The menu is stacked like a magician's card deck with a wide variety of juicy, sentient bites. Join the million-plus satisfied stomachs who have ordered and gobbled up a beloved steakburger ($8.95). Sided with mixed greens, fries, or coleslaw, the handheld grub can get gussied up with cheese (cheddar, american, swiss, or monterey jack) for $1 and bacon, mushrooms, or guacamole for $1.25. Continue with finger fare and try the nachos grande ($8.75), a heaping meet-and-greet of beans, cheddar cheese, tomatoes, olives of all shades, lettuce, and jalapeños. There are also vegetarian options, including veggie burritos ($7.75), baked mac ‘n’ cheese ($8.50 or $7.25 for a small), and sandwiches and salads (from $7.95).
The Salad Bowl understands that a person cannot wallpaper his or her stomach lining with artsy leaf rubbings without handy access to a multitude of media. Get creative as you customize a salad by selecting greens and toppings from The Salad Bowl's extensive list of more than 50 ingredients ($7–$9). After choosing a mix of lettuce, veggies, and protein, garnish the greens with an assortment of nuts, croutons, and dressing. For customers with creative block, The Salad Bowl also offers pre-designed signature salads ($8 for regular size, $10 for large size). Cross legs and meditate on befriending handsome astronauts as a staff member prepares a tried-and-true Asian chicken salad (spinach, romaine, grilled chicken, peas, radish, baby corn, green onions, and tortilla strips), a Swim Upstream Salmon Salad (iceberg, grilled salmon, tomato, egg, red onion, celery, and pepperoncini), or a Grab It Fast Greek (spring mix, romaine, tomato, black olives, tomato, artichoke hearts, feta, red peppers, red onion, and cucumber).
Matthew Corrin was fashion designer Oscar de la Renta's marketing manager, which meant a lot of long hours and a lot of hurried lunches. After his umpteenth greasy sandwich, Corrin began wondering why there weren't more convenient, waistline-friendly lunch alternatives. This rumination—and a resignation letter to de la Renta—begot Freshii, a fast, casual eatery that serves healthy meals and has graced the pages of various publications, including the Chicago Tribune and Inc.’s 30 Under 30 list. Environmental awareness also plays a big part in the business model as the food packaging is made from eco-friendly vegetable starches.
Every Freshii kitchen is stocked with the base ingredients of brown rice, romaine lettuce, field greens, spinach, and rice noodles; toppings such as carrots, broccoli, grilled tofu, and candied walnuts; and an array of dressings and sauces. Using these ingredients, the chefs create bowls, wraps, salads, soups, and burritos for lunch and dinner. During morning hours when the sun is still busy curling its rays, they scramble eggs, serve housemade oatmeal, and top fat-free frozen yogurt with a choice of fruit. Customers can bring their own bowls, and the staff will wash and fill them with fresh ingredients hailing from environmentally responsible farms that fairly compensate their workers.
Amid rough-hewn stone walls and exposed wooden rafters, Belvedere fills plates with traditional Polish entrees. Each pierogi’s pillowy pocket hides meat or cheese, and gouda stuffs a homemade polish sausage. Roasted duck is served on a mound of sweet red cabbage, and veal schnitzel arrives slathered in hunter’s sauce, which actual hunters cover themselves in to hide from their prey. Lunchtime covers tables with sandwiches that include bacon-wrapped chicken, sliced meatballs, and kielbasa with sauerkraut.