Restaurants with a view distract eyes while dieting stomachs steal extra bread rolls for later. Sate the senses with today's Groupon: for $15, you get $30 worth of American fare at Pilot Pete's Restaurant & Bar in Schaumburg.
Overlooking the runway at Schaumburg Regional Airport, Pilot Pete's serves a menu of American fare and the favorite dishes of famous aviator "Pilot Pete" to diners watching landing and departing planes. Nine shrimp deep-fried in homemade coconut-milk batter rest atop the Coconut Grove fried shrimp plate ($16.95), and mango cream sauce and pineapple relish sweeten the Mango Latitude chicken ($12.95). Broiled salmon ($14.95–$15.95) leaps onto plates in a variety of styles, including jerk, teriyaki, Cajun, lemon, and the triple lutz.
Mini airplanes hover over guests who watch life-size aircrafts ascend, descend, or fall out of nests to learn to fly for the first time. Diners may also take to the skies below a ceiling painted with soft clouds against a baby-blue background. Pete's collection of memorabilia from his trips to more than 25 countries around the world is sprinkled throughout the interior, which is dotted with cushy booths, wooden chairs, and tropical décor, including palm trees and confused parrots.
Pilot Pete's Restaurant & Bar
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.