Bari Foods

This fall, a local chef recommended that I check out Bari Foods. Not one to pass up a tip from a chef whose cuisine I enjoy, I went and scoped out the store a few weeks ago.

I walked up and down the aisles slowly and found pretty green olive oils, aged balsamic vinegars, tins of salty anchovies and fresh pastas. In the back is the deli section that delivers not only quality meats, cheeses and olives, but also Italian sub sandwiches.

Last Saturday I woke up my husband, Nate, and lured him out in the cold with the promise of a sub he wouldn't forget. We headed down West Grand to Bari's and, once inside, headed straight to the back where there was hardly any elbow room for all the customers yelling out sub sandwich orders. It was crowded and noisy and the customers were hungry. When it was our turn, we ordered a tuna sub and an Italian sub with giardinera. For meats we ordered spicy sausages, pork, and chicken breasts. I also ordered a 1/4 lb of cerignola olives, which are very meaty, bright green olives. The man behind the counter told me he'd give them to me if I promised not to share with anyone. I assured him I had planned on being selfish with these treasures!

While we waited for our order, we went through the aisles and Nate was caught up in the same lust-at-first-sight experience I had a few weeks earlier. He loaded up our basket with fresh marinara sauce, clam sauce, anchovies, and pasta.

We left with our subs and groceries and ate our sandwiches as soon as we got in our car. They were excellent. The bread had a crusty but not hard exterior and the inside was perfect and soft. My tuna was delicious and Nate's Italian had layered good quality salty meats that stood up to the giardinera.

Bari has two new fans with us. We're leaving town on Saturday for the holidays, but on our way out of Chicago we are stopping by Bari's to fill our cooler with sausages, Parma prosciutto, sun-dried tomatoes and a few subs to get us through our long road trip!

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