While plenty of chowhounds are familiar with the wonderful Caputo's on Harlem in Elmwood Park, less know the Caputo's in Melrose Park.
To help, there is a handy guide at the check out of the Melrose Park Caputo's, to paraphrase, "we have many inquiries regarding the relationship between our Caputo market and other Caputo stores in the chicago area...there are 3 Caputo brothers...each has own seperate corporate entity and sucessful business..."
The Melrose Park Caputo's is owned by Pasquale Caputo who also owns the Olympia Milano basketball team! His shop is a combination cheese factory, cafe, deli and bargin outlet. In many ways, it is similiar to Freddy's in Cicero, same stuff, but without the shopworn coolness. What this place has, however, is a place to eat.
Every day, they offer a few items for lunch, a soup, a sandwich or two, some pasta and what ever else caught someone's fancy that day. Nothing is over $4 bucks. They a realy nice pepper and egg that only improves in the steam table and a chicken breast that is both breaded and char-grilled. Nothing is gourmet or even best in its class. Cheap, fast, and filling so you will not go too crazy shopping afterwards.
Still, it is hard to go to crazy shopping. No where else will you find blue ribbon fresh mozzerall cheaper. Today, they had an importated pasta, 5 packs (about a pound each) for $1. Italian tuna is also finely priced.
The deli counter features great versions of the standard Italian deli stuff, plus big puffy pizza's, aranci and panzerotti. Their marinated eggplant is a family fave.
This Caputo's is also a bit hard to find, adding a bit of Tony Soprano to this place. It's off of North Avenue (1931 N. 15th Avenue) where the Leyden motel is.
And for those keeping track at home, the THIRD Caputo's is Giuseppe Caputo with Joe Caputo & Sons Produce, 959 E. Oakton, Des Plaines.