D&D Foods. Who wooda thought….

Aug 24, 2011 by

I was talking to a friend of mine after Mass on Sunday. She said she was at D&D Foods in Chicago Heights and that they have gluten free pasta. From Italy. Huh, interesting, I thought. I’ve never heard of D&D Foods.

I usually buy gluten-free pasta at Meijers, rice pasta. It’s a little tricky to cook, you have to rinse it off afterward and then it’s cold to serve. If I leave it warm it clumps together. I usually mix it with sauce right away. That’s my only complaint. Other than that, we love it.

But ok, this place in Chicago Heights sells GF pasta also. From Italy. It’s a bit of a drive and in a not-so-great neighborhood. File away in the “to be aware” of section.

Funny thing is, I was “aware” of it a lot sooner than I thought.

JB had to go to the doctor yesterday. Why? The reason is a new post, maybe two posts, about 8 year old boys. And punching things. And breaking fingers. He’s going to be fine but guess what store is somewhere between our house and the doctor’s office…. yes. D&D Foods.

Let’s just say that until JB’s accident, I did NOT expect to be in Chicago Heights any time soon. But I drove through there yesterday to get to the doctor’s office in Flossmoor and will be going back either tomorrow or Friday.

I decided to check out what my friend had told me.

She gave me the general location, close to Joe Orr and Halsted, so I figured we could find it, no problem. I drove south on Halsted at Joe Orr Rd for a while. Couldn’t find it. This was one of those “Let’s give it another block” a few times moment. No D&D Foods. That turned into “It must be the other way before Joe Orr Rd” moment. Just as I was trying to figure out how to turn around, D&D Foods appeared.

We pulled into the parking lot and I have to tell you, there’s no way I would have gone in there if my friend had not suggested it.

It’s old. And old school. The sign on the front door? We accept cash with ID and checks with ID (Cash with ID?) No credit cards. Really? No debit cards?

Lucky for me I had some cash on hand so I wasn’t worried. And I had my ID so I knew they would accept my cash. And I do mean lucky because I never have cash on me. See the remark about my debit card.

We found gluten free pasta on the table at the entrance. Right under the 2 foot long picture of the family from the 80’s. Lot’s of hugging in that picture. Mission accomplished. Gluten-free pasta acquired. Then I saw a display for olive oil. Picked up a bottle of that.

I looked around and quickly realized that this is an Italian grocery store. An Italian family-owned grocery store. They did things their own way. Like this sign, for example,

I’m not exactly sure what “mild remodeling” means. This is the only picture I took inside. I didn’t think I was going to be able to explain my blog to the grandma taking the money or the guy behind the deli counter. Just a feeling that I had.

After we found the gluten-free pasta and olive oil, I thought it would be rude to just turn around, pay and run out so we decided to look around. I realized they had some pretty interesting stuff. A huge selection of pickled things, like giardiniera and banana peppers. Lots of olive oil. An appliance I’ve never seen before, it’s a crock pot, a deep fryer and a steamer all in one. That was on the bottom shelf under the remodeling sign.

I had a $20 and a $50 in my purse so I was keeping my purchase to under $20, I wasn’t sure if they would accept the $50. The sign on the door made me think they were pretty strict about their cash policy. I had 2 packages of pasta that I picked up at the beginning for $4.29 each and a bottle of olive oil for $7.98. Other things looked interesting, but, I was sticking to $20.

Until I got to the pasta section. They have an entire aisle dedicated to pasta and sauce (like this should surprise me, it’s an Italian grocery store). What do they have right in front of me? MORE gluten-free pasta. And it’s only $2.59 a bag! Yea me! That’s a great price for gluten-free anything.

I’m going to stock up, if possible. I asked if they would take the fifty. Yes. Turns out they got both the fifty, the twenty and a little more by the time I was done.

The pasta is made from corn, non-GMO corn. From Romania. And it’s certified Hygiene Accredited. What do you suppose that means? Nothing showed up on the first page of the google search I did. Then I googled it with the word Europe. A really boring site came up with all the rules and regs. I didn’t read it. I’m assuming that the employees wash their hands.


I picked up several varieties and some sauce. Marina and Alfredo. We had pasta for lunch when I got home. With a salad. It was good.

Goodbye for now, D&D Foods.

I’m going back. I’ll have to have to google a few good Italian recipes but this place has everything I will need. I’m sure of it.


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  1. Marcie Elrink

    Love D&D! My parents drive from Shorewood to shop there!

  2. Shaina

    You HAVE to try their deli. Guido (yes, that’s his name), they have a wide selection of yummy yummy meats and cheeses. Plus really good sandwiches!

  3. Elizabeth

    i absolutely love this store! its been my favorite place to shop for my pasta sauces and pastas. My absolute favorite is Ciprianis…ive recommended this store to many people and they also fell in love!! It’s great!!!

  4. Mary

    The best sausage you’ll ever taste. “Mama” will even give you suggestions on how to cook the products. There are several various styles of sausage that Guido will make for you as you watch him hand crank the sausage the old-fashioned way. Guido, also a singer has made CD’s about life. Don’t let the neighborhood or the dingy appearance keep you away. This is a nice Italian family that truly cares about their customers and how they can serve you. Some of the best food you will ever taste.

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