Labriola Baking Company is a jewel hidden deep in south suburban Alsip. Their baked goods have been stocking the shelves of specialty grocers throughout the Chicagoland area for years. Lab’s offers some of the finest breads and pastries available on the market. Recently, they decided to open up a cafe style restaurant just east of the Yorktown Mall of Lombard to showcase their famous baked goods. Seating well over one hundred patrons, the cafe is always packed and always has a line out the door.
Freshly baked breads and other baked goods hang from the shelves. A long line of people leading up to the register tells you, “this place has to be good”. Behind the tills, a chef pulls pizzas and sandwiches from the brick surface of a wood-fired oven. At the very top of the big menu hanging from the ceiling is the Richie Burger.
Voted as one of the best burgers in Chicagoland, the Richie Burger strikes up curiosity with all newcomers. The main attraction of this sandwich is the fresh pretzel roll bun. The truth is, it’s a good burger, but not worth the rap. If you are a person that appreciates a rare burger like me, this one won’t measure up to your taste buds. It’s very fresh, greasy and tasty, but the meat is so thick that the burger doesn’t cook properly and dries up. The homemade fries accompanying the burger are amazing.
Labriola’s offers many other noteworthy dishes besides the burgers. My personal favorite is the meatball sub sandwich. Hand-packed and perfectly seasoned meatballs are stuffed into a freshly baked Italian roll, and topped with provolone cheese which is then melted and served with a side of marinara sauce. Their wood-fired oven baked pizzas are also well-worth a try. Instead of the Chicago style pizzas we’re used to, Lab’s prepares their pizzas with a style similar to traditional Italian pizza. This place is worth the stop off I-88.