Foodie Field Trip

I meet with my girlfriends once a week, sometimes we meet for coffee early in the morning, sometimes we go to lunch at our favorite restaurants and often we just cook for each other at our homes.

Sometimes we hop in the car and go into the city just to eat a famous sub sandwich or go to get an Italian ice with some pizza.

I could go on and on about our little excursions like the time we went hunting down fig paste and this particular eggplant salad that we’re obsessed with, but I need to get to the point of this post!

Our recent “field trip” was to a fabulous place called Caputo’s Cheese Market, if you blink you would drive right by it! Located in an industrial area with high fencing all around you barely see the sign as you enter through the gate, the building looks like a warehouse until the door swings open and you’re bombarded by every type of pasta you can think of, tomatoes, canned and jarred all over the place and every kind of staple you would want for an Italian pantry.
Here’s the layout, they have three specific rooms, the main floor is where the staples are, then on the upper level you’ll find the bakery and deli room, salads of every kind, you can even eat lunch there on the tables they have set up. Pizza, panini or any kind of sandwich you want, order your favorite salads and grab a cannoli for dessert!

I just love their olives, my favorite are the massive green olives stuffed with gorgonzola! Every time I open my fridge and see them, I want to pop one in my mouth, they’re so good!
Their sausage is made fresh daily, excellent quality with that old world flavor, and they’re not afraid to use fennel!

The cheese room is overwhelming, every where you turn there’s a different cheese, local and imported from everywhere, the prices are so reasonable one could get carried away, (cough, cough!)

Any of my Chicagoland readers who do not know about this hidden gem, it is worth the ride, go for lunch and spend the afternoon shopping! They have 2 locations, I’ve only been to the one in Melrose Pk. Here’s the link.

Like I said we could have eaten there for lunch, but on that particular day we planned to go to
Danny’s Cafe a neighborhood restaurant which happens to be right up the street from Caputo’s Cheese Market!

What you’ll find at Danny’s Cafe is great food in a casual neighborhood atmosphere with generous portions, I mean come on, how many restaurants do you know that actually serve neckbones?

We went there on a Tuesday, otherwise we would have ordered their platter of neckbones which people go crazy over!

Instead we ordered the fried smelts for our appetizer, this was a small order in which 4 people could easily eat from it.

The feta, tomato, asparagus and olive salad was the perfect complement to my favorite sandwich!

My favorite sandwich is, pepper and egg with crumbled sausage, big enough for 2 to share! Not pictured is the hot giardiniera I spooned all over the top, unbelievably good!

I’m stuffed just looking at all this food!

Buon Appetito!