..and discover some great new dishes!
Food has replaced sex in my life, and now I can’t even gets into my own pants.
After another 4Broads sleepover, we made plans with another high school friend to have brunch, Sharon (Rosenbaum) Harkavy, co-owner with her husband Harold of the Chicago Bagel & Bialy II, a bakery, deli, restaurant in Wheeling, IL. Everything is made fresh daily and Sharon and Harold are so approachable and friendly, it’s very refreshing. The two were really born and raised in the bagel/deli business. Harold’s father was in the bagel business and Sharon’s father in the deli business. It’s a match made in heaven.
Because there are not that many good delis anymore, we were excited to experience this place, as the food was fabulous and we hadn’t seen Sharon in a long time so for us it was a win-win situation, seeing an old friend and enjoying good food.
When you first walk into the Chicago Bagel & Bialy II you are a bit overwhelmed at the large selection of bagels. You are then assaulted with a delicious deli aroma and an array of bakery goods, some we didn’t even recognize, that looked so good, our battle became what do we want to eat, breakfast or lunch, not to mention the fact that now you were looking at the deli section and Sharon’s mothers Potato Pancakes. Needless to say our eyes were getting bigger than our stomachs and we were in full on pig out mode, ready to try everything in the deli shop. After we ate Sharon decided we needed to try her newest concoction, Pastrami Hash. Need I say more?
Chicago Bagel & Bialy II is a true deli in every sense of the word. When I was growing up in the 60s and 70s in Chicago we had Manny’s Cafeteria and Delicatessen, famous for its corned beef, where people loved to spend a Saturday or Sunday morning, meeting and chatting with old friends. There were tons of deli’s on Devon Avenue. And then they seemed to disappear. Today, there is the Chicago Bagel & Bialy II a deli/restaurant with a cool flare, where the food is great and homemade and the owners are very present, to make it a more personable place to eat. Sharon, (and I mean this in the most loving way) quite possibly spends a good part of her day kibitzing with the customers. It goes without saying, that her technique for making customers feel at home as well as her hard work behind the deli counter itself, waiting on tables, etc, makes this a destination that you might want to repeat if you are anywhere near Wheeling. Truthfully, I live quite a distance from Wheeling, but would happily make the trip a couple times a month.
I want to use my limited knowledge of Yiddish in this blog so to show-off, I will end by saying that Sharon is the definition of a “Balaboosta“, and if you want to know what that means, LOOK IT UP.
P.S. By the way, you don’t have to go to France to get French Macarons, Chicago Bagel & Bialy II flies them in on Air France. First Class Baby!!!!
Hey Say “4 Broads Dish sent me” and get a bagel treat!