Though its Cantonese and Mandarin cuisine reflects some of China's oldest culinary traditions, Dragon Inn's Chicago Heights location also nurtures an evolving menu that includes sushi. Specialties include the 9-ounce hong kong porterhouse steak and the crispy duck. Accompanying housemade sauces are customized to guests' tastes, adding flavor to entrees and egg rolls that are folded by hand and filled with pork, shrimp, and vegetables.
Vetavia's Cajun Cafe and Bar has the ingredients for either a relaxed family dinner or a late night on the town, depending on your mood. In the afternoon or early evening, you might find tables laden with seafood po-boys, chicken wings, and bowls of jambalaya, and maybe even little ones digging into kid-size portions of catfish nuggets. As daylight dims and the many, many crystalline chandeliers grow brighter in contrast above the blue-velvet chairs, guests might be more likely to order from the full bar and indulge in oysters, prime rib eye, and grilled crab. At that point, live music might start playing from the corner stage?if it's not taken over by karaoke, a much cheerier way to get the crowd involved in the night's entertainment than having a ventriloquist hide in a corner.
Foodies stocks about 120 mostly-organic grocery items, encompassing gluten-free, vegan, and vegetarian wares, as well as drive-thru espresso. Give undercaffeinated bodies a much-needed jolt with Foodies' extensive espresso menu; customize coffee drinks by factors including size (12–20 oz.), amount of foam, and number of shots. Adorn drinks with caramel, milk- and white-chocolate syrup, or add a different flavoring agent such as coconut, chocolate mint, pomegranate, or pumpkin pie, ideal for remaining alert to spontaneous outbreaks of autumn. Foodies makes its coffee drinks with organic milk and Caffé Umbria espresso, unlike earth-unfriendly instant coffees powered by disposable batteries; a caramel-drizzled, rice milk latte sates non-dairy-based sweet teeth ($5.20 for 16 oz.).
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.
Though Los Angeles Café 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.
The tufted leather booths that line the perimeter of D'wan Hookah Lounge encourage not just sitting, but rather sinking into. The entire room, with its vaulted ceilings, dim lighting, and exposed brick columns, seems ready-made for leisurely socialization and casual conversation. And the hookahs only exacerbate the laid-back feel. Staffers bring guests freshly packed hookahs filled with aromatic blends of tobacco including safari melon dew, citrus mint, and tangerine dream. Customers can pick and choose blends??the menu features roughly 50 flavors??and then sink into their booths to chat about life between pulls from their hookahs, all the while blowing smoke rings that would make bubbles weep.