The dull roar of a bustling restaurant, the spirited chatter of commentators on HD TVs, the pulsing beats of live DJs?at Strike Ten Lanes, such noises ring commonly in harmony with the thunder of strikes and the screams of falling pins. The lanes? modern touches, including automatic scoring, carry over into the lane-side lounge areas, stuffed with comfy couches and low tables. On the other side of the alley, customers can take a break from bowling with video gaming, or by sitting around circular booths to chow down on burgers, pizza, and steaks from the onsite eatery's full menu. They also nab daily drink specials or any of eight beers on tap or 35 bottled varities from two full bars as TVs and projection screens display every Bulls and Blackhawks game and other heated contests between sports teams, sports analysts, and sporty monster trucks. Strike Ten Lanes keeps its doors open seven days a week, including holidays, and can cater to large, corporate events.
Conceived by Las Vegas restaurateur Mark DiMartino, Tilted Kilt Pub & Eatery evokes Ireland by way of Vegas, with waitresses dressed in plaid mini kilts shouldering trays of chilled beer and pub fare. Like an enchilada stuffed with four-leaf clovers, the eatery’s irish nachos interpret a south-of-the-border classic in a Celtic way, slathering potato chips in cheese sauce and seasoned ground beef. Alternatively, pot roast and vegetables simmer traditionally in the Olde Dublin irish stew’s Guinness-infused beef stock. Barkeeps pour a full bar’s worth of wine, cocktails, and beer, which surfaces in bottles, bombers, and multi-brew mixes such as the Blue Moon-and-Guinness combination. 56 high-definition TVs—including three jumbo TVs and four screens on the outdoor patio—glow with a ceaseless parade of professional and college baseball, basketball, and hockey, and live bands add to the entertainment smorgasbord on Friday and Saturday nights.
Sometimes lizards have great margarita recipes. At least Adobe Gila's mascot and mythological founder?a gila monster decked out in a scarf and sombrero?has one worth crossing the country for. Fortunately, its restaurants in Ohio, Orlando, and Chicago make it so nobody has to travel too far. In each location, these frozen drinks take center stage, with Gila mixing up more than a dozen varieties. Beneath the soft glow of neon signs, frozen strawberry, raspberry, and lime margaritas fill 64-ounce mugs, which patrons can take home once they drain. Meanwhile, giant, fishbowl-sized cocktails allow for lessons in sharing?as do chips, salsa, and made-to-order guacamole.?
Other Mexican dishes complement the drinks?namely sizzling fajitas with chargrilled chicken fish?but the menu also makes sure bargoers overcome by more local cravings find plenty of wings and burgers. And Adobe Gilla's goes a step beyond the traditional watering hole, too. On the last Friday of every month, the team throws what they call the "world's largest happy hour," when the restaurant transforms into a giant party with live music, DJs, karaoke, and requisite smiling.
A lengthy lineup of traditional game-day fare and a sports atmosphere captivate fans at Fox and Hound - Bailey's, where the kitchen remains open as late as its neighboring fully stocked bar. Chefs cook until the wee hours of the morning and always until the bar closes, baking Bavarian pretzel starters, crafting towers of onion rings, and preparing hand-battered chicken tenders that are cooked until they are golden brown. They blend their own seasonings to sprinkle over grilled-to-order burgers, and draw from a diverse roster of cheeses and toppings to crown their wood-oven-inspired flatbreads.
While manning the bars, bartenders tap into a stash of libations, such as UV Whipped vodka and Patron Silver tequila, to mix their specialty cocktails. To further foster a sporting ambiance, high-definition TVs glow with sports games and custom music-video playlists, and guests partake in pastimes of ump bashing, billiards, or competitive people watching.
Ballydoyle specializes in comforting Irish fare and even more comforting Irish ales. Folks will wonder why more meat isn't corned after trying the star of Ballydoyle's sandwiches, the corned beef on marble rye (8.95). Heartier Irish specialties include shepherds pie ($11.95), Bangers and Mashed ($11.95), and Dinny's Irish Fry—an aorta-challenging amalgamation of Irish bacon, Irish sausage, black-and-white pudding, grilled tomatoes, sautéed mushrooms, baked beans, two eggs any style, toast, and the keys to Dublin for those that clean their plates ($12.95). Another Irish specialty, boxty ($11.95–$13.95), wraps a homemade potato griddle cake around a variety of fillings, such as vegetables, chicken, and Larry Bird's NBA championship rings. An Irish pub would just be Denny's without an extensive list of draft and bottled beer. Ballydoyle's is one of the only pubs that serves McCaffrey's Irish Cream Ale, making it as delicious as it is exclusive.
Laugh Out Loud Theater sprays the suburban fringes of Chicago with a thick foam of world-class improv comedy. An extensive, experienced cast brings a highly interactive, audience-assisted experience to the intimate Schaumburg stage, drawing on hive-mind suggestions to kick off its inevitably LOL-worthy sketches. Shows rely heavily on audience participation, and LOL's indefatigable ad-libbers make it a point to invite willing audience members up on stage to help them achieve exponential levels of funny. Though eschewing egregiously blue humor, Improv for Grownups' cast refuses to turn down any suggestion, no matter how risqué, which leads to raunchy riffs that retain the group's trademark wit. On Thursdays, Prime Time performances mix the group's regular ensemble members with in-training improvisers, delighting audiences while giving tomorrow's rib-ticklers on-the-job training.
Laugh Out Loud Theater has a full kitchen and bar—and there is no drink minimum—so guests can fill guts until they bust with each new course during the night's improvised feast of tomfoolery. Well-suited for date nights, group outings, or a way-funnier-than-usual family-bonding experience, Laugh Out Loud's improv comedy will inspire even the most nonspontaneous audience members to put down their cue cards and bust out a few jokes of their own.