[Today’s final post comes from my best friend, Katie. She is literally the best.]
LAND OF LOTTIE
A Doof Tour of Chicago’s Southwest Side
If a wayward reader stumbled upon Lottie + Doof, a cursory glance might cause her to surmise the blogger grew up in the Hamptons. More committed and thorough readers, or those who read the paczki post know that Tim spent years one through five on Chicago’s Southwest Side. For years I’ve been telling Tim he should treat loyal Doofers to the culinary wonders of his old neighborhood. When he gave me the chance to contribute to L+D’s 4th anniversary, I whisked him away in my car to eat our way from 34th to 92nd, from Western to Pulaski.
The first stop is often the sweetest:
7055 West Archer Avenue
Since 1930, this German family owned bakery has been churning out premium paczki and kolaczki. Back when Little Timmy was reaching into their signature brown and white boxes, his neighborhood was populated mostly by Polish immigrants. Today, the neighborhood is home to both Poles and Mexicans, but you won’t find any tres leches at Weber’s.
Weber’s is not a place to browse; it operates at the pace of a board of trade. Teenage girls scoot around with intimidating efficiency. Tim’s favorite kolaczki ad paczki are raspberry, but he also recommends the apricot and cheese. Though an older Tim has come to revere small-batch bakery made with local ingredients, he admits to enjoying a Weber’s danish just as much.
What would Little Timmy Say?
I like Weber’s. Whenever my mom or grandma gets a taste for some, someone goes out to get it. The teenage girls there are cool. They’re really fast running around and getting everybody’s bakery and taking your money and giving you change. And they’re lucky they get to have a job. It’s like they are the bosses of Weber’s.
SITE OF ORIGINAL DOVE CANDIES
When Tim was little, the neighborhood folk would stroll over to this small shop for ice cream on a stick dipped in chocolate. This old-time parlor was called Dove Candies. It grew into the international company you know today, but you would never know by looking at the site!
TIM’S OLD HOUSE
This is where he lived and played. His Busha (Polish for Grandma, though she was his Great-Grandma) had a garden in the back.
TEDDY BEAR DAY CARE
Still in operation, growing the next generation of food bloggers. Little Timmy had a crush on Miss Cathy, his teacher.
VITO & NICKS
8433 South Pulaski Road
This very thin, orange, crackery-crusted pizza is best topped with hot giardiniera. Here is one of the few places you can order a pitcher of RC. It also has a bartender with the voice of a Southside Italian Tom Waits. Delicious.
What would Little Timmy say?
Pizza is my favorite food and this is the best pizza in my neighborhood. The cheese is well done and that’s how I like it. The sauce is sweet and the cheese is salty. It’s good that the crust is thin. My grandma Lottie only likes this kind, because the others are “too doughy”. I agree with her.
ORIGINAL RAINBOW CONE
9233 South Western Avenue
You have to go here because nobody else does what they do. You will be treated to five slabs of aerated ice cream, always these flavors and always in this order: orange sherbet, pistachio, Palmer House (New York vanilla with cherries and walnuts, of course), strawberry, chocolate. What? Yup.
What would Little Timmy Say?
I like ice cream that comes in shapes that aren’t rounded. I also like ice cream in a square.
THE INDIAN OF PULASKI
63rd and Pulaski
He used to advertise tobacco, but tobacco laws changed and an eye clinic took the spot. The buff Indian adapted well by donning glasses and claiming EYE CAN SEE NOW.
HUCK FINN DONUTS
3414 S. Archer
What do the banks of Mississippi and Chicago’s Southwest Side have in common? It’s not gators or rats… it’s Huck Finn. If you’re ravenous or the sharing sort, you can get a Texas donut (diameter of a gallon bucket of paint), or Alaskan (diameter of a beach ball).
What would Little Timmy say?
I come here with my Grandma Lottie. I get a French cruller, and she gets a coffee. Old people are always drinking coffee.
PINDOS (formerly MOUNT PINDOS, now THE NEW PINDOS)
4955 S. Pulaski Avenue
Chicago Poles really enjoy a good Greek joint. Across the street from Marie Skłodowska-Curie (she was Polish before marrying a Frenchman!) High School, this remade restaurant evaded us. We were too full, dear Doofers, we are ashamed to report. We were stuffed with hot giardiniera pizza, five slabs of aerated ice cream, and oversized donuts. It’s always good to leave wanting more. It won’t be our last time on the Southwest Side. As Little Timmy would say: If you like a place, go back.
That’s all folks! The celebration is over. Thanks to Brian, Amelia, Henry, Remy, Helen, Kelly, and Katie for making it so great! Back to regularly scheduled programming next week…
September 7th, 2012 at 10:55 am
oh man i love this post. Finding out what little Timmy would say was perfect. This would be an awesome photobook.
Congratulations on FOUR Years! This is one of the best spots around.
September 7th, 2012 at 11:22 am
This is awesome! I’m a new reader and just discovered that you’re based in Chicago, and more specifically Oak Park?! That makes us neighbors, I’m in Forest Park. Crazy stuff! I’ve been meaning to make it to rainbow cone so thanks for the reminder! And Vito and Nick’s too…I’m trying to recall if I saw them on Triple D because it seems to ring a bell…
Maybe I’ll see you around town :)
Caroline Shields says:
September 7th, 2012 at 12:20 pm
Oh my gosh, I love this post! Happy 4!
September 7th, 2012 at 12:50 pm
Esther- hello, neighbor! Vito & Nicks is definitely worth the trip, and while you are there you might as well go to Weber’s and Rainbow Cone.
September 7th, 2012 at 2:13 pm
WOW…I love this post and I am not even from Chicago but have always wanted to be! Does that make sense…a Chicago wanna-be??? Having relatives and life long friends there and having lived in Waukegan years ago we got to visit all around and hit the special ‘little spots’ as you listed. Also being Polish and Lithuanian always made me feel as if I really could belong!
Dawn | KitchenTravels says:
September 7th, 2012 at 6:28 pm
Classic. Old people ARE always drinking coffee. xo
September 7th, 2012 at 6:40 pm
My friend just showed me this posting and I just about cried. I grew up on the Southside and haven’t been back in years. OUR bakery was Weber’s! The Indian on Pulaski was my mortal enemy! My sister and I went to Teddy Bear Daycare! I totally remember pretending to sleep during naptime while our teacher flipped through magazines at her desk.
Thank you thank you thank you for reminding me a bit of my childhood!
September 7th, 2012 at 6:44 pm
Omigoodness. I just saw that you went to Northwestern and studied Art Theory and Practice. Um. So did I.
Am I in an alternate universe? Did our paths diverge in a yellow wood?
September 7th, 2012 at 6:56 pm
Maybe we are the same person?! OMG. Amazing, KB! What are the chances?!
September 7th, 2012 at 8:07 pm
I think it is possible we are twins!
September 7th, 2012 at 9:55 pm
What a finish! This post is the greatest…and ” Palmer House” ice cream? I want some right now. Again, congrats. Looking foward to more.
September 8th, 2012 at 3:15 am
This post made me long for everything it features: small town places, Chicago inspired food, and Katie and Tim. Very nice post you two.. Love you. Xoxo
September 8th, 2012 at 10:03 am
“growing the next generation of food bloggers” hahahhaa. This is the cutest post ever. And that ice cream cone?! GENIUS.
September 8th, 2012 at 12:47 pm
Dang I have still not been to Rainbow Cone!!! I might have to go today. Congrats on four – look forward to more.
September 8th, 2012 at 1:56 pm
Jules- get thee to rainbow cone! I want a full report.
September 8th, 2012 at 6:51 pm
This is such a fun post! Love love love. Congrats again on 4 years!
September 9th, 2012 at 2:57 am
Btw, what’s up w that sign? I mean, what’s the story behind it?
September 9th, 2012 at 2:51 pm
Wow, this is the best post. Love this little peak into Chicago. A super fun week at L&D, Tim!!!
September 9th, 2012 at 5:27 pm
Ahhh, you tok me back to MY childhood! My family owned an auto parts store at 66th & Pulaski for many years. Used to go to Dove Candies, Vito & Nick’s and Huck Finn. I remember the huge indian. And now I am craving Rainbow Cone- my great-grandparents went there when they were dating and family continues to love it.
Paul Glowiak says:
September 10th, 2012 at 9:07 pm
That is the first time I saw their house in Chicago since they moved to Orland Park. It looks just the same as it did then, except for the ironwork.
When I was a kid, Wojciks lived about 6 houses north of there, and Mortensens lived one street to the west and at the corner on 59th Street.
Thanks for the memories!
September 11th, 2012 at 11:24 am
Never thought I’d see a post about my stomping ground,the Southwest Side! Then again, the neighhood(s) have been getting good food press of late…chef Ryan Poli is a fellow Garfield Ridger, pizza from Obbie’s was mentioned on The Good Wife, Weber’s snd Ptizcek’s bakeries and Mini-Hut (fried chicken)have been featured on local food shows and blogs like LTHForum and Serious Eats, etc. I hope you visit again and check out some other local gems (e.g., Joe and Frank’s Market for smoked sausage, Nicky’s for a Big Baby, Parisi’s for an Italian beef, I could go on and on).
September 20th, 2012 at 8:57 pm
A Chicagoan, great writer (about food!), AND a fellow NU alum (I got my MA in Lit)? Love it!
This post makes me crave a great punchki (I know it’s not the Polish spelling, but that’s how it always sounded when my mom called us that). I work in Evanston and have to say Bennison’s are my favorite, but they only have them once a year. I’ll have to do some driving to check this place out.
September 21st, 2012 at 11:20 pm
Aw man, Chicago is such a great city. And what a wonderful tribute. Congrats on 4! I always get giddy when there’s a new post. Keep it up! Your loyal Doofer! xo
September 23rd, 2012 at 5:31 pm
Tim, just wondering: have we never discussed the fact that we seem to have grown up very close to each other on the south side?!?! Just a few months ago I was out in Beverly (most of my mom’s side of the family still lives there) and I drove by Rainbow Cone and was immediately whisked away to memories of my childhood and so many warm summer nights, when my mom and I would walk over there and wait in (the inevitably long) line for some tasty sherbet. Ah, and of course the Indian on Pulaski and Huck Finn donuts! Thanks for taking me on a mini trip down memory lane! Fall is such a nostalgic time anyway, and your post just made it even more so.