Isabella Café’s passionate chef crafts a menu of meatballs, pastas, and other classic Italian fare as well as culinary curveballs of his own creation. Forks can follow a trail of angel hair pasta ($13.95) past veal-meatball boulders and lakes of marinara to reach a secret stash of creamy goat cheese or unearth savory duck and cream cheese buried in stuffed portobello mushrooms ($6.25) by pirates short of suitable treasure chests. Law-abiding molars can also pat down a stuffed chicken breast ($16.95) smuggling brandy cream sauce past Prohibition-era border patrols. For dessert, the kitchen-favorite chocolate coconut torte ($5.95) negotiates a chocolate sauce-smothered resolution to meals held hostage by indecision.
The grill gurus at Charleyhorse Restaurant sizzle a menu of sandwiches, entrees, and burgers within sports-centric dining digs. Wax handlebar mustaches over plates of Rollie cheese fingers carved from 40-pound blocks of mozzarella and cheddar cheese before they’re served with a side of marinara sauce ($9). Buffalo shrimp wraps brim with grilled shrimp, tomatoes, and cheddar jack cheese ($9.87), and burgers such as the Smarty Jones, piled high with bacon, cheddar cheese, and fried egg ($9.69), can power patrons through a marathon session of viewing marathon blooper videos. Large appetites may sample entrees such as the pot roast with beef, potatoes, carrots, and onions ($11.95), or nosh on Charleyhorse's malty basket of Carlton fish ‘n’ chips ($10.37).
The cooks at Wingstop put the ubiquitous phrase, “It tastes like chicken,” to the test. This is because they serve bone-in or boneless chicken wings in 10 different flavors, based on recipes from around America. They slather hawaiian-style wings in a sweet, mild sauce, or bedeck louisiana-rub wings in a dry blend of spices. They also cater to extreme spice-cravers with an amped up buffalo sauce named atomic, for its ability to disintegrate taste buds and convert them into electricity to power a deep fryer. They pair their hearty servings of wings with tasty sides, most notably fresh-cut, seasoned fries made from Idaho potatoes.
As a licensed cosmetologist, Kristine Power has acquired the necessary skills to keep her clients properly pampered. She guides scissors through the hair of men, women, and children, and covers heads with foil for vibrant highlights and better TV reception. She also chemically alters manes via perms and Coppola Keratin Complex smoothing treatments.
As Ed n Joe's approaches its 50th birthday, the back kitchen chefs continue to toss the same classic thin-crusted creations and deep-dish delights that made the restaurant beloved in its infancy. Baked in a deck oven, the signature pizzas satiate hunger in inventive ways, such as with the taco pizza, topped in spicy salsa beef and mozzarella and then dusted heartily in crushed tortilla chips, sliced tomatoes, lettuce, and cheddar and crowned with sour cream and salsa ($16.85 for a small). For a tangy twist, try the barbecue-chicken pizza, served Hawaiian style with grilled chicken, Mancuso mozzarella, red onion, and sliced pineapple ($14.35 for a small). Beyond circular chewables, Ed n Joe's menu boasts a bounty of house favorites such as garnished chicken vesuvio ($16.95), portobello strip steak ($20.95), baked mostaccioli ($14.45), and items conceived by crayons on the kids' menu.
As they struggled to make ends meet by peddling fruits and vegetables from a truck, Mr. and Mrs. Ricobene never dreamed that their family’s name would one day be renowned throughout the South Side of Chicago. The couple first opened their own food stand in 1946, where they doled out sandwiches, pizzas, and pastas inspired by their Italian homeland. With the aid of their sons, they soon perfected their signature dish—the breaded steak sandwich, a meal that would one day be lauded by reporters from Chicago magazine as one of the best in the city. Today, Ricobene’s has expanded to multiple restaurant locations across Chicagoland, and chefs continue to whip up steak sandwiches in accordance with the original Ricobene family recipe. They fold ultrathin steaks into crusty Italian rolls before showering sandwiches in peppers, cheese, and meaty marinara sauce. The chefs draw culinary inspiration from both Italy and Chicago, seasoning wieners in celery salt and topping deep-dish pizzas with mozzarella. Meanwhile, out in the casual dining rooms, guests perch at wooden tables and admire the photographs of old Chicago that speckle the walls.