With a proven dedication to proper nutrition, Subway's wholly customizable sandwiches are the lunch of choice for a throng of speed skaters, champion swimmers, and NBA stars. A crew of dietitians and fitness professionals sow the seeds of wellness in a garden of hoagies, watered by heart-healthy condiments such as red-wine vinegar, sweet-onion sauce, and honey mustard. Value meals may be crafted with sidecars of fountain drinks and chips, milk and fruit, or imaginary french fries.
Red neon signage smolders above the entrance to Beef Villa, a no-frills eatery where diners can settle into crimson booths and dig into freshly carved gyros, seasoned Italian beef sandwiches, and other succulent offerings. Ever since the original Dundee Avenue location opened in 1970, the eatery has been serving up a menu of "hot and fast" casual fare, from chili infused with Red Hot Chicago pure beef dogs to pure-pork Italian sausage that deliver just the right amount of snap with each bite.
Moonstruck Food's culinary wizards mix locally sourced and organic ingredients to conjure up a menu of healthy interpretations of classic comfort fare and gluten-free goodies. Jump-start appetites without swallowing a pair of jumper cables by noshing on the grilled jumbo scallops sidled up against a sweet-onion-bacon cream sauce. The tender pot roast sets carrots, onions, and potatoes afloat in a pond of braising au jus, and the towering Meatloaf Nepolian stacks corn and mashed potatoes on slices of hearty meat before splashing on a coat of mushroom gravy. Bites of grilled stuffed pork loin pack humanely raised meat with spinach, mushroom, and mozzarella coated in a parmesan ivory sauce that pairs well with a glass of house wine and a conversation about cheesehead hats.
The crew at Spirels understands that eating dessert is meant to be fun, so they enable patrons to follow their whimsy and build their own desserts from whatever catches their eye. With that approach, they encourage patrons to first step up to self-serve frozen yogurt machines and fill their cups from a rotating lineup of flavors that includes pumpkin delight. Then, they can slide over to the toppings bar, where bins filled with fresh fruit, brownie bits, and gummi bears sit beside bottles of Ghirardelli and Hershey’s sauces. Desserts are priced by weight, so customers can experiment with mixing as many flavors and toppings as they’d like while controlling the price they pay.
At Papa Saverio’s Pizzeria’s newly opened South Elgin location, cooks plate pizzas in a variety of styles, from traditional Chicago deep dish to hand-rolled double-dough crusts. Toppings such as barbecue chicken, italian sausage, and fresh garlic bedeck create-your-own pies, and chefs construct specialties such as the pizza Bianca, slathered in Alfredo sauce. They also layer pans of baked lasagna and mostaccioli with sauce and cheese in gargantuan portions designed to feed four family members or that second cousin who’s actually a grizzly bear. House specialty racks of ribs brushed with barbecue sauce, shrimp, and fried chicken round out in-restaurant or catered dinners, which can also include italian beef, meatballs, and sauce-covered wings.
Though the name suggests they only serve one dish, the cooks at Simply Kabobs in fact have a wide culinary range. They take the robust flavors of Greek and Mediterranean cuisine and infuse them with American flourishes, from the intricacies of individual ingredients to discerning dessert pairings. And while kebabs paired with fluffy pitas, hummus, feta cheese, or eggplant dip may rule the menu, a selection of gyros, italian-beef sandwiches, polish sausages, and fresh wraps tempt taste buds equally. International desserts such as baklava give diners a sugary treat to end their meals or hand to a customs officer in lieu of a passport.