At Omega Restaurant Pancake House & Bakery, sizable omelets, skillets full of hash browns, and fresh eggs are mainstays on the menu no matter the hour—and the dining room is open until midnight every day. Sweet options range from oven-baked apple pancakes to crepes, including one stuffed with Montmorency cherries and an imported Danish wine. There's also the onsite bakery, which produces delectable pies, danishes, and pastries.
The new owners of Omega Restaurant Pancake House & Bakery have instructed their chefs to be just as detailed with their afternoon dishes. Each burger patty is ground in-house, and homemade soup specials rotate daily. Alongside a sprawling list of sandwiches and wraps, dinner plates such as veal parmesan, and Athenian-style skirt steak bring an international touch to the table.
Chicago City Limits, an official Blackhawks bar, hosts a horde of televised and live entertainment options and a home team of servers who sling a specials-studdedmenu of classic bar fare and drinks. Dinnertime diners can defeat hunger in overtime with a full slab of ribs ($15.95), while pieces of beer-battered Alaskan whitefish lead the weekly all-you-can-eat Friday fish fry to victory ($6.99). Weekday lunch specials arrive tableside sporting a dapper fez and a choice of sides from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., and include a classically prepared hamburger and chef salad ($4.99 each). Break fasts on Saturdays and Sundays until noon with a choice of french toast ($2.95), a three-egg omelette flanked by potatoes, toast, and coffee ($5.95), or a bacon-topped breakfast sandwich ($3.95). Wash down this array of eats with beer by the bottle, pint, or pitcher, or a cocktail creation coached by a varsity mixologist.
Originally opened as the Top Hat Drive-In in 1953, Sonic has grown into a burger-franchise mecca that today operates out of 3,500 locations across the country, making it the nation’s largest chain of drive-in restaurants. Sonic specializes in made-to-order American classics—including burgers, hot dogs, milk shakes, and marshmallow Ford Thunderbolts—which customers order and receive without ever having to leave their cars. Unique menu items include toaster sandwiches stacked on thick slices of texas toast, as well as the brand’s signature tots and fresh limeades.
Sonic’s numerous awards include a 2011 Zagat survey ranking it among the top five fast-food restaurants in three categories: Best Value Menu, Best Milk Shake, and Best Drive-Thru. The benevolent eatery has also donated more than $2 million to public schools throughout the country through their program Limeades for Learning, which helps to fund educational projects and retirement plans for classroom guinea pigs.
The epicurean alchemists at India House, winner of Chicago magazine's Best Indian Buffet designation, draw inspiration from the cuisine of Bombay and Delhi as well as Indian street fare and homestyle tandoori cooking. The menu's more than 250 items please vegetarian and meat-eating palates alike with curries, kebabs, and grilled saris that utilize the flavors of fresh cilantro, chilies, and coconut. A reviewer for the Chicago Tribune praises the restaurant’s “incredibly tender tandoori chicken,” and Chicago magazine says that the fiery "Hyderabadi-style mahi-mahi … is a must." Midday lunchers can dig into a buffet whose myriad options beget multiple trips and consultation with a pack of tarot cards before deciding which delicious curries should be ladled over naan and rice.
Priya Restaurant began when four housewives joined forces, fusing their experiences with homestyle cooking to create a menu of traditional South Indian and Indo-Chinese cuisine. Roust slumbering appetites with starters such as the paneer pakoda, which quick-fries spicy battered cubes of cottage cheese for bite-size treats ($5.99). Priya builds international bridges with an enormous supply of suspension cables and a fistful of Indo-Chinese entrees, such as the chicken manchurian, where stir-fried meat basks in soy sauce and chilies ($11.99). Meanwhile, vegetarian tiffin meals arrive with an entourage of three chutneys and sambar, accompanying hefty portions of pancake-like uthappam ($7.99) or dosa ($7.99), whose rice-and-lentil overcoat allows it to inconspicuously sneak into unsuspecting mouths. Finally sip a selection of Indian beers while enjoying bites of the bendi masala's spicy platter of okra ($9.99), which silences grousing stomachs before they blurt out the secret hiding place of their owners' spare house keys.
The suds slingers at Village Tavern & Grill pour more than 30 types of brews in a neighborhood-style pub outfitted with more than 22 high-definition flat-screens. Diners munch on the tavern’s "world famous" chicken fingers, which can come coated in a buffalo sauce, barbecue sauce, or a top-secret honey-mustard sauce plucked from the minds of bees, as they peruse the menu to decide upon an entree. House favorites include half slabs of slow-cooked baby back barbecue ribs and made-from-scratch beef stroganoff studded with slices of new york strip glazed in red wine and brown sauce and swirled in sour cream. Char-grilled, 85% lean 10-ounce burgers are cooked-to-order, and chefs simmer smoked pulled pork in a signature house-barbecue sauce to fill the barbecue pork sandwich’s gourmet bun. Couples or touring kazoo quartets can take a break to admire memorabilia of the history of Schaumburg as they sip on domestic draft beers in a cozy dining room with exposed-brick walls.