Created in 1981 on the back of a few family recipes, Buona’s serves up appetite-satiating italian-beef-based sandwiches and comfort-fare classics. The menu is packed with palate-pleasing favorites such as hot dogs, sandwiches, grilled paninis, and thin-crust pizzas. Try an original Buona beef sandwich ($4.95 for a 7" size) made from a family recipe and served on freshly baked italian bread with natural gravy and beef that arrives tender, lean, and sheepish following an in-house roasting. Larger feasts such as the barbecue baby-back ribs ($9.95 for a half slab) or the grilled salmon cibatta ($7.25) quell the quagmires of even the most sovereign starvations. To keep meals as light as a globetrotting eccentric's hot-air balloon, try one of eight crisp, hand-tossed salads, such as the pesto balsamico, tossed with whole-wheat pasta, pesto, and toasted pine nuts, and drizzled with balsamic vinaigrette ($7.25).
It can be hard to tell the sausages charbroiling on Big Guys Sausage's grill apart. But while similar in shape, the 10 different styles contain vastly different flavors. Chefs grill up everything from classic Vienna Beef hot dogs and foot-long Maxwell Street polish sausages to more unique options featuring a range of meats and spices. Chefs incorporate spicy smoked crawfish and pork andouille into the crawfish sausage, and top spicy hot links with their signature pineapple cole slaw. Each sausage comes with a side of crisp, salty fries, which chefs can upgrade with cheese sauce and a heaping scoop of house chili.
In true Chicago-style, Big Guys Sausage doesn't just offer hot dogs and drinks with ice cubes shaped like Nelson Algren. They also layer together juicy Italian beef sandwiches topped with a choice of sweet and hot peppers, and build hearty sandwiches of the day, which might include prime rib and shoestring onions or barbecue brisket.
Sandy's Sandwiches prides itself on feeding customers high quality bread, but not too much of it. Instead, they focus on serving up more meat, more cheese, and whatever other toppings make up the customer's sandwich of choice. With the Big Bet BLT, it's bacon, sliced avocados, and ancho-chipotle sauce; in the Chicken Melt Sub, it's swiss cheese and honey mustard; while the Chicken Salad Sandwich is topped with baby spinach and creamy pesto. Other sandwiches include massive eats such as the Colossal Corned Beef with horseradish dijon on marbled rye, or the Big Hammer, made with enough smoked ham and swiss cheese to put Thor to sleep. The menu also includes hot dogs—the Chicago Dog, the Striped Dog, and the Bacon Chili Dog—and wraps such as the Straight Veggie Wrap with roasted red pepper and artichoke hearts.
Although Julio Mora didn't have much experience when he opened Parrilla Express, he did have a vision. He wanted to open a casual restaurant where diners could find quickly prepared, healthful meals that surpassed typical fast-food expectations. So, he enlisted the help of his uncle, a chef with 40 years of experience, and his friend who had worked as a restaurant manager for 20 years. With their help, he opened Parrilla Express in 2013.
As its name implies, the eatery's deliveries are faster than an overcaffeinated cheetah. Its menu of internationally inspired comfort foods includes crisp salads, hot sandwiches, and a variety of entrees straight from the grill, including full slabs of baby back ribs and shrimp kebabs with tomatoes, green peppers, and onions.
Chefs at Tapas Quezada cook authentic and inventive dishes, drawing from the rich palate of Spanish cuisine and the country’s varied climates, landscapes, and cultures. The menu melds classics such as paella with dozens of hot and cold tapas dishes, rich with seafood, vegetables, and spices, and sized perfectly for sharing or creating edible mosaics. Beyond Tapas Quezada's sidewalk al fresco seating, the dining room and lounge spread through airy spaces trimmed with warm wood and cool stone décor. On the weekends, live musicians take the stage, and on the last Friday of each month, the restaurant hosts tablao flamenco nights, filling the atmosphere with energetic staccatos and subjecting the floor boards to its routine durability test.
As a high-school student working at a local pizzeria, John Schnatter often pondered how he would do things differently if he owned such a business himself. After graduating from college in 1983, he got his chance, knocking down the broom closet in his father’s tavern to create his own pizza-delivery business. Since then Papa John’s has grown to 3,500 restaurants in 50 states and 29 countries. At each location, cooks cover the signature hand-tossed crusts, made with high-protein flour and clear, filtered water, with tomato sauce from vine-ripened California tomatoes, then pile on locally sourced ingredients such as green peppers and onions. The emphasis on fresh ingredients extends to the 100% mozzarella cheese, beef, and pork, which are never artificially inflated with fillers or undeserved compliments. In addition to delivering pizzas, Papa John’s reaches out to the community with charity involvement, including partnering with the Boy Scouts of America and Junior Achievement to teach US students about entrepreneurship and the best method of capturing a wild roma tomato.