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#1
Posted March 20th 2006, 7:28pm
Minos Imports, Addison


A couple of weeks back, on a fine Saturday afternoon, I felt a sudden and intense urge for volvoí or lampascioni (about which I’ve written before). Unfortunately, on a visit the week before to see my friends at Athens Market (link) , I discovered that they had run out of this bitter treat and had no idea when they would get them again. To make matters worse, another Greek store I’ve written about, Ellinikon Pandopoleion (link), does not carry this item, at least so far as I could see in the course of several visits. But luckily, Amata applied some of her research skills to the problem at hand and within in a short time, we had a promising destination: Minos Imported Foods and Liquor. There I found not only great quantities of delicious volvoí but an absolutely fabulous Greek food store and one of the best ethnic groceries in the region: Thanks to the large number of Greeks in the area, this shop is able to offer a very wide selection of all the common and many not so common specialty items, but beyond that the store also caters to various ethnic groups from the Balkans resident in Addison and environs, adding a further dimension to an already impressive range of offerings.

Minos Imports is on Lake Street, which is undergoing some work at the moment...
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...but access to the parking area in front of the shop is no problem.
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As one enters the store, the ‘deli’ counter is to the right, the grocery aisles to the left. Here is one of the cheese coolers (with a sign showing the prices on roasted meets in the background):
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Further toward the back is a cooler with various fish items, tinned, salted, etc. (bacalà, salted sardines and anchovies, tinned tuna, etc.); beyond that is the counter containing the roasted meats which are available on weekends (more on those anon):
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The grocery section is large and the selection of all the important, basic items is quite extensive. Here are the shelves with olive oil:
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And here the pasta products and some canned prepared items:
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Along the far wall is a long row of freezers containing all sorts of items, and toward the back along that wall are more coolers containing various dairy items and more:
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In the far back of the store is a small selection of basic vegetables and fruits for convenience’s sake. Below them, in the large cooler is a splendid array of ethnic sausages of all sorts. In the back of the picture, one can also see part of a set of shelves holding all manner of pickled vegetables from the Balkans:
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One cannot eat without drinking and Minos offers an impressive array of Greek wines and spirits, as well as wines and spirits from the Balkan countries:
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Pára polí retsína i rakí? No, no... nothing like that... Lucantonius, when he saw the staggeringly enticing selection of cookies and sweets, simply said «po po!» and fainted.
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While we were in the shop, we had a chance to speak a good bit with George, an exceedingly friendly and engaging man who is, I believe, not the owner but the manager of the store. We were thus able to ask a bit about the store and its clientele, as well as about the availability of many of our favourite Greek and especially Cretan products. He kindly offered Amata and me each a nice chunk of fresh bread, still hot from the oven, and a nice little piece of feta to accompany the bread. Yes, they bake their own bread too...

More to follow, with further pictures...

Kalí sas órexi!
Antonius

Minos Imports
648 W.Lake Street
Addison, IL 60101
630.543.0337
_______________________________________

Alle Nerven exzitiert von dem gewürzten Wein -- Anwandlung von Todesahndungen -- Doppeltgänger --
- aus dem Tagebuch E.T.A. Hoffmanns, 6. Januar 1804.
________
Na sir is na seachain an cath.
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#2
Posted March 21st 2006, 10:02am
been shopping at Minos for years..stay away from the loukaniko though..he freezes them in tin pans with plastic lids..freezer burn deluxe
other than that no complaints here
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#3
Posted March 21st 2006, 10:52am
Minos Imports (synékheia)

It was, I’m sure, clear from the above that we were quite taken with Minos Imports. We left with a large box and several bags of stuff, some of which is pictured below:
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In front of the wine bottles are, from left to right, a package of Greek rice, a bottle of volvoí, a bottle of spicy pickled peppers – feferoni – from Bulgaria, a couple of packages of ‘artisanal’ pasta products (sour trahanas and short egg noodles called xylopítes), a plastic container filled with house-made Greek-style yoghurt and a large slab of excellent graviera cheese from Crete. Just behind the cheese are a couple of small bottles of highest grade olive oil, one from Crete, the other from the Peloponnese, if I remember correctly.

The wines at Minos seem to me to be reasonably priced, which is to say that of the ones I looked at, they seemed to cost a bit less than what I usually pay in the city. In addition, there were some nice specials at particularly good prices. A more detailed discussion of the wines I’ll reserve, however, for another day.

As I mentioned above, Minos Imports also bakes bread, though I confess not to having gotten around to checking out the bread section carefully. The sample, fresh out of the oven, that George kindly offered us was really delicious, especially accompanied by the piece of feta and we bought a loaf to take home. This bread has a soft, white crumb and the crust is, as you can see below, not especially dark and developed but when fresh, it serves its rôle admirably enough.
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One of the specialties of Minos is their roasted meats, which can apparently be ordered any time and are available at the counter, as illustrated in the original post, on Saturdays and Sundays. In addition to chicken, which we did not try, they also roast pork and the pieces we got were properly salty and succulent and came with a beautiful bit of crispy skin.
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The lamb we got was also delicious and very tender and quite moist (in this regard, I don’t think the photo does it justice), though it would have been even better if we had gotten to eat it sooner after purchasing it (we had some further errands out west and then the longish drive home).
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As a simple meal after our little adventure in the western suburbs, we had the roasted meats...
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...accompanied by the outstanding house-made yoghurt, a nice mixed salad, some pickled hot peppers and the bread.
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And for a me a few glasses of retsína.

Stin ygieá sas!
Antonius
_______________________________________

Alle Nerven exzitiert von dem gewürzten Wein -- Anwandlung von Todesahndungen -- Doppeltgänger --
- aus dem Tagebuch E.T.A. Hoffmanns, 6. Januar 1804.
________
Na sir is na seachain an cath.
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#4
Posted March 21st 2006, 12:34pm
Antonius, thanks for the wonderful post. I really love the ethnic grocery stores in and around Chicagoland. There's great access to some super and authentic products, fresh too since the turnover is surely high.

Walking into a stores like Minos (or even looking at the pics) kefi kicks in.
Opah!
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#5
Posted March 25th 2006, 8:51pm
Antonius--
Gorgeous pictures--one could almost *smell* the place, the pix were so good. If you don't mind me asking, what photoapparat are you using?

Does he have any Bulgarian wines there??

Geo
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Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)
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#6
Posted March 27th 2006, 10:37am
Geo wrote:Antonius--
Gorgeous pictures--one could almost *smell* the place, the pix were so good. If you don't mind me asking, what photoapparat are you using?
Does he have any Bulgarian wines there??


Geo & Sazerac,

Many thanks. This is a really wonderful store.

*

Geo,

About the camera, it's just a Canon Power Shot SD110 (Digital Elph). I love the thing, though it occasionally causes me to hop up and down and swear in tongues.

About the Bulgarian wine, I must say that I did not specifically notice any but then there was so much to take in, there remained whole sections of aisles that I didn't have a chance to examine. Given the considerable attention given by Minos to the needs of their Balkan customers, I'm sure they do carry Bulgarian and likely also Croatian and Dalmatian and Romanian wines and I will try to remember to look and report back after I next go (which will be soon). On the day we were there, most of the customers who came in were South Slavs of one variety or another (judging from their speech to one another and in the case of one fellow, he's perusal of the magazine rack in the back). One other customer was Greek and it was fun to listen to him and George converse as I munched the chunk of bread and feta. For I moment, I thought I was... not in Addison.

gia sou,
Antonius
_______________________________________

Alle Nerven exzitiert von dem gewürzten Wein -- Anwandlung von Todesahndungen -- Doppeltgänger --
- aus dem Tagebuch E.T.A. Hoffmanns, 6. Januar 1804.
________
Na sir is na seachain an cath.
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#7
Posted April 9th 2006, 11:29am
More on Minos

I owe responses to a couple of people concerning questions about Minos.

Stevez: Yes, they carry a number of brands of slivovitz:

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Geo: Yes, they carry several Bulgarian wines, as well as wines from all the other wine producers of the Balkans. Note the handsome labels on the bottles of Serbian wine shown above.

***

Another recent weekend visit to Minos sent us on our way with some more roast lamb. Crispy skin, tender and moist flesh, well-seasoned and very tasty. We had the lamb with some of their house-made yogurt (I state again that this item is outstanding) and also a dollop of sauce of my own invention that one could legitimately call a ‘pesto’ (no, not at all related to the Genoese one, though) but resembling also a Catalan romesco. Nice complements to the lamb were both.
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Alongside the meat we had some khylopítes dressed in a Greek tomato sauce of my own preparation and thereafter a salad of mixed greens, chopped vegetables, olives and feta. A delicious meal that was quickly put together (the pesto having been prepared earlier in the day).

Antonius
_______________________________________

Alle Nerven exzitiert von dem gewürzten Wein -- Anwandlung von Todesahndungen -- Doppeltgänger --
- aus dem Tagebuch E.T.A. Hoffmanns, 6. Januar 1804.
________
Na sir is na seachain an cath.
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#8
Posted May 22nd 2006, 8:54am
A funny thing happened on the way to the Forum. :)

Ok, not so much forum, but what started out as a trip to Village Hut for the most uncompromisingly vegetarian meal in the Chicagoland area ended up a carnivores delight, eaten off the hood of a Detroit Muscle Car no less, at Minos Greek Import.

The plan was to meet at Village Hut then check out Minos Greek Import so wonderfully written about by Antonius, but Village hut was closed at noon so when Pigmon and ReneG called to say they took a wrong turn and would be a few minutes late, we met at Minos instead.

Pigmon's usual ride is a eco friendly Prius, what he was doing driving a 300-horsepower hunk of Detroit muscle car is still unclear, though it did make a perfect picnic platform for lunch. First let me digress a bit and thank Antonius for his posts about Minos, Athens and Grazino's to name a few, he not only has a knack for finding places, but highlighting what makes them unique, interesting and delicious.

We spent quite a while wandering the store, me happily munching away on an olive or two, enjoying the overall ambiance, while Pigmon and ReneG delved into the specifics of such items as Sitos and the composition of the various Greek Rusks. Frankly we were not quite sure what we were going to do for lunch with Village Hut being closed, Katy's Dumpling House was suggested amongst others, but one look at the beautiful roasted lamb and pig an impromptu picnic took form.

Minos Roast Pork
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Minos Roast Lamb
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We had a delicious spread, succulent roast lamb, juicy roast pork, olives, incredible yogurt, made in house, thick, silky, not too tart, not too rich and a perfect spread, along with hot ajvar for the fresh from the oven Minos bread. We were a little short on utensils, aside from my pocket knife, so ReneG went 'caveman' and used a lamb bone to dip ajvar.

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I brought a number of things home, including an excellent and reasonably priced olive oil from Crete.
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Sitos Trahanas Sour, imported Schweppes Bitter Lemon, Ajvar and yogurt.
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In one of the funnier moments of recent past we heard a 'plop' and, out of the blue, literally, a bird graced us with a present. Luckily it missed, though only by inches, our al fresco lunch.

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Was funny, we were off to eat no-kill Janis vegetarian and ended up eating hunks of pig and lamb on the hood of a muscle car. I do want to try Village Hut, which opens at 1pm on Sundays. I've heard from more than a few people the Chicago Foodways Roundtable dinner Cathy setup was a rousing success.

Enjoy,
Gary

Minos Imports
648 W.Lake Street
Addison, IL 60101
630-543-0337

Village Hut
130 E Army Trail Rd
Glendale Heights, IL 60139
630-893-5800
_______________________________________

Sauce on the side, always, implied, axiomatic..........never a doubt, BBQ sauce without.

Low & Slow
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#9
Posted May 25th 2006, 1:59pm
Gary,

I'm delighted to hear that you made it out to Minos and enjoyed your visit, the take-out and groceries as much as you did. It is an excellent store: were it only not so far away for me... but luckily Athens Market is near where I live and an occasional trek out to Addison is fun and rewarding enough, especially given the proximity of Minos to the Lake Street Caputo's for produce and such... I hope to make it out there this weekend...

A
_______________________________________

Alle Nerven exzitiert von dem gewürzten Wein -- Anwandlung von Todesahndungen -- Doppeltgänger --
- aus dem Tagebuch E.T.A. Hoffmanns, 6. Januar 1804.
________
Na sir is na seachain an cath.
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#10
Posted June 24th 2006, 4:49pm
I finally made it to Minos Imports this morning and I've got to say that it is a great store. I brought home some Greek Feta & olives along with a big chunk of Halvah, which was on special today. Also I bought some of their home made yogurt and some Orino imported honey with assorted nuts (I can see almonds, pistachios, walnuts and another kind that I haven't quite figured out yet) to spoon over the top of the yogurt for breakfast tomorrow; and, of course, a loaf of fresh baked bread
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Steve Z.

"Why should I eat a carrot when I can eat pizza?" - Dan Janssen
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#11
Posted April 10th 2011, 10:37am
Since the demise of my beloved Athens Market, satisfying my need for Greek specialties has become much harder and, alas, for me, the outstanding Minos in Addison remains too far away for frequent visits. But it is most definitely still the largest and best Greek store around...

On a recent visit, I somehow managed to do damage there to the tune of some $180... lots of things for the pantry, including wine, and lots of fresh things too, including their excellent spinach and cheese pies (bourek shape)...
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Very tasty, indeed...

One item they have in particular that warrants the journey thither -- the imported goat milk feta from Greece:
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Creamy, crumbly, tangy, salty... we easily go through an entire round and consume every last bit of the 'tremmata'...

In a salad, with some homemade bread...
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... simply sublime...

Bon pro',
Antonius
_______________________________________

Alle Nerven exzitiert von dem gewürzten Wein -- Anwandlung von Todesahndungen -- Doppeltgänger --
- aus dem Tagebuch E.T.A. Hoffmanns, 6. Januar 1804.
________
Na sir is na seachain an cath.
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