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Diner's Journal - west suburbs

Diner's Journal - west suburbs
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  • Post #181 - February 4th, 2018, 10:53 pm
    Post #181 - February 4th, 2018, 10:53 pm Post #181 - February 4th, 2018, 10:53 pm
    Hi,

    I had hoped to visit Abby's Breakfast and Lunch in St. Charles, but learned it closed in October.

    I am picking up a friend in St. Charles for a leisurely nice breakfast. I was hoping for a Walker Brothers type place with great breakfasts and heavy cream for the coffee.

    Any suggestions?

    Regards,
    Cathy2
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #182 - May 7th, 2018, 6:28 pm
    Post #182 - May 7th, 2018, 6:28 pm Post #182 - May 7th, 2018, 6:28 pm
    My kid loves trains. As a kid, my grandma used to take us (and my mother when she was a kid) to the long gone Snackville Junction in Evergreen Park, which we loved. So I wondered if there was a modern day version of a diner serving burgers by toy train. Enter 2 Toots Train Whistle Grill in Glen Ellyn.

    The place does the schtick right and my kiddo is appropriately over-stimulated by the continually whizzing trains. What I did not expect was a lacy-rimmed smash burger with minimal accoutrements. Like Schoop's-level ethereal and almost as good. The kicker is that they use Tallgrass beef, which somehow they manage to keep nice n greezy while presenting uber beefy. WAY better than it has to be. This place keeps kids and parents happy alike. Now if they only served dum dums at the end of the meal...

    IMG_1378.JPG


    2Toots Train Whistle Grill
    450 N Main St, Glen Ellyn, IL 60137
  • Post #183 - May 8th, 2018, 10:45 am
    Post #183 - May 8th, 2018, 10:45 am Post #183 - May 8th, 2018, 10:45 am
    Wow, I feel a little older right now - I remember at least 2 previous iterations of Snackville Junction that were located in Beverly when I was a kid. I used to take my kids to the EP location - always a hit.
  • Post #184 - August 6th, 2018, 2:28 pm
    Post #184 - August 6th, 2018, 2:28 pm Post #184 - August 6th, 2018, 2:28 pm
    Had a business lunch at the Grandstander in St Charles, this restaurant/pub used to be located in the Geneva downtown but have been in St Charles downtown for past 3 months.

    All had the Cuban which isn't quite a traditional Cuban like one would find in S Florida but darn tasty. What also caught our eyes was the "thick sliced pastrami". We asked about it and turns out it is homemade on premise, so we asked if they could share a small slice with us, which the restaurant gladly obliged. Holy cow was it tender and smokey, not a lot of spicing but that may have just been the piece we received. I definitely will be back for a pastrami sandwich at some point.

    The Grandstander
    11 N. 3rd Street
    St. Charles, IL 60174
    (630) 377-0797
    http://grandstanderbar.com
    -
    I did absolutely nothing and it was everything I thought it could be.
  • Post #185 - August 8th, 2018, 6:43 pm
    Post #185 - August 8th, 2018, 6:43 pm Post #185 - August 8th, 2018, 6:43 pm
    Took some work colleagues to the Sharko's location on Freedom Road. I was a bit nervous, since two of the guys in town live in the San Antonio-area and have had their share of fine TX barbeque.

    We were all really impressed with the "sliced" brisket. I slathered it with the spicy Memphis-style sauce (not sure why they don't have a "texas"-style sauce). The "signature" spinach casserole side was a nice addition. My colleagues from texas also raved about the brisket. One went so far to note that he hadn't had a brisket so tender and not-grissly in Texas in a long time. I can't comment on consistency, but it seems worth trying!

    On the other hand, the less said about the hot link, the better. It was barely warm and didn't offer much in terms of texture, spice, or flavor. You win some, you lose some.

    Sharko's BBQ
    1715 Freedom Drive, Naperville, IL 60563
  • Post #186 - August 9th, 2018, 7:11 am
    Post #186 - August 9th, 2018, 7:11 am Post #186 - August 9th, 2018, 7:11 am
    Recently tried the newly-opened Vai's, at the corner of Rte 59 and Ogden Avenue. They have a wood-fired oven, and they use it in a lot of the preparations.

    We tried some small plates: burrata with wood grilled grapes. So good. The grapes tasted slightly savory rather than sweet as a result of the wood grilling, and the tomato jam added just the right tart/sweetness. Arancini was good -- crunchy on the outside, creamy on the inside. The gnocchi was charred on the outside, but creamy and light inside.

    The meatball pizza had a nice char on the crust from the wood oven and the toppings were tasty. I love a meatball pizza, although this was less sliced meatballs (my preference) that crumbled meatballs.

    We had vodka cavatelli -- big (too big, really) shower of crispy proscuitto in a surprisingly spicy vodka sauce.

    The filet medallions were also done in the wood oven, and were super tender (literally used a bread knife to cut), beefy, and juicy.

    A big miss for me was the Italian doughnuts, although I wasn't hungry after all the other food. I was hoping for light zeppole, but got under-fried bits of pizza dough instead.

    The room is loud. They also have a very pleasant patio. It was packed. I hope this restaurant makes it in this cursed location. The food was really good, reasonably priced, and we need a nice non-chain restaurant in this strip. Also a nice place to have a drink and a nosh.
  • Post #187 - August 28th, 2018, 7:10 am
    Post #187 - August 28th, 2018, 7:10 am Post #187 - August 28th, 2018, 7:10 am
    It had been quite a while since my last visit, but Franco's is still getting it done. Family who runs the place is so friendly. 2 hot dogs, fries and a drink for about $8. Dogs were dressed perfectly.

    2018-08-28 08_06_37-Photo - Google Photos.png Franco's
  • Post #188 - August 28th, 2018, 1:30 pm
    Post #188 - August 28th, 2018, 1:30 pm Post #188 - August 28th, 2018, 1:30 pm
    tcdup wrote:Recently tried the newly-opened Vai's, at the corner of Rte 59 and Ogden Avenue. They have a wood-fired oven, and they use it in a lot of the preparations.

    We tried some small plates: burrata with wood grilled grapes. So good. The grapes tasted slightly savory rather than sweet as a result of the wood grilling, and the tomato jam added just the right tart/sweetness. Arancini was good -- crunchy on the outside, creamy on the inside. The gnocchi was charred on the outside, but creamy and light inside.

    The meatball pizza had a nice char on the crust from the wood oven and the toppings were tasty. I love a meatball pizza, although this was less sliced meatballs (my preference) that crumbled meatballs.

    We had vodka cavatelli -- big (too big, really) shower of crispy proscuitto in a surprisingly spicy vodka sauce.

    The filet medallions were also done in the wood oven, and were super tender (literally used a bread knife to cut), beefy, and juicy.

    A big miss for me was the Italian doughnuts, although I wasn't hungry after all the other food. I was hoping for light zeppole, but got under-fried bits of pizza dough instead.

    The room is loud. They also have a very pleasant patio. It was packed. I hope this restaurant makes it in this cursed location. The food was really good, reasonably priced, and we need a nice non-chain restaurant in this strip. Also a nice place to have a drink and a nosh.


    We had a great meal there too a couple weeks ago and plan to go back soon. The same folks who own Fire and Wine in Glen Ellyn, as well as Gia Mia in Wheaton are running it, and I think they have a winning formula...good food, good beer, good wine list.
  • Post #189 - September 11th, 2018, 11:31 pm
    Post #189 - September 11th, 2018, 11:31 pm Post #189 - September 11th, 2018, 11:31 pm
    Swung by the newish Haveli Cuisine on Ogden - near a snack-favorite of mine (Philly Pretzel Factory).

    Asked the host/owner(?) for a rec, he suggested the Butter Chicken. It was quite good. Decent heat, good flavors. The naan was quite
    tasty. I'll go back soon to try out the vegetarian side of the menu.

    1021 West Ogden Avenue, Naperville, Illinois 60563

    MVIMG_20180906_122257.jpg Butter Chicken
  • Post #190 - September 13th, 2018, 2:56 pm
    Post #190 - September 13th, 2018, 2:56 pm Post #190 - September 13th, 2018, 2:56 pm
    Crate & Barrel to open restaurant in Oakbrook Center store in spring 2019

    http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/ ... l#nws=true
    Hors D'oeuvre: A ham sandwich cut into forty pieces.
    - Jack Benny
  • Post #191 - January 4th, 2019, 9:12 pm
    Post #191 - January 4th, 2019, 9:12 pm Post #191 - January 4th, 2019, 9:12 pm
    Jefe wrote:
    toria wrote:Another "secret" place is Danada Deli on Butterfield Road in Wheaton. Its owned by Hungarians from Transylvania, and the man cooking was trained in Europe. Their soups are superb and I am not a soup lover. In particular I will mention my favorites, split pea soup, bean soup, and cabbage soup, also pasta fazool. They have others. Their meals are good too such as the stuffed peppers and the stuffed cabbage rolls which are like no other I've had. No tomato sauce in them but so much flavor.


    Now this sounds interesting. I was just over that way and wish I'd seen this earlier, I would have stopped in for lunch.

    Relocated to:

    Danada Deli
    1801 E Roosevelt Road
    Wheaton, Illinois 60187
    (630) 871-8787
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #192 - January 5th, 2019, 10:59 am
    Post #192 - January 5th, 2019, 10:59 am Post #192 - January 5th, 2019, 10:59 am
    Cathy2 wrote:
    Jefe wrote:
    toria wrote:Another "secret" place is Danada Deli on Butterfield Road in Wheaton. Its owned by Hungarians from Transylvania, and the man cooking was trained in Europe. Their soups are superb and I am not a soup lover. In particular I will mention my favorites, split pea soup, bean soup, and cabbage soup, also pasta fazool. They have others. Their meals are good too such as the stuffed peppers and the stuffed cabbage rolls which are like no other I've had. No tomato sauce in them but so much flavor.


    Now this sounds interesting. I was just over that way and wish I'd seen this earlier, I would have stopped in for lunch.

    Relocated to:

    Danada Deli
    1801 E Roosevelt Road
    Wheaton, Illinois 60187
    (630) 871-8787


    I noticed this, now even closer to where we live.

    I stopped by the old location last year and unfortunately was very underwhelmed– sandwiches made with industrial grade lunchmeat and the soup was chock full of frozen veg medley. Nice folks though.

    While you've got my attention on this thread, I should post about the pleasant new addition to our small town dining scene– Berger Bros. in downtown Winfield revived/rebranded the faltering Union House maybe a year ago and some change.

    It was good timing for us, since we were regulars at John's Buffet which closed after nearly 100 years last December (and since, so sadly, bulldozed.) Berger Bros. offers nearly as stacked of a draft list with rotating, fresh local brews. And they spiffed up the patio for breezy summer evening drinks and nibblies (will be very hard for anyone to compete with John's florally decked pergola though.)

    The food is, characteristic to the outer burbs, about 15 years late on city trends– ahi tuna this, balsamic reduction that, gargantuan "small plates", off season Brussels sprouts, flat breads. But the kitchen puts in serious effort here, sourcing fresh ingredients, a notch or two above your average bar & grill. And the chef (and evidently well trained kitchen staff) have legit chops. Your burger will be served spot on your preferred doneness.

    Prices also reflect the elevated quality of the food. So on a weeknight visit we stick to sandwiches, which are the least cheffed up offerings. Burgers are fantastic. Yes they do offer a Kumasian line up of over dressed offerings topped with pulled pork and the like. "The American" is right up my alley simply topped with extra gooey cheese food and caramelized onions. The bun is nicely crisped up on the flat top and the meat is very well seasoned. Its on par with my favorite burgs in the city, probably in my top five. The pot roast sandwich is a glorious gut bomb of beefy delight. And their grilled cheeses, served with a gimmicky schooner glass of thick tomato soup are very well managed. Rounded out with crispy hand cut fries, and you could do a lot worse for a sleepy town 30 miles west of the city!

    Berger Bros. Pub
    0S050 Winfield Rd, Winfield, IL 60190
    (630) 480-2152
    https://www.bergerbrospub.com/
  • Post #193 - January 5th, 2019, 12:16 pm
    Post #193 - January 5th, 2019, 12:16 pm Post #193 - January 5th, 2019, 12:16 pm
    Hi,

    I've only gone twice, though I aimed at their daily specials of stuffed cabbage rolls (fresh cabbage version as well as a fermented leaves variant) and their Eastern European pastries. I bought some mushroom soup to take out for a friend and never tried it. It certainly looked made on the premises.

    Like a lot of places, there is food for 80% of the population who might like what you reject. 'We' seek out the food they love to make, but not necessarily desired by their bread-and-butter audience.

    Regards,
    Cathy2
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast

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