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The (Peach) Ice Cream Cometh-- this Saturday, 8/13!

The (Peach) Ice Cream Cometh-- this Saturday, 8/13!
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  • The (Peach) Ice Cream Cometh-- this Saturday, 8/13!

    Post #1 - August 9th, 2005, 10:35 am
    Post #1 - August 9th, 2005, 10:35 am Post #1 - August 9th, 2005, 10:35 am
    As you'll remember from the day of many ice creams, one of the coming attractions was homemade peach ice cream at Cunis Candies, which was expected in July.

    Well, to judge by the peaches I've been eating lately, this has got to be prime peach ice cream time, so the Vital Info family, the Sdritz family, and the G's will be going on another south side ice cream expedition this Saturday.

    The plans are still being worked out, but we know that we're going to try to make it not so ice cream centric-- only TWO stops for ice cream are planned, Cunis and Plush Horse, along with a stop for pizza at the deeply atmospheric John's Pizza. We'll probably aim to start in mid to late afternoon. Sdritz has some Italian sausage shops and such places in mind, too.

    So if you're interested in tagging along, please say so here and we'll firm up the details in the next day or two or three.
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  • Post #2 - August 10th, 2005, 1:28 am
    Post #2 - August 10th, 2005, 1:28 am Post #2 - August 10th, 2005, 1:28 am
    Hmm...possibility exists here!

    Having just got in an hour ago from a full day of travel with the wife, 2 kids and dog cross-country from Orange County, CA, my brain is a bit foggy. No Beefathon while I'm here (bummer) but this sounds interesting.

    Put me down as a definate maybe and I'll get back later in the week!

    Of course as a west suburban raised DG resident and occasional visitor to N and NW 'burbs, Wrigley Field and downtown Chicago, I gotta figure out where this "South Side" is anyways!
    Bob in RSM, CA...yes, I know, it's a long way from Chicago
  • Post #3 - August 10th, 2005, 8:36 pm
    Post #3 - August 10th, 2005, 8:36 pm Post #3 - August 10th, 2005, 8:36 pm
    Okay, here's the plan as of right now.

    We're going to meet at Plush Horse in Palos Park at 3:30. Here's Mapquest for that: http://tinyurl.com/dtpuh

    Then it's back into the cars for another long drive. Next major stop will be John's Pizza, 5ish, here's Mapquest for that: http://tinyurl.com/dyw5v

    We had talked about a sausage shop on the way, maybe, maybe not. We'll just see about anything extra like that.

    Afterwards, it's peach ice cream at Cunis Candies, seen on this map. 7ish? We'll see.

    If you need transportation, say so...

    Here's a cone from Plush Horse and a taste of the vintage interior, by the way.

    Image
    Watch Sky Full of Bacon, the Chicago food HD podcast!
    New episode: Soil, Corn, Cows and Cheese
    Watch the Reader's James Beard Award-winning Key Ingredient here.
  • Post #4 - August 13th, 2005, 10:41 am
    Post #4 - August 13th, 2005, 10:41 am Post #4 - August 13th, 2005, 10:41 am
    Very unfortunately, we're not going to be able to make it. Trust me that we'd rather be eating peach ice cream than packing for a cross-country move.
  • Post #5 - August 13th, 2005, 10:46 pm
    Post #5 - August 13th, 2005, 10:46 pm Post #5 - August 13th, 2005, 10:46 pm
    Well, I'm in a food coma, or perhaps a better way to describe our escapades was Vital Info's comment to me at Cunis, "I was admiring your restraint until I remembered you had a shake before we got here." So I'm going to just post a few pictures, make a few general comments, and fall asleep.

    Image

    We started the day just as the big rain was clearing up, at Plush Horse, which I had raved about as the best ice cream in Chicagoland. Okay, so that was probably hyperbole, and Rob made the telling observation that some of the flavors relied too heavily on a heavy hand with extract flavorings, so they had lots of flavor punch-- but in an artificial way. There's also a clear distinction between Plush Horse and the three places we tried last time in that unlike them, it's not also a candy shop and thus relies on canned whipped cream and hot fudge, etc. The ice cream creations at those places were always more than the sum of their parts; Plush Horse was just ice cream.

    Still, out of a list of 30-some homemade flavors, there were plenty of really, really good ones and nobody went away unhappy-- black walnut (with its maple flavor punch), homemade peach, chocolate, butter cream, help me out here... Liam also admired the fact that the mint chocolate chip uses BY FAR the strongest food coloring of any ice cream he's ever tried:

    Image

    Though we lost Unbeknowneth, we were pleasantly surprised to gain Aaron Deacon & family out of the blue. Here Liam and Watson reminisce about sharing Margie's ice cream on the Milwalkathon:

    Image

    After Plush Horse we drove many, many miles pretty much due east to Calumet City. The drive was long, and probably dull for some, but of course as soon as we arrived Rob and I compared notes on things we had spotted along the way-- a soul food buffet called Dusties, a great-looking BBQ shack called George's (whose only trace on the web is this old CH mention), a really cool bowling alley sign at a place called Castaway's, etc. Driving through here, and then trying to find even the most meagre mention of what you've seen online, really makes you realize that the south suburbs are the great uncharted territory left in Chicago, even more than the south side of the city-- never written about, only known to their immediate inhabitants. Here's some great art I spotted at an intersection in Midlothian:

    Image

    Anyway, we finally arrived at the end of the line, State Street in Calumet City, once one of the most notorious vice districts in America (see Life magazine in the 50s for a celebrated expose), cleaned up by a "reform" mayor a decade or so ago. (The quotes are because he wound up going to jail, too.) Nostalgia for its seedy criminal heyday is undoubtedly misplaced (and to judge by what we saw along the way, much of it's still active in Harvey) but still, there was something a little sad about imagining the once-lively strip now reduced to a single survivor, John's, overlooking forlorn warehouses and rails rather than the jazzy film noir that once took place every night on its doorstep.

    Needless to say, none of this occurred to the kids, because they were standing at the window of the kitchen, watching the guys flip pizza dough and make pizzas:

    Image

    Image

    They must have enjoyed having an audience because the pizza maker soon brought out dough for the kids to play with, and they spent the rest of the dinner throwing it back and forth, trying to hit the ceiling fans (thankfully we were in a party room by ourselves), and making art:

    Image

    So how was John's? Pretty good, thicker and breadier than the Chicago cracker crust you might expect. The more stuff on each pizza, the better it was, the Italian sausage on a combo pizza grew on me as I adjusted to heavy use of fennel. Fried onion sticks and calamari appetizers were light and tasty, the homemade creamy anchovy dressing was old school satisfying, it was a good time.

    Then it was off to Cunis, for the real motivator for the expedition: homemade peach ice cream. We got there first and had a peach shake. Good as Plush Horse's peach was, this was better, in fact outstanding, as worthy of alerts and loyalty as the peach ice at Mario's. (They also have homemade blueberry but as even the ice cream maker admitted, "It isn't the peach.") Of course when the rest of the crew got there they ordered a variety of things, making sure to get plenty of the dark, winey chocolate sauce:

    Image

    Sadly, as Rob noted, again here was one of the great ice cream shops in the area and it was nearly empty on Saturday night. Call me fickle for turning on Plush Horse so fast but I've seen it half full or better every time I've been there, it doesn't need our help; but we need to talk up peach ice cream at Cunis. It's an easy shot down the Ryan to the Bishop Ford freeway, less than a minute east of the 162nd street exit. You want this ice cream. Go and try it while we're still lucky enough to have it.

    Thanks to Sdritz and family for helping coordinate all this and, as always, being our knowledgable and hospitable hosts on the far south side.

    The Plush Horse
    12301 South 86th Avenue
    Palos Park, IL 60464
    http://www.theplushhorse.com/index.html

    John's Restaurant
    121 State Street
    Calumet City
    708.862.8200

    Cunis Candies Inc.
    1030 E. 162nd St.
    South Holland, IL 60473-2560
    708-596-2440
    Watch Sky Full of Bacon, the Chicago food HD podcast!
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  • Post #6 - August 14th, 2005, 12:21 am
    Post #6 - August 14th, 2005, 12:21 am Post #6 - August 14th, 2005, 12:21 am
    Bravo to all...I REALLY wanted to join you guys today, but we had a bit of a family emergency today...my sis's family was camping in WI and their 5 year old son accidentally slipped and fell into the fire pit last night...pretty severe burns on legs and hands. After initial treatment, they made it home early this morning and dropped their 2 other kids with us and they went to spend the day at the Loyola Burn Unit. 2nd degree stuff with severe blistering, but it will heal they think.

    That being said we had a very low key day here with the other boys today, just movies and board games as they were all exhausted from the ordeal and lack of sleep. However, I finally said "Let's go for a drive", and sure enough, I tested some unchartered waters, trekking out to an area I hadn't been to since tobogganing 30+ years ago...Palos Hills, and I got my Plush Horse initiation. Wow, what a throw-back place. I was expecting it to be a quaint shop in a larger downtown area, but this is a place I wish I could get to more often. I had a double scoop of mint chip and peach. Good...VERY good rich ice cream, but I didn't get the intense flavors I had hoped to, especially with the peach. I DID get that green coloring, though!

    It made a good trip to get the boys out of the house, and I look forward to making the drive there again to try some more. I gotta say, though, that my maiden trip to local DG place "Every Day's a Sundae" with Sherman's Ice Cream will probably get my next visit, and it doesn't hurt that it's in train watching territory and right next to the Tivoli Theater and Aurelio's Pizza!
    Bob in RSM, CA...yes, I know, it's a long way from Chicago
  • Post #7 - August 14th, 2005, 4:48 am
    Post #7 - August 14th, 2005, 4:48 am Post #7 - August 14th, 2005, 4:48 am
    Mike G wrote: a great-looking BBQ shack called George's (whose only trace on the web is this old CH mention)


    Is this the George's of which you speak?

    Image

    If so, we visited this place on one of the BBQ Athons. This tour was pre LTH and I wasn't able to find any posts about it, although I'm sure they exist somewhere in CH land. George is a very interesting character who refuses to use wood when making his BBQ because, "It's got worms in it." For not using any wood, he makes some of the better BBQ we had on that particular day. IIRC, we even went back and got seconds, although obviously it didn't have much of a smoky taste to it. George had a bunch of old pictures and clippings posted including some letters of thanks from the White House and pictures of him serving ribs at Regan's innaugeration. (Note: I'm not 100% sure it was Regan).
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #8 - August 14th, 2005, 6:36 am
    Post #8 - August 14th, 2005, 6:36 am Post #8 - August 14th, 2005, 6:36 am
    RSMBob-- for the second time in a day, all I can say is Yikes. Hope it turns out well, glad you and kiddos escaped to Plush Horse and it was worthy of the trek.

    Stevez-- I assume that that is the same place, though we whizzed by it in daylight, so hard to tell. If so, I'm surprised by the no-wood comment, it was certainly pumping out plenty of smoke. Guess he doesn't serve morel mushrooms either...
    Watch Sky Full of Bacon, the Chicago food HD podcast!
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  • Post #9 - August 14th, 2005, 7:41 am
    Post #9 - August 14th, 2005, 7:41 am Post #9 - August 14th, 2005, 7:41 am
    Mike G wrote:
    Stevez-- I assume that that is the same place, though we whizzed by it in daylight, so hard to tell. If so, I'm surprised by the no-wood comment, it was certainly pumping out plenty of smoke. Guess he doesn't serve morel mushrooms either...


    He used all lump and did a very good job on cooking the ribs...just no wood. The worms, you know. His links were stellar, too IIRC.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #10 - August 15th, 2005, 7:02 am
    Post #10 - August 15th, 2005, 7:02 am Post #10 - August 15th, 2005, 7:02 am
    Yes!

    How batty when there are other people who do not mind the haul from Palos to the Heights because of all the interesting action a long the way. As we were taking it all in, I said to my wife, rueing all the places not stopped at, that we will visit Plush Horse again, visit John's again, but would we ever take this route from Plush Horse to John's again?

    Another dissapointment. Suzy's husband drove us into Indiana to save about 10 cents a gallon on gas. On the way out, we went right by Gayety without sampling. Hrumph!

    John's is the kinda place, that if I lived nearby, I would visit often. More than the pizza, I liked the restaurant, the sides, the staff, the hospitality, the menu. I got the feeling that over time, I would probably lean away from the pizza. I liked the pizza enough, it had flavor (so sorely lacking in the last pizzathon) and a nice crisp crust, but the crust was also a bit one dimensional, all crunch no chew. It's still no Grand Slam. Then again, Grand Slam does not have an Omega-6 enriched salad dressing (a/k/a anchovy for scardy-cats), nor does Grand Slam offer a well fried plate of onion strings for $3.50. MilesG to VI, "what are onion strings, they taste a lot like onion rings?" And did I menion the fried calamari was excellent too, with a snazzy house-made tarter sauce?

    Finally, yes! I too noted how close Cunnis was to the expressway, how it was really "easy" to get to from Chicago.

    Thanks again to Suzy and MikeG for organizing this best day ever.

    Rob

    PS
    It makes sense about Georges and the wood and all. While it looked exceedingly cool, Ms. VI noted as we passed, that there was zero aroma.
    Think Yiddish, Dress British - Advice of Evil Ronnie to me.
  • Post #11 - August 15th, 2005, 7:22 am
    Post #11 - August 15th, 2005, 7:22 am Post #11 - August 15th, 2005, 7:22 am
    It was my family's pleasure to drag the rest of you down that very long stretch of 147th Street from Palos to Cal City. The trip to Cunis from the gas station would not have taken as long (nor would it have taken us past Gayety's) if my darling husband hadn't forgotten to turn somewhere along the way (like he would ever admit that!). :evil:

    There is a lot to choose from on John's menu. I really liked the gnocci, as I mentioned before, and Randy is becoming fond of their eggplant parmagian. I also like that the salads come with their own little lazy susan of fresh croutons, chopped egg and purple onions so that you can customize your salad.

    As far as Plush Horse was concerned, my family agreed that with Mitchell's, Gayety's and Cunis much closer in proximity to our house, we would probably not take the drive that often, unless it was to meet other LTHers for ice cream.

    We're thinking of hitting George's in the near future. I think another place, Ex-Senator's, has also been mentioned on this board. Also, there is a (relatively) new barbeque place called Chelsea's in Homewood -- perhaps a comparison is in order! :D

    Suzy
    " There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life."
    - Frank Zappa
  • Post #12 - August 15th, 2005, 12:29 pm
    Post #12 - August 15th, 2005, 12:29 pm Post #12 - August 15th, 2005, 12:29 pm
    I was glad we could make the trip, though I regret we couldn't make it to Cunis. The Plush Horse ice cream was really terrific, though I don't anticipate making another trip to try it. (An even hour on a Saturday afternoon from our Albany Park condo.)

    I really enjoyed John's pizza, and unlike VI, I thought the crust was more than just crisp...it offered a bit of the breadiness rarely found in thinner crusted pies around these parts. I did think the "Garden" pizza, with the ground, finely crumbled sausage, onions, green peppers, mushrooms, olives?, ??, was markedly better than the simple pepperoni or cheese. A very enjoyable pizza indeed, and the sausage was considerably less greasy than, say, Marie's.

    I also found it interesting that John's uses a Fauld oven (cf. Masi's, Larsa's), for their pizzas shown in Mike's picture above.
  • Post #13 - August 17th, 2005, 7:38 am
    Post #13 - August 17th, 2005, 7:38 am Post #13 - August 17th, 2005, 7:38 am
    We are still recovering from the peach ice cream. The family went to Zarlengo's last night after dinner, craving italian ice. While perusing their awesome menu of flavors, I found peach ice near the bottom, so of course, I had to order it. The peach ice was loaded with fresh peach flavor and not too sweet. I'll be back soon before it disappears with the last of the fresh peaches. Randy and the girls ordered coolers, ice mixed with soft serve ice cream. Randy had coconut and the girls asked if they could get chocolate soft serve instead of vanilla. When the counter girls told them that was allowed, we ordered one strawberry/chocolate cooler and one banana/chocolate cooler. They were absolutely delicious.

    I was frustrated that Zarlengo's did not have the italian fig ice this year, but they more than made up for it this summer.

    Zarlengo's
    257 W. Joe Orr Rd.
    Chicago Heights, IL 60411-1744
    708-754-9080

    Suzy
    " There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life."
    - Frank Zappa
  • Post #14 - August 19th, 2005, 6:24 am
    Post #14 - August 19th, 2005, 6:24 am Post #14 - August 19th, 2005, 6:24 am
    stevez wrote:George is a very interesting character who refuses to use wood when making his BBQ because, "It's got worms in it."

    Steve,

    In addition to worms, which George was quite adamant about, he also kept cardboard boxes on the top shelf of his Aquarium style smoker. Why, you ask, "to keep the water off the meat"
    Image

    George of George's Rib House
    Image

    I think Steve liked George's BBQ a bit more than me, but it certainly ranks high in the second tier of Chicago BBQ
    Image
    Image

    First tier being comprised of Honey 1, Barbara Ann's and Lem's.

    Enjoy,
    Gary

    George's Rib House
    168 W 147th St
    Harvey, IL 60426
    708-331-9347
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #15 - August 19th, 2005, 7:09 am
    Post #15 - August 19th, 2005, 7:09 am Post #15 - August 19th, 2005, 7:09 am
    G Wiv wrote:First tier being comprised of Honey 1, Barbara Ann's and Lem's.


    I think it's nice how the first tier fits so neatly on the trunk of a car. :)
  • Post #16 - August 19th, 2005, 8:31 am
    Post #16 - August 19th, 2005, 8:31 am Post #16 - August 19th, 2005, 8:31 am
    eatchicago wrote:I think it's nice how the first tier fits so neatly on the trunk of a car. :)

    Michael,

    Actually, a bit of poor captioning on my part, all three containers of BBQ on the trunk of the car came from George's.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #17 - August 15th, 2007, 10:14 am
    Post #17 - August 15th, 2007, 10:14 am Post #17 - August 15th, 2007, 10:14 am
    While I don't know how many of you have taken advantage of the reopening of Mitchell's Ice Cream in Homewood, I have to say that it is as tasty as ever. The chocolate chip ice cream with their signature hot fudge remains my number 1 pick for an ice cream sundae and I am just thrilled that they have reopened with the same exact recipes I have enjoyed for years.

    The inside of the shop has been remodeled, but I think it looks even nicer than it did before. Homemade candies are still as good as ever.

    More on Mitchell's can be found here:

    http://www.lthforum.com/bb/viewtopic.ph ... =mitchells

    Suzy

    Mitchell's Ice Cream
    18211 S. Dixie Highway
    Homewood, IL 60430
    (708) 799-3835[url][/url][url][/url]
    " There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life."
    - Frank Zappa
  • Post #18 - August 21st, 2007, 4:49 pm
    Post #18 - August 21st, 2007, 4:49 pm Post #18 - August 21st, 2007, 4:49 pm
    Second

    <Stop if you still intend to read Harry Potter Book 7>





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    Well, I was afraid any Harry Potter analogy gives something away, but I'm glad that Mitchell's lives. Too bad it's so damn far away.
    Think Yiddish, Dress British - Advice of Evil Ronnie to me.
  • Post #19 - September 2nd, 2007, 2:28 pm
    Post #19 - September 2nd, 2007, 2:28 pm Post #19 - September 2nd, 2007, 2:28 pm
    After dinner on Friday evening, the girls demanded Mitchell's ice cream for dessert. My husband was pleased to find an old favorite on the menu -- peach ice cream. I, of course, stubborn to the core, had to order chocolate chip. I did get a small taste of the peach -- it was delicious, with a fresh, peachy flavor and chunks of fresh peaches throughout.

    I asked how much longer Mitchell's will carry peach since it was apparently the August flavor of the month and we didn't figure that out until the very last day of August. The answer: until they run out of fresh peaches.

    Get it now!!

    Suzy
    " There is more stupidity than hydrogen in the universe, and it has a longer shelf life."
    - Frank Zappa

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