Weekend Food Bites – A Little Taste of Italy
If you look at a Chicago map, you can spot a supposed ‘Little Italy’. However, when my parents came into town last October we went exploring for those traditional delis, bakeries, cafes, and restaurants and we came up empty…Maybe we just didn’t go far enough, but it remains a mystery to me. Anyways, I’ve been deprived of my fresh Italian deli meats since moving to Chicago and was excited when I read about J.P. Graziano’s Grocery.
J.P Graziano’s has been around for four generations and provides deprived Chicagoans, like myself, access to hard to find imported goods from the homeland. You can also grab a great sandwich, which sounded like a great idea on a beautiful Saturday. J.P. Graziano’s is located in the West Loop which isn’t exactly the most accessible location, hence why a Saturday trip was necessary. It was worth the trek though.
The menu is simple and I immediately knew what I wanted. I ordered the Prosciutto that comes with fresh mozzarella, fresh basil, tomato, lettuce with red wine vinegar, and oregano. My favorite part is that you go to the back of the store to pay someone’s mother for your sandwich. It truly is a family owned operation and reminds me of the places I used to go with my mom while I was growing up.
The sandwich was fantastic. All the ingredients were fresh and plentiful. I liked the kick of acid from the red wine vinegar that wasn’t overpowering, but gave it a contrast from your typical prosciutto sandwich. The bread was the right amount of soft and crustiness and without any sides, I was left full.
I ended my lunch with a cup of joe from La Columbe down the street and some cookies/brownies from the bakery nearby.
These bite size treats weren’t that great but my coffee was the perfect ending to my Italian excursion.
Till next time, peace out food ninjas!