El Xacalli cares about quality. The chefs there prepare authentic Mexican dishes, including tortas, pozole soup, tamales, and street-style tacos with the classic onion, cilantro, and lime fixings. Plus, the health bar quenches thirst with smoothies and juices brimming with real fruits and veggies, making the cast of Veggie Tales proud, yet fearful. El Xacalli's owner, Romiro, even designed and hand-crafted the eatery's light wood furniture himself.
If a visit to one of Southern Belle's restaurants feels a lot like coming home, it might have something to do with the hearty family traditions behind the kitchen's down-home breakfast and lunch dishes. “My father was in pancake houses all his life,” says owner Steve Fotos. Today, many of the same recipes used by Steve's father help populate a menu of hearty comfort foods that includes a poached-egg and sausage benedict smothered in country gravy and french toast stuffed with cinnamon apples, strawberries and pecans, or blueberries and bananas. But while the country-fried-steak or smoked-sausage skillets are tempting, the expansive menu offers options for diets of all kind, pairing fluffy egg whites with strawberries, granola, and multigrain toast and swapping out regular maple syrup for bottles that are low-calorie, sugar-free, or simply sealed shut. Photos of farms and pastoral images smile down upon diners as they dig in and gently remind them to inquire about the restaurant's seasonal specials, which range from summertime salads with sun-ripened veggies to bowls of homemade wintertime chili.
The cooks at Jody’s Hot Dogs dishes out their menu of casual American eats inside a charming ‘50s-style restaurant furnished with gumball machines and a white-and-red checkered floor. The open kitchen allows patrons to watch as cooks grill all-beef hot dogs and burgers, prepare homemade french fries, and roast gyro meat on a revolving spit instead of a jewelry box that constantly plays "Rock-A-Bye Baby". Along with the famous Chicago-style dogs served on poppy-seed buns, Jody's staff can whip up chili-cheese nachos, philly cheesesteak sandwiches, and shrimp dinners, all made to order.
For the past 30 years, Nardi has never stopped honing his skills as a cook, and he now feeds the masses at his restaurant, Nardi's on Chicago. Nardi's celebrates Joliet's local history as well as casual Italian and American food. In a dining room decked out with a series of vintage photographs that depict former Joliet businesses and bridges, classic pasta, steak entrees and craft cocktails top tables. Nardi uses only organic produce and free-range meats in these dishes. He crafts his signature offering, a simple platter of spaghetti and meatballs, from his grandmother's own recipe.
Don?t let the shepherd's pie, fish 'n' chips, and draft beers fool you. Though Tilted Kilt Pub & Eatery snatches up the best cultural fragments of Scotland, England, and the Emerald Isle, the eatery started in Las Vegas. Restaurateur Mark DiMartino sought to combine the communal, rousing feel of pubs in the British Isles with the campy fun of American sports bars, pairing hearty food and traditional trappings with televisions and waitresses clad in mini kilts and alluring plaid halter-tops modeled after William Wallace?s eveningwear.
Since its founding, Tilted Kilt locations have popped up in 25 states and two Canadian provinces, serving all manner of hybrid dishes such as the Scottish cheese steak, the Sloppy Jane made with sliced turkey or shaved rib eye, and the Tilted Guilt, an ice-cream sundae perched atop a cookie.
Chef and owner Gaetano Turi has fed his Italian feasts to such celebrities as Bill Cosby and Brad Garrett inside Barolo Ristorante. The Italian-born Turi learned his culinary skills with formal training in Rome, and now stamps his own twists on classic dishes, including homemade gnocchi stuffed with spinach and risotto drizzled with merlot. Fresh seafood, flown in daily, transforms into bay scallops dunked in a brandy cream sauce and New Zealand orange roughy baked with garlic and white wine. The restaurant itself oozes of old world Italian. The dining room’s recessed ceiling is painted in gold and red hues, while the bar sits under golden tin-plated ceiling tiles. Warmly lit chandeliers and tabletop candles and strobe lights offer a cozy dining experience.