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updated: 2/9/2013 5:18 PM

Readers keep Dave up to date on restaurant scene

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  • Heidi Anderson with a sampling of Paczki, which will fly off the shelves on Fat Tuesday. Her bakery, Heidi's, is on the east side of Geneva.

      Heidi Anderson with a sampling of Paczki, which will fly off the shelves on Fat Tuesday. Her bakery, Heidi's, is on the east side of Geneva.
    Brian Hill | Staff Photographer


Readers responded in significant numbers to the "Talk of the Town" column a couple of weeks ago about various restaurants coming and going in the past few years.

One was quite excited about Trattoria Totuccio at 227 S. Third St. in Geneva, on the second floor of the Berry House.

A few restaurants have come and gone at this location, but Nancy Anderson tells me Totuccio offers authentic Italian food from chef/owner Salvatore Totuccio. Anderson said she has visited Italy often in the past, so she appreciates the real deal when she finds it locally.

Eileen Hoesly tells me to check out Lupita's Cocina, a new, quaint Mexican restaurant in Campton Hills.

"This is not a fast-food taco joint," she said. "It is Mexican cuisine, and it is very good."

Lupita's is just south of the Route 64 and LaFox Road intersection.

Debbie Anderson reminds me that Andre's Restaurant in Batavia has continued to serve excellent meals, even though the business probably suffered when road construction just north of it on Route 25 was unfolding.

She extends kudos to her waitress at Andre's, a lady named Alejandra, whom she says "is one of the friendliest people we know."

Susan Ward wrote to say she favors St. Charles' Salerno's on the Fox as offering the best pizza in the area, and maybe the state. But she was raving about the "veggie pizza" at Aliano's in Batavia as a very pleasant surprise.

In addition, when I mentioned the numerous bakeries now calling Geneva their home, I asked readers to let me know if I forgot one.

I did. Maybe two.

Ward and Don Thompson mentioned I forgot Heidi's Cake and Pastry, one of Geneva's "oldest and best bakeries." Thompson called Heidi's, at 1469 E. State St., "the best Swedish bakery in the Fox Valley."

And even though one might not think of it as a traditional bakery, Great Harvest Bread in Geneva surely makes good cookies and breads.

Thanks to everyone for keeping me on the ball about the area's restaurant landscape.

Lots of chicken: Chick-fil-A opened in Batavia last week to overflow crowds, not the least of which were folks trying to be entered into a drawing for a year's worth of free meals from the restaurant by being one of the first 100 people in line on opening day.

I know this place is popular, but didn't a guy do a documentary once about eating fast food for a year? And he darn near died from it?

I'm not implying anything here, other than maybe the occasional chicken sandwich would probably suffice.

Men's clothing world: You know things can't stay the same forever, but Genevans surely are experiencing a changing face in their downtown. The loss of Erday's clothing store is yet another example of a longtime business bidding farewell.

You can point to a rugged economy, no doubt. Or it could be the fact that not as many men these days need to wear suits or nice clothes to work. But it certainly is not a stretch to believe the Geneva Commons has made it a bit tougher for certain downtown businesses.

Overall, men have more than a downtown clothing store as options to pick up shirts and slacks these days. Years ago, it was pretty natural that a local man or boy might end up with clothes from Erday's. Now it could be Kohl's, Carsons, J.C. Penney or others that have, over time, become part of the area.

Bowling you over: A bowling alley just seems to work quite well as the setting for a fundraiser. Everyone has a good time bowling, right? The Geneva Academic Foundation is hoping so, as it plans a March 9 Bowling and Silent Auction fundraiser at Bowling Green in West Chicago. The foundation is looking for items for the silent auction. If you have something you can donate, call Lisa Otto at (630) 715-6152.

An interesting gallery: I enjoy art and theater, but it doesn't make me an expert. That's one reason I was scratching my head a bit when seeing the St. Charles Arts Council's latest call for participants to exhibit in an upcoming pop-up gallery.

The theme? It's called Temporal Belongings. This exhibit is going to explore what we wear, how we wear it and what it may mean. I can tell you right now, as I am writing this, I am wearing a crummy sweatshirt and sweatpants. Why? Because it's comfortable.

OK, the artists considering a submission for this gallery have to be a lot deeper than that. Entries can be in any medium, but artists must submit a JPEG image of a potential entry to the council by Feb. 15. More information is available by calling (630) 443-3794.

Seeking summer work: Think the job market has been tough on adults the past five years? How about teens looking for summer work? It's never easy for them to land a job, which makes the St. Charles Park District Teen Job Fair even more important these days.

People 16 to 24 are invited to check out the summer job market prospects from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Feb. 18 at the Pottawatomie Community Center gym.

Good time for visit: This is a pretty good way to check out a restaurant you haven't visited yet. St. Charles is promoting its restaurants in the city's third annual Restaurant Week, starting Feb. 18.

You get a 25 percent break on your bill at the participating eateries. And maybe you'll end up visiting a place that will become a new favorite.

Finally, some closure: For years, Rob Anderson of Geneva walked the streets of Aurora asking questions, while keeping in touch with police in the hunt for the killer of his 21-year-old son, Brendon. He was determined to find out who would kill his son and set his car on fire 15 years ago in Aurora. He has the answer now -- and hopefully a measure of peace. The killer, Jaime Diaz, was sentenced to life in prison last week by a Kane County jury.

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