Pete’s Fresh Market opened a new store in Bridgeview recently that offers the widest range of fresh deli salads and buffets, the largest I have ever seen. And I love grocery stores.
By Ray Hanania
I love food, especially from the Middle East. That’s one reason why I spend so much time meandering around grocery stores aimlessly, admiring the food.
When I learned Pete’s Fresh Market was holding a Grand Opening this week for their new “super grocery store” in Bridgeview at 10280 S. Harlem Avenue, I had to check it out for myself.
All I can say is Wow!
Since I am constantly weight conscious, I am always hunting for fresh salads and deli foods to fill my lunches during the day. And, for you single men, the grocery store is the best place to meet women. Maybe I go there to reminisce, who knows?
Pete’s Fresh Market had everything you could possibly imagine. I’ve never seen a store that big and with so much. It has nearly a dozen separate deli buffet stands where you can pick whatever you want.
There was the olive buffet section where you could pick a dozen or more olive varieties with dressings and spice.
They had several salad bars. Not one, several. I quickly filled a plastic container with tabouli (Middle Eastern diced salad with cracked wheat) and also Jerusalem Salad (diced cucumbers and tomatoes with a sesame seed paste called Tahini) and a Greek salad with Greek cheese chunks.
OK. I wasn’t thinking about my weight during this excursion. But so what? Don’t I get to enjoy life once in a while?
The deli sections lined the back (west side) of the massive store, and it stretched in sections all the way around the wall and aisles. They even had a section of homemade Gelato – specialty, great tasting Italian ice creams.
The assortment of deli and salad bar sections included a Salad Bar, a Taquería, a Cheese Island, a Juice Bar, an Olive Bar, a Royale Liquors section, the Lotus Café, a Ceviche Bar, Fresh Baked Pizza, fresh Fish Fry, Gelato ice cream, a Halal Meat Department (Halal is like Kosher), outdoor seating, a Smokehouse, an Organic food
section, a wide range of Hot Foods, a Sushi Bar, and a Wine & Beer Bar.
The surprise for me is that the Middle East meat pies that were among the many hot deli foods (chicken, meat loaf and so much more) and, they were made with lamb. With the cost of lamb skyrocketing these days, many ethnic stores that produce Middle East specialties and Middle East restaurants are using hamburger as a replacement for the lamb chunks in their selections like “meat pies” and “kibbeh” a football looking delicacy stuffed with lamb and wrapped in a deep fried bulghur wheat (go to Ziyad.com to figure out what that is).
The Bridgeview store is Pete’s Fresh Market’s 11th store in the Chicagoland area. They’re opening two more in Oak Brook and Willowbrook in the coming months. That’s not just a lot of great food but a massive contribution to the region’s employment.
I met the owners many years ago when they owned a store on Chicago’s southside, Pete’s Produce. It’s nice to see them come a long way and be so successful. Their story is the American Story. Immigrants from Greece who came to this great country and did well.
In truth, it shows that America has done well.
(Ray Hanania is an award winning former Chicago City Hall reporter and columnist. He is President/CEO of his own media consulting company. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
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