El Burrito Loco's staff dishes out the authentic flavors of Mexico in a low-key setting, with a wide-ranging menu that accommodates ample appetites. The restaurant fills its namesake dish with everything from tongue to chorizo to veggies, whetting whistles with the baby size ($4.90) and appeasing augmented appetites with the giant portion ($5.95). The specialty dinners showcase the eatery’s eclecticism, slinging meaty chilaquiles ($5.99) or chicken flautas ($9.35) with rice, beans, and tortillas. Vegetarians can order from a meat-free menu, kinder than a tofu dinner prepared by herds of unionized cows. Tamales ($2.10 each), enchiladas ($1.85 each), and tostadas ($2.65) can brandish beans or cheese, or both in the stead of meat. Many locations of El Burrito Loco keep late hours, giving sustenance to the musicians that play hold music round-the-clock.
Chefs at Aodake Sushi & Steak House dispatch sushi and hibachi-seared steaks beneath hanging lamps and glowing globes. Meat, vegetables, and seafood make for multicourse lunches, and a variety of kitchen entrees bolster the thronged dinner menu. At the bar, more than 20 vodkas alchemize into a variety of martinis or blocks of pure gold.
Teddy's Red Hots whisks diners back in time to a classic American hot-dog joint—and not just because the eatery has been perfecting the italian-beef recipe for more than 35 years. The Downers Grove location exudes nostalgia with neon lighting and an old-school jukebox, and the Darien spot's bright-red barstools rise from a checkerboard floor. Behind the counter, cooks pile their signature 7-inch all-beef red hots with mustard, relish, onions, tomatoes, and a pickle spear. Upon request, they'll add sport peppers, sauerkraut, and celery salt, or they’ll load the links with chili and cheddar. They also sandwich their hot dogs and charbroiled burgers between regular or pretzel buns. Meals are capped off with housemade italian ices, made daily with fresh lemon, black cherry, or strawberry.
The Chicago Tribune highlighted La Notte Due as one of the top places for takeout in Darien, particularly for its "pillowy and light" gnocchi with spicy arrabbiata sauce and spaghetti Bolognese. The Italian eatery is also a welcoming spot to visit in order to enjoy the homemade pastas and other Italian specialties, such as veal piccata, fresh from the oven. Couples can enjoy a romantic meal paired with a bottle of wine from Tuscany or Chile, and families can dine together at a long row of tables to celebrate the end of their generations-long feud with the McCoys.
Everyday, the aroma of steaming lobster and grilled carne asada escapes into the dining room from the kitchen of Playa Del Sol, where chefs prepare each dish to order. Within the dining room, marked by blue and red walls, guests dig into any number of traditional Mexican dishes, ranging from deep-fried whole red snapper with veracruzana sauce to housemade tamales. Further emphasizing their focus on seafood, paintings of beachgoers in vintage swimsuits adorn the walls and servers gently speak in breathy, oceanic whispers. Behind the full bar, staff members fill up margarita glasses with original, mango, and raspberry flavors and muddle mint leaves for refreshing mojitos.
In the kitchens of Blueberry Hill's five suburban outposts, cooks forgo lazy morning lounging to pull together homey assortments of timeless brunch fare. Pancakes infused with fruit or sweets are made from scratch, much like hand-knitted socks or hand-painted report cards. French-toast slices get stuffed with apple and cream cheese, smothered in fruit, or rolled in Cap'n Crunch. Fresh meats and veggies take cover under eggs in savory skillets, and a selection of sandwiches quells cravings in handheld form.
Owner Dominic Barraco has been flipping pies and crafting Italian cuisine alongside his family for more than 30 years. Today he relies on culinary traditions passed down by his grandparents as well as modern techniques to populate a carry-out and delivery menu with thin-crust, deep-dish, Sicilian-style, and stuffed pizzas as well as more than 15 sandwiches, such as the fillet of fish. His pasta dishes include classics such as lasagna and gnocchi, and ribs, wings, and roasted chicken round out the hearty edibles.