I ate on Madison St. in Forest Park last night for the first time since 1979, when my wife and I lived in Forest Park and did some of the best eating of our lives. Back then we enjoyed Goldyburgers (still good?); Caesar's, for thin-crust pizza by candlelight (gone?); a blue-collar chili parlor at the NW corner of Harlem and Roosevelt (gone); The Golden Steer on Roosevelt W of Harlem; and just across the municipal borders, Buona Beef; Vesecky's Bakery; Schullo's Tavern (gone); and the Bohemian Crown in River Forest (gone).
I was meeting a pal for supper before we headed to FitzGerald's last night, and we wanted Italian. A search on this board turned up Jimmy's Place, 7411 W. Madison, Forest Park. As the earlier posts said, this is a great place for family-style Italian. The eggplant parm couldn't have been better. The cavatelli were thick like gnocchi, not hand-rolled-cigarette-thin as I'm used to, but still good. The waitress was skilled and funny. And that stretch of Madison itself was really cool, full of bars and restaurants and spiffed up but not too tricked out with streetscaping. It didn't feel like Cook County to me--more like a surprising patch of Pittsburgh.
I never would have thought my Forest Park annus mirabilis of 1979 could be equalled, and I never would have found Jimmy's Place without this board. Chowhounds, you make life better. Thank you.