Apr 10, 2012

A Graziano Grinder

Random reader "Michelle" recommended I add a cooking tab to the blog and give a play-by-play on my favorite meals.  I'm happy to oblige, so shall it be.

In the mood for spicy Italian, time to build a 5-pound brick of lasagna. My pantry's bare, so we'll shop today and cook tomorrow.

If you have a local Italian grocer in town, pay them a visit to secure the ingredients.  Graziano Brothers sells goods that bite, I hit them every couple months to stock supplies for building pizza pies and Italian grinders. 



Sprouting on the east side 100 years ago, the tiny shop punches your nose with puffs of basil and oregano as you step inside. 




They mix their own Italian seasoning and hand bag it, made fresh daily.  Prices are easy to swallow.




Rows of bulk spices held my attention, I stood their for minutes huffing bay leaves, Cajun powder, minced garlic and cinnamon sticks.  Grabbed a couple extra Italian seasonings for birthday gifts, they make a quick add-on for people that like to cook.






I'm still working through their fungus cache.  Diced porcinis on my pizza last time.  I'm afraid of the reishi 'shrooms there up front after running them through wiki.







Imported olive oils and capers up the wazoo squatting beside a couple dozen vials of fire roasted red peppers.  Bottles of dry red wine wait to bring the calm.

I'll visit Italy some day.








 
 
 
  






Time to get down to business, I order up a pound of Graziano loose spicy sausage, pepperoni rings, thin-sliced sheets of capicola, aged provolone, fresh mozzarella balls and a sloppy wedge of ricotta.   The butcher tosses me a salty hunk of prosciutto to munch on as he wraps my order in white butcher paper.  The entire store has a crude man-cave feel to it, little has changed here in 100 years.  I like it.












 

I pulled a couple boxes of lasagna noodles for tomorrow's post and a carton of pasta wheels for an upcoming cheddar bake.










More cowbell.  More noodles.





Their plain-wrapped frozens are excellent, I snatched manicotti tubes and a heap of frozen pizza crusts.


 


Still in the family, Frances Graziano owns the store and friendly-chats as she fingers the bill.





Tomorrow, we'll make these ingredients sing.  Gonna make you crave somethin' Italian. 

-Beard

49 comments:

  1. yum! Already craving, because I am starving!

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    1. It was delicious, and I hope you found some food.

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  2. Makes me wish I liked Italian food. But I do enjoy a good lasagna, and my daughter's got Italian running thick in her veins, thanks to her father, so I'm staying tuned.

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    1. What the heck, no like Italian, I should mail a slice and try to convert you.

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  3. Oh goodness! You are making me crave italian! I have already got grilled cheese on the brain due to a huge Grilled Cheese cooking contest I am entering. Looking forward to tomorrow's recipe!

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    1. Great, now you've got me hungry for grilled cheese and I've got you craving Italian. What a mess!

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  4. OMG! Do they ship? I must get some of that Italian Seasoning.

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    1. Perhaps I should give away a few bags of Italian seasoning on the blog, would readers go for that?

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    2. If you give away a bag of that Italian seasoning, I'm going to have to restrain myself from entering a million times! I can't wait to see what delicious masterpiece comes out of all the ingredients you bought.

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  5. i can smell the store.

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    1. It smells better than I do.

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  6. Yummmmmm ....now im thinking Grinders tomorrow...instead of Turkey Burgers!

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  7. Uhhh, yeah you can just send that whole cartful of food right over to my door. Thanks! Seriously, the whole world is jealous of your Italian market. Yum.

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    1. I'm thinking about giving out some seasoning sacks on the blog, stay tuned...

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  8. This reminds me of a shop in Milwaukee that I used to frequent. Although it wasn't strictly Italian, but it had that deep rooted feel to it. (wish I could find a shop like that out here....)

    Can't wait to see how the lasagna turns out tomorrow!

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    1. Turned out pretty well, stuff too much of it down my pie hole tonight.

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  9. Man, I wish I had a store like that here. And, "I'll visit Italy someday" -- me, too. That's one place I vow to go before I die. The food, the beauty, the history... I can't wait.

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    1. I'd be happy to tour just Italy and forgo the rest of Europe, it'd be a great adventure.

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  10. Being an IBM (Italian By Marriage), Graziano's is my favorite store. I am with you Beard, I love the man-cave feel and old-style grocer. I LOVE them and frequent this store often. I have found that in order to really get the right classic flavors, there is nothing that compares to the local Italian grocer. Can't say enough about them! And can't wait to see pics of the lasanga!

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    1. Feed me some Italian recipes, I'll ping you offline.

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    2. Ah yes, there are many and I, unlike many, am not that guarded with recipes. I do find that although the ingredients are simple, most people think I am a little crazy to simmer sauce all day instead of open a jar. Ironically, those same people beat down my door and have been known to pay a pretty penny at the Gala for an evening of good old Italian cuisine!!

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  11. Ahhh from Southside comes greatness, add south union bread, salad & your Italian.....
    reading my favorite blogs Better After, I found your kitchen. Saw Grazianos and realized your in my back yard. Enjoy the kitchen your cooking with the best ingredients.

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    1. South Union is ridiculously good, I'll put up a post on that joint sometime. Welcome to B&P!

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  12. Anonymous4/10/2012

    Graziano's ROCKS! From the instant you step through their door, the wonderful smells draw you in. It's one of those places where just poking around and exploring is 1/2 the fun. I also love that everyone (and I do mean everyone!) from the guys at the meat counter to the gal checkin' you out at the cash register, treat you like an old friend. It's something special, for sure...

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    1. Time warp back to the early 20th century each time I swing by there. Makes me smile now just thing about the smell as you step inside.

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  13. Michelle McCormick4/10/2012

    So, was I the amazingly awesome reader that inspired you to add the Beard Cooks tab??? :)

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    1. Affirmative. Great, now you're going to demand royalty fees and stuff. Sue (http://www.suesnutritionbuzz.com) also put a bug in my ear awhile back on busting out the cooking knives on B&P.

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    2. Michelle McCormick4/11/2012

      Thanks Beard! Way to burst my bubble on what I thought was my incredible idea! Off to go drink my sorrows away. Haha j/k.

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  14. Don't forget Brookes brothers at b & b. While in Target got a big hug from John, goofy guy love them. If you don't feel like cooking they do it for ya. And the only place I get hand cut ribeyes. Nothing like abox full of cow steak.

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    1. I haven't hit B&B yet, it's on my list. Thanks for the tip, I'll check them out this weekend!

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  15. I love Italian food! I still remember the food from when I spent two weeks in Italy a few years ago – everything was awesome. And it's so much cheaper to eat at restaurants than any other place I've visited.

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    1. I've heard others say the food is in Italy is easy on the wallet. I can use that to justify $$ plane tickets over the pond, right?

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  16. That looks like the most awesome store. Ever! We live near Baltimore, I really should seek a place like this out. I'm looking forward to tomorrow's post.

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    1. Yeah, Google your area to see what comes up, I'll bet you can find something tucked away close by.

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  17. I swear you could be my husband's brother. If you only brewed your own beer! Or do you......?

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    1. Is your bro-in-law bald or have red curly hair? Just curious.

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  18. If we're ever in that area we are SO going there! Awesome!

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    1. Ooh, I wonder if this place is affiliated or similar!??! We'll be in Chicago in June! http://www.jpgraziano.com/

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    2. I suspect the name Graziano is the Smith of Italy.

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  19. I live on the bald headed prairie in Alberta, so Italian food isn't really all that common. In the last year I've grown to really love the spices in Italian meats, and I'm thinking of trying my hand at some Italian cooking. By the way, found you through Better After.

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    1. Come back to the blog, I'll give away some Graziano Italian Seasoning soon.

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  20. I shop in Des Moines often and did not know this store was there! I can't wait to go there next time! I live in NW Iowa, so it's a 3-hour drive each way. And worth every moment. :) My nearest 'big' store is Walmart -- and that's even 17 miles away.

    I'm part Italian and have all my grandmother's recipes. Some with ingredients I have no idea what they are - LOL! Thanks for this post - I'm quite excited to visit this store soon.

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    1. The place is a hidden gem, hope you can make it happen.

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  21. Anonymous4/11/2012

    Can't wait to see what you come up with!!! I love in Philly and love the italian market!!!!

    Ps I love your blog

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  22. Looking forward to the foodie post! Really love your blog.

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  23. Thanks Cheri, polishing up the foodie post now.

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  24. Lovely blog post

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Thanks for the note, check back for my response!