Pinkys pays homage to its Windy City location with a vintage tough-guy logo and a menu of Chicago-style polishes and gyros. Daily specials include classics such as catfish strips, a Maxwell Street-style polish, and barbecue-rib tips. Containers of croutons and thousand-island, blue-cheese, or creamy-ranch dressing sit on the side of meaty salads, ensuring that dishes get the partner of their choice, unlike most cops who live on the edge. Diners can round out their meals with a side of sauce or wash down each bite with a milk shake.
Don’t let the name fool you—Peking Tokyo has more on its menu than delicacies from its namesake city. That’s because the cooks draw from other culinary traditions as well, assembling a well-rounded lineup of pan-Asian cuisine. In addition to the Japanese staples of sushi, vegetable tempura, and hibachi-grilled morsels, cooks can prepare Chinese entrees such as fried rice and moo goo gai pan, as well as a selection of Thai dishes that includes pad Thai and curry shrimp.
As the name might suggest, Daddy's Kitchen is truly a family business. The restaurant recreates traditional meals with Southern-inspired soul food and dessert recipes plucked straight from grandma's cookbook. Although the specials change every day, heaping portions of beef short ribs, turkey wing and cornbread dressing, and fried catfish frequently play well with sides including macaroni and cheese, greens, and candied yams. Homemade desserts, including peach cobbler, banana pudding, and a rotating assortment of cakes, bring each meal to a sweet conclusion.
A smattering of 20 sauces and seasonings dripping from handspun wings coats patrons' fingers as they cheer on their favorite professional sports teams broadcast on Buffalo Wild Wings' TVs. Eyes are torn between watching teams dribble a ball, shoot a puck, and land a grand jeté, and plates of plentiful wings, burgers, wraps, salads, and ribs. For more entertainment, trivia games exercise brains, and the Blazin' Challenge offers recognition for those brave enough to down a dozen wings slathered in the eatery's hottest sauce in 6 minutes.
Grady's Grille loads tables with an eclectic dine-in menu of modernized classics inside a family-friendly neighborhood restaurant. Platters of fish or shrimp tacos ($11) satisfy taste buds idling at a delicious crossroads of seafood and mexican seasonings, and the barbecue-chicken flatbread invites a coterie of mozzarella, red onions, cilantro, and chicken breast to party hard with a crispy crust ($9). Hearty, half-pound burgers dress pretzel rolls or buns in a variety of elegant ingredients such as the Grady burger's dapper suit of blue cheese and onion strings ($9.50), and rival gangs of pasta dance through a tasty medley of spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, feta cheese, and "Beat It" on plates of penne mediterranean ($9; $12 with chicken). Polished bottles levitate on glass shelves behind the L-shaped bar where drinksmiths dole out glasses of Ocean Song pinot grigio ($7.50) and chocolate martinis ($7).
In the kitchens of Blueberry Hill's five suburban outposts, cooks forgo lazy morning lounging to pull together homey assortments of timeless brunch fare. Pancakes infused with fruit or sweets are made from scratch, much like hand-knitted socks or hand-painted report cards. French-toast slices get stuffed with apple and cream cheese, smothered in fruit, or rolled in Cap'n Crunch. Fresh meats and veggies take cover under eggs in savory skillets, and a selection of sandwiches quells cravings in handheld form.