Here in Niles, and in the nearby towns of Park Ridge, Glenview, and Morton Grove, I expected to see the hallmarks of generic suburban food: diners, throwback-style ice cream parlors, Pathmarks, maybe a Chili's. Instead, I found a parade of businesses geared toward partially assimilated immigrant groups, the kinds that give great American cities their character. Within a few miles of one another, you can find a massive and excellent taqueria, several Polish delis, more than a dozen Korean restaurants, and three Target-size Asian supermarkets. Then there's the Filipino enclave: Ian Mae, a crowded, disheveled store selling packaged Filipino products—an instant version of La Paz batchoy (a noodle soup from Iloilo Province), adobo-flavored fried peanuts, jarred macapuno (the gelatinous flesh of mutant coconut)—and prepared foods like turon, a sweet deep-fried spring roll filled with banana and ripe jackfruit. There's Village Creamery, which serves halo-halo ("mix-mix," the hate-it-or-love-it Filipino dessert of shaved ice topped with ice cream, evaporated milk, fruit, beans, and flan) and ice cream in a rainbow of flavors like purple yam, mangosteen, corn and, unfortunately, queso—described distressingly as "vanilla ice cream with Kraft cheese pieces." And there's Sariling Atin, where I joined Dale and his parents for breakfast the next morning.