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Lithuanian in Lemont & the art of chowhounding

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Lithuanian in Lemont & the art of chowhounding

dickson d | May 7, 2004 01:37 PM

There is a little cafe/deli in Lemont called Bravo that I have now visited twice. First blush, the deli/grocery section looked interesting: cheeses and cured and smoked seafood and meats, plus a range of different items on the racks and in the freezers, but up front they only offer coffee, bubble tea(!) and deli sandwiches of an uninspired sort. My first visit I was not hungry and just checking it out, so I had an acceptable expresso, asked a few questions and moved on.

The second time I was hungry and this was the only place on my direct route with any possibilities, so back I went. The sandwiches sounded boring, but the breakfast smoked salmon sandwich seemed like it might have possibilities. No luck, they only had plain deli meat and sandwiches. So I just started asking questions - what is this? and that? (with apologies for all the questions). I ended up with a warm, meat-filled puff pastry (reminiscent of empanadas more than anything, strangely) and a tarragon soda, to my satisfaction. At that point, the ice had been broken though and I continued my exploration and inquiry while eating. This also qualifies as my bargain meal of the year - total cost $1.63.

Only then did I discover that the place is Lithuanian (I believe Mugs had said it is Polish so I took that on faith, tho he may have been referring to a different place) and virtually everything sold there is Lithuanian. Lemont is a center for that community, it appears. They cook and bake, making various pastries and cakes (sweet & savory), soups and stuffed cabbage, though they sell these most of this to go. And they have these beautiful jars of pickled tomatos and pickles that I bought just to put on my counter. If anyone knows the proper way to use this, let me know.

I also left with a load - smaller empanadas, smoked mackerel, smoked chicken, and more, very reasonable. And the Tarragon soda was very good, different flavor, not too sweet. I need to explore the other types of Lithuanian soda.

The lesson, always, is to keep asking until they offer you something interesting.

Bravo Coffee & Deli
238 Main Street
Lemont, IL 60439
630-257-3300

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