Steps away from the Mundelein train station, Caboose Restaurant serves up breakfast and lunch for a bastion of regulars who stop in for a quick bite on the way to work or bring the family to teach the kids what hoagies are. Generous skillets such as the All Aboard kick start mornings with a pile of hash browns loaded with meat and veggies then smothered with a blanket of cheese sauce or sausage gravy. At lunch, chefs load grilled french bread with philly steak and shape burgers by hand with Angus beef. To complement the savory dishes, mugs fill with specialty espresso drinks and drip coffee from Seattle's Best.
Park Street's candlelit, brick-walled interior plays host to a menu of artfully presented, upscale pasta dishes, steaks, and daily fish specials, and an extensive wine list and specialty cocktail menu. A half-dozen charbroiled oysters can be dipped in parmesan garlic butter ($12.95), and juicy tomatoes and cool cucumbers complement crunchy bruschetta ($8.95) for pre-meal noshes. Signature dishes, such as the 8oz. cracked black pepper crusted filet, basking comfortably in a portabella veal sauce ($29.95), and pretzel crusted chicken in a dijon butter sauce ($18.95), occupy the majority of stomach city. Complete a meal with a lavish, homemade dessert, such as death by chocolate, a rich fudge-cake dingy perched atop a lake of raspberry sauce.
Checkered tablecloths and vintage black-and-white photos from the 1940s evoke small-town Tuscany at Lauretta's Italian Bake Shop & Cafe, whose chefs have assembled authentic Sicilian-style cuisine for more than 30 years. Homemade pomodoro sauce mingles with the porcini mushrooms and caramelized onions that fleck risotto, and fresh baby clams or mussels frolic through linguine entrees. To create paninis, chefs crown toasted ciabatta bread with such accoutrement as jarlsberg swiss cheese, yellowfin tuna imported from Italy, and childhood memories of revered measuring cups. Diners complement bites with Italian beers and wines, including a crisp, fruity prosecco and a medium-bodied chianti, whose tart red-fruit and chocolate flavors pair well with spinach ravioli and still-life paintings of Hershey's bars.A family-owned Chicago bakery furnishes the eatery's fleet of traditional italian pastries, such as cannoli and more than 30 kinds of italian cookies. Lauretta's Italian Bake Shop & Cafe also proffers comprehensive catering spreads, dishing up pans of lasagna, ravioli, and chicken marsala that can feed 15 partygoers or more, or custom orders that can sate finicky flatware.
Brightly painted walls, vivid paintings of Mexican life, and flavorful margaritas lend Las Palmas' numerous locations a relaxed, distinctly "fiesta" vibe. As guests slowly unwind with friends, family, or Twister champions over ice-cold Mexican beers and cocktails, the chefs prepare fajitas, enchiladas, and tacos alongside plates of charbroiled meats and seafood. They also whip up vegetarian-friendly options, such as the signature guacamole and enchiladas banana, which they stuff with fried bananas and smother in mole sauce and melted cheese.
Carmen's Pizza first began kneading its dough in 1979, establishing itself as a destination for authentic, Chicago-style pizza. Although the chefs still bake deep-dish pies with thick, golden crusts, they also hand-toss thinner pizzas and layer ingredients between the twin crusts of their stuffed pies. The 16-topping-strong selection includes perennial pizzeria favorites, including sausage and mushrooms, along with slightly more eclectic options such as giardiniera and pine nuts. Hearty pizzas dominate the menu, but the chefs also blanket orders of pasta with housemade tomato or cream sauces and smuggle sweetened ricotta into cannoli shells.
Murals of Chicago sports legends surround Blue 60's bar and dining area, joining flat-screen televisions that act as windows to a world of huffing linebackers and fire-eyed pitchers. While safely perched at bar stools and pub tables, diners can watch the modern gladiators compete during contests including hockey games, college basketball match-ups, and the NFL’s off-season Shakespeare in the Park productions. Blue 60's kitchen staff fires stuffed burgers, stone-baked pizzas, and specialty sandwiches to accentuate each game while also bringing out the flavors in the beers that grace the bar’s tap list.
Karma's interior flawlessly blends ultra-modern designs with traditional Zen-like fixtures, creating a peaceful atmosphere that compliments its fusion menu of pan-Asian favorites. Begin the gastro journey eastward with shiitake-mushroom potstickers ($9) or black-salt and Szechwan-pepper calamari served with garlic-lime aioli ($8). Other stomach stretchers before the main game include the stir-fried Thai-basil noodles mixed in a spicy lime peanut sauce ($5) and the jumbo Thai vegetarian spring roll ($11), which is rolled up with carrots, napa cabbage, marinated tofu, and sweet chili sauce. Karma's entrees—such as the Asian BBQ salmon ($19), orange-peel tempura chicken ($16), and yellow mango vegetable curry ($15)—gather symphonies of savory spice alongside elegantly simple flavor profiles to accommodate a range of visiting palates.