I am not sure how the chowhounditas came to call Devon Ave, especially the portion between Ridge and McCormick, Da Bomb, but that is now our family name for this greatest of chow streets. Any eating around Devon is surely da bomb!
We did it again yesterday. A reclusive yet highly intelligent source on Devon told me that Tuesday's was the off day on Da Bomb, and he was (as one would expect) right. It is odd to pull up to a range of parking spaces on Da Bomb but pleasurable all the same. Not everything is closed though.
My reclusive friend told me that perhaps the most authentic Indian places along Da Bomb were the sweet or "chaat" shops. Small stores that featured a range of Indian street food, sweets and savories, in mind boggling varieties and colors, meant to be taken with tea. These shops, I was told, featured the fare of Gujarat State and also the city of Bombay (Mumbai). To know Indian Da Bomb, was to know these shops.
After lunch at Sukhadia's, we remain neophytes in the chaat game. Love the stuff, hardly know what we had. Sukhadia has a color menu card. We argued a bit then picked what looked good. It is easy to err as I do not believe that any of the combination plates crack $4. One of our plates featured two sections of vegetables in an organge sauce plus two discs of puffy bread--nuked but still good; the second plate featured two sections of green tinted vegetables with, of all things, buttered hamburger buns. While eating these dishes, Ms. VI commented that there was something pretty spicy, I suggested that maybe that was the jalepeno peppers (and carrots) coated in mustard seeds, a real one-two punch, no? This salad came with both plates. For science, we also ordered bel puri, a mess of rice puffs, cilantro, onions, sweet sauce, spices and maybe even some hard-boiled egg. Not typical food for me, but very addictive. All this food, plus two glasses of steaming milky tea came to slightly over $11. Sukhadia presents such interesting food at such low coasts, I really looking forward to learning what I eat. A bit more info on the company can be found at the linked site.
For some reason, whenever the Condiment Queen and I travel, we visit drugstores. A habit I believe originated in many visits to the ultra discount Fedco in Miami Beach. Our travel to Da Bomb included a visit to the Osco at Devon and Mozart. Hardly a chow stop right? Wrong. This Osco has a small liquor department and this small liquor department features a small selection of wines and other drinks from the old USSR, including Moldovan late harvest cabernets, Ukranian pepper vodkas and other things maybe more interesting for their bottle designs than their tastes. I look forward to RST's explorations of these Eastern liquors.
Our final stop this day on Da Bomb was the Russian deli, Kashtan. Unless you read Russian, however, do not look for that name. I believe the sign on top of this place still says something like G and C International. Regardless, it is the store at 2858 W. Devon. Inside, it is just as dauting as Sukhadia, with assorted fishes, sausages, cheeses, butters, and other things Russian. The people behind the counter, Alex, and a sloe-eyed woman we failed to get her name, helped us greatly uncover these delicacies, offering tastes and explanations. We ended up with some really heavy tasting and delicious Russian salami, hot smoked sturgeon, cold smoked turbot, and a Russian rye just off the cooling rack. I still wait the Russian themed party organized by Cathy2. Until then, I have a good source to supply the party.
Sukhadia's The Sweet Maker
2559 W. Devon
2825 W Devon Ave.
Chicago, IL 60659
2858 W. Devon