Mario Dovalina and Edwin Ptak established the original Pepe's Mexican Restaurant in 1967 in order to satisfy diners craving authentic Mexican dishes. With more than 40 locations in the Chicagoland area and northwestern Indiana and traditional eats that are sold across the United States and even in Mexico, Pepe's appeases a wide audience with its hearty options. Appetizers such as chips and fresh guacamole made daily or chili con queso ready bellies for veggie burritos bursting with seasonal vegetables. Flat-screen TVs broadcasting sports games or ballerina-wrestling matches dot the spacious walls at many of the chain’s casual eateries, keeping diners in their seats long after their shrimp, pork, or vegetable fajitas are finished.
Bergstein's offers up authentic New York–style deli fare for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, most of which is made fresh in-house. For morning sustenance, toasted challah bread swaddles salami, egg, and Muenster cheese ($5.49), while Keith's lox breakfast platter is piled with cream cheese, tomato, olives, and a choice of bagel ($8.29). Moving on to the mightier meal mountains that punctuate Bergstein's modern, open space, the BNY sandwich smashes hunger with a monster truckload of deli staples (corned beef, pastrami, and brisket) on an onion roll ($11.49). Meanwhile, the lighter, but still stomach-filling big apple salad tosses chicken, dried cherries, blue cheese, and diced apples with balsamic vinaigrette ($7.29). Sweet and sour cabbage and fluffy matzoh ball soup ($4.29 for a bowl) are available every day, and several others get playing time depending on the soup schedule. Smaller bites include the classic black and white cookie ($2.25), sides such as potato pancakes ($1.79) and knishes ($1.79), and the by-the-pound bundles of lox shipped in from Brooklyn ($23.49 per pound).
Hailing from humble beginnings in a renovated Mississippian gas station, McAlister's Deli has revolutionized the concept of fast food with healthy fare recognized by Parents in 2009. Premium ingredients, such as Black Angus roast beef and black forest ham, pile upon stuffed potatoes or artisan bread, sating hungers and silencing stomachs before they recite bank-account numbers. As patrons wait for servers to deliver meals, they sip signature sweet tea, swirled together onsite daily from pure cane sugar and a rainforest-certified black-tea blend as dictated by a closely guarded recipe.
Family owned for over 35 years! The tradition began when Angelo opened the doors in 1976, his sons Larry & Peter took over a few years later. From there they have expanded to 9 family owned locations and 9 franchises. All of the franchise owners continue the tradition of family owned and operated restaurants.
A smattering of 20 sauces and seasonings dripping from handspun wings coats patrons' fingers as they cheer on their favorite professional sports teams broadcast on Buffalo Wild Wings' TVs. Eyes are torn between watching teams dribble a ball, shoot a puck, and land a grand jeté, and plates of plentiful wings, burgers, wraps, salads, and ribs. For more entertainment, trivia games exercise brains, and the Blazin' Challenge offers recognition for those brave enough to down a dozen wings slathered in the eatery's hottest sauce in 6 minutes.