I have been going to Rex Italian Foods on the northwest side of Chicago for year. During my time at Lerner Newspapers, I wrote a story and listed Rex's as the #1 place for a fountain Coke in the area. Their cup size was my only complaint. They hung that article in their store for years and also added larger size options to their fountain beverages.
Last year, food star Guy Fieri featured Rex's on his show, Drive-Ins, Diners and Dives. Oh sure, Fieri can big shot himself all over the place, but where was he ten years ago when I was heralding Rex's? Anyone can "find" gems like Rex's when you are already famous and peole are sending in tips all of the time, but a real journalist (like me) finds these gems on his own.
Don't get me wrong, I like Fieri and I like Rex's. Both are winners in my book. I just can't help but feel a little left out. Maybe I should have my own DDD-type show where I seek out great fountain Cokes around the country.
Oh sure, you laugh now,. but true Coke connoisseurs will understand and appreciate that. People laughed when I wrote that original story, but it got a great response. I have even heard that Fieri's people read it and that lead them to their DDD segment at Rex's.
I am glad that Rex's got the publicity. The Pinello family is a great bunch. They are friendly, lively and they make excellent food. My only real complaint is that they have switched to the other beverage. It looks like I have some work to do!
Anthony and Renata Pinello and Guy Fieri in Norridge, IL-July 2012.