Many families gather for holidays, weddings, and other special events. The Kambouris and Zaronias clans also convene to celebrate Greek and American cuisine at Maxim's Restaurant, their eatery, cocktail lounge, and catering service. Their lunch and dinner menu brims with hearty comfort food such as homemade soup, roast turkey with dressing, shish kebobs, and more than a dozen types of pasta dishes. Tivoli pizzas, one of the kitchen's specialties, can be ordered Greek-style with gyro meat and feta cheese or American-style with hamburger or barbecued pork. From 6 a.m. to midnight, the cooks also prepare homestyle breakfasts, including omelets, biscuits and gravy, and crepes with fruit or chocolate chips. In the lounge and sports bar, mixologists pour domestic drafts and craft colorful cocktails such as bloody marys and Maxim's fruit punch. The space also hosts toga parties teeming with ouzo shots, bottled beers, and music from a live DJ.
The grill gurus at Gino's Steak House plate dishes from a menu of American classics that includes succulent steaks and fresh seafood. Wake up groggy tongues with the roasted peppers, marinated in a 60-year-old recipe ($7), or the oysters rockefeller with spinach, bacon, and mascarpone ($11+). Ten juicy steak selections include the 20-ounce prime-cut porterhouse, cloaked in mushrooms and caramelized onions ($33), and the 9-ounce filet mignon, floating in a red sea of béarnaise ($28) and packed with enough protein to bully a vending machine into giving you its quarters. Those preferring surf to turf can hook a tooth on the Atlantic salmon in a boozy champagne-dill-cream sauce ($21) or the 16-ounce Australian coldwater lobster tail (market price).
It would be nearly impossible to try every beer offered at Catch 22, since its 20 different drafts and wide selection of craft bottles are constantly changing. Cups brim over with lagers, stouts, and reds from the Indiana-local Four Horsemen Brewing Company, along with martinis and specialty cocktails. In the kitchen, an executive chef simmers up upscale pub fare, including sandwiches, burgers, and steaks. Platters and drinks spread out along the hardwood bar and tabletops that scatter the 8,000-square foot dining hall, amid the glimmer of 16 flat-screen televisions and the boom of a digital jukebox. In warmer months, a wall of garage doors opens up into an expansive patio, exposing diners to free-spirited air, warm sunlight, and gentle breezes.
One of the many goals of the chefs at Taste of India is to clear up the misconception that all Indian food is extremely spicy. They do so by keeping customer preferences in mind while customizing offerings from a menu that includes vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options.
As evening settles in and dinner guests begin to arrive, peach- and grapefruit-hued walls take on a riper shade beneath sprays of painted leaves. Miniature tabletop lanterns cast buttery light on plates of lamb and fish kebab, rice biryanis, and tandoori chicken cooked in the heat of an open-hearth oven. While sopping up a goan shrimp curry with warm naan bread, guests can sip on beer, wine, or a cocktail from the bar. The clatter of serving utensils drifts from the dinner buffet, where patrons eat all they desire without having to help James Bond destroy his old yearbooks.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day for clowns, who practice fitting into their cars by squeezing into omelets and use jelly-donut filling to paint their expressions. Start your day in a fun way with today's Groupon: for $5, you get $10 worth of diner fare for breakfast or lunch at Jelly Pancake House in Merrillville.
The Wetzel name wasn’t always a source of pride. As a kid, Rick Wetzel grew accustomed to hearing, “Hey Wetzel, you pretzel!” on the playground. But the teasing inspired a quest for the tastiest soft pretzel, one that eventually blossomed into Wetzel’s Pretzels. After years in Nestle’s marketing department, Rick and coworker Bill Phelps channeled Rick’s soft-pretzel recipe into a chain of shops. They make hand-rolled, oven-baked pretzels that sit for only 30 minutes before being sold or chucked, an example that might be in the dictionary under "fresh," if Babe Ruth using his bat as a pool cue weren't already there. And though the buttered and salted Wetzel’s Original still occupies a spot on the menu, a flurry of imaginative flavors fills its other slots, from Sinful Cinnamon to Jalaroni, a cheesy pretzel scattered with pepperoni and jalapeños.
Big HD screens, a menu of savory pub fare, and hospitable, scantily kilted servers, whom the restaurant calls cast members, populate the Tilted Kilt’s lively, Celtic-inspired consumption quarters. Return from a rousing billiards game to celebrate the sunken eight-ball with the One Shot Johnny pizza ($8.99) or cue up a scottish cheesesteak sandwich ($9.99) and sink it into the stomach pocket. Tackle the classic Big Arse hamburger ($7.79), gaelic chicken entree ($11.99), or an overtime helping of the Tilted Guilt dessert’s chocolate-chip or white-chocolate macadamia-nut cookie topped with a helmet of vanilla ice cream and chocolate syrup ($5.49). While eating, drinking, and editing the rules of basketball to make it moon-friendly, sports fans can plant themselves throughout the spacious eatery to observe games in high definition.