Foodies stocks about 120 mostly-organic grocery items, encompassing gluten-free, vegan, and vegetarian wares, as well as drive-thru espresso. Give undercaffeinated bodies a much-needed jolt with Foodies' extensive espresso menu; customize coffee drinks by factors including size (12–20 oz.), amount of foam, and number of shots. Adorn drinks with caramel, milk- and white-chocolate syrup, or add a different flavoring agent such as coconut, chocolate mint, pomegranate, or pumpkin pie, ideal for remaining alert to spontaneous outbreaks of autumn. Foodies makes its coffee drinks with organic milk and Caffé Umbria espresso, unlike earth-unfriendly instant coffees powered by disposable batteries; a caramel-drizzled, rice milk latte sates non-dairy-based sweet teeth ($5.20 for 16 oz.).
StreetFood Artistry is an inaugural celebration of Chicago’s street food scene highlighting chefs of gourmet food trucks, old school food carts and street inspired dishes from Chicago’s finest restaurants. This family friendly affair will offer something for everyone. Activities include live entertainment and cooking demons
N'awlins Crab House charms taste buds with southern snacks and seafood steeped in Cajun and creole culinary traditions. Diners can investigate three menus as they search for edible pearls in oysters on the half shell ($15.95/dozen). Crawfish creole sates veggie cravings with tomatoes, celery, and colorful peppers ($15.95), and marinated sirloin medallions ($15.99) reward carnivores by supplementing USDA Choice beef with a half-dozen prepared-to-order shrimp. Guests may customize the Captain's platter ($23.95) by pairing snow-crab legs and a broiled lobster tail with poached, sautéed, or charbroiled prawns. Growing po boy sandwiches devour catfish, blackened mahi-mahi, and other seafood staples ($8.95–$13.95), emerging from the kitchen with crunchy batter exoskeletons and the power to lure mermaids into timeshare seminars.
The grill gurus at Gino's Steak House plate dishes from a menu of American classics that includes succulent steaks and fresh seafood. Wake up groggy tongues with the roasted peppers, marinated in a 60-year-old recipe ($7), or the oysters rockefeller with spinach, bacon, and mascarpone ($11+). Ten juicy steak selections include the 20-ounce prime-cut porterhouse, cloaked in mushrooms and caramelized onions ($33), and the 9-ounce filet mignon, floating in a red sea of béarnaise ($28) and packed with enough protein to bully a vending machine into giving you its quarters. Those preferring surf to turf can hook a tooth on the Atlantic salmon in a boozy champagne-dill-cream sauce ($21) or the 16-ounce Australian coldwater lobster tail (market price).
Mario Dovalina and Edwin Ptak established the original Pepe's Mexican Restaurant in 1967 in order to satisfy diners craving authentic Mexican dishes. With more than 40 locations in the Chicagoland area and northwestern Indiana and traditional eats that are sold across the United States and even in Mexico, Pepe's appeases a wide audience with its hearty options. Appetizers such as chips and fresh guacamole made daily or chili con queso ready bellies for veggie burritos bursting with seasonal vegetables. Flat-screen TVs broadcasting sports games or ballerina-wrestling matches dot the spacious walls at many of the chain’s casual eateries, keeping diners in their seats long after their shrimp, pork, or vegetable fajitas are finished.
The Egg & I offers a separate menu for their Chicago Heights and Tinley Park locations, each stocked with breakfast and lunch options, piling plates high with egg dishes, pancakes, sandwiches, and salads. The mexican skillet’s spicy chorizo sausage is served alongside tomatoes and onions under melted cheddar, sour cream, and salsa ($7.25–$8.74), and arrives with pancakes and toast just like The Egg & I’s other skillets and especially friendly census takers. Three crepes burst with strawberries under a dusting of powdered sugar that helps nab the fingerprints of criminally tasty fruit before an optional dollop of whipped cream flies in for a sweet landing ($6.50–$7.84). Fruit fiends will also enjoy the double-blueberry waffle, featuring a warm belgian discus saddled with a heap of fresh berries or compote ($6.95–$8.14). Lunchtime diners lay out a welcome mat for the blackened-salmon-fillet salad, adorned with crumbled blue cheese, balsamic vinaigrette, and walnuts ($7.95–$9.74). Prices vary by location.