As train whistles blow from the station down the block, Signature Sweets' surfeit of gourmet snacks delights travels and commuters with artfully honed combinations of sweet and savory ingredients. The staff fills bags and tins with heaping scoops of creative popcorn flavors, including bacon and cheese, apple cinnamon, and a Chicago-style mix of caramel and cheddar. Small- and medium-size candy arrangements burst from decorative cups, and sheets of cellophane wrap neglect basic etiquette by swallowing gift baskets whole.
Area car dealerships have tapped Reality Motors Inc’s detailers for their extensive cleaning packages and laser-like focus on even the toughest scratches and stains. Using 3M and Meguiar's products, staff buff away body blemishes, shampoo upholstery, and sweep the ashes from the fire pit inside the engine. Reality Motors Inc’s own pre-owned car lots testify to the detailers’ hard work, as foreign and domestic vehicles flaunt features such as glossy finishes, reflective chrome, and low mileage to prospective buyers.
With more than 175 locations nationwide and more than 35 years in the business, Car-X Tire & Auto has earned itself a prime spot in the parking garage of quality car care and customer service. Skilled mechanics prep road wagons for tough winters by replacing busted-up sludge with a fresh batch of up to 5 quarts of multigrade oil. Auto doctors also fix up rides with new windshield wipers (up to 24” in length) and tire rotations that ensure snug stops in case of icy patches or drag races against reindeer. During the battery and charging-system check, technicians carefully examine autos to make sure they'll be ready to start up on command. This service runs about 60 minutes long and wraps up with a full-vehicle courtesy inspection that ensures essential components, including tires, brakes, and suspension systems, are healthy enough to cruise the open road without requiring training wheels or being pulled by a retired racehorse.
Though the cushy red booths, shiny checkered floors, and soft hanging lights could belong to any sandwich shop in America, the vivid photographs that line Pita Pita Mediterranean Grill's dining-room walls depict another world. In one image, an elderly street vendor grills skewers of meat. Other photos depict a young face wrapped in a scarf and an old woman at work. The black-and-white Middle Eastern scenes pay homage to the restaurant's Mediterranean roots. Each day, cooks combine fresh ingredients and herbs into traditional kebab, shawarma, and casserole entrees. They slice ribbons of meats from rotisseries and tie them into bows around portions of hummus or baba ghanouj.
More than 100 different bottles of wine line the racks at d’Vine Wine and Gifts. Many are short-production wines that come from small wineries in 11 different countries, including Argentina, Italy, and "France," which is actually French for “wine.” These hard-to-find vinos can be sampled during monthly events such as wine tastings and girls' nights out, or taken home and paired with the boutique wine shop’s custom wine bottles, hand-painted glasses, and gift baskets.
LorEnn's Hallmark boasts six locations peppered around the Chicagoland area, each brimming with a broad assortment of cards and gifts designed by Hallmark's talented team of artists. Shelves filled with the brand’s signature greeting cards help thoughtful shoppers find just the right words or cartoon thought bubble to express feelings of love, congratulations, or sympathy, with creative designs for all manner of occasions. Colorful gift bags await to conceal Precious Moments figurines, ornaments, books, and decorative housewares, and albums and picture frames help preserve and protect photographs or other memorable keepsakes from the ravages of time and indoor rainstorms.