Planes zoom down the runway just steps away from Pilot Pete's Restaurant & Bar, located inside the terminal at Schaumburg Regional Airport. When the mood is right, diners might almost imagine that Pete is in the cockpit himself, zipping off on an early-morning flight to an exotic locale. The eatery's tropical-themed walls and decor give a taste of his worldly travels: propellers, wooden parrots, and palm trees from his private collection of memorabilia showcase airborne voyages to more than 25 countries. A glance up to the corrugated-tin ceiling reveals a life-size, two-seater aircraft that looks like something that the Wright Brothers might have flown?or that the Marx Brothers might have crashed.
The cocktail list and menu transport diners to both domestic and international destinations. Chefs plate Caribbean-inspired dishes, such as a chopped cobb salad with jamaican jerk chicken, and American classics. The restaurant has been a popular spot with professional and amateur flight aficionados for more than a decade. Children can pretend to navigate in roomy, blue-velvet airliner seats, watch the runway, and respond to plane-engine sounds by reflexively opening their mouths for spoons. Pilot pete's has been honored by the "100.00 Hamburger club", named after pilots who would fly great distances to eat at their favorite local airport restaurants.
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.
Greek Village Mediterranean Cuisine's white-washed exterior, which is trimmed with blue shutters and draped in vines, whisks diners to Grecian shores even before they enter the lavishly decorated interior, ready to be plied with classic eats. As servers ignite brandy-soaked saganaki at white-draped tables, diners peruse a menu of traditional Greek fare and Mediterranean specialties. Chefs plate fresh seafood and spear grilled meats onto kebabs, then broil tender cuts of lamb to bronze it for swimsuit season. Tongues that utter specialties such as moussaka and spanakotiropita are rewarded for their efforts with platefuls of the much-beloved dishes.
Rustic wooden barrels top the bar?s shelves, while stucco-style walls, indoor greenery, and sumptuously hung curtains transport visitors to the streets of a Grecian village as quickly as a homesick Aegean Airlines jet. On Saturdays, a belly dancer?s smoothly rotating hips hypnotize tables at 7:30 p.m.
At Omega Restaurant Pancake House & Bakery, sizable omelets, skillets full of hash browns, and fresh eggs are mainstays on the menu no matter the hour—and the dining room is open until midnight every day. Sweet options range from oven-baked apple pancakes to crepes, including one stuffed with Montmorency cherries and an imported Danish wine. There's also the onsite bakery, which produces delectable pies, danishes, and pastries.
The new owners of Omega Restaurant Pancake House & Bakery have instructed their chefs to be just as detailed with their afternoon dishes. Each burger patty is ground in-house, and homemade soup specials rotate daily. Alongside a sprawling list of sandwiches and wraps, dinner plates such as veal parmesan, and Athenian-style skirt steak bring an international touch to the table.
The epicurean alchemists at India House, winner of Chicago magazine's Best Indian Buffet designation, draw inspiration from many places: the cuisine of Bombay and Delhi, Indian street fare, and homestyle tandoori cooking. The menu's more than 250 items please vegetarian and meat-eating palates alike with curries and kebabs that use the flavors of fresh cilantro, chilies, and coconut. A reviewer for the Chicago Tribune praises the restaurant?s ?incredibly tender tandoori chicken,? and Chicago magazine says the fiery "Hyderabadi-style mahi-mahi ? is a must." Midday lunchers can dig into a buffet whose myriad options make it difficult to decide which delicious curries should be ladled over naan and rice.
For a decade, the chefs at Udupi Palace have guided guests through the Desi culinary waters with vegetarian and meat dishes from the vast regions of India. Their uthappams, a lentil-and-rice pancake served with a traditional lentil soup and coconut chutney, and their more than 10 kinds of dosai, a southern-Indian crepe, let tongues savor the country’s herbs and spices. The chefs also season tandoori kebabs with garlic or ginger for patrons who lounge amid potted palms and count the grains of basmati rice in a biryani dish to ensure there’s an odd number.