A few notes from the weekend's food experiences:
Friday night, I visited the multiplicity of food booths at the inimitable Melrose Park's Feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. Not a bad selection for a neighborhood festival. We tried a "slice" (so-so), a rice ball (big ball of rice filled with meat and cheese and topped with marinara), a sausage (not bad, and the roll was excellent), a "fish salad" (very good, served with lemon and bread), and gelato (also very good). Then, as if that weren't enough, it was on to
Dunk Donuts, 1912 W. Lake, Melrose Park. Now, it's significant to note that I usually dislike donuts - especially Krispy Kreme style. But these donuts blew me away. I sampled the maple cake-style and the sour cream variety. Wow! Not greasy-tasting at all, but rich, cakey and moist. And these had probably been sitting around awhile because the place was about to close, so I bet they're even better fresh.
Miss Kitty's Diner, just north of the intersection at the corner of Kedzie and North Avenue, is brand-new, replacing the old establishment that used to be in the space (which advertised a whole list of cuisines, from hillbilly to Mexican - never tried it). Now it's under new ownership (Miss Kitty) and serves up Appalachian specialities for breakfast: fried bologna and country ham, biscuits and sausage gravy, grits, and of course the "Tennessee special" (hash browns and biscuits smothered in a gallon of gravy, with eggs riding on top). I tried the B&G - and it was a very acceptable rendition of both, though not stellar. The lunch menu looked less appealing, consisting of mostly burgers and sandwiches; they don't serve dinner yet (but it is on the way). Service is very friendly and they're eager to build up a following. I'd recommend it for some B&G if you find yourself down that way. Sort of an odd location for that type of diner.
Finally, I have to put in another plug for Sweet Mandy B's cookies (not that they need the business - the place is booming). I bought a bunch of different kinds of bars and cookies for a party this weekend and was blown away by the chocolate and dried cherry variety (an intensely chocolate cookie) and the iced molasses cookie. They make a fine, fine cookie there .....