Maxies' grillmasters lead taste buds on a tour of Windy City cooking with a menu of juicy burgers, hot dogs, and more. Test the tubular tastes of the Chicago–style char dog ($4.49), laden with toppings including grilled onions, peppers, and celery salt, or take teeth on a trip through the half-pound bacon cheeseburger ($5.49). The classic italian beef ($5.99) pairs well with a side of sweet-potato fries ($2.29), a spicy dollop of giardinera ($.50), or a cruise through the restaurant's cheddar-filled replica of the Venetian canals. Maxies' build-your-own salad option ($4.99–$7.50) also sets out a spread of veggie-friendly edible embellishments, allowing diners to drizzle a choice of 20 dressings atop artichoke hearts, roasted peppers, and wasabi peas.
Sanibel Deli & Coffee Factory delights bellies with a profusion of time-tested victuals, including pizza lauded by Taste of the Islands. Spend quality face time with one of the specialty pies, such as the Nor'easter ($17.95 for a large), which is bedecked in buffalo chicken and blue cheese as regally as Emeril's prom tux. Overstimulated taste buds cool off on one of more than 25 flavors of soft-serve ($1.95+), which act as cool building blocks for sundaes, milkshakes, and malts. Rev eating engines with a double-shot cappuccino ($3) before searching the crusty confines of the variety of bagels ($1.25), burgers, and sandwiches ($5.75+) like a forgetful baker.
When founders J. Kim Tucci, Joseph A. Fresta, and John P. Ferrara first opened The Pasta House Co. in 1974, they wanted to elevate pasta to an art form. “Some artists sculpt, some paint, and some sketch,” they write on the restaurant’s website. “But, at The Pasta House Co., we create authentic Italian culinary delights.” A few of the locations even have giant, exhibition kitchens so you can watch as pizzas, pastas, and entrees come to life.
Naturally, The Pasta House Co.’s menu revolves around the Italian staple from which it gets its name. There are more than 25 varieties of pasta to choose from, including linguine with chicken livers and the signature lasagna, plus weekday specials such as stuffed manicotti. Meanwhile, the mangia bene menu—which translates to “eat well” in Italian—showcases the more wholesome side of Italian eating, with dishes low in fat and calories that won’t peer pressure you to break curfew.