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Good to Go by Lucrezia: Chesterton's new specialty shop

Written by ryan. Posted in Uncategorized

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Published on January 11, 2011 with No Comments

Lucrezia, the critically acclaimed Italian cafÈ tucked neatly on the corner of Calumet Road and Porter Avenue in Chesterton, has a new neighbor. Good to Go by Lucrezia, an Italian specialty market run by Lucrezia CafÈ owners Michael and Nada Karas, is open for business. †

True to its name, Good to Goís purpose is to provide Lucrezia quality food and wines in a convenient, take home packages. Along with wine and craft beer, the location always offers boxed lunches as well.

ìWe always thought this town needed a little specialty market, a little Italian shop. So thereís lots of bits and pieces to the store,î Nada Karas said. ìThe little wine shop, thereís bread, a little of this, a little of that. Thereís some dry goods, some pasta. We also have our homemade marinara sauce from next door that we make from scratch.î

Consistent with the Lucrezia reputation, the meats, cheeses and breads in the deli are speciality quality. †

ìWe use the Boarís Head brand of deli meat, which is a premium lunch meat. Itís like the Cadillac of Lunch meats,î†Karas explained. ìIt has no fillers, no gluten, no MSG. They have been making Boarís Head the same way for over 100 years.î †

The salmon offered at Lucreziaís come from Kodiak, Alaska. For the Karas, this means no middleman. Michael Karas said he buys directly from a friend of his who is a fisherman.

The Labriola bread Good to Go uses is delivered from Chicago daily, all the desserts are made from scratch and the cheese variety includes domestic award-winners as well as exotic foreign selections. †

But what is truly eye-catching is the collection of medicine ball-sized orbs arranged on shelves that each hold a small batch of hand crafted olive oils and vinegars.

Michael Karas said vinegars and oils have from 45 or 50 varieties, with some from Greece and Spain as well as some domestics. †

They have several Balsamic vinegars that ñ despite being popular for centuries in Italy ñ have only come to be appreciated in the United States in the last two decades.

ìThereís anywhere from fig to black cherry, Palma granite to dark chocolate,î Michael Karas said.†ìAll our balsamic vinegars are imported from Modena Italy, which is the heart of Balsamic vinegars.î

Customers can give oils or vinegars a taste test before purchasing them. Once a selection has been made, Good to Go puts it in a reusable glass bottle. Bringing the bottle back is rewarding monetarily and environmentally. †

ìWe bottle it here for you, and we encourage people to bring the bottle back, because we give them a credit and it keeps the bottles out of the landfill,î Nada Karas said. †

Every time customers return to the shop, they may find new flavors of oil or vinegar to try out, because as time goes by, different oils and vinegars come into season. †

ìThings keep changing depending on the time of the year,î Nada Karas said. ìSoon we are going to be getting some extra virgin olive oils from South America that were just harvested in June so they are going to be the freshest olive oils you can find. Things will always change in here.î

Michael and Nada Karas have owned and operated Lucrezia CafÈ since 1998 and have won several awards for their work there.†These awards include the Neighborsí Choice Winner and the Best of the Region two years running. †

Their new venture, Good to Go by Lucrezia can be found at 420 South Calumet Ave. in Chesterton, just north of the Lucrezia CafÈ. For more information, call Lucreziaís at 219-926-3866, or visit www.lucreziacafe.com.

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