Thanksgiving is a time for gratitude, which is why most humans eat turkey and most aliens abduct their neighbors to show them their planets. Keep things simpler than extraterrestrials with today's Groupon to Reuland Food Service in Aurora. Choose between the following options:
Open since 1945, Elmer's Doghouse has been a haven for generations of diners looking for cold brews, hot meals, and a set of familiar faces to enjoy them with. At this casual neighborhood spot, the kitchen staff still dishes out burgers, pizzas, and steak dinners lit by the neon glow of beer signs. On Monday nights, these meals emerge amid the tuneful clatter of the bar’s acoustic open mic, refueling audiences and musicians alike. Other musical entertainments include karaoke nights and live bands, who often coax diners into dancing or just giving them a bite of their food.
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.
The gastronomic gurus at Patrick's Fine Foods & Spirits have been conjuring a menu's worth of classic American dishes since 1969. Tether flighty appetites with a starter of Nachos Supreme, which rests tomatoes, olives, and jalapeños atop a bed of tortilla chips, snuggles them beneath a blanket of chili and cheese, and hires a doting grandmother to sing them to sleep. Slow-cooked corned beef spans the distance between two slices of light rye bread to construct Patrick's Own corned-beef sandwich, and the pub-style fish sandwich's battered cod allows diners to sample seafaring flavors without having to track down a dinner-appropriate wetsuit. Patrick's lambasts the tyranny of state-mandated burger menus by offering a democratizing 12 ingredients on its build-your-own burger menu and helps to wash down savory flavors or burger-soiled hands with a throng of beers.
Today, Colonial Cafe & Ice Cream may have seven full-service family-friendly restaurants, but when it started in 1901, it was only a single small ice cream and dairy store. Now guests can settle into breakfast, lunch, and dinner at each of the eateries –and still enjoy the ice cream that put them on the map. They have garnered particular attention for their signature dish, the Kitchen Sink Sundae, which features two whole bananas, six scoops of ice cream (vanilla, chocolate, strawberry), whipped cream, chocolate, and chopped almonds with a cherry topper. It’s served in a large dish shaped like a kitchen sink with a S-pipe as the handle. And when diners finish it, they receive a bumper sticker that reads, “I Ate a Colonial Kitchen Sink.”
While ice cream reigns supreme, their breakfasts have also earned praise. They were voted “Best Breakfast” by the Elgin Courier News, Aurora Beacon News, and Naperville Sun. Favorites among the regulars include the stuffed very berry French toast and cinnamon roll French toast. Come dinnertime, they continue serving comfort foods including fresh baked meatloaf and a mac and cheese bacon melt, as well as sandwiches such as the pot roast French dip. The restaurant has also earned plaudits for its popularity with its littlest diners, grabbing the "Best Kid-Friendly Restaurant" designation in the Kane County Chronicle Reader's Choice awards.
When Hounds Blue Moon began serving up inventive pub fare in 2008, the menu included a modest selection of eight signature stuffed burgers. That list has since expanded to offer diners 26 varieties of burger, each bedecked with elaborate ingredient combinations such as avocado and jalapeno jack cheese, chili and cheese sauce, bacon and cheddar, or roasted jalapeños and pico de gallo. During dinner hours, palates can further expand with Italian dinner specialties such as the chicken vesuvio roasted with potato wedges and peas. And on Sundays, staffers at a brunch buffet customize comfort fare by sizzling made-to order omelets and carving off slices of meat in the shape of each patron's favorite Aleutian Island.