American traits as creativity (on diversely shaped bent-grass fairways), concentration (on undulant greens), and stick-to-itiveness (necessary to locate one's golf ball among the thousands of Easter eggs littering each lake bed).
Then again, it might just be happenstance. After all, each course adheres firmly to the links style of golf course design, a mode of landscape architecture that owes more to the Scottish lowlands than to Oklahoma's Dust Bowls. Hallmarks of such courses include few trees, deep bunkers, and lots of water?features with which golfers become intimately familiar as they string any combination of sides together for full 18-hole rounds.
The Olive Gallery is more than a boutique store. It is a tasting room set up in the style of a Tuscan kitchen, a place to immerse oneself in flavor and explore the unexpected possibilities of artisan olive oils and vinegars. The room is filled with stainless-steel kegs called fustis, each filled with traditional, first-cold-pressed olive oils from locales such as Italy, California, Greece, or Chile. Some are filled with flavored oils, great for marinating meats or daubing onto pulse points, whereas others carry aged, flavored, or white balsamic vinegars.
The helpful staff members dole out storage tips and recipe advice for making the most of their wares, which include kitchen tools and specialty foods such as gourmet dip-mixes, spices, rubs, stuffed olives, and pastas. They also tout the health benefits of incorporating olive oil into your diet, citing lowered blood pressure, improved glycemic control, and possible anti-aging effects.