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Minelli Brothers + Hot Italian Sausage (Long)


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Minelli Brothers + Hot Italian Sausage (Long)

G wiv | Dec 7, 2003 01:12 PM

Since I seem to be on a grocery store roll, as opposed to egg or onion, I'll post about another recent favorite of mine Minelli Brother's on North Milwaukee Ave in Niles. Minelli's is a friendly well run family Italian grocery with an emphasis on fresh meat and deli items. Minelli's is well stocked with Italian dry goods, everything from pasta to olive oil and a large selection of giardiniera.

I would venture to say fully 50% of the meat/deli counter customers are known by name and, while Minelli does not carry prime, the selection of choice beef, along with pork, veal and chicken is quite good. Minelli's strong suite is the in-house made Italian sausage and fresh mozzarella.

A couple of months ago Titus Wong inquired about Hot, Hotter and Hottest Italian sausage, I can say without reservation that Minelli's Extra Hot Italian is the hottest I have tried in Chicago, without making it myself or special order.

Since Titus mentioned extra hot Italian sausage I have been picking up a pound whenever I stop in an Italian deli, to date I have tried Bari, good flavor nice hit of fennel, mild heat; Riviera, good flavor, medium heat; Caputo's on Harlem, not much heat; Jim's in Cicero, not much heat, light fennel flavor; Freddy's in Cicero, not hot, with a slightly diffused flavor. Not quite watery, but not rich, no fennel or perceptible spice flavor; Joseph's, good flavor, verging on spicy; Gino's, nice flavor, light fennel, medium spicy; Tony's Deli, not overly hot, full well-rounded flavor.

I should also mention Joyful Foodie called Minelli Brother's as the hottest in Titus's original thread and Rene G mentioned Bari as having excellent barese sausage, which I wholeheartedly agree with. Riviera has an excellent barese as does Tony's Deli. Since I'm at it I should also thank Mr. D Hammond via ReneG for the heads up on Jim's Cream Sausage, truly a wonder of a mild flavorful sausage.

In the deli Minelli's carries two items that I am quickly becoming unable to go without for long, olive salad which has a high proportion of celery to olive, and a good hit of oregano, and fresh mozzarella. Minelli's fresh mozzarella is delicious, rich, a hint of sweetness and a slight ooze of milk when cut. Minelli's fresh mozzarella is not made in-house, but made in New Jersey and delivered daily.

Before the Caputo's Cheese in Melrose Park chorus kicks in, I should say I have only had their in-house-made fresh mozzarella a couple of times, and not recently. My recollection of Caputo's Cheese in Melrose Park's fresh mozzarella is, while good, that it doesn't stack up to Minelli Brother's New Jersey fresh mozzarella.

Minelli's, while not a substitute for Caputo's on Harlem in the produce or deli department, or Devon Ave Butcher for meat, is a good all around Italian grocer, with excellent fresh Italian sausage and mozzarella. Well worth a visit if you find yourself in the area.


Minelli Brothers
7780 N Milwaukee Ave
Niles, IL 60714

Riviera Italian Imported Foods
3220 N Harlem Ave
Chicago, IL 60634

Bari Foods
1120 W Grand Av

Jim’s Market
1538 S 61st Av (at 16th St)
Cicero IL

Caputos Food Market  
2558 N Harlem Ave
Elmwood Park, IL 60707

Caputo Cheese Market
1931 N. 15th Ave.
Melrose Park, IL 60160
Phone: (708) 450-0074

Tony's Deli
6708 N Northwest Highway
Chicago, Il

Joseph's Food Mart
8223 W. Irving Park Rd.
Chicago, IL.

Gino's Italian Imports 
3422 N Harlem Ave
Chicago, IL 60634
773- 745-8310
In Plaza Italia

Devon Avenue Meats
800 Devon Ave
Park Ridge, IL 60068
(Inside Morningfield’s grocery)

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