Stepping inside Chef Shangri-La's dining room is like entering a distant tropical trading post. Thatched awnings, woven ceilings, and palm fronds flank Polynesian masks and Easter Island statues while scents of Chinese, Thai, and Japanese cuisine waft with Polynesian aromas from mango- and pineapple-covered meats, barbecue char siu, and spicy sichuan stir-fries. Rock walls and fountains line a tucked-away koi pond, and a separate tiki bar urges guests to while away the hours sipping tropical drinks outfitted with tiny umbrellas that belong to tiny British nannies. As guests sup on meals of japanese noodle soup and tropical pua'a pork, the stage area regales diners with live Hawaiian bands every third Saturday of the month and annual music fests and luaus with DJs, dancers, and Polynesian collectables.
To Jaime Flores, tamales represent two of the world's finest simple pleasures: eating and unwrapping presents. At Tamale Hut Café, he and his staff hand-wrap each tamale with a double layer of corn husks, then steam-cook them to seal in flavor. Jaime derives his methods and his choice of fillings—pork, chicken, pinto beans, and even crab meat with jalapeños—from his aunt and uncle, who taught him how to prep the portable delights in addition to other Mexican foods. He attests that his tamales are appropriate for any mealtime, and even sells steamer pots so that visitors can reheat their leftovers without using a microwave or rubbing them until friction kicks in. The quaint café is a venue for both sitting down for a snack and appreciating local culture. Beneath bulbs that glow inside of hanging tequila bottles, paintings and photographs by local artists draw the eye, and regular readings by visiting authors entertain audiences. To offset the savory bites of tamales, meatball soup, and gourmet salsas, guests can order drinks or seasonal paletas—Mexican fruit popsicles. Sweet tamales tinged with the taste of pineapple, blueberry, and coconut are another creative dessert option.
In 1930, Dr. Joseph Rosin and his brother, Maurice, opened a small shop on Cermak Road in Cicero. In 80 years, the shop has grown from a small family-run optometrist's office to a regionally renowned business that has sharpened the eyesight of celebrities such as Joe DiMaggio and Plácido Domingo and left its mark on the Chicago area by designing famous symbols such as Harry Caray's trademark glasses and the novelty shades that adorn the John Hancock Center. Today, Rosin Eyecare rests in the hands of the third generation of Rosins, ably helmed by brothers James and Jonathan, who continue a proud tradition of warm, personal service as they improve eyesight with high-tech LASIK and PRK treatments as well as stylish eyeglasses with scratch-resistant lenses. At 16 locations, including the newest office Long Grove, a staff of optometrists keeps optical orbs in high function with comprehensive exams, treating each patient's individual needs with products such as a contact-lens implant or a prescription safety eyewear.
Almost a century ago, it was 1914 and William J. Cassidy was gazing out from his livery stable to watch the newfangled automobiles rumble past on Roosevelt Road. He knew then that he’d been right to expand from shoeing horses to also servicing tires. Never having children, Will took his 16-year-old nephew, Hugh, under his wing in the venture. When Will retired, Hugh took over and kept the company afloat even during the bleakest days of the Depression and WWII. Hugh’s six sons all followed in the family footsteps, opening additional locations in the suburbs, and then their children opened even more.
Today, those descendants operate 15 Cassidy Tire & Service locations throughout the city and suburbs. The Cassidy experts keep vehicles running smoothly as they grow old by practicing a full range of other auto services, from rotating tires to changing oil and flushing transmissions.
Inside Ultimate Exposure Tanning Centers' Chicagoland locations, a full lineup of UV- and spray-tanning equipment infuse skin with a healthy summer glow year-round. Individual sessions in the automated spray-tanning booths?such as VersaSpa?or UV beds gild bodysuits for nights on the town, and unlimited monthly packages fashion a continuous golden hue previously only available to sunbathing satellites. The salon stocks a variety of tan-accelerating lotions from Swedish Beauty, Australian Gold, and Designer Skin, which deepen bronze hues and moisturize skin to fashion a long-lasting radiance.
With more than 175 locations nationwide and more than 35 years in the business, Car-X Tire & Auto has earned a prime spot in the parking garage of quality car care and customer service. Started in 1971 by a team of seasoned muffler-shop owners, the service centers have blossomed from their beginnings as specialty exhaust shops to providers of nearly any repair or maintenance service imaginable, from installing performance-enhancing accessories to treating cars to therapeutic trust falls. In addition to promoting safety and long, healthy engine life with brake services and speedy oil changes, Car-X reaches out to the surrounding community with regular philanthropic activities, such as recycling drives and participation in the American Heart Association’s Heart Walk.