Q: Enjoyed your May 28, 2014, article: "Longing for Hong Kong Steak." Here's another Chicago challenge: "Nello's spaghetti and fried chicken." Nello's restaurant was located in Chicago's Little Italy area of 24th and Oakley back in the '40s and '50s and served absolutely wonderful spaghetti meat sauce along with (I still feel) the world's best fried chicken. Every meal was such a treat! Unfortunately, Chef Nello closed his doors in the late '50s without notice and couldn't be located, so there was no way to get hold of his recipe. Is there any way I can get these?
--Jim Rezabek, Chicago
Q: Back in the 40s -- maybe through 50s -- I believe it was Burney Brothers Bakery had a sweet raisin rye bread that was so good. I cannot find anything like it in any book I have. Could you find that recipe?
--Carol Neumann, Park Forest
Q. I hope you can help me find a recipe. About 40 years ago, I worked at 259 E. Ontario in the North Loop in Chicago. Once in a while we would have lunch at a restaurant called Vesuvio's, (a few) doors from work. It was housed in a 2- to 3-story house or apartment building that was converted to a restaurant, I think. I always had mostaccioli with a red meat sauce. I loved it. Never tasted (anything) in other restaurants like it.
--Marianne Krasucki, Westchester
A: These three questions from readers are grouped together because:
1. All pertain to a once-loved and now long-gone food product;
2. A recipe is desired;
3. I can't find a recipe;
4. But maybe you have one and would be willing to share.
Questions like this always pose a fun challenge because old recipes can end up not quite where you expect them to be, like the Marshall Fields' corned beef hash recipe, where one part of the recipe was with Macy's and the other half with the Chicago History Museum. Or a recipe search will spark some great memories, as with the Hong Kong steak recipe from Chicago's South Pacific Restaurant. Sometimes, though, the search hits a dead end. I've held on to these questions for months hoping for a flash of inspiration that would lead to answers. So far, no luck.
That's why I'm turning these questions over to you, the readers. It's worked for me in the past -- sometimes embarrassingly quickly -- where a reader will write or call in with the answer or a tip that leads to a recipe. Let's see what turns up for these recipe requests. I will share the results, if any, in a future column
Do you have a question about food or drink? E-mail Bill Daley at: firstname.lastname@example.org. Snail mail inquiries should be sent to: Bill Daley, Chicago Tribune, 435 N. Michigan Ave., Chicago 60611. Twitter @billdaley.