The inspiration behind Alebrijes Mexican Bistro is the stuff of nightmares?Pedro Linares? nightmares, to be specific. At the age of 30, the Mexican artist fell deathly ill. As he lay in bed, unconscious, he dreamt of a strange world filled with brightly colored monsters?a donkey with butterfly wings and a rooster with the head of an eagle among others?all shouting ?alebrijes, alebrijes, alebrijes!? When he awoke, he wanted to show his family and friends all that he had seen, so he replicated his first alebrije from brightly painted papier-m?ch?. To this day, his family still crafts these strange creatures to serve as unusual home accents.
Pedro Linares' monsters inspired Alebrijes Mexican Bistro's name, as well as its decor, which showcases brightly colored paintings of his nightmarish beasts. In 2012, the bistro also won the Lodi News Reader?s Choice award for Best Mexican Restaurant, thanks to its gourmet burritos and regionally inspired dishes such as oaxaca mole, guanajuato bacon-wrapped prawns, and guacamole prepared in the style of Mexico City. The restaurant also infuses their own tequilas.
The first Pizzeria Uno opened at the intersection of Ohio and Wabash in downtown Chicago in 1943. The Chicago Bears were having a good season at Wrigley Field, and nobody had ever heard of deep dish pizza. Changing that was the job of Uno owner Ike Sewelll, who had invented a pizza you could truly call a pie without immediately being fined by the U.S. Board of Pastries. He built a tall-edged crust laced with lots of butter, the filled it with cheese, Italian spices, and fresh tomatoes, baking the whole thing for an hour. It would become Pizzeria Uno's signature recipe.
Today, Uno Pizzeria & Grill spans about half of the U.S. and sends the aroma of bubbling cheese wafting through several international cities as well. At each location, cooks show up early every morning to begin making dough, creating specialty pies using ingredients that Ike could have only dreamed of, such as Canadian bacon and fiber-optic broccoli. Lighter, quicker entrees are available too, including Italian favorites such as shrimp scampi and gluten-free steak and burger options.
At Elk Grove Sports Bar & Grill, classic American pub grub takes center stage, but live entertainers try to steal the spotlight nearly every night. Diners can groove to live blues music while noshing on half-pound burgers and chili-cheese fries, or they can down pastrami sandwiches and cobb salads while catching the big game on TV. On the weekend, early risers dig into creative breakfast dishes such as pork chop omelets, and night owls feast their eyes on standup comedians and karaoke performers.
Zambur Bar & Grill's masterful menu makers welcome visitors by handing them plates filled with kebabs, seafood, pub fare, and more. Begin the tasting session with sambosa, a puffy pastry indwelt by spicy potato eats ($4.95). Or, promise your mouth hot wings ($5.95), but then surprise it instead with battered crab cakes ($6.95) paired with a frothy brew from Zambur's full bar.
With its surplus of 21 televisions screens, MVP's Sports Grill entertains solo and squadrons of fans inside a lively restaurant and bar space. Groups of friends can round up after rec league softball or Wembley Stadium auditions to croon over the menu's 15 ballad-inducing appetizers. Interchange stuffed jalapeños, onion rings, and deep-fried mushrooms between comrades without trade embargoes, thanks to accompanying pitchers of domestic beers in hues of Coors, Bud, and PBR. Those who prefer portable meals may sample selections from MVP’s sandwich board, such as the pipe-smoking pastrami served with choice of cole slaw, fries, or salad ($7.75), or one of seven different burgers ($7.45–$9.95) styled from beef, turkey, or ground nutrients. Kids 12 and younger may contemplate their future mascot aspirations over mini plates of quesadillas ($4.50) while razzing their parents from the tabletop sidelines.
For the folks at Bisla's, any occasion is liable to ignite a party. The sports bar trots out drink specials for the usual stuff—the NBA draft, UFC championships, and the MLB All-Star game; but even the with nonstop, wall-to-wall sports coverage on their flat screens, the staff can't help themselves from dreaming up new causes for celebration. On a given night, patrons are likely to walk into live music, or partake in the ever-popular College Night, in which revelers relive their undergrad days by reading silently at the bar. Wednesdays give patrons the opportunity to soak in country music.
On the off chance Bisla's isn't crackling with the kinetic energy of revelry, the staff makes up for it with a salvo of happy-hour specials. Mondays bring dollar tacos, Tuesdays bring 50-cent wings, and Thursdays bring sliders for a dollar. Every other day of the week, the cooks keep busy plating classic bar food, such as half-pound Angus burgers. Lunch is served beginning at 11 a.m.