Have a Halal of a time at Pete’s Market, and meet women too

Have a Halal of a time at Pete’s Market, and meet women too

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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

RayHanania155x130I 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.

Pete's Fresh Market Deli Buffet

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

Pete's Fresh Market Deli Buffet

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.

Pete's Fresh Market Deli Buffet

(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 rghanania@gmail.com.)

This post has already been read 66 times!

Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania is an award winning former Chicago City Hall reporter and Columnist who began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He covered Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992 (Mayor Daley to Mayor Daley) and has expanded to writing for newspapers around the world focussed on Middle East and American politics.

Hanania loves to write about American Arabs in politics, and focuses on Arab life in America.

Currently, he writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at www.ArabNews.com. He writes on American politics for the Des Plaines Valley News, Southwest News-Herald, The Regional News newspaper and the Reporter Newspapers. He also writes for the online websites TheArabDailyNews.com and NewsAmericaNetwork.com (Illinois News Network at IllinoisNewsNetwork.com).

Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem. Hanania began in journalism as an activist publishing Chicago’s first English-language American Arab Newspaper “The Middle Eastern Voice” from 1975 through 1977. In 1976, he was hired by the Chicago community newspaper The Southtown Economist (Daily Southtown) and in 1985 was hired by the Chicago Sun-Times and covered Chicago City Hall for both. In 1993, he launched the “The Villager” Newspapers which covered 12 Southwest Chicagoland suburban regions. In 2004, he published “The National Arab American Times” monthly newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East ethnic food stores in 48 American States.

Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media;In 2009, he received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. Hanania has also received two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild, and in 1990 was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.

Hanania’s writings have been published in newspapers around the world. Formerly syndicated by Creators Syndicate, Hanania also has written news, features and Opinion Columns for Al Jazeera English, the Jerusalem Post, YNetNews.com, Arab News, Saudi Gazette, Newsday in New York, the Orlando Sentinel, the Houston Chronicle, The Daily Star, the News of the World, the Daily Yomimuri in Tokyo, Chicago Magazine, the Arlington Heights Daily Herald, and Aramco Magazine. His political columns are published in the Southwest News-Herald and Des Plaines Valley News, Regional News and Palos Reporter newspapers in Chicagoland. Hanania is the President/CEO of Urban Strategies Group media and public affairs consulting which has clients in Illinois, Florida, Michigan and Washington D.C.

Hanania is Palestinian Christian from prominent Bethlehem and Jerusalem families. His wife and son are Jewish and he performs standup comedy lampooning Arab-Jewish relations, advocating for peace based on non-violence, mutual recognition and Two-States.

His Facebook Page is Facebook.com/rghanania

Email him at: RGHanania@gmail.com