Honey Baked Ham Co.'s specialist butchers boast more than 40 years of experience preparing glazed meats. The staff slices roasted hams weighing up to 16 pounds, each dry cured, hickory smoked, and oven baked to fend off hungry snowmen. A fine glaze of honey and spices covers each ham, which is cut spirally to keep its sections intact for horizontal slicing. To complement its sweetly seasoned protein namesake, Honey Baked Ham Co. also furnishes meat collectors with honey roast beef, pork, and turkey.
At Jullianni's, friendly staffers rush mozzarella-strewn pizzas, wings, and nachos to each table and booth in their open dining room, which is furnished with a high ceiling and sleek wood accents. Diners can also sate cravings for subs or idiosyncratic flavors such as crab cakes with banana-pepper tartar.
Sam Buca's is part fine-dining oasis of upscale Southern Italian cuisine and part laid-back sports bar serving casually delicious eats. Pull up a chair at a white-clothed table and open the menu of pasta, seafood, and meat dishes as hearty as a tugboat captain's laugh. Lemon chicken ($14), boneless breasts sautéed in a white wine and lemon butter sauce, lets savory poultry flavors dance on palates, while tilapia Italiano ($16), swimming with green onions and diced tomatoes in a white wine sauce, imbues taste buds with aquatic delight. Sam Buca's cannoli ($4) is homemade. Those who prefer the warm glow of TV screens reflected in their beer mug can head to the restaurant's bar and pick up the menu of more casual fare such as sandwiches ($5-$9), pizza ($10-$11), and wings ($8).
In business for 25 years and renowned for its slow-cooked barbecue ribs, the family-owned Nick's Barbecue maintains a culinary stable of more than 100 equally tempting items on its menu. Fall-off-the-bone barbecue baby back ribs cover fingers in a sweet signature sauce, dinner’s perfect complement to stylish sauce-colored outfits ($10.99). The barbecue pulled pork ($7.59) and half-chicken dinner ($7.45) team up tender white meats with three down-home sides, including mac ‘n’ cheese, potato wedges, barbecue baked beans, or mixed veggies. Two items that are as authentically Chicago as a silver bean riding the L train—the italian beef sandwich ($4.69) and the vienna all-beef hot dog ($2.15)—do their city proud as they tame the windiest of appetites.
A saying emblazoned on the ceiling of Bonapit Smoke House reads: "If there ain't no wood, it ain't no good!" The ovens in the kitchen would agree—they're stocked with applewood made for slow-roasting a variety of meats, which derive even more flavor from the dry rubs chefs slather on beforehand. Plates of St. Louis ribs, beef brisket, and sausages arrive with corn muffins and corn on the cob, though diners can also savor their meats in signature sandwiches served with homemade kettle chips. Barbecue style even inspires the seafood, such as the wood-fired salmon glazed in a raspberry barbecue sauce. Steaks, wraps, and salads round out the menu for a break from entirely smoky fare, but the environment keeps up with the rustic cuisine, as columns of exposed brick and cherry-colored wood mirror the down-home charm that flavors each entrée.
At Mister Mo's, friendly barkeeps and servers pour frothy brews and dish out delicious pub fare to gatherings of friends amid a convivial sports-bar atmosphere. A generous row of beers on tap emits tingly drinkables such as Blue Moon and Leinenkugel, and walls decorated with jerseys and sports memorabilia remind fans of the Bulls' successful championships and short-lived sitcom of the 1990s. While guests mingle over cocktails, patrons hurl miniature spears at the set of dartboards on the wall or bob their heads along to the live music blaring from the bar's stage.