Although Nonie's serves up a smorgasbord of internationally inspired eats, ranging from mediterranean chicken to italian sausages, Windy City cuisine is the most prominent. The menu features Chicago-style Vienna beef hot dogs, gyros, and italian-beef sandwiches. Both traditional and deep-dish pizzas emerge from the oven sprinkled with various toppings, such as roasted artichokes, scrambled eggs, and homemade kifta kabob meat. Portions are large, so customers should come with an appetite or a sweater with lots of empty pockets.
Balancing on its hind legs, a polar bear stares intently outward, unaware of the grizzly rearing up behind it. This is the taxidermy trophy room at Whitlow's Forerunner, where heavy forks subdue similarly ravenous appetites in the adjacent dining room. Sirloin steak is paired with eggs at breakfast, or a juicy porterhouse arrives with a baked potato and greens from the salad bar, both of which accompany all of Whitlow's Forerunner’s dinners. American staples such as griddlecakes and patty-melt portraits of President William Howard Taft fill out the menu, but the kitchen's surprise specialty is seafood. The chefs casts a wide net, reeling in perch, rainbow trout, and even frog legs, which are among the marine delicacies deemed tasty enough for their all-you-can-eat dinners.
Fazoli's serves hearty Italian dishes such as oven-baked pastas, sub sandwiches, and pizzas. Dig into a baked penne with either chicken, broccoli, and alfredo sauce or marinara and meat sauces and mozzarella. A meatball smasher or turkey club italiano makes the perfect handheld meal while lighter options such as ravioli and salad bowls include taste buds with fewer calories.
Carrying on Sicilian family traditions, the cooks at Teddy Spaghettis rustle up a menu of authentic italian pastas, specialty pizzas, and spicy sandwiches. Pasta connoisseurs can test their taste buds on the Rage of Rome (regular for $7.95, grande for $9.25), where rigatoni noodles spar in a spicy vodka sauce with a blend of angry herbs. Talented pie sculptors can chisel out the chicken tetrazzini pizza ($6.95 for "bambino", $14.25 for 14"), or pile on the toppings to the Da Boss pizza , a Hawaiian pie loaded with sweet and savory sauce, ham, pineapple, sausage, red onion, bacon, and pepperoni ($7.50 for "bambino", $15.50 for 14"). Circular-food fans tired of the usual veggie ball or waffle sphere can dig into a meatball sandwich ($5.95). Teddy Spaghettis's homemade cannolis ($3.25) come in a crisp pastry shell with a sweet creamy filling. The shop's wooden archways, trellises overlaid with lively green foliage, and comfortable red booths make for a welcoming spot to enjoy the tastes of Italy without having to hitch a ride to the country on Sylvester Stallone's private monorail.
Pekadill's serves up a carefully constructed menu featuring toppling towers of deli meats and cheeses in a structurally sound, garden-bound cottage. Budding with branches of lettuce, onion, and tomato, the Hambirder sandwich ($4.95–$6.95) features a cold cut combo of ham, turkey, and Swiss cheese, nestled inside finely sliced light rye. Sunflower seeds inside the veggie croissant brighten your dark, dreary insides, and come in a crusty cornucopia along with avocado, swiss cheese, cucumber, sprouts, and ranch dressing ($6.95). Starting April 1, Pekadill's starts serving ice cream, including a sweet peanut butter shake ($4.50) and a scoop of vanilla ice cream hand-packed into a house-made cone ($3.50).
Wolfies's cooks appease aggressive appetites with a menu of hand-tossed pizzas and subs forged from hearty ingredients. Challenge chompers to vanquish the formidable Junkyard pizza, a cheese-smothered symphony of meats, including pepperoni, ground beef, and bacon, accompanied by an ensemble of green peppers and scat-singing mushrooms ($19.99 for 14"). The Farmer's Market pizza ($17.99 for 14") is a vegetarian utopia where onions, olives, and tomatoes coexist without bickering about the difference between fruit and vegetables. The Wicked Wolf Laker sub's carnivorous creation is composed of a half-pound burger shrouded in roast beef and ham ($7.99) and the Yacht Club sub ($6.99) invites palates aboard a savory vessel crewed by turkey, bacon, and ham. Arrange a virtual meeting of your speed-parcheesi team using Wolfies's free wireless Internet or call ahead to reserve the Side Room, a 20-person seating area replete with a television and DVD and VCR players.