It began with three sisters leaving their home in the San Luis Potosi region of Mexico. For their trip, the trio packed up their all their belongings, their arsenal of traditional Mexican recipes, and the desire to prosper in their new home of Chicago. They named their new venture El Jardin, which was quite prophetic as their little taqueria grew faster than most gardens, and now they serve authentic Central Mexican cuisine at numerous sites around Chicago under the management of the next generation.
The staff still specializes in tender carne asada, which is so popular the restaurant offers to ship it in vacuum-sealed packs to customers’ homes. The carne asada also appears in the shop’s superburrito dinners, fajitas, and quesadillas, as well as other traditional meats such as tilapia, chorizo, chicken, and shrimp. Chefs begin crafting the fare as early as breakfast and help clients celebrate late into the night with their classic and specialty margaritas that feature more than 40 styles of tequila.
Tatami Restaurant's chefs whorl fresh fish, colorful veggies, and chewy rice into more than 60 types of sushi for in-house dining adventures and elegant catered meals. Diners graze on a bounty of traditional and fusion-inspired sushi combinations, many of which bear names evoking the city on the lake and its flavorful denizens, including the signature Kansaku roll, which shares its name with Tatami Restaurant's sister restaurant and salutes the eatery with shrimp tempura, freshwater eel, and a ribbon of cream cheese. The 10-piece Lake Shore Drive roll employs outrageous flavor tactics to upstage Chicago’s beach vistas, pulling out all the stops with a combination of yellowtail, cilantro, and spicy mayo. Diners craving a hot, hearty meal can savor traditional Japanese entrees such as chicken yaki soba or tofu katsu with sweet chili.
The original Dear Franks location in Deerfield flung open its doors back in 1978 and has served the same quality dogs, burgers, and fries ever since, only now at two additional locations in Niles and Glenview. Charred Vienna Beef hot dogs drag through a garden of traditional Chicago-style toppings, and freshly cut, double-crisped fries are draped in creamy wisconsin sharp cheddar. Italian-beef sandwiches, tuna melts, and assorted sausages also assuage cravings for comfort food, as do chocolate malts and teddy bears stuffed with foie gras.
Every month, Sweet Tomatoes rolls out a new roster of fresh-made eats—including many vegetarian and gluten-free selections—in its wholesome buffet. Simmering soups bubble with vegetables and savory chicken, alongside tossed salads tumbling with crisp produce, much like an Ent in a washing machine. On Sunday mornings, plates fill with comforting breakfast classics such as belgian waffles and scrambled eggs.
A Gourmet sandwich shop specializing in Chicago style hotdogs, Italian beef, sandwiches, burgers and more. Changing menu of specials includes wild game sausage, sandwiches and Belgian style frites (fries) served in a paper cone with a choice of flavored aioli sauces served on the side.
Via Gelato & Café’s owners, Ron and Denise Dean, spent three years mastering the art of making of authentic Italian gelato with all natural ingredients, hormone-free milk, and seasonal fruits. Gaze into their artful gelato case at the vibrant colors of at least 24 flavors, all of which are made daily. Request a sample of the signature Ferrero Rocher, which is infused with morsels of hazelnut and milk chocolate. Or, relish a seasonal flavor, such as biscotti or upcoming fall flavors like cinnamon apple pie or pumpkin cheesecake. Sorbetto selections (such as champagne lemon) are blasted with fresh fruit and made with water rather than milk, making them lighter and more aerodynamic during high-speed Segway chases. Both gelato and sorbetto cost $3.50 for a small serving.