Eggstacy fills its breakfast and lunch menu with omelets, sandwiches, and traditional midmorning favorites made with fresh ingredients and prepared from scratch whenever possible. Homemade sauces such as strawberry compotes ooze over fresh pancakes and crêpes or slices of French-toast bread, baked daily in the Eggstacy kitchen next to edible copies of Le Petit Prince.
The Stop In Family Restaurant serves up hearty portions of classic American comfort fare. Early risers can indulge creative impulses by building towers of fluffy pancakes ($3.59 for three) and using the waffles to make crispy castles with gooey syrup moats ($3.89). Meanwhile, the farmer's omelette yields tomatoes, mushrooms, cheese, an edible edition of Poor Richard's Almanack, and a choice of meat ($6.29). At lunch, the three-alarm pizza cranks up the heat with a medley of jalapeños, peppercinis, and banana peppers ($12.95 for 14 in.).
An independently owned restaurant that has been building its open-establishment reputation for nearly four decades, The Carriage House Dining Room & Gardens has cemented its status as Indiana's destination restaurant. For 24 years, it has received the AAA Four Diamond Award (one of only four Midwestern restaurants to accomplish this). And for the past 28 years, Wine Spectator has praised its cellar, most recently with a Best of Award of Excellence in 2013.
These achievements would be impressive on the strength of a single menu, but The Carriage House changes up its board of fare every season. Prepared in traditional French style—in accordance with the vision of the restaurant's founder, Indiana Restaurant Association Hall-of-Famer Evelyn C. George—each dish is made fresh from gourmet ingredients. These selections infuse the dishes and cocktails, which might include caramelized apple crepe with creme fraiche, grilled sirloin steak with horseradish-cream sauce or eggs benedict with pancetta, asparagus, and basil hollandaise. The restaurant also hosts a gourmet selection of breakfast, lunch, and delectable European-style pastries.
The impeccable presentation doesn't stop at the dinner plate's edge. It encompasses the main dining room's hand-hewn walnut beams (unchanged since The Carriage House was first built as a church in 1851) where live classical guitar can be heard ruminating in the air and its showcase of Indiana Hoosier Salon paintings dating from the early 20th century. No matter the season, sommelier Judith Coté (Evelyn's daughter) can recommend a wine for any occasion thanks to her years of study with the Court of Master Sommeliers.
In 1966, taxi drivers Sam Levine and Fred Bartoli finally became fed up with their stop-and-go lives full of honking horns and rush-hour traffic. So they shut off their engines, handed in their keys, and took root. Along with pal George Loverde, they invested in property just off the bustling Magnificent Mile, but then didn’t know what to do with it. According to a 2004 profile in the Chicago Tribune, they got their direction when someone finally said, “Put pizza in it.”
Today, Gino’s still stands at its original spot on Michigan and Superior but has also stretched to 10 other city and suburban locations. Whether dining downtown or in St. Charles, customers find Alice Mae’s signature crust piled with mounds of cheese, sauce made from vine-ripened tomatoes, and plenty of fresh toppings—from sausage and pepperoni to jalapeños and ground beef. Hot from the oven, pizzas arrive at tables snuggled inside seasoned deep-dish pans, ready to welcome a fork and knife. Thin-crust varieties are also available for those who don’t know how to work silverware, as is a bounty of sandwiches.
Papa Murphy’s serves up a tasty menu of handmade take-and-bake pizzas created using dough, cheese, meat, and veggies that are freshly prepared every day. After customers choose their pie, Papa Murphy's personable pizza fashioners will build the pizza in-store and then package it for customers to bake at home in the oven, a pottery kiln, or over a pile of burning cookbooks. Customers can select one of Papa Murphy's signature pizzas or customize their pie to a more specific taste, choosing from sauces, crusts, and the more than 20 toppings available. Italian sausage, mushrooms, and black olives are corralled into the Cowboy ($15/16"), and the Chicago-style stuffed pizza is packed with onions, cheese, four kinds of meat, and one of the most efficient public-transit systems in America ($16/16").
The iconic comic-strip character and namesake of Dagwood’s Sandwich Shoppes peeps out from the first “o” in the deli’s logo, embracing not his wife, Blondie, but the signature Dagwood sandwich. With its four meats and pair of cheeses, the delicious (if slightly intimidating) sandwich represents the more than 20 signature subs and clubs that grace Dagwood’s menu. Meats ranging from premium roast beef to tender pork loin share slices of bread with cheeses, crisp pickles, and all the condiments one might expect of an old-fashioned deli. Those too young to appreciate the shop’s Sunday-paper references will at least enjoy kids’ meals such as the classic grilled-cheese sandwich. Aside from their in-store selections, the deli caters events with colorful trays of meats and sack lunches served by a curiously cartoonish wait staff.