With more than 700 locations, Jamba Juice proves to the masses that nutrition can be speedy and delicious. Since the beginning, the company?s product philosophy has revolved around choosing whole fruits and other natural ingredients over artificial flavorings, sweeteners, and preservatives. The menu is completely free of high-fructose corn syrup and trans fats, and it offers additional accommodations for vegan and gluten-free diets.
This naturalistic approach is fully realized in Jamba Juice's selection of smoothies. Made with 100% fruit juice, sherbet, and frozen yogurt, the frosty delights range from all-fruit smoothies such as peach perfection and strawberry whirl to more indulgent creamy treats, including peanut butter moo'd, an enticing blend of peanut butter, bananas, nonfat vanilla frozen yogurt, and milk chocolate.
For those with heartier appetites, steel-cut oats steep in soymilk before being enhanced with toppings such as apples, cinnamon, and brown-sugar crumble. The lunch hour presents protein-packed mini wraps, toasted bistro sandwiches and California Flatbreads that pack only about 320?420 calories each.
McBrides Plainfield Pub & Grille is a lot like its classic Blarney burger: at first glance, it conjures the history and tradition of the Emerald Isle, but inside, it's full of all-American favorites. The lettuce-, tomato-, and onion-topped Angus patty joins philly steak sandwiches, six styles of wings, and barbecue ribs to lend a taste of home as the neighborhood haven's big-screen TVs and video games forge a bustling atmosphere for drinking and dining. Both draft and bottled beer of the domestic and imported variety—including the essential Guinness stout—balance the hearty flavors, and special events and weekends usher in live bands that croon love songs to reticent bacon cheeseburgers.
Tommy Nevin's Pub was founded by Steven Prescott and christened for his grandfather Thomas Nevin, a WWI veteran. The flagship location in Evanston touts a bright red façade that pays homage to the renowned Temple Bar in Dublin, and the menus at all three locations likewise salute the culture of the Emerald Isle. Though it inhabits a decidedly Celtic corner of the pub world, Chicago Bar Project deemed the Evanston outpost “the best bar in the suburbs” for its “intriguing combination of country Irish pub, modern Chicago bar and cutting-edge alternative music venue.” Chefs whip up corned beef and shepherd's pie as bartenders handle taps and spirits. Friends can cheer on local sports teams on TV or wrack their brains to remember the name of Azerbaijan's currency and most popular potato-chip flavor at weekly trivia nights.
A sizeable beer list keeps the party going at Stone City Saloon, a sports bar and grill with regular karaoke nights and an outdoor patio for bags-tossing. The kitchen cooks up classic pub food, including a signature spinach artichoke dip, wings, burgers, and sandwiches, while bartenders pour tap brews from makers such as Dogfish Head, Bell's, Revolution, and Three Floyds. Eight- and nine-ball pool leagues gather around the felt several times a week.
The friendly staff at Rudy's Place fuels mealtime revelry and poolroom rivalry with a menu of Mexican favorites alongside classic American sandwiches, burgers, wraps, and pizza. Armed with homemade tortilla chips, diners dive into meals with an appetizer of guacamole or wake up palates with a sampler platter salvo of chicken wings, mini tacos, flautas, and breaded bites of alarm-clock parts. Kitchen magicians pack a half-pound of pure Angus beef into each burger, dressing the most ornate patties in barbecue sauce, pepper jack cheese, and onion rings, or in fried jalapeños and chipotle ranch sauce. Within the bready bookends of a philly cheesesteak, seasoned green peppers and onions fresh from the grill court gooey swiss with charred fragments of the Liberty Bell, and across the table tangy green salsa smothers chicken, beef, steak, or cheese enchiladas as beans, rice, and guacamole offer sideline commentary. Smiling barkeeps pour heaping glasses of beer to refresh over-stimulated palates, whisking away savory sensations with amber bubbles from makers such as Sam Adams, Budweiser, Guinness, Coors, and Miller.
Named in honor of local firefighters and police, The Department's restaurant and liquor lounge serve modern cuisine in a loft-style space outfitted with exposed-brick walls, gleaming wood floors, and an abundantly stocked bar. In preparation for the dinner rush, waiters flip crisp white cloths to hide tables’ risqué tattoos while chefs fire up the grill and stir marinades for gourmet steaks, pork loin, and seafood plates. House specialty dishes reflect the chef's meticulous attention to detail; the Cajun rib eye basks in a marinade for 48 hours, and the crab-stuffed tilapia offsets the rich seafood with a white-wine sauce. At lunch, a menu of gourmet sandwiches and burgers fosters casual meals. Fridays see live acoustic entertainment filling the air with quarter notes as bartenders work hard shaking potent cocktails and luring corks out of wine bottles with maraschino cherries. Those craving al fresco eats during warmer months may dine on The Department's tree-lined, second story balcony.