The kitchens at Bogart's Charhouse radiate tantalizing aromas of grilled meat as the walls grab guests' attention with black-and-white tributes to Bogie. The restaurant's meaty steaks range from 10 ounces to 4 pounds on dinner plates, and lunch guests can dig into a Bogie bacon cheeseburger, or a low-calorie plate of cold turkey. Sliced beef or lasagna catering plates can satisfy appetites at off-site events, such as office parties or a monthly tribute to the oppressive giants that rule one's neighborhood.
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.
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).
On a warm August day in 1938, a father and son unveiled the first sample of what was to become Dairy Queen, selling 1,600 samples on the first day, a feat as unheard of as a dragon that breathes ice. Its ensuing prolific expansion was fueled by its frozen treats, which propelled the dessert shop from 100 stores in 1947 to 1,446 in 1950. Today, their dessert recipes remain largely unchanged, and Dairy Queen has added hearty grilled hamburgers, hot dogs, and fried chicken to its menu. Dairy Queen's enormous dessert menu boasts treats ranging from soft-serve cones and blizzards filled with cookies to takeaway ice-cream sandwiches and cakes.
For more than 30 years, owner Art Trevino has loaded tables in Cilantro's dining room and patio with a menu of traditional family recipes. One of 11 children, Art learned to cook and precisely divide a taco into 11 segments alongside his siblings in their mother's bustling kitchen. Veggies add a hint of virtue to platters of cheesy burritos, steak, and chicken in options such as seafood-stuffed portabella mushrooms and chiles rellenos. A bright purple bar marqueed by garlands of colored lights pours 16-ounce "Mugaritas," house-made sangria, and a list of anejo and reposado tequilas designed for sipping through the finest cactus straws.
For more than 30 years, Pop's Italian Beef & Sausage has served up a Chicago-centric menu of beef sandwiches, burgers, and hot dogs. Silence empty-belly rumblings with one of Pop's delectable beef sandwiches ($4.19–$6.35), such as the italian beef, heaped with mounds of succulent, thin-sliced beef soaked in special spices and natural gravy. Windy-city visitors can delight in the classic Chicago hot dog and the savory polish sausage (each around $2.29–$2.99, depending on location), each nestled underneath mustard, relish, onions, tomatoes, pickles, and the looming shadow of oscillating skyscrapers. Other handheld fare includes the meatball and corned-beef sandwiches, which can be upgraded with a variety of extras, including red sauce, sweet peppers, hot mix (all free on sandwiches, extra as a side), feta cheese, and bacon. A fleet of made-from-scratch soups and salads is also available, and includes such options as the hearty cream-of-chicken rice soup and the large garden salad ($2.09–$3.99).
Providing Chicago’s South Side with fine meats and produce since 1958, Dunning’s Gourmet Market is stocked to the brim with fresh eats. Shoppers can peruse a wide range of daily-made salads, artisan cheeses, and butcher shop meats that can be hand-trimmed into a custom cut. Like tennis shoes, Dunning’s catering menu items are cooked to order using fresh ingredients and can be tailored to fit dietary restrictions. From the lunch menu, sample a delectable jerk-chicken burger ($5.50), a grilled-steak sandwich ($8), or smoked-salmon pasta salad ($9 per pound). Additionally, shoppers will enjoy helpful service from a knowledgeable staff while soaking in the rustic and charming atmosphere.