Today, Colonial Cafe & Ice Cream may have seven full-service family-friendly restaurants, but when it started in 1901, it was only a single small ice cream and dairy store. Now guests can settle into breakfast, lunch, and dinner at each of the eateries –and still enjoy the ice cream that put them on the map. They have garnered particular attention for their signature dish, the Kitchen Sink Sundae, which features two whole bananas, six scoops of ice cream (vanilla, chocolate, strawberry), whipped cream, chocolate, and chopped almonds with a cherry topper. It’s served in a large dish shaped like a kitchen sink with a S-pipe as the handle. And when diners finish it, they receive a bumper sticker that reads, “I Ate a Colonial Kitchen Sink.”
While ice cream reigns supreme, their breakfasts have also earned praise. They were voted “Best Breakfast” by the Elgin Courier News, Aurora Beacon News, and Naperville Sun. Favorites among the regulars include the stuffed very berry French toast and cinnamon roll French toast. Come dinnertime, they continue serving comfort foods including fresh baked meatloaf and a mac and cheese bacon melt, as well as sandwiches such as the pot roast French dip. The restaurant has also earned plaudits for its popularity with its littlest diners, grabbing the "Best Kid-Friendly Restaurant" designation in the Kane County Chronicle Reader's Choice awards.
Visitors to the Elgin Public House step into a cozy interior reinforced by exposed-brick walls. A culinary crew revives weary locals with a menu of hearty pub eats and a beer selection of 87 varieties imported from across Europe and the United States. Chefs use certified-Angus beef for burgers, stuff pork chops full of bleu cheese cornbread and mango chutney, and hand-cut steaks in-house after aging them a minimum of two weeks to ensure optimal flavor and prevent them from prank-calling patrons. A calendar of weekly events keeps things lively with regular offerings such as Wednesday-night trivia, Friday-night fish fries, and daily specials. One Tuesday each month, limited-seating dinner-pairing events offer six-course meals, with each course accompanied by an alcoholic beverage, such as red wine or tequila.
Chefs at Delicia Tropical Café employ family recipes and spice-blending techniques to craft traditional Puerto Rican comfort cuisine. Authentic items include cubed beef stew with sofrito and center-cut pork chops slow-cooked in salsa criolla. All menu items are made to order to ensure freshness and adherence to the most current plating trends. In addition to cooking up dine-in fare, Delicia Tropical Café fills catering orders, providing uncommon island fare to events such as luncheons, meetings, or Lilliputian birthday parties.
Red neon signage smolders above the entrance to Beef Villa, a no-frills eatery where diners can settle into crimson booths and dig into freshly carved gyros, seasoned Italian beef sandwiches, and other succulent offerings. Ever since the original Dundee Avenue location opened in 1970, the eatery has been serving up a menu of "hot and fast" casual fare, from chili infused with Red Hot Chicago pure beef dogs to pure-pork Italian sausage that deliver just the right amount of snap with each bite.
Gasthaus Bar and Grill's freshly revamped hunger haven bustles with bubbly pizzas, juicy burgers, and towering sandwiches. The recently updated menu's brawny Angus patty captains a customer-culled team ($7), leading all-stars such as cheddar, swiss, bacon, and jalapeños toward victory over taste buds ($1 each). Maneuver teeth through the maze of lush greenery planted atop the veggie pizza ($8) or scale the pepperoni pie's meat-laced scaffolding ($7.50). A dozen frosty draft brews ($2.50+) and bottles ($3.50+) hustle to extinguish blazing tongue fires caused by the spicy fried-chicken sandwich or licking an electrical socket ($7).
The owners of Pita Puff imported a little piece of the Mediterranean Basin with them when they came to America. It's not a tangible object, but rather an attitude, a missive of easy-going evenings with good company and tasty food. This can be summed up in one word—_Sahtain_—which means, "Enjoy your food." And Pita Puff makes that an easy thing to do with their Mediterranean staples. The menu includes falafel sandwiches, lentil soups, baba ghanouj for dipping and grape leaves for finger-snacking. And then there are the items from the grill: chicken schwarma made with tomatoes, dry onions, and tahini, tender lamb shish kabobs, and beef kafta––all served with a creamy mound of hummus and a fresh salad.