If a visit to one of Southern Belle's restaurants feels a lot like coming home, it might have something to do with the hearty family traditions behind the kitchen's down-home breakfast and lunch dishes. “My father was in pancake houses all his life,” says owner Steve Fotos. Today, many of the same recipes used by Steve's father help populate a menu of hearty comfort foods that includes a poached-egg and sausage benedict smothered in country gravy and french toast stuffed with cinnamon apples, strawberries and pecans, or blueberries and bananas. But while the country-fried-steak or smoked-sausage skillets are tempting, the expansive menu offers options for diets of all kind, pairing fluffy egg whites with strawberries, granola, and multigrain toast and swapping out regular maple syrup for bottles that are low-calorie, sugar-free, or simply sealed shut. Photos of farms and pastoral images smile down upon diners as they dig in and gently remind them to inquire about the restaurant's seasonal specials, which range from summertime salads with sun-ripened veggies to bowls of homemade wintertime chili.
Though Los Angeles Caf? shares its name with a certain West Coast metropolis, the menu of hearty Mexican food seems designed for a Chicagoan's palate.?For more than two decades, owner Marc and his family have been heaping plates with sizzling fajitas, hefty burritos, and generous dollops of fresh guacamole. Visitors to the Mokena or Richton Park locations can complement any dish with a Jarritos soda, Mexican beer, or frosty margarita.
El Xacalli cares about quality. The chefs there prepare authentic Mexican dishes, including tortas, pozole soup, street-style tacos with the classic onion, cilantro, and lime fixings, and on some days, tostada de ceviche and tamales. Plus, the health bar quenches thirst with smoothies and juices brimming with real fruits and veggies, making the cast of Veggie Tales proud, yet fearful. El Xacalli's owner, Romiro, even designed and hand-crafted the eatery's light wood furniture himself.
Shortly after the grand opening of Calla Lily Cafe, Natalie Stevens of the Oswego Patch sat down with Pedro and Dee Lopez—the husband-and-wife team behind Oswego’s newest eatery—to find out what made their business tick. The pair mused about their family’s string of restaurants and bars out in California, citing how they’ve always dreamed of doing the same. However, Calla Lily—named after the Lopez’s favorite flower—isn’t a bar; it’s a cozy and comfortable breakfast spot. Platefuls of multigrain pancakes, thick-cut french toast, and belgian waffles share menu space with hearty egg skillets, omelets, and biscuits and gravy. Customers not in the mood for breakfast can opt for lunch items such as triple-decker club sandwiches, half a dozen kinds of burgers, and fresh salads, before thinking long and hard about why they weren’t in the mood for breakfast.
EggCetera Cafe's resident chefs wield eggs sourced fresh from local Mussman's Back Acres farm alongside trans-fat-free oils and freshly ground coffee beans to craft a menu of savory American breakfast and lunch dishes. Morning-time munching begins with the lox benedict, a tower of hollandaise-drizzled smoked salmon, capers, and two poached eggs atop an english muffin ($9.95). Breakfast burritos harboring scrambled eggs and chorizo ($6.95) roust late-slumbering appetites to pick up the slack left by late-slumbering milkmen. For lunch, diners can furnish fists with po boy sandwiches ($7.95), which fill the gap between two halves of a french roll with morsels of chopped steak and mozzarella; culinary wizards also conjure a rotating slate of homemade soups.
For a set of early-to-risers, Nevada Cafe is a mainstay thanks to its hearty, American-style breakfasts. In an effort to keep things fresh, the diner creates new dishes on the regular, including the recent advent of a pizza omelets, filled with green pepper, tomato, and mozzarella. But the restaurant also puts together a mean lunch and dinner. There's always something new here?a new take on supper dishes, or even a brand new set of slot machines as of March 2014?and families appreciate the caf?'s kid-friendliness and casual atmosphere. For private celebrations, up to 70 partiers can gather in the banquet hall, while those staying home can order delivery thanks to the restaurant's trebuchets.