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Full Moon Restaurant, Rt 41, North Chicago - Grits

CAthy2 | May 10, 200412:13 AM


Saturday I was out early with a friend and up to no good: rummage and house sales. After getting our names on lists, we had nothing to do for hour plus while waiting for houses to open. So we drove up to Full Moon for breakfast.

Lately, there has been a discussion of grits. Until recently, most of my Grits were made at home and courtesy of Quaker. Just before leaving for Mississippi, Pdaane highlighted an article in the New York Times on artisinal grits. What stood out in the article was the comment stone ground grits were not the best way to process grits due to heat. I immediately recalled a passage from Elizabeth David's book on bread making, where she commented stone ground wheat was superior to wheat processed by steel plates due to heat generated by the steel plates. She offered a persuasive argument that white flour and whole wheat flour were virtually the same nutritionally if they had been processed by grinding between steel plates.

Another point of interest in the artisinal grits article was the research done by this craftsman. He found an early article where the grits were overwintered to allow them a freeze cycle before processing, which altered the taste considerably to the better. I guess someday we will know. Peter has had considerable back and forth with these craftspeople just to place a simple order. The website offers different product to consumers than to trade.

While visiting my sister in Mississippi, I visited the local shops where I bought locally produced stone-ground grits. I also bought stone-ground grits in New Orleans at the open air market in the French Quarter. I have made grits from both, what I have enjoyed about them is their cornier taste and the irregular qualities of the ground corn. It was not the uniform texture of Quaker grits and a better defined taste.

One opportunity I have not yet had access to: ErikM indicated buying grits freshly processed same day from the processor and cooking them the very same day. I guess it is like setting water to boil, then going out to the field to pick your corn. I've never been that close to the product source.

On Saturday at Full Moon, the grits delivered were not Quaker but seemed to be stone ground ... something I would not have identified until this recent experience. Yet I am still not sure. The first taste on Saturday, they had a gritty irregularity. I took some home which I had with breakfast Sunday, which seemed smoother ... as if their prolonged contact with moisture had smoothed them out. Whatever, it was a large bowl which I enjoyed both days for different reasons.

In addition to the grits, I split a portion of biscuit and gravy with a friend. The biscuits were fine though not too buttery, the (milk) gravy needed more sausage. Just personal preference, or at least what I am accustomed to from Grandy's in Champaign, a lot more pepper could have been used! The triplet of eggs overeasy were still soft enough, that the one egg I had still had a runny yolk. The corned beef hash was right out of Hormel ... I can do better at Once Upon a Bagel in Highland Park.

Though the place was crowded, we had fast, efficient service. It was a 20 mile round trip detour for us, we figured we were still ahead in both quality of food and speed of service than our 2nd choice: Denny's! (Yes, I could have gone to Walker Brothers, but there is usually a line. Or Once Upon a Bagel, which I didn't think about until we got the crummy corned beef hash)


Full Moon
IL Highway 41 & 137
Open 24 hours a day
Serves broasted chicken.


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