In 2009, Nate and Katie Nakasatian decided that the best vessel for their made-to-order Asian fusion cuisine was not a bowl, but buns. They invented an entire menu’s worth of sandwiches stuffed with homemade sauces and Eastern-inspired filling, from panko-crusted crab cakes to chicken satay. Zenwich has since been featured on CLTV's Chicago's Best Sandwiches segment, and its beef curry sandwich—packed with pulled beef, potato, carrots, and onions that have all slow-cooked in a curry gravy—won a spot on Chicago magazine's list of The 50 Best Sandwiches in Chicago. Its "sloppy and satisfying" construction complements that of other robust offerings, such as the crispy pork katsu inside the Bryanism sandwich. Rather than placating vegetarians with meaty sandwiches molded into the shape of a lettuce leaf, the Nakasatians chose to create five signature veggie Zenwiches, including a tofu teriyaki sandwich and the Bibimbob—a mix of sautéed spinach, shitake mushrooms, and veggies in sesame oil.
Wok 'n Fire?named Best Asian Restaurant by West Suburban Living?tantalizes taste buds with a menu bursting with flavors from Chinese, Japanese, Thai, and other Asian cuisines. In their specialties, chefs sear seafood, steak, and chicken with complex flavors in the wok. They craft sashimi and specialty maki rolls, as well as twirling together noodle dishes that range from japanese udon to thai curry noodles and the cantonese noodles used in ancient tugs of war between provinces. Ginger ale and flavored lemonades, both crafted in-house, hydrate throats between bites.
Decor varies across the Asian bistro's locations throughout the western suburbs, but all share dramatic lighting, sleek hardwood floors, and smooth wooden seating that all obey one gravitational constant. Sophisticated accents pervade each location, such as dangling lights that recall bells, sinuous golden dragons undulating across a wall, and partitions that mimic an abacus or twined branches.
The owners of Fratello's Family Restaurant and Pizzeria make themselves as visible outside the restaurant as they do inside. Take, for example, their support of Elmhurst Community Unit School District 205 by entering a buffalo-chicken pizza in the district office's 2012 Top Pizza Night, where it won Best Specialty Pizza. They also build Fratello's image through similar efforts, from serving as the exclusive caterer of Pump It Up Elmhurst to bringing concessions to local events, such as hockey games or family comedy roasts. Back at the restaurant, chefs mold dough into the bases of thin-crust, pan, or stuffed-crust pizza, and prepare classic Italian and American dishes.
Creamy frozen yogurt, fresh fruit mix-ins, and healthy toppings such as almonds, granola, and shredded coconut make Yogen Früz a source of unlimited fresh flavors. Yogurt artists mix customers’ custom creations—such as piña colada mix with smooth-blended pineapple yogurt, or apple pie sprinkled with graham cracker crumbs—before their very eyes. Along with such quasi-decadent options, the company’s 1,300 worldwide outposts also offer low-fat, non-fat probiotic yogurts, and fresh fruit sorbets. Every mix is low in fat, a good source of vitamins and fiber, and one of the only known sources of the essential nutrient frostiness.
The Silverado Grill brings the sizzling taste of Texas to the midwest. Its Lone Star roots are evident from the minute you step in the door?if the aroma of old-fashioned barbecue doesn't give it away, the Texan flag warbling "The Yellow Rose of Texas" from the wall will. Here, chefs hand-cut steaks and whip up a menu of Southern specialties, including baby back ribs, catfish filets, and hearty chicken dinners. Plates are served up in a casual, family-friendly dining room, which hums with the sounds of country music.
Bakers at Cookies Fresco draw on Old-World recipes to craft creative, Italian-inspired confections from fresh eggs, nuts, sugar, and butter. Carefully selected packaging preserves the crisp crunch of cookies by the pound, including buttery biscotti and authentic peach, apricot, and nutella kolachky. Confectioners can also customize cakes for birthdays, anniversaries, and black-tie refrigerator warmings and concoct sugar-free items upon request.