Ready for a little summer vacation? For less than $5 round-trip from the loop on the CTA, you can take a trip to Little India!
Bored with Ben and Brad?
Atlantic Video. Maybe you caught Monsoon Wedding or Bend it like Beckham in the US theaters, but Bollywood has so much more to offer. Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham (Sometimes Happy Sometimes Sad), is one of Bollywood's highest grossing films, and features Indian screen legend Amitabh Bachchan with hunky heartthrobs Shah Rukh Khan and Hrithik Roshan. Most newer releases have English subtitles. Prices here beat chain stores, DVDs go for $3 for three days, $5 for a week; VHS are $1 for three days; $2 for a week.
If you want to own some shoes that would make Carrie Bradshaw take notice, head to Taj Sari Palace where the $85 bejeweled heels are a steal next to those $450 Manolos. The trendy glass bangles are also a bargain at $6 a dozen, and the metal dangle bangles range from $10-$30 per pair. Male bargain shoppers will not be disappointed, the $39.95 kurtas (Indian shirts) are being knocked-off by big players like Kenneth Cole and Armani for considerably higher prices.
Looking to splurge on caviar for that special dinner? This is the spot. Three Sisters carries both black and red caviar, at varying quality and prices, and occasionally Beluga, if you are up for the hefty price tag. One of the oldest Russian delis in Chicago, Three Sisters specializes in Euro foods, with hard-to-find salamis and fresh and smoked fish, including the popular cured herring, which is less salty than the store-bought jarred variety. Extensive selection of imported chocolates.
Diamonds are a girl's best friend
Whether you want to ogle the precious Mogul collection, admire the extensive ranihar (traditional Indian wedding jewelry) selection, or are seriously looking to purchase a diamond solitaire, this dazzling jewelry store is a world away from the run-of the-mill mall store. After 13 years at their former location down the street, Raj Jewels considerably larger new location carries an eye-popping array of gold, diamonds, watches and other precious jewels. Raj specializes in intricate 22 carat gold necklaces, earrings and bangles, and due to demand from younger brides, has expanded their contemporary collections of white gold and platinum engagement rings.
Skip the Wax Job
The centuries old art of eyebrow threading involves rolling and twisting thick 100% cotton thread along the surface of the skin, cleaning up those stray eyebrow hairs in no time. In my opinion, the process was less painful than waxing, and faster than tweezing with no sneezing! I walked in without an appointment, and I was in and out of the chair in less than five minutes. The grand total was $5, plus tip, considerably less than a downtown wax job. Threading does not strip the top layer of "dead" skin off, so the telltale redness goes away faster. Advocates claim that threading will also produce fewer wrinkles than waxing over time in the delicate eye area. There are several shops that do threading on the street; I went to Dilshad's on advice from a few locals. Appointments are accepted.
Find restaurants along Devon Avenue.
Also worth checking out:
Argo, Inc. Georgian Bakery
The only Georgian Bakery in Chicago bakes up all-natural bread in the brick oven daily in both rounds and loaves. Or break your no-carb diet with the hachapuri, a puff pasty filled with mozzarella, feta and farmer's cheese.
For a quick sugar jolt while shopping, hit the always bustling Tahoora. Try the badam barfi (almond fudge) kaju katli (cashew milk fudge with pistachio paste) or the carrot halwa (tastes like a dense carrot cake).
M & Y Liquors
This spot carries King Fisher, Taj Mahal, Flying Horse and Maharaja Indian beers, plus standard domestic and imports, and is close to Hema's Kitchen and other BYOBs.
Not ready to attack the "easy" Indian recipe you saw in that magazine? Patel Brothers carries enough Indian heat-and-eat and microwavable frozen entrees that you can try several before you actually have to cook.
Looking for mango puree or pomegranate juice for your margarita party? Fresh Farms also carries the fresh version of these and other exotic fruits and vegetables.
Good Morgan Fish
Kosher sushi is hard to find. Good Morgan can't keep enough in the cooler since they introduced sushi in early January. Combination trays are available with 8-12 pieces from $6-$8.95, with the fresh tuna and salmon on the pricier end.
Kol Tov Kosher Foods
If your heading for a kosher BYOB, this is a good spot to stop for kosher wine. Several brands are offered including Baron Herzog and Herzog. Look for mevushal (cooked) on the label as well as the kosher certification. If in doubt, ask the staff to assist you.
We track down Russian delis, kosher sushi, Bollywood hits and more surprises in Chicagos Little India
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