Sunday, February 22, 2015

Taking Care of My Mama - The Food Edition

 I fell in love with two grocery stores back home in Rockford, IL. Mom would send me out to pick up a few things and she was always very specific what she wanted from where. She definitely knew what she was talking about. The first store is Valli Produce. It is a huge grocery store catering to countries from around the world.
                                      I had no idea what Goya food was and I still don't.
I am so used to seeing a "Deli" sign that I had forgotten what it stands for and it was so cool to me to see it spelled out. The Valli deli was also one of the largest I had ever seen. It had everything.
                                                                   See what I mean!
I thought these pickles were pretty funny.
                    I had also never seen such a large selection of tortillas. This is only one side.

                    I also loved the piñatas above the frozen foods. It was really festive and colorful.
Then let's move on to a restaurant called Hoffman House. It is the place to go for great food and most importantly to my mom, a great price. I arrived in Rockford the day before her surgery just in time for lunch and they were anxious to get me there. This is their salad bar.
The lunch menu is where it's at. I chose the golden fried shrimp. I noticed as I gazed around the room, everyone seemed to be well into their 70's. That's when you know you are at a restaurant with great food and a great price.
The salad bar was great and their basket of dinner rolls are so good, they melt in your mouth. I was so busy eating, I forgot to take pictures of the rest of my food.
This is a common sight at Hoffman House. My mom told me that many eat the salad bar and take their entrees home. We didn't the first time but our second time (yes, we went after mom's surgery), mom and dad chose the chicken and it came with a lot of pieces so the extra went home. I definitely need Rocketman to go with us next time we visit.
My other favorite grocery store is one I know very well, Gray's IGA Foods. Do you know I don't think it has changed a bit since I lived there in the late seventies. My mom would ask me to pick things up occasionally on my way home from school or work. Back then, you could pull up and someone would load your car. The only thing I hated is when she would send me to redeem soda bottles. Do you remember those days?
My dad had bought me one of these whipped cream filled long john's a few years ago when I was staying with them. I had craved them every since and knew the first errand for my mom would include these for everyone. They prefer the Bavarian filled. When I look at this photo, I just want to drive down to Rockford and get one.
 This is where you will find them. You better get there early because when they are gone, they are gone.
I took a couple of pictures to show you the inside of Gray's. It is the same interior as it was back in the 1970's.
Some might think it looks dumpy but to me it is charming and has lots of character. I hope they never change.

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