Dal Santo’s Italian Sausage & Catering has quite a history. Frank Dal Santo started the business in 1946 in Chicago’s predominantly Italian neighborhood of Roseland. He then took the business to the Bum Town neighborhood. Bum Town, along with Pullman, West Pullman, Sheldon Heights, Gano, Rosemoor and Fernwood were all beloved neighborhoods of the 1950s heydays of Chicago’s South Side.
Confident in his product but not in the neighborhood, Dal Santo moved his store to Calumet City. It was there that he semi-retired and passed the business to his son Chuck Dal Santo who added a catering side to the business. Located in Crete, Ill., since 2006, the Dal Santo family continues the traditions of sausage making, beef roasting and sauce making all established by Frank.
The Italian beef is some of the best in Chicagoland, and that’s saying a lot for a beef town like Chicago. Don’t pass up the deli case. The sales are so fast and furious, the Italian coldcuts and cheeses are super fresh. The capicolla (gah-bah-goh to a true Italian) is phenomenal as is the imported Gorgonzola. Create your own antipasto tray and buy one already made up for you. And the roasted potatoes Italian style (in oil and seasoning) are to die for. Check out the fresh artichoke salad and the new and improved Grandpa’s Potato Salad.
But don’t miss out on one of the belt-buster sandwiches. Along with the requisite beef, sausage and meatball, you’ll find Italian and American subs, the Chucker (turkey, pepper cheese and cole slaw) and, if you add ham to the Chucker, you have the Mother Chucker. And that’s just the tip of the mortadella.
There’s a huge selection of dry goods — pastas, olives, oils, condiments, cookies — and the freezer case is loaded with lasagna, mostaccioli, tortellini, stuffed shells, sausage and peppers, meatballs, roasted potatoes, and desserts like tiramisu. But you can buy many of these items fresh. Just call ahead with your order (72 hours notice required on large orders).
Pick-up catering specials start at $5.99 per person with a minimum of 20 people for a choice of two entrées (sausage, Polish, Italian beef, roast pork, lasagna, stuffed shells, ravioli, roasted chicken, fried chicken, bonesless chicken breast) and choice of three sides (roasted potatoes, mostaccioli, pasta salad, cole slaw, potato salad, antipasto salad, tossed salad, tomatoes/peppers/onion, green or baked beans, gelatin with fruit) Plates and utensils are included. How can you beat that?
The staff is fast, courteous and if you want to practice your Italian, here’s your opportunity. Now that winter is coming, you can expect homemade sopressa, fresh salami and cudi. And still you need a reason? Bada-bing, just go!
Dal Santo’s Italian Sausage & Catering
Address: 976 E Steger Road, Crete, IL 60417
Hours: 9:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Mondays to Fridays, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturdays, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Sundays
Price: $$ (cash and checks only, no credit cards)