South Side Grille delights hungering hunger tubs with its hearty Italian-influenced comfort fare, all complemented by a lively bar and a newly renovated dining space. Begin an eating excursion with dinner menu starters such the stuffed portabella crammed with sausage, red peppers, and mozzarella and drizzled with balsamic vinaigrette ($8) or the nacho supreme ($8), or snag a trifecta of indulgent flavors with a sample plate, complete with chicken tenders, fried zucchini, and fried mozzarella ($12). The balsamic chicken salad keeps poultry patrons enthusiastically stomach saluting ($8), and entrees such as the frutti di mar ($20) sate sea-based cravings without the risk of stumbling upon a snoozing Charybdis. Knock back a draft beer at the bar while catching the latest scores of the big game or live-action chess tournament, pair your ravioli with a rousing game of Texas Hold 'Em on Monday and Tuesday evenings, or meander in on a Wednesday, Friday, or Saturday night for karaoke, where you can belt out a tribute to your favorite Dewey decimal number.
Fresh-cut meats and cheeses fold into the stacked creations at Aunt Nanny's Deli—a quaint storefront that doles out thick sandwiches, breakfast platters, and ice cream in equal measure. Free WiFi blankets the casual spot, and in the spirit of community giving, Aunt Nanny's also sponsors local organizations for kids, supplying Little League and Pop Warner Football equipment and swapping out trophies for cheesesteaks.
Unlike when you're visiting a museum of what professional wrestlers ate in the 1990s, it's easy to find a healthy meal at Roscoe's Wrap It Up. Here, cooks stuff ingredients such as Boar's Head turkey and grilled vegetables into soft tortillas and sizzle stir-fries to serve with brown rice. Their veggie wrap bursts with grilled zucchini and tomatoes, roasted peppers, and balsamic vinegar, and a london-broil wrap with mozzarella cheese and A1 sauce is delivered to you on the wrong side of the table. Sips of a frappuccino shake grant a chocolate protein boost, whereas sips of an apple-pie shake provide an inventive vanilla protein boost.
The chefs at Muscle Maker Grill put a healthy spin on flavorful dishes inspired by Italian, Asian, American, and southwestern cuisines. The chain was founded in 1995 by Rod Silva, a fitness enthusiast who grew weary of fast-food eateries that bogged customers down with unhealthy morsels and toys sculpted from butter. What began as a smoothie stand has expanded into a successful franchise that slings pastas, burgers, salads, and Tex-Mex–style wraps and proudly displays the calorie content and relationship status of each dish on the menu.
Behind the understated green awning of L&D’s Sapore Ravioli & Cheese's storefront, owner Domenick F. Discenza and his team churn out nearly 100 kinds of pasta fresh daily. Domenick's love affair with pasta began during his childhood in Baranello, Italy, and has lasted 40 years, more than two decades of which have been spent at L&D's. He creates authentic Italian pastas and innovative interpretations including champagne-dough ravioli with lobster and sweet-potato gnocchi. The restaurant also makes use of imported delicacies, featuring 15 sauces including walnut pesto and honeycomb tripe on its dinner menu. The lighter lunch menu offers hot and cold sandwiches and wraps. In addition, L&D's savory cold-cut platters and à la carte items can be ordered for birthdays, anniversaries, and parties in honor of that time you hiccupped for three hours straight.
When Jon Lidz left his career as an army officer some 25 years ago, he had dreams of opening a restaurant. Although he took a few detours—working everywhere from Wall Street to the button-making business—he still daydreamed about a place where friends and neighbors could enjoy fresh food in a casual, comfortable setting. So with the encouragement of friends and family, he opened Little Shanty, where he created a menu starting with his grandmother’s Southern-style, hand-cut french fries, plus burgers, Chicago-style hotdogs, and shakes.
Little Shanty’s casual interior brings to mind an auto repair shop—complete with aluminum siding, exposed brick walls, and booths sidled next to windowed garage doors. The kitchen resides on the other side of these doors, allowing diners to avidly watch as cooks assemble burgers or drag race pickles.