Mrs. Prindable's is most renowned for the massive apples liberally spackled in sugary wonder (starting at $22.95). From a giant dark-chocolate-and-cashew-covered Granny Smith to milk-chocolate pecan, the 1.5-pound treats can happily serve eight to ten people. The apples are available in eight signature flavors. For those seeking pure sugar satisfaction, Mrs. Prindable's also offers gourmet caramels ($8.95 for a 4.5-oz gift bag), chocolate-covered pretzels ($5.95 for two pieces), and milk- and dark-chocolate jumbo nut clusters (six for $23.95). Instead of passively waiting around for the Easter lagomorph to strike, be proactive in quenching cravings with a gift basket ($49.95–$199.95) elegantly wrapped in Mrs. Prindable's regal purple ribbon. Choose your own message for $49.95. The Illinois-based company features speedy second-day shipping, or schedule the delivery up to 90 days in advance.
Family-owned restaurant Kalyva slings authentic Greek dishes from traditional recipes in a pristine, rustic storefront. Kick off the meal with an amuse bouche such as the feta filo ($6.95), a wedge of cheese gift-wrapped in dough and tied with a honey and sesame bow. Carb cravings are curtailed with pita sandwiches, loading bready pockets with sautéed vegetables in garlic and fresh basil ($6.95) or pork, onions, and tomatoes ($7.95). Carnivores can sink their teeth into the N.Y. strip steak with greek herbs and spices ($19.50), five thin-cut païdakia lamb chops ($23.95), or an all-veal model of the Parthenon. Wash down the feast with assorted soft drinks, juices, wine, or domestic ($3.50) and imported ($4.50) beers. During the summer, diners can venture to the patio to soak up Mediterranean-style heat and embrace Hippocrates's famed practice of using greek yogurt as sunscreen.
Fresh Farms International Market showers its shoppers in grocered greatness, including organic produce, fresh meats and seafood, imported cheeses, and international breads. Tread toward the counter of fresh-caught seafood and reel in one of the market’s aquatic edibles, such as wild octopus ($2.99/lb.), fresh flounder fillets ($9.99/lb.), or live lobster ($7.99/lb.). Protein pilgrims can set sail for the meat department, which can help them build a new society based on hand-cut steaks, smoked ham shank ($1.49/lb.), and young duckling ($2.49/lb.). Cheerful cheesemongers cater to customers’ fancies for foreign fromage, including selections from cheese-making nations such as Bulgaria, Finland, Hungary, and Russia. Sink lactose-longing teeth into a Bulgarian feta ($2.99/lb.) or a block of Mountain Brand Swiss cheese ($3.99/lb.) whose neutrality is betrayed by its clear preference for deliciousness. The market’s fresh produce includes California broccoli ($0.79/lb.) and Wisconsin dry yellow onions ($0.19/lb.), and its bustling bakery churns out French baguettes and Italian ciabatta rolls ready to be transformed into sandwiches or whittled into Earl of Sandwich action figures.
When you get your first plate of Taqueria Los Comales’ signature Mexico-City-style tacos, you might be surprised by their size. Each double-wrapped taco is small enough to fit into your hand, a fact owner Camerino Gonzalez specifically had in mind when first making them in Chicago’s Little Village in 1973. Rather than have clients try just one of his signature meats, he wanted to allow guests to sample a wide variety of different options. Cooks stuff the soft tortillas with al pastor served in a secret marinade as well as more adventurous taqueria staples such as tongue or beef tripe. The restaurants’ homemade salsa and their own signature mix of pickled carrots, cauliflower, and jalapeños enhance these flavors, making meals as satisfying as the discovery that you’re tax exempt because of your cool haircut. Alongside the traditional tacos, chefs grill up meats for tortas, burritos, breakfast, and dinner platters, all of which can be paired with the shop’s glasses of creamy horchata or a range of Mexican and domestic beers.
Home cooking can be hard to find when home is on an entirely different continent. But the owners of Himalayan Restaurant knew how to bring the flavors of their South Asian home to Chicago. They sought out Chef Bishnu Subedi, who relies on his 12 years of experience as well as his training in a Kathmandu culinary school. Befitting the subcontinent’s rich and diverse history, Chef Subedi designs expansive menus, which embrace the Northern Indian, Nepalese, and Asian subcultures that define the region’s cuisines.
This cultural fusion is readily apparent in dishes such as the momos: steamed Nepalese-style dumplings that are typically stuffed with minced chicken or vegetables and served by street-food vendors throughout Nepal. Northern Indian flavors completely shine through on certain dishes, including the tandoori chicken, which marinates overnight in spiced yogurt before the chefs quickly barbecue the meat inside a traditional clay tandoor oven. House-made paneer cheese and fluffy naan also evoke the flavors of South Asia; the restaurant further embraces its cultural roots by serving Indian beers and water from melted Nepalese glaciers.
A chorus of electronic beeps sings across Kiddie Kingdom's 13,000 square feet, where more than 62 arcade games, redemption games, and small rides galvanize youthful excitement in both kids and adults. After stuffing their pockets with tokens, guests compete for high scores on modern video games and arcade classics, such as air hockey and skee-ball. These redemption-style games shower the most successful players in tickets, which can be exchanged at the King's Treasure Chest counter for small toys, stuffed animals, and sports balls.
Elsewhere, the aroma of housemade lasagna, chicken wings, and pizza tempts players away from the arcade and into the onsite Pizza King restaurant. Here, cooks hand toss dough for thin-crust, deep-dish, and stuffed pies. The Italian cuisine also delights guests in a 100-person party room, where birthday boys and girls open presents and spin a wheel to win enough tickets to send their stuffed animals to college.