You might have noticed a small shop open up near the corner of Logan Boulevard and California Avenue called Rosie’s Sidekick (2610 N. California Ave.). What is Rosie’s Sidekick? It’s a neighborhood sub shop that offers vegetarian and gluten-free options along with Minestrone soup, Kool-aid with natural cane sugar and homemade desserts like Cannoli and Tiramisu.
Fred Pecoraro, owner, head chef, and general manager of Rosie’s Sidekick, felt inspired by his Sicilian family when opening Rosie’s, which is named after his mother. Rosie’s is about cultivating a warm culinary experience; Pecoraro was “raised in an Italian kitchen, and cooked and appreciated Italian food [his] whole life.”
“I was born in the business, always trying new dishes and new styles of cooking, not really set on solely Italian,” Pecoraro said. “[I am] well-rounded, love food and enjoy many types of cuisines.”
Pecoraro had formerly owned Rosie’s West Town Deli but decided that he wanted to open Rosie’s Sidekick in Logan Square three months ago. Since Half Italian closed in April, the neighborhood has missed this type of Italian grub.
While there are a plethora of higher-end restaurants in Logan Square, the neighborhood is clearly in need of more places where you can get a quick, delicious and affordable bite that is vegetarian-friendly and gluten-free. Everything with the exception of the deli meat is made in-house. They do not use preservatives or chemicals and aim to make everything as fresh as possible, according to Pecoraro. Rosie’s will offer new and different sandwiches every other week; they are always looking to expand the menu. They are introducing salads this summer to add more refreshing and healthy options. But be sure to bring some cash since Rosie’s is cash only. If you don’t have cash, they also have an ATM inside.
In addition to owning Rosie’s, Pecoraro currently owns Sicilia Bakery in Portage Park and has plenty of experience consulting for restaurants and a wide variety of businesses ranging from the restaurant industry to the nightclub industry. Sicilia Bakery, a shop featuring Italian breads, pastries, subs, cheeses, and meats, has been featured on Chicago’s Best for their mouthwateringly delicious cannoli. Rosie’s has already been featured on Hungry Hound, which is a major accomplishment especially considering how they have only been around for three months, Pecoraro said.
Pecoraro has experience with opening and managing prior businesses all over Chicago, he has a special spot for Logan Square as he has lived here for 12 years and loves his restaurants’ new neighbors.
“We’ve been able to help the community out by giving a lot of jobs to people that needed jobs,” Pecoraro said. “We work with the whole community.”
Rosie’s is here to feed Logan Square by offering preservative-free foods in a small, 270 square-foot niche space where his employees are treated fairly and respected, he said. The idea behind Rosie’s is “ to give back to the community and do a better job at it than if we were a bigger corporation. It all comes down to the community.”
Rosie’s prime location by the Boulevard makes it an excellent candidate for refreshing summer picnics. They offer picnic basket options for two or more individuals including soda, subs, chips and dessert.
The Couch: a meatball sandwich with Italian beef, sweet peppers, slathered with delightful giardiniera
The Muffuletta Sandwich: a classic Italian cold cut sub with a richly flavorful Creole olive salad
Italian Deluxe: a larger version of their Classic Italian with crisp and flavorful Italian cold cuts, Provolone, and their comforting oil and vinegar mixture
Maybe you are not a meat-eater? Rosie’s offers a cozy minestrone soup, a decadent Eggplant Parmesan sub, and a delightful Veggie sub. The Eggplant Parmesan sub is a savory delight and the crusty bread makes the sandwich a success. There is a generous serving of eggplant along with melted Italian Provolone to satiate you. Additionally, the cold Veggie sub is an extremely refreshing, well-seasoned sub with an abundance of their delectable olive muffuletta. If you are an olive lover, you will be in heaven. The artichokes and roasted red peppers add a nice, contrasting texture to an intense and flavorful sandwich and the pesto was a lovely finishing touch to complement the olive flavor. Don’t forget to treat yourself to a Cannoli as they are known for their fresh, sweet delights. You can get the cannoli with a chocolate chip or pistachio filling adding a fun crunchy texture to its creamy goodness.
“We’re really happy that the community has taken such a liking to us, it puts a smile on our face every day, Pecoraro said. “We’re so happy that the community has literally exploded with this. We just keep getting more and more people, which has been phenomenal. We have such a great team and that’s one thing in the restaurant and food industry these days that is hard to find.”