Street food has been a staple of cuisines around the world for generations, and the trend has finally reached American shores. Leading the charge on behalf of the street food of Sicily is Elio Bartolotta of Elio Pizza on Fire and Elio Café.
“Sicilian street food represents our tradition, our roots, our soul,” Bartolotta says. “We want to share that soul with America.”
On the street side of Bartolotta’s menu are pane e panelle, a sandwich stuffed with fried herbed chickpea meal; caponata siciliana, an antipasto featuring eggplant, capers and olives in a sweet-and-sour red sauce; and pani câ meusa, a sandwich showcasing organ meat. “All are 100 percent authentic Palermo street food,” he assures.
Bartolotta’s is also proud of the fact that he hand-makes his own arancini fresh each day for both of his eateries.
Opened in 2011, the pizzeria also offers a dizzying array of pizze biance e rosse, bruschetta and panini, as well as salads, antipasti, panzerotti and traditional American sandwiches.
Opened in 2017, the café serves up coffee in all its glory, along with crepes, croissants, waffles, stuffed Sicilian breads and gelato.
Bartolotta has been featured on Chicago’s Best and Hungry Hound.
Elio Pizza on Fire is located at 445 W. Lake St. in Addison. (eliopizzaonfire.com, 630-628-0088).
Elio Café is located at 1250 W. Lake St., Addison. (eliocafe.com, 630-866-5555)