Every four–six weeks, Cemitas Puebla's owner and chef, Tony Anteliz, sends a family member to Mexico to gather ingredients such as chipotle peppers and giant cinnamon sticks. He relies on time-tested family recipes honed in Puebla, Mexico to assemble these imported ingredients into sandwiches, tacos, and salsas that have been praised in the Chicago Tribune and on WTTW 11’s Check, Please!. Food Network's Diners, Drive-ins and Dives highlighted the restaurant’s signature cemita sandwich: sesame-seed-bread laden with fresh oaxaca cheese, papalo—a fragrant herb grown in Tony's mother's garden—house-stewed chipotles, and a choice of meats such as breaded pork and carne asada. Inspired by Lebanese shawarmas, tacos arabes begin with layers of pork shoulder and onion skewered on a rotisserie. The stack of meat rotates as slowly as a ferris wheel being ridden by a herd of elephants before a member of the open-air-kitchen staff shaves off tender meat and tucks it into pita-like tortillas.
Repeat winner of the National Ice Cream Retailers Association?s Blue-Ribbon award, Maggie Moo?s combines fresh ingredients and mix-ins to create uncommon frozen desserts. The evolving array of iced treats includes such options as strawberry-bubblegum ice cream, pink grapefruit sorbet, and chocolate-fudge low-fat yogurt. Dozens of mix-ins upgrade the texture and decadence of ice-cream cones and come standard in such delicacies as frozen cakes, cupcakes, or pizzas. Though dessert pizzas resemble their baked brethren, Maggie Moo?s substitutes marinara for red icing, adds white-chocolate curls in lieu of cheese, and swaps the delivery boy for the neighborhood Wookiee.
Forks twirl through build-your-own pastas in a wide array of sauces and toppings, which lead Pastabilities' menu of Italian fare. Portobello mushrooms, eggplant, chicken, and beef steep in warm lakes of marinara, regaling nostrils with tales of sun-soaked tomato fields and scarecrows' first steps. A full line of retail sauces and pastas crafted in-house for shipment to doorsteps begs to fill steaming pots in home kitchens, and catering trays parade pasta and panini for up to six people or three sets of Hall & Oates impersonators.
At Sushiyaki, chefs roll up creative cuts of sushi, glaze meats with teriyaki, and whip up noodle entrees complemented by Japanese beers, wines, and teas. Red walls, eclectic decorations, and tunes from guest DJs fill the traditional dining area, and Japanese-style private rooms feature low tables and floor cushions. Bento boxes and sushi buffets let visitors plan their own taste-bud excursions, during which the smooth, black sushi bar becomes an airport check-in desk inexplicably staffed by fish-slicing chefs.
Chefs at Bait Cafe marinate and grill entrées such as chicken shawarma and New Zealand lamb chops to create light, fresh Mediterranean meals. They also blend fresh bowls of hummus to pair with soft pita bread, and stack chicken kebabs on plates with falafel and couscous. On the red walls of the dining area, golden scrollwork unfurls in swirling shapes that mimic the steam rising from cups of strong Turkish coffee and the honey-coated flowers that sprout when you plant pieces of baklava in your garden.
If you've been bowling in Chicago, chances are pretty good you've been to a Chicagoland Bowling establishment. With member centers from the north to the south, the organization connects pin destroyers all over the city. The advantages of this network include tournaments that span the entire region, scholarship programs for talented youth bowlers, and a cornucopia of options for clowns who juggle bowling pins.