Under the guidance of Debra Mindham, the Centerville Tea Room's chefs dole out handcrafted English aperitifs, sandwiches, and tea. Prix-fixe meals such as Through the Looking Glass march into mouths with a parade of four mini finger sandwiches on homemade breads, along with a pair of pastries, and baton-twirling scones ($14.95). Prime roast beef dons a crown of blue cheese and reigns over horseradish mayo within the blue beef sandwich ($8.95), while a cup of the soup du jour ($3 for a cup, $4.95 for a bowl) warms chilly soul sacks.
On warm nights, live music spills from D.C. Cobb’s stage and flows onto Woodstock Square. As if thumping bass weren’t incentive enough to duck into the brick-walled dining room, passersby may be won over by the aroma of sizzling bacon, which chefs smoke and season in-house daily. The juicy strips grace hand-formed beef patties, joining the ranks of other creative flourishes such as fried egg, mac 'n' cheese, and guacamole. Further cementing their status as a bastion of the Square, D.C. Cobb’s hosts the annual Main Street Music Fest, replete with local bands, food vendors, and longing looks from park statues.
Nicolino's chefs assemble fresh ingredients into hearty pizzas, pastas, and Italian entrees using decades-old family recipes while patrons wager on equestrians flashing across more than 60 plasma-screen TVs. The dining room beckons nongamblers and self-wagering competitive eaters alike with dishes topped in tangy tomato-cream sauces and imported prosciutto served amid chandelier lighting. Charbroiled steaks tempt landlubbing appetites, and rock shrimp, bay scallops, and fresh scrod lure taste buds out to sea. In the lounge, a candlelit bar hosts conversations and nine self-service terminals and a live mutuel teller field bets on horses at nearby Arlington Park as well as venues across the nation. Patrons flick 17 personal plasma TVs between races and other sporting events or search for insider commentary by Mister Ed on free WiFi.
Within easy walking distance from the swooping neon, thundering pins, and intergalactic bowling murals of Glo-Bowl Fun Center lies a tranquil restaurant complete with stone fireplace. In fact, it's in the same building: not content with just a typical snack bar, the proprietors created a full spread of meaty sandwiches, sweet-potato fries, barbecue ribs, and other classic American fare. Every Friday and Saturday, the open patio hosts laidback live music that never overwhelms conversation, and guests are welcome to tote their meals into the alley if a favorable bowling wind suddenly arises.
Brightly painted walls, vivid paintings of Mexican life, and flavorful margaritas lend Las Palmas' numerous locations a relaxed, distinctly "fiesta" vibe. As guests slowly unwind with friends, family, or Twister champions over ice-cold Mexican beers and cocktails, the chefs prepare fajitas, enchiladas, and tacos alongside plates of charbroiled meats and seafood. They also whip up vegetarian-friendly options, such as the signature guacamole and enchiladas banana, which they stuff with fried bananas and smother in mole sauce and melted cheese.
The chefs at Angie's Pizzeria are diligent scholars of Chicago's culinary traditions. In their bustling kitchen, they fill deep-dish pizzas with heaps of mozzarella, tomato sauce, and meaty toppings; adorn steamed franks with the canonical toppings of the Chicago-style hot dog; and sizzle up slices of Italian beef for pepper-laden sandwiches. But their expertise also makes for satisfying spin offs. The Grabber, for instance, stars a hot dog that's wrapped in bacon, deep fried, and slathered with cheese sauce, sport peppers, and celery salt. They also serve thin-crust and hand-tossed pizza varieties, which diners can order with any of their more than 20 toppings or with marshmallows, hot fudge, and peanuts—the ingredients atop their rocky-road dessert pizza.
Jimano's Pizzeria's deft dough-tossers craft homemade crusts, succulent sauces, and pies layered with fresh ingredients for an oven-fresh menu of Chicago-style pizzas. Top a thin-crust cheese pizza ($15.80 for a 16") or piñata-pack a pan-baked deep-dish cheese pizza ($17.95 for a 16") with a panoply of ingredients, such as pepperoni, mushrooms, bacon, or pineapple ($2.10 per ingredient for a 16" pizza), ensuring that modest pizzas don't have to arrive at the table undressed. Cooks also create stacked delights such as the italian beef ($5.85) or the crispy buffalo chicken sandwich ($5.99); baby back ribs ($16.99 for a full slab, $14.99 for a half slab) offer carnivorous sustenance coated in a homemade St. Louis–style barbecue sauce. The pizzeria's famed bread sticks ($3.99) satisfy carb cravings alongside a slew of pasta dishes, which arrive with sides of saucy banter and cheesy dialogue.