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Kunigaikščių Užeiga — Duke's Eatery & Deli

Kunigaikščių Užeiga — Duke's Eatery & Deli
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  • Kunigaikščių Užeiga — Duke's Eatery & Deli

    Post #1 - December 27th, 2006, 8:34 pm
    Post #1 - December 27th, 2006, 8:34 pm Post #1 - December 27th, 2006, 8:34 pm
    Duke's was first mentioned here nearly a year ago by Marija. Her post got a few comments but didn't seem to inspire many visits, a real shame because it was among the year's best tips. I first went back in March and liked Duke's a lot but neglected to write anything. Now, with the cooler weather, I've been a few more times and have been just as impressed.

    Most Lithuanian restaurants in and around Chicago—Healthy Food, Seklyčia, Mabenka—fit the same pattern: plain home-style food in mammoth portions served to older customers in plain surroundings. There's absolutely nothing wrong with that but a little variety is good too.

    Duke's, on a busy stretch of Harlem Avenue, doesn't look terribly promising from the outside but inside it's clear a lot of effort went into decoration.

    Image
    Image
    A long well-stocked bar is along one wall and the rest of the space is taken up by tables and large wooden booths.

    The menu is huge, over twenty pages including one devoted to potato dishes, with most of the Lithuanian standards and many you're unlikely to see elsewhere around Chicago. The appetizer section is especially impressive. Assorted plates chosen to accompany beer, vodka, or wine are available. The beer plate includes smoked pig ears, dry salami, smoked mackerel, Lithuanian cheese, and fried bread with garlic sauce. Incidentally the beer list is extensive with four varieties of Švyturys and two each of Kalnapilis and Utenos. Lithuanian vodkas can be had by the bottle or glass.

    Soups change daily but sauerkraut and beet soup (hot or cold) are always available.

    Raugintų kopūstų sriuba
    Image
    The mild sauerkraut soup comes with a bit of pungent melted cheese, a nice touch. When Duke's opened they used pottery made for them in Lithuania (embossed with the Duke's crest). Unfortunately they have stopped using this beautiful serving ware.

    I've tried a few entrees and have been generally happy with them. Most main dishes come with potato and an assortment of salads as well as a nice bread basket.

    Kiaulienos suktinukai su voveruškomis
    Image
    Pork rolls, served with a chanterelle cream sauce, were subtle and satisfying. I believe that's a Švyturys Extra (Dortmunder style).

    Šernienos maltiniai su šonine ir aštriu padažu
    Image
    Less subtle but just as satisfying was the boar wrapped in bacon, broiled and served with a spicy sour cream-garlic-paprika sauce. The beer is Švyturys Anniversary, a pleasant but fairly standard Pilsner.

    Kiaulienos šnicelis
    Image
    When I first saw the šnicelis I was disappointed it wasn't the thinly pounded meat I expected. As soon as I tasted the chopped pork cutlet I realized it was an excellent rendition, very fresh and moist. The beer is Švyturys Baltas, a pretty good unfiltered wheat beer (not to be confused with Švyturys Baltijos, a malty dark beer).

    Behind the restaurant there's a Lithuanian delicatessen, reason enough to visit.

    Image
    It's small but densely packed with condiments, jams, and breads (well worth buying) imported from Lithuania and there's a large freezer with many types of dumplings. The highlight is the meat and salad case, with nearly everything made on the premises. Try some unusual multi-component rolled sausage or several kinds of heavily smoked pork. There are some interesting salads such as fried bread and bean or herring with dried fruit (most of these are available in the restaurant as well). They also prepare fresh kibinai, bacon buns, and other baked goods. I haven't yet explored the fish case, with a good variety of smoked fish and caviar. Duke's Deli would be a good place to stock up on New Year's Eve snacks.

    Image
    Clockwise from top: slightly sweet organic rye bread from Vilnius, smoked pork, meat loaf, herring and mushroom salad, fish loaf, beet and bean salad. Except for the bread (as well as mustard and horseradish) everything was made at Duke's. Unfortunately I didn't have any Lithuanian beverages on hand but this went very well with some Old Rasputin Stout (a really great 9% RIS from North Coast Brewing).

    I hope people will give this ambitious restaurant a try. I'm thinking of organizing a group dinner, maybe at the end of January when the holidays are well behind us, if there's enough interest.

    Finally, a few words about Lithuanian pronunciation. I'm not the person you want to get this sort of advice from but I believe the following is close to correct. The letters č, š, ž (with a caron) are pronounced ch, sh, zh. Both ų (with an ogonek) and ū (with a macron) are pronounced more or less like oo as in duke.

    Duke's Eatery & Deli — Kunigaikščių Užeiga
    6312 S Harlem Av
    Summit IL
    708-594-5622
    Mon-Thu 10-10, Fri-Sat 10-12, Sun 10-9
    Deli open 10-8 every day
  • Post #2 - December 27th, 2006, 8:39 pm
    Post #2 - December 27th, 2006, 8:39 pm Post #2 - December 27th, 2006, 8:39 pm
    This has long been on my want-to-try list since that first post mentioning it, and I think a group dinner in January would be an excellent idea. Thank you for reporting and finally explicating some of the mystery that has lingered since those initial reports.
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  • Post #3 - December 27th, 2006, 11:35 pm
    Post #3 - December 27th, 2006, 11:35 pm Post #3 - December 27th, 2006, 11:35 pm
    January would be a very good month to suck down some of this good-looking chow.

    Outstanding reportage, ReneG.
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #4 - December 29th, 2006, 10:05 am
    Post #4 - December 29th, 2006, 10:05 am Post #4 - December 29th, 2006, 10:05 am
    Thanks so much for posting ReneG!

    We've been on an Eastern Euro beer and cuisine bent and had a wonderful meal at both Lachet's and Operetta last week! Great to know of another worthy destination! Mmmmm smoked pig ears and beer!

    I was pleasantly surprised to find their menu online complete with their own food porn photos
    http://www.dukeseateryanddeli.com/

    Was the boar wrapped in bacon a special? That was enough to get me in the car right now!
  • Post #5 - December 29th, 2006, 6:26 pm
    Post #5 - December 29th, 2006, 6:26 pm Post #5 - December 29th, 2006, 6:26 pm
    griffin's wife wrote:We've been on an Eastern Euro beer and cuisine bent and had a wonderful meal at both Lachet's and Operetta last week! Great to know of another worthy destination! Mmmmm smoked pig ears and beer!

    I hope you enjoy Duke's. It's great cold-weather food and there's plenty on the menu to explore. Pig ears (and beer) are available in the deli as well. If you look at the picture above of the deli case, the ears are in the center of the bottom shelf. I haven't tried them yet.

    griffin's wife wrote:Was the boar wrapped in bacon a special? That was enough to get me in the car right now!

    Yes, the ground wild boar "sausage" wrapped in bacon was a daily special. For what it's worth it was a Tuesday but I don't think the specials are exactly periodical (it wasn't offered on another Tuesday I was there). When I set up the group dinner I'll certainly try to include boar.
  • Post #6 - December 30th, 2006, 6:50 am
    Post #6 - December 30th, 2006, 6:50 am Post #6 - December 30th, 2006, 6:50 am
    Great place-was there yesterday for lunch. Have to say- the best kugelis I ever had in a restaurant (As much as I like the Healthy Food as an entity the kugelis is, and never has been anywhere near acceptable.) Cepelinas, beet soup, saurkraut soup, bread, sausage, smoked pig ears, herring with mushroom salad, and even the coffee were all quite good. Very cool dining room and deli. The music is a trip. (To Lithuania) Don't sit too close to the big t.v. screen.
    I've been told about the place-but Rene's most excellent post pushed me into taking the journey. Thanks for that post, and everyone get over there-it's a kick.
    I love animals...they're delicious!
  • Post #7 - January 6th, 2007, 9:42 am
    Post #7 - January 6th, 2007, 9:42 am Post #7 - January 6th, 2007, 9:42 am
    Great timing! We have a new Lithuanian waitress working at the bar and she said this is the best Lit. food she has had in the states so far. We are planning a trip there in the next couple weeks, those pics look great.
  • Post #8 - January 14th, 2007, 10:51 pm
    Post #8 - January 14th, 2007, 10:51 pm Post #8 - January 14th, 2007, 10:51 pm
    OK, so when's the dinner? (I hope it doesn't conflict with Racoonfest 2007.)
    Man : I can't understand how a poet like you can eat that stuff.
    T. S. Eliot: Ah, but you're not a poet.
  • Post #9 - January 15th, 2007, 8:43 pm
    Post #9 - January 15th, 2007, 8:43 pm Post #9 - January 15th, 2007, 8:43 pm
    Josephine wrote:OK, so when's the dinner? (I hope it doesn't conflict with Racoonfest 2007.)

    I haven't forgotten the Lithuanian dinner and most certainly haven't forgotten the Coon Feed. The dinner at Duke's might have to be moved to February, perhaps sometime around Lithuanian Independence Day. I'll post some details when I know more.
  • Post #10 - January 15th, 2007, 8:47 pm
    Post #10 - January 15th, 2007, 8:47 pm Post #10 - January 15th, 2007, 8:47 pm
    Rene G wrote:The dinner at Duke's might have to be moved to February, perhaps sometime around Lithuanian Independence Day.


    Lithuanian Independence Day?! Sounds perfect. Feb 16 is a Friday night.
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #11 - January 15th, 2007, 8:52 pm
    Post #11 - January 15th, 2007, 8:52 pm Post #11 - January 15th, 2007, 8:52 pm
    Rene G wrote: The dinner at Duke's might have to be moved to February, perhaps sometime around Lithuanian Independence Day. I'll post some details when I know more.

    Oh, right, Lithuanian Independence Day, of course, February 16th':wink:'. It's a Friday this year. Are sparklers traditional?
    Man : I can't understand how a poet like you can eat that stuff.
    T. S. Eliot: Ah, but you're not a poet.
  • Post #12 - January 15th, 2007, 8:54 pm
    Post #12 - January 15th, 2007, 8:54 pm Post #12 - January 15th, 2007, 8:54 pm
    Looks like Hammond beat me to the punch yet again.
    Man : I can't understand how a poet like you can eat that stuff.
    T. S. Eliot: Ah, but you're not a poet.
  • Post #13 - January 15th, 2007, 8:55 pm
    Post #13 - January 15th, 2007, 8:55 pm Post #13 - January 15th, 2007, 8:55 pm
    I only recently realized Lithuanian Independence Day is coming soon (there's a second one in March!) and haven't discussed the date with Duke's. It's possible it would be the absolute worst day for them. We'll see.
  • Post #14 - January 16th, 2007, 11:00 am
    Post #14 - January 16th, 2007, 11:00 am Post #14 - January 16th, 2007, 11:00 am
    The longstanding Lithuanian Independence Day tradition in the US is long boring political speeches by those who are running for election and looking for votes!

    Speaking of matters Lithuanian, there's a new Lithuanian restaurant in Wheeling: Savas Cafe. There are also signs on Milwaukee Road, just north of Dundee, for Antano Kampas, currently located on 69th and Washtenaw. Cepelinai are finally rolling North...
  • Post #15 - January 16th, 2007, 11:16 am
    Post #15 - January 16th, 2007, 11:16 am Post #15 - January 16th, 2007, 11:16 am
    Marija wrote:Speaking of matters Lithuanian, there's a new Lithuanian restaurant in Wheeling: Savas Cafe. There are also signs on Milwaukee Road, just north of Dundee, for Antano Kampas, currently located on 69th and Washtenaw. Cepelinai are finally rolling North...


    addresses?
  • Post #16 - January 16th, 2007, 12:29 pm
    Post #16 - January 16th, 2007, 12:29 pm Post #16 - January 16th, 2007, 12:29 pm
    Savas Cafe
    250 McHenry Road
    Wheeling
    847-229-8484

    Antano Kampas has a sign but isn't open yet.
  • Post #17 - January 17th, 2007, 2:06 pm
    Post #17 - January 17th, 2007, 2:06 pm Post #17 - January 17th, 2007, 2:06 pm
    I ate at Duke's last night with my Lithuanian friend Oksana.

    We started with the "fried bread hill"; a Jenga style stack of fried bread drizzlrd with a garlicky cheese sauce and dill. It goes very well with beer and the home made bread was excellent.

    She had the Vederai, a baked poatato sausage in a natural casing that she said is extremely traditional. I liked it, the casing was a nice touch. I had the Cepelinai, a meat and potato Uber dumpling. Each one was softball sized and you get two for $5.50. Both come with a really tasty bacon and sour cream sacue that had a good roasted garlic flavor and some onion.

    A nice slice of not too sweet nut and caramel cake, some hot mulled wine (very big in Lithuania) and a Svyturys Exstra rounded out the meal.

    It is most defintely a green vegetable averse menu but I will absolutely be going back for the pork hock and the pork roll with chantrelles.
  • Post #18 - February 20th, 2007, 11:25 am
    Post #18 - February 20th, 2007, 11:25 am Post #18 - February 20th, 2007, 11:25 am
    Hey, Duke's fans. Sorry for the late notice, but Duke's restaurant and deli is going to be on Chicago Tonight tonight (Tues. Feb. 20). I did a Lithuanian cooking segment and we visited Dukes and chatted with the owner, Andrew, along with AJ Meats and Wally's. Marilyn Pocius (Cook's Guide to Chicago)
  • Post #19 - May 19th, 2007, 11:31 pm
    Post #19 - May 19th, 2007, 11:31 pm Post #19 - May 19th, 2007, 11:31 pm
    Octarine wrote:We started with the "fried bread hill"; a Jenga style stack of fried bread drizzlrd with a garlicky cheese sauce and dill. It goes very well with beer...


    Image

    Image

    Most excellent with a Lithuanian lager.
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #20 - May 20th, 2007, 1:31 am
    Post #20 - May 20th, 2007, 1:31 am Post #20 - May 20th, 2007, 1:31 am
    Damn I need to get back down there. Oksana moved back to Rhode Island so I will need to find others to go eat with.

    A Svyturys goes great with the fried bread sticks.
  • Post #21 - May 20th, 2007, 5:19 pm
    Post #21 - May 20th, 2007, 5:19 pm Post #21 - May 20th, 2007, 5:19 pm
    After our fried bread hill, we had a platter of roe, cod liver (in the cuke) and salmon; the fish eggs were simply placed on buttered crackers and then dotted with butter, because, you know, caviar all by itself really needs an added jolt of dairy richness. :roll:

    Image

    About half-way through, we just removed the butter dots and found that this set the flavor of the roe in relief, which was a good thing.

    Duke's site (check out menu of Homeric dimensions): http://www.dukeseateryanddeli.com/
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #22 - August 4th, 2007, 11:08 am
    Post #22 - August 4th, 2007, 11:08 am Post #22 - August 4th, 2007, 11:08 am
    I went to Duke's last night in a group of 5. We got there rather late, around 9:30 pm, but our waitress was very friendly and helpful. My friend is going to be on Check Please, and this is one of the restaurants she was charged with trying out.

    We started out with the keptos duonos kalnelis (fried bread hill) and the rinkinys prie degtines (snack with vodka). The sausage was unlike any I've ever had before - very garlic-y and strong (but very tasty!).

    The entire table then shared plates of zeppelins (potato dish stuffed with sausage and covered with sauce) and kugelis (potato cakes). The kugelis were a big hit with our group - the consistency was unlike anything I've had before, it was almost like a firm jelly.

    Everyone then did entrees. We tried to order a lot of different things so that my friend would be able to get a good sampling to talk about on the show. We had Duke's Pork Tenderloin, Beef Dish "Vytautas" with mushrooms, Chicken Dish "Barbora", and the country style Duck. The duck was very well received - moist and flavorful, and served with a very tasty sauerkraut. The chicken was very juicy, and the apples it was stuffed with added a nice sweetness to the dish that I really enjoyed. I didn't try the pork or beef, but they were very well received by those that did try them.

    We also had a couple rounds of Lithuanian beer and a snifter of mead, which was a sweet brandy-type liquor (that was very strong!).

    All in all, it was a wonderful experience, and we'll certainly be going back. The episode of Check Please featuring Duke's will air sometime this fall, so if you were thinking of heading to Summit to try Duke's, I'd recommend doing so before the show airs.
  • Post #23 - August 4th, 2007, 11:13 am
    Post #23 - August 4th, 2007, 11:13 am Post #23 - August 4th, 2007, 11:13 am
    Glad you liked Duke's -- I'm guessing you were there too late for the deli, but I've made a mental note to return there when it gets cooler to stock up on cured meats, etc (a lot of this food seems more suited to a colder climate).

    Kimmerz321 wrote:All in all, it was a wonderful experience, and we'll certainly be going back. The episode of Check Please featuring Duke's will air sometime this fall, so if you were thinking of heading to Summit to try Duke's, I'd recommend doing so before the show airs.


    Ditto Silver Seafood? :roll:
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #24 - May 30th, 2008, 9:12 am
    Post #24 - May 30th, 2008, 9:12 am Post #24 - May 30th, 2008, 9:12 am
    Stopped by there last week. What an awesome place!

    Their mushroom preparations were some of the best. The mushroom soup and gravy.

    I had a combo plate and it was all good. The Zeppelin (potato dumpling) was very good albeit a bit soft and the garlic cheese sauce that is for the kugelis was a very nice touch!

    My bride had the pork cutlet with mushroom sauce and she enjoyed it very much.

    Too much food though. :) We had enough taken home for another meal.

    They will be changing and simplifying the menu soon. Too bad as there are many items there I want to try.

    Also they will be having music on the weekends and half price appetizers and $2 beers before Chicago Fire games (stadium just south on Harlem).

    I will be heading back tonight to sample a few things before the menu changes.
    "Make Lunch, Not War" ~ Anon
  • Post #25 - May 30th, 2008, 10:27 am
    Post #25 - May 30th, 2008, 10:27 am Post #25 - May 30th, 2008, 10:27 am
    If they still have the potato sausage on the menu, try them. They are a treat (at least to me).
  • Post #26 - May 30th, 2008, 3:09 pm
    Post #26 - May 30th, 2008, 3:09 pm Post #26 - May 30th, 2008, 3:09 pm
    pamiela wrote:If they still have the potato sausage on the menu, try them. They are a treat (at least to me).


    I was offered either the meat or potato sausage with my combo and since it was my first visit I went with the traditional meat.

    I will see if I give it a try tonight.

    Maybe the bread mountain with the garlic cheese sauce. :)

    Mmmm...
    "Make Lunch, Not War" ~ Anon
  • Post #27 - May 30th, 2008, 3:11 pm
    Post #27 - May 30th, 2008, 3:11 pm Post #27 - May 30th, 2008, 3:11 pm
    The bread mountain is very tasty. Goes great with a beer or three.
    I used to think the brain was the most important part of the body. Then I realized who was telling me that.
  • Post #28 - June 9th, 2008, 2:31 pm
    Post #28 - June 9th, 2008, 2:31 pm Post #28 - June 9th, 2008, 2:31 pm
    I have been stopping by on a weekly basis to try out some of my favorite items before they get the axe when they update the menu.

    Last Friday I tried the pork rolls stuffed with mushrooms. Very good! A tad dry as some of the baked items have tended to be. Love the mushroom gravy. :)

    Also had the Bread Hill as pictured above and it did go well with a beer or three. :)

    Be careful on Fri-Sun when they have music. It does tend to be a touch loud and try to get a seat in the back.
    "Make Lunch, Not War" ~ Anon
  • Post #29 - January 10th, 2009, 7:25 pm
    Post #29 - January 10th, 2009, 7:25 pm Post #29 - January 10th, 2009, 7:25 pm
    Husband and I both have MLK day off this year and, weather permitting, are planning to make our maiden voyage to Duke's either Sunday or Monday evening. Seems like the perfect food/atmosphere for the January we're having this year. We're pretty unfamilar with the area. Is there anything else nearby we should check out while in the vicinity? A good bakery, deli, anything? Thanks, Lynn
  • Post #30 - January 11th, 2009, 8:50 am
    Post #30 - January 11th, 2009, 8:50 am Post #30 - January 11th, 2009, 8:50 am
    LynnB wrote: Is there anything else nearby we should check out while in the vicinity? A good bakery, deli, anything? Thanks, Lynn

    Weber's Bakery & Racine Bakery are in that hood. But I think Weber's is closed on Sun and Mon. Call Racine for their hours:

    http://www.racinebakery.com/index.html
    What if the Hokey Pokey really IS what it's all about?

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