Sixty years has seen Tastee Freez transform from a cozy two-man operation to a gargantuan national franchise, with more than 100 locations decorating the United States like sprinkles. The menu is casual but diverse, ranging from cheeseburgers and corn dogs to frothy shakes and 97% fat-free ice cream, which can be customized with candies and fresh fruit. Patrons may also request one of Tastee's signature Freezees, available in flavors such as Oreo, Butterfinger, and Reese's Pieces.
Every day, an antique glass stove heats copper kettles full of the creams, caramels, and other decadent sweets that Anderson’s candy makers stuff inside the shop's most popular confections. Since its founding in 1919, Anderson's has crafted small batches of candies such as its signature chocolates, which feature high-quality ingredients including raw cane sugar, grade-AA Wisconsin butter, Shirley Temple’s tears, and pure Madagascar-bourbon vanilla extract. First devised by founder Arthur Anderson, this top-secret chocolate recipe has been handed down through multiple generations and to this day has only undergone slight modifications to improve its texture, flavor, and taste in music.
Infini-tea's proprietors pour steaming pots of specialty teas, tisanes, and coffees, coupling them with the cuisine famed in Europe during traditional high-tea ceremonies. They possess a particular affinity for baking scones and make them from scratch each day, and also serve gourmet soups, fresh salads, and finger sandwiches—life's one opportunity to bite the hand that feeds you. Once guests are done, they can take a stroll by neighboring antique shops and quaint Antioch establishments.
Checkered tablecloths and vintage black-and-white photos from the 1940s evoke small-town Tuscany at Lauretta's Italian Bake Shop & Cafe, whose chefs have assembled authentic Sicilian-style cuisine for more than 30 years. Homemade pomodoro sauce mingles with the porcini mushrooms and caramelized onions that fleck risotto, and fresh baby clams or mussels frolic through linguine entrees. To create paninis, chefs crown toasted ciabatta bread with such accoutrement as jarlsberg swiss cheese, yellowfin tuna imported from Italy, and childhood memories of revered measuring cups. Diners complement bites with Italian beers and wines, including a crisp, fruity prosecco and a medium-bodied chianti, whose tart red-fruit and chocolate flavors pair well with spinach ravioli and still-life paintings of Hershey's bars. A family-owned Chicago bakery furnishes the eatery's fleet of traditional italian pastries, such as cannoli and more than 30 kinds of italian cookies. Lauretta's Italian Bake Shop & Cafe also proffers comprehensive catering spreads, dishing up pans of lasagna, ravioli, and chicken marsala that can feed up to 15 partygoers, or custom orders that can sate finicky flatware.
Firewood Restaurant & Sports Lounge's 30 TVs act as eye magnets for sports fans, who can fill up on mainstay bar and grill dishes. As guests enjoy a comfortable atmosphere coupled with bites such as burritos, burgers, and pizza, a list of 39 craft beers thwarts thirst and muffles shouts over bad calls or good sportsmanship. In the summer, a patio veranda opens itself to warm, breezy dining, and dartboards, Golden Tee, and trivia games provide food for thought throughout the duration of Earth's trip around the sun.