Dylan's Pub welcomes in familiar neighborhood regulars as well as new friends with frosty brews, entertaining bar games, and tantalizing feasts of sandwiches, wraps, and pizzas. Guests tuck in to lunches and dinners of sauce-slathered wings and barbecue pork sandwiches, or greet the day with weekend breakfasts of omelets, french toast, and biscuits. Nightfall finds crowds of revelers sipping skinny cocktails or cold beers as they challenge each other to bouts of NTN trivia, golf, bowling, darts, pool, and chariot racing. Live entertainment in the form of DJs, dueling pianos, and bandaroke entertain the masses, and upstairs, a private-party room provisions up to 100 guests with big-screen TVs, a jukebox, and piped-in DJ music.
Since firing up the ovens in 1978, the cooks at Village Pizza & Pub have perfected their recipes for savory pizzas and classic Italian beef sandwiches. Today, across two locations, thin-crust and double-decker pies don toppings such as barbecued chicken and jalapeño peppers. The Elgin location surrounds diners with a hunting lodge-inspired theme, which includes chandeliers made of deer antlers, exposed log beams, and taxidermied animals.
Stand facing one way in the parking lot of Niko’s Lodge and you’re in suburban Algonquin; turn the other way, and you’re in a mountain resort town. As diners pass under immense dark wood beams, they encounter a handsome pinewood bar, a roaring fireplace flanked by comfy furniture, and, drifting through it all, the fragrance of steak, rotisserie chicken, and pork ribs. Flavors tend toward hearty American favorites: barbecue, meatloaf, and decadent combinations such as a chicken-and-bacon mac and cheese, to name a few. Much of the fish is supplied by nearby rivers and lakes, and all the beef comes from upper-Midwestern Braveheart Black Angus cattle. If guests have saved some belly space, they can step outside to the fire pits to toast complimentary s’mores and destroy napkins on which they wrote embarrassing sonnets to pot roast.
Visitors to the Elgin Public House step into a cozy interior reinforced by exposed-brick walls. A culinary crew revives weary locals with a menu of hearty pub eats and a beer selection of 87 varieties imported from across Europe and the United States. Chefs use certified-Angus beef for burgers, stuff pork chops full of bleu cheese cornbread and mango chutney, and hand-cut steaks in-house after aging them a minimum of two weeks to ensure optimal flavor and prevent them from prank-calling patrons. A calendar of weekly events keeps things lively with regular offerings such as Wednesday-night trivia, Friday-night fish fries, and daily specials. One Tuesday each month, limited-seating dinner-pairing events offer six-course meals, with each course accompanied by an alcoholic beverage, such as red wine or tequila.
McMae's Tavern & Grill assuages vocal stomachs with an eclectic menu of American-style eats in a modest pub environment. Relive Pavlovian experiments with McMae's saliva-inducing skirt steak, a tender, 6-ounce flank of juicy beef served with fresh vegetables ($12.95). Pastas permeate the menu, hiding linguini beneath a canopy of shellfish, bell peppers, and cilantro in the tiger shrimp creole ($12.95) or showcasing them front and center in the homemade manicotti ($9.95). Twelve sandwich offerings, one for every finger, fill out the lunch and dinner selection with crowd-pleasing combinations ranging from the grilled-salmon sandwich topped with caramelized onions ($9.95) to the chicken-parmesan sandwich ($7.95).
According to Yeats, "There are no strangers here; only friends you haven't yet met." The Irish poet may not have been referring to O'Hare's Pub, per se, but the O'Hare's staff uses this quote to steer their friendly serving style and casual atmosphere. Diners stay well-fed and well-quaffed with a never-ending stream of beers, spirits, and food. Enjoy classic pub food such as build-your-own burgers, wings, and french dip sandwiches, and Irish cuisine like corned beef and cabbage and beef and Guinness stew. The pub also offers eight large flatscreen TVs to watch the big game on, karaoke on Tuesday nights, and free live trivia on Wednesday nights.