Ballydoyle specializes in comforting Irish fare and even more comforting Irish ales. Folks will wonder why more meat isn't corned after trying the star of Ballydoyle's sandwiches, the corned beef on marble rye (8.95). Heartier Irish specialties include shepherds pie ($11.95), Bangers and Mashed ($11.95), and Dinny's Irish Fry—an aorta-challenging amalgamation of Irish bacon, Irish sausage, black-and-white pudding, grilled tomatoes, sautéed mushrooms, baked beans, two eggs any style, toast, and the keys to Dublin for those that clean their plates ($12.95). Another Irish specialty, boxty ($11.95–$13.95), wraps a homemade potato griddle cake around a variety of fillings, such as vegetables, chicken, and Larry Bird's NBA championship rings. An Irish pub would just be Denny's without an extensive list of draft and bottled beer. Ballydoyle's is one of the only pubs that serves McCaffrey's Irish Cream Ale, making it as delicious as it is exclusive.
Nestled inside its window-laden storefront is Fox Valley Homebrew & Winery Supplies, a cozy, personable shop for home brewers and winemakers. Here, DIY brewers and vintners of all levels can snag equipment and ingredients for their projects in the form of fermenters, wine yeast, and winemaking books that, if stomped on hard enough, produce a floral bouquet with balanced tannins.
At Luigi’s Pizza and Fun Center, no belly goes unfilled, and no guest leaves bored. Between bites from a menu offering hamburgers, hot wings, and pizzas, kids and adults alike can explore Luigi’s entertaining confines. An arcade with more than 100 games entices with flashing lights, cheery sounds, and whispered advice on how to get to the kill screen, and a mini-bowling alley hosts frames. Nearby, a three floor, 4,500-square-foot laser-tag arena glows with friendly beams, and ghostly black lights transform the space into an otherworldly battlefield.
When Prisco's Fine Foods opened in 1926, there were no shopping carts rattling down its aisles; the store was housed in the first floor of Tony and Mary Prisco's home, where they won over customers with humor and personal attention while peddling produce. Today, the store has moved into a modern location, but continues to specialize in Italian cuisine and fresh produce. An array of olive oils, herbs, and tomato products is available from both domestic and overseas sources. The store's staff also makes pastas, sauces, and pizzas in-house, providing materials for easily assembled family dinners or at-home Double Dare competitions. Butchers prepare fresh meat that is cut or ground on the premises and never cryogenically preserved. They expertly slice up Aurora Angus beef, Seaboard all natural pork, and Amish chicken, as well as over 30 kinds of housemade sausage, including italian sausage and bratwurst.
The friendly staff at Rudy's Place fuels mealtime revelry and poolroom rivalry with a menu of Mexican favorites alongside classic American sandwiches, burgers, wraps, and pizza. Armed with homemade tortilla chips, diners dive into meals with an appetizer of guacamole or wake up palates with a sampler platter salvo of chicken wings, mini tacos, flautas, and breaded bites of alarm-clock parts. Kitchen magicians pack a half-pound of pure Angus beef into each burger, dressing the most ornate patties in barbecue sauce, pepper jack cheese, and onion rings, or in fried jalapeños and chipotle ranch sauce. Within the bready bookends of a philly cheesesteak, seasoned green peppers and onions fresh from the grill court gooey swiss with charred fragments of the Liberty Bell, and across the table tangy green salsa smothers chicken, beef, steak, or cheese enchiladas as beans, rice, and guacamole offer sideline commentary. Smiling barkeeps pour heaping glasses of beer to refresh over-stimulated palates, whisking away savory sensations with amber bubbles from makers such as Sam Adams, Budweiser, Guinness, Coors, and Miller.