Monday was a red-letter day: a date and an excursion to India and Pakistan – all within two bus rides of our Chicago apartment!
Monday Brian and I rode the Chicago Transit Authority bus #36 north. The bus was rather crowded. I found a seat, but Brian chose to stand.
It takes all kinds!
I was thankful Brian was nearby when a young man across the aisle started singing – loudly. At first it sounded innocent. Something like, “Pancakes and syrup, beans and rice. Pancakes and syrup, spinach and grits. Biscuits and gravy, and…”
The chorus was not related, “Wet t-shirt contest, wet t-shirt contest, wet t-shirt contest… on Thursday…” (?!). It was painful.
Then, the young man started talking (again, loudly) to women as they got on the bus. I tried to read. I was afraid he’d yell out a description of my hair and my clothes too.
None of his comments were off-color, just friendly – and loud – with a pinch of crazy thrown in. I gave up reading and tried to remember all the great things he was saying.
Is there something in the water?
We got off the bus, crossed the street and – BAM!- in front of us was a local fast food restaurant that sold fried chicken, burgers and fries. On one of their windows was something I never expected to see.
I snapped a picture and a woman assured me the chicken was delicious.
Jake’s on the north-east corner of Montrose and Broadway.
Brian and I love to thrift shop. We find that if we are picky enough, we can usually find something we like. Our local “Unique” thrift store sells everything for half price on Mondays.
I had just read a style magazine, so I was prepared! Hooray! We both found a couple of things!
North and west… to India?!
We stashed everything in our bags and headed further north on the #36 to Devon Avenue. We switched over to the #155 Devon bus to go west to Rockwell. Our destination: the Indian/Pakistani shops: Patel Brothers and Sukhadia’s Sweets and Snacks.
Here’s an annotated list of our purchases at Patel Brothers.
- Natural Dahi , 5 pounds plain yogurt. This stuff is really good. It’s plain but not as tart as many plain yogurts. It reminds me of Greek yogurt – just $5.99 for 5 pounds!
- Figs – our favorite. They are dried, not mushy like mission figs from our normal “American” grocery store.
- Dates – 850 grams (nearly 2 lbs) of natural dates. These are like candy. Less than a week later, we have nearly finished them!
- Chapatti – in a recloseable package that allows you to take the flat bread from the freezer directly to a pan. The package says, “ready to puff”!
- green onions at 4 bunches /$1.00
- yellow onions 5 pounds/$1.00
- fresh ginger & garlic at 79 cents per pound
- Flavor packets – make it easy to have Indian food. – Be ready to convert grams to oz.
- Tetley Chai tea is delicious–less obvious than the Starbuck’s variety.
- Lentils and beans $2.99 per 4 lbs of dried beans. We picked up two bags.
All this and more… for just $65.00.
Patel Brothers have several stores across the country. Their closest location is at 2610 West Devon Avenue, Chicago, IL.
After shopping, we were ready for a break. We headed to a favorite snack place…Sukhadia. Their counter is a big u-shape. One side with sweets and the other with savory pastries. In the middle is Mr. Sukhadia at the cash register. It always seems busy; several people paying at the same time–money changing hands. Since I don’t speak any of the languages of India, I just smile and bob deferentially!
Sukhadia is at 2559 West Devon Avenue, Chicago, IL 60659.
I hope you can visit our part of the world. Have a great weekend!