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Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Sunday, June 4

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Store Mon Sep 17 2007

Bari and D'Amato's: Two Must Bike-To Little Shops

Bari Imported Italian Foods looks like any regular neighborhood grocery from Grand Avenue, but it's stocked full of delicious pasta, house branded sauces and olives in a deli case. You'll find jars of capers, various brands of good quality canned tomatoes and various flours - including durum (great for pasta making), chestnut, chickpea and farina 00 (super for pizza dough, I hear). The Bari brand of tomato sauce is out of this world. It's incredibly savory with ground tomatoes, water, garlic, spices, oil and salt. We first dipped in spoons to taste, then bread, and then I pour myself a glass. It's runny like soup. And it's almost a shame to distract from it by mixing in pasta. The sagnarelli pasta that Bari sells is also a treat. It's thin, flat and narrow, with flutes edges all around. We cooked the pasta and boiled down the sauce with Sicilian olives from Bari's deli that we finely chopped. It's a perfect simple dinner for a cool summer night at an outdoor table with a candle.

D'Amato's #1 Italian & French Bakery is next door, and on a tip that they made killer sourdough baguettes, we had to try them. The crust is perfectly crispy, sealing a tender inside. I was so tempted by the focaccia that D'Amato's also sells that I left without my bread. The nice lady who had sold the bread to me came out the door with it as we were unlocking our bikes from the city rack. At home, we toasted slices up, and then rubbed on an un-smashed garlic clove like we were using a crayon - with the pointy clove's end running down to nothing at the sixth slice. Don't use smashed cloves or it'll be like painting with a brush that leaves its bristles all about. Drizzle with olive oil. Stop in Bari and D'Amato's on your way home. It's easy to get there on Hubbard from the Loop on your bicycle.

Bari Imported Italian Foods, 1120 W. Grand Ave., (312) 666-0730
D'Amato's #1 Italian & French Bakery Co., 1124 W. Grand Ave. (M-F 7-7, Sat 7-6, Sun 7-2)

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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

The State of Food Writing

By Brandy Gonsoulin

In 2009, food blogging, social media and Yelp were gaining popularity, and America's revered gastronomic magazine Gourmet shuttered after 68 years in business. Former Cook's Illustrated editor-in-chief Chris Kimball followed with an editorial, stating that "The shuttering of Gourmet reminds...
Read this feature »

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