Football season is in full swing and with that before you know it, it's Winter and the holidays. So today we head North in the city to a longtime Italian Grocer located in Norridge. Rex Italian Foods has been around since the 60's when two brothers opened up shop. Originally located on the West Side they moved north to Harlem and Foster. After a few years of closure the deli popped open again in 1993 where they stand today.
Popular Italian deli located in Norridge
Rex is another one of the special Italian grocers that have been featured here on the site. They make their own Italian sausage and same goes for the beef. Along with a sandwich menu for lunch you can also shop for your fridge and cupboard here as well. They feature most ingredients you'll need to cook up an Italian feast and if your not feeling like spending your day in the kitchen they make great hot prepped food as well. Also of note is their selection of Sicilian specialties. Lets take a look around.
Rex isn't actually a person it means "King" in Latin and they try to be the king of Italian grocers. They have excellent hot sausage over there and I always get some of that when stopping in. Every time I go I always get more than I can handle but that's not always a bad thing since my fridge will stay full for a week. Same goes for my appetite.
Rex has some of the best lasagna I have had from the Italian grocers. You get a huge piece that's sure to make at least two meals for you. The red sauce, made in house is full of deep flavor and been perfected over the years. Add it all together and you got yourself eating real well.
Rex aka King's Lasagna
The Rex Meatball Sandwich featured HERE
The specialty of the house at Rex is their homemade Schiacciata or Sicilian pizza. In Sicily they make their own special regional style of pizza. What makes theirs different from so many others is they add the "toppings" inside the dough and then press it down prior to baking. Translated it means squashed bread. Rex is the only place in the area where I've tried Schiacciata so I cant call myself an expert but I'll be damned if theirs isn't a great example of it.
I like the Calabrese version which includes sausage, tomato, onion and cheese. It's basically a cross between pizza and a hoagie. So a 'toasted pizza sandwich' isn't a bad definition. The dough is baked to perfection, a perfect golden brown and they fill them up a couple inches with the toppings. Since they also do catering I'm thinking a tray of these is going to be on my guest menu at some point soon. Check them out and be sure to get a slice of Schiacciata but don't stop there. Everything is great at the King.
Housemade Schiacciata from Rex Italian Bakery
Rex Italian Foods
4431 North Harlem Avenue
Norridge, IL 60706