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Grandma’s Cooking at Deta’s Café in Rogers Park

Nothing beats back winter’s chill better than a comforting dose of Grandma’s cooking. But if you don’t have a nonna, bubbe, yia-yia, or granny handy, head over to West Rogers Park and check out Deta Lekic’s cozy BYO. Her dining room has all the requisite accouterments: patterned curtains, plastic-covered tablecloths, family portraits, and photos from the homeland—in this case, Montenegro. Even better, Deta will often greet you at the door, seat you, and take charge of ordering. (The menu is whatever she happens to have simmering that evening.) “I bring for you, you like,” she assures us. We swoon over burek ($7), which she bakes fresh daily. Coiled like a cobra, it’s an irresistible Frisbee-size, phyllo-thin pastry stuffed with goodies, such as savory onion-spiked ground beef or tangy feta. Add a lively salad, studded with tomatoes, peppers, and hefty chunks of Bulgarian feta ($6), and perhaps a platter of hearty beef goulash, tender veal, or stuffed peppers, and contentment is a given. Just plan on a leisurely evening, because even a grandmotherly dynamo from Montenegro can move only so fast. Cash only. 7555 N. Ridge Blvd.; 773-973-1505.

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