September really snuck up on me. Kids are back in school, leaves are starting to fall off the trees…. I’m not fooled into corduroy and pumpkin lattes just yet though – it’s still hot AF outside. It’s still Mario’s weather.
A tiny little glorified lemonade stand in the heart of Chicago’s Taylor Street Little Italy, it’s only open Memorial Day – Labor Day, and I’ve waited for those Memorial Day – Labor Days for as long as I can remember. No fakey, sugary sweet colors or flavors – just cold, refreshing frozen lemonade complete with chunks of fruit. No plastic, corporate signs – just the same hand-drawn pictures dangling from the ceiling. The sidewalk is littered with watermelon seeds and lemon rinds, and the street is often parked with cars 3 deep (and sometimes those cars include sympathizing cop cars).
watermelon (chunks of watermelon!)
cantaloupe (chunks of cantaloupe!)
coconut (shreds of coconut!)
lemon (they all have lemon added, but still…)
peach (when it’s in season (look for the sign) and just get it!)
But truth be told, they’re all amazing! I even had a friend once order grape (not my fave of flaves), and even that was good! Plus if you can’t decide, you can get 1/2 and 1/2 (you know, half cantaloupe/half coconut, for instance).
lupini beans (if you’re really feeling authentico)
a combo from Al’s across the street
a dry sausage with provolone from Al’s (my go-to. it is not photogenic.)
one of the best things the best thing about summers in Chicago. I promise if you go there even once, it will continue to taunt you in your December dreams for a lifetime.