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Favorite Chicago Restaurants and Fast food from the past

Favorite Chicago Restaurants and Fast food from the past
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  • Post #301 - December 13th, 2017, 12:40 pm
    Post #301 - December 13th, 2017, 12:40 pm Post #301 - December 13th, 2017, 12:40 pm
    Sorry if this is a but different, but topic IS from the past, so, despite the blank stares that will follow this by the majority of North Siders who are on this forum* I submit this, mostly for anyone who may have information:

    Tierra Grill in Villa Park, Western Suburbs.
    Closed about 5 years ago? Best al pastor tacos ever, among many other excellent things they made. Never found out why they closed, where they may have gone....

    *Yes I am jealous and at earliest opportunity will move to North side of Chicago where 90% of the good restaurants discussed here are.
  • Post #302 - December 28th, 2018, 2:56 pm
    Post #302 - December 28th, 2018, 2:56 pm Post #302 - December 28th, 2018, 2:56 pm
    In another topic, I posted the list of all restaurants in the listings in the July 1973 issue of Chicago Magazine.
    Image
  • Post #303 - December 28th, 2018, 5:23 pm
    Post #303 - December 28th, 2018, 5:23 pm Post #303 - December 28th, 2018, 5:23 pm
    Back in the early 80s, IIRC, when Chicago Magazine ran a list of the best pizza, IIRC Nancy's was the top pick, but they complained it had too much garlic. I had been going to Caravelle on Waukegan in Northbrook, and, after going to Nancy's felt that Caravelle was exactly like Nancy's but with less garlic....
    --Carey aka underdog
  • Post #304 - December 29th, 2018, 8:20 am
    Post #304 - December 29th, 2018, 8:20 am Post #304 - December 29th, 2018, 8:20 am
    Far away from downtown, I have great 1960's memories of occasional family visits to white tablecloth places. We lived way out in Roselle, ten miles west of O'Hare Field- there were no fine dining experiences right near us. We had to travel a ways to enjoy a good meal. These restaurants were always suit and tie, fancy dress occasions. And kids, remember to mind your manners! And of course, there was no such thing as a no-smoking section. Ever.

    The Homestead out on North Avenue in Melrose Park. Corn fritters smothered in maple syrup, yum! It was the fanciest place we went to back in that era. Burned down IIRC, in the mid/late 1980's. I heard it had underworld connections, so....

    The Milk Pail, out in Elgin on highway 25. Still there but I think it's mostly serving Mexican/Central American fare. It has/had an old wooden water tower in front. The food back then was typical American meat & potatoes. And more meat & potatoes.

    Louie's, on Lake Street in Addison. Right next to Salt Creek, it was constantly prone to flooding (or fires). For years it had a terrible problem with mold. Bought by the state of Illinois and demolished due to a flood control project- in the early 90's, I believe.

    A classic brick roadhouse in Schiller Park on Irving Park Road- I think it was named Hank's Turtle Inn. It had this great 1930's era neon sign out front, bragging about it's "Famous Mock Turtle Soup". Torn down in the late 80's-early 90's, as I recall.

    Ah, memories.....
  • Post #305 - January 7th, 2019, 2:02 am
    Post #305 - January 7th, 2019, 2:02 am Post #305 - January 7th, 2019, 2:02 am
    Back in the 1980s I had a girlfriend who was a bit timid in her dining tastes. First big change was when she fell in love with Pita Inn on Dempster, then the next step was Poolgogi Korean restaurant on Morse east of the CTA rapid transit, I think the building is now the Maynestage.
    --Carey aka underdog
  • Post #306 - January 7th, 2019, 5:49 am
    Post #306 - January 7th, 2019, 5:49 am Post #306 - January 7th, 2019, 5:49 am
    Poolgogi Steak House was my absolute first foray into Korean food, back in the late '70's. We'd go on Sunday mornings, hungover, for bibim bap in the metal bowl, or poolgogi & eggs, covered with gochu jang, convinced that it had restorative powers.
  • Post #307 - January 12th, 2019, 7:22 pm
    Post #307 - January 12th, 2019, 7:22 pm Post #307 - January 12th, 2019, 7:22 pm
    Not saying it was great but when I worked downtown in 90s there was a restaurant near Washington and Wells called Briazz. They had a chicken sandwich that spoke to me. Every once and while to this day, it shows up in my head unannounced.
  • Post #308 - February 22nd, 2019, 8:11 am
    Post #308 - February 22nd, 2019, 8:11 am Post #308 - February 22nd, 2019, 8:11 am
    Just thinking about old fast food chains..... anyone recall Yankee Doodle Dandy? Their steak sandwich was off the chain- they had a steak sauce that was beefy, a little sweet, and I guess we'd say today, umami. Their fried chicken was pretty good as well. The fries were crinkle cut, and allegedly fried in an oil which contained beef fat.

    I'd drop by and eat there again, if someone ever reopened the chain with the same menu.
  • Post #309 - February 22nd, 2019, 8:59 am
    Post #309 - February 22nd, 2019, 8:59 am Post #309 - February 22nd, 2019, 8:59 am
    adipocere wrote:Just thinking about old fast food chains..... anyone recall Yankee Doodle Dandy? Their steak sandwich was off the chain- they had a steak sauce that was beefy, a little sweet, and I guess we'd say today, umami. Their fried chicken was pretty good as well. The fries were crinkle cut, and allegedly fried in an oil which contained beef fat.

    I'd drop by and eat there again, if someone ever reopened the chain with the same menu.

    I don't know if this is remotely helpful, but I found a Wikipedia article related to Yankee Doodle.
    Starting in 1981, the Proyce family decide to withdraw from the fast food industry and refocus their efforts in casual dining restaurant and bar industry through the conversion of two of the company owned Yankee Doodles in Elmhurst and Arlington Heights into the new Bailey's Restaurant & Bar concept while closing the rest of the fast food operations.[4] Eventually a total of four Bailey's Restaurant & Bar were opened by 1988.


    Bailey's Restaurant and Bar still exists. Did they borrow any elements from Yankee Doodles, who knows?

    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 #310 - February 23rd, 2019, 10:08 pm
    Post #310 - February 23rd, 2019, 10:08 pm Post #310 - February 23rd, 2019, 10:08 pm
    adipocere wrote: Just thinking about old fast food chains..... anyone recall Yankee Doodle Dandy? Their steak sandwich was off the chain- they had a steak sauce that was beefy, a little sweet, and I guess we'd say today, umami. Their fried chicken was pretty good as well. The fries were crinkle cut, and allegedly fried in an oil which contained beef fat.
    I'd drop by and eat there again, if someone ever reopened the chain with the same menu.
    Absolutely, bunky. :)
    Back in the late 1970s, when I would have a CTA SuperTransfer; on a particular Sunday, I would concoct a riding pattern which put me into the Century shopping mall @ Clark & Diversey. (This would have been the first conversion of a former movie theater into a shopping mall.)
    After scrounging the week's music radio surveys from WLS, WCFL, WBMX, and the "Galgano Distributors" Soul Survey from the Metro Music store in the mall, instead of eating anything from a mall purveyor (to be honest, aside from the United Audio Centers shop, I cannot recall any other shop therein), I would cross Diversey and wind up eating hamburgers at the Yankee Doodle Dandy shop at Clark & Schubert. This included an additional advantage of being across the block from the Chicago Transit Authority's "Limits" garage (Yes - I corrupted an Eagles song to "Take It/(Me) To The Limits (Garage)".), when even then, a bus would actually pull out to begin its run.
    There were other Yankee Doodle Dandys on N. Harlem (west side of avenue) immediately south of Irving Park Rd., and later on, on Northwest Hwy., south of Devon Ave., in Park Ridge (which was discovered when riding a Nortran bus through downtown Park Ridge in 1979).
    The hamburgers were OK. It did not make an issue of it, but I believe its were broiled instead of fried.
    The links you can use, without the fluff, or sales pitch: http://208.84.112.25/~pudgym29/bookmark4.html
  • Post #311 - February 24th, 2019, 8:36 am
    Post #311 - February 24th, 2019, 8:36 am Post #311 - February 24th, 2019, 8:36 am
    pudgym29 wrote:After scrounging the week's music radio surveys from WLS, WCFL, WBMX, and the "Galgano Distributors" Soul Survey from the Metro Music store in the mall, instead of eating anything from a mall purveyor (to be honest, aside from the United Audio Centers shop, I cannot recall any other shop therein)...

    [offtopic]The Century had a very fine store that stocked unusual board games that were far outside both the Milton Bradley family stuff or even Avalon Hill wargames. I don't remember the name, but I do remember picking up some games themed around Lord of the Rings and Elric of Melnibone. [/offtopic] But if I were in that neighborhood, the Creperie was more likely to be my food destination.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #312 - January 8th, 2020, 3:30 pm
    Post #312 - January 8th, 2020, 3:30 pm Post #312 - January 8th, 2020, 3:30 pm
    jnm123 wrote:Had a revelation of sorts the other day. I had heard somewhere that the grinders at Eastern Style Pizza on Touhy just west of California tasted exactly like the ones at the store of the same name that had been shuttered in Skokie for at least 20 years. An Eastern Style beef on garlic bread was my go-to fast food dinner of choice from my high school days in the '70's right up through my twenty-something years, closed arteries notwithstanding.

    So I walked into this nondescript, almost barren storefront. And it smelled right--it's amazing how an aroma can bring back memories, hard. The old menu above the grill where every item is squashed in there with pasted characters, all the easier to change prices. Ordered the standard with an RC, and then brought it to my brother's house in Rogers Park for the test. Incredible--nearly a foot long, the hard yet crunchy exterior of the bread, the chopped whatever cut of beef, the salt, the onions, the wisp of tomato sauce. The same taste, the same texture. Only difference now is that I couldn't eat it all, or if I did there would be major repercussions...

    I couldn't resurrect Cock Robin, but this was close. All's I needed was a One-In-A-Million shake!

    Eastern Style Pizza
    2911 W Touhy Ave
    Chicago, IL 60645
    (773) 761-4070

    A weird set of circumstances brought me to West Rogers Park late this morning. Pondering where to go for lunch, my brain kicked into gear and I headed for ESP.

    It's still a "nondescript, almost barren storefront" as noted by my Esteemed Colleague jnm123. The smell that hit me as I opened the door was glorious. Same as when I hung out with my buddies at the Skokie location on Dempster.

    I didn't need to look at the menu. It's an Italian Combination Grinder with their homemade garlic spread for me. Piping hot from the oven, it tasted exactly the same as the old days. I was a happy camper.
    Never order barbecue in a place that also serves quiche - Lewis Grizzard
  • Post #313 - January 8th, 2020, 3:53 pm
    Post #313 - January 8th, 2020, 3:53 pm Post #313 - January 8th, 2020, 3:53 pm
    Triggered a memory the other day as the wife "urged" me to clear out some long-unworn neckties. Nepenthe, the old Caribbean place on Chicago near Halsted was decorated in ties and I recall the chairs being upholstered with them. I have zero recollection of the menu, but the wacky tie interior is burned into my memory.
  • Post #314 - January 8th, 2020, 6:53 pm
    Post #314 - January 8th, 2020, 6:53 pm Post #314 - January 8th, 2020, 6:53 pm
    JoelF wrote:
    pudgym29 wrote:After scrounging the week's music radio surveys from WLS, WCFL, WBMX, and the "Galgano Distributors" Soul Survey from the Metro Music store in the mall, instead of eating anything from a mall purveyor (to be honest, aside from the United Audio Centers shop, I cannot recall any other shop therein)...

    [offtopic]The Century had a very fine store that stocked unusual board games that were far outside both the Milton Bradley family stuff or even Avalon Hill wargames. I don't remember the name, but I do remember picking up some games themed around Lord of the Rings and Elric of Melnibone. [/offtopic] But if I were in that neighborhood, the Creperie was more likely to be my food destination.


    I know this is about a year too late, but I'm pretty sure that was Gamers Paradise. And bringing this back on topic, I grew up in that neighborhood and I miss all the great Jewish delis:

    Ricky's at Belmont and Clark (choked on a corn beef on challah when I was 4. A stranger performed the Heimlich on me. I still finished the sandwich afterwards)

    Belden Deli (had my first francheesey there).

    Sam's Deli (the picture wall was "where's Waldo" before there was any where's Waldo)

    The other Sams commissary/deli, which many probably didn't know about because it was in the mies van der rohe buildings at Diversey and Sheridan where I grew up. In retrospect, I loved that one of the temples of modern architecture attracted an old fashioned deli, with Penny candies, a walk-in cooler with a wooden door that was open to the public (and always had the full array of "Crush" sodas); and chocolate covered bananas in the summer. Also did a pretty decent corned beef sandwich.

    Nostalgia is a helluva drug.
  • Post #315 - January 8th, 2020, 7:02 pm
    Post #315 - January 8th, 2020, 7:02 pm Post #315 - January 8th, 2020, 7:02 pm
    jellob1976 wrote:Ricky's at Belmont and Clark (choked on a corn beef on challah when I was 4. A stranger performed the Heimlich on me. I still finished the sandwich afterwards)

    Baller! :lol:

    =R=
    There are many things that are legal that are not a great idea --Nick Shabazz

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #316 - January 9th, 2020, 11:16 am
    Post #316 - January 9th, 2020, 11:16 am Post #316 - January 9th, 2020, 11:16 am
    Baume and Brix - restaurant and location were ahead of their time. Put this in a 50 seat spot in West Loop and I think it would still be open. River North wasn't the right spot for the menu they were doing. I can still taste the Octopus, Chef Bowman, Roche and Park were awesome. It's really too bad this one closed.
  • Post #317 - January 9th, 2020, 11:24 am
    Post #317 - January 9th, 2020, 11:24 am Post #317 - January 9th, 2020, 11:24 am
    Como Inn - For some reason this ornate temple to red sauce Italian popped up in my memories.
  • Post #318 - January 28th, 2020, 8:03 pm
    Post #318 - January 28th, 2020, 8:03 pm Post #318 - January 28th, 2020, 8:03 pm
    Artie wrote:
    Pie Lady wrote:I also remember having a tin from Poppin' Fresh pies. That must have been thrown out years ago. I think when I was a kid I thought it had something to do with Pillsbury.
    That's because Pillsbury was the original corporate owner.
    Bakers Square began in December 1969 with a restaurant called "Mrs. C's" in Des Moines, Iowa, that became popular for its pies.[2] Pillsbury purchased Mrs. C's around that time, renamed it "Poppin' Fresh Pies", and opened additional locations. VICORP, owners of the Village Inn restaurant chain, purchased Poppin' Fresh Pies from Pillsbury in 1983 and renamed the chain Bakers Square.[3]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bakers_Square

    Bakers Square and Village Inn owners file for bankruptcy.
    https://www.restaurantbusinessonline.co ... bankruptcy
    Never order barbecue in a place that also serves quiche - Lewis Grizzard
  • Post #319 - January 29th, 2020, 8:55 am
    Post #319 - January 29th, 2020, 8:55 am Post #319 - January 29th, 2020, 8:55 am
    lodasi wrote:Como Inn - For some reason this ornate temple to red sauce Italian popped up in my memories.


    I was pretty bummed when they closed but my ex-wife was actually moved to tears
  • Post #320 - January 29th, 2020, 10:47 am
    Post #320 - January 29th, 2020, 10:47 am Post #320 - January 29th, 2020, 10:47 am
    zoid wrote:
    lodasi wrote:Como Inn - For some reason this ornate temple to red sauce Italian popped up in my memories.


    I was pretty bummed when they closed but my ex-wife was actually moved to tears


    I've only been there twice in my life, but it was pretty significant for me: one was as a seventeen-year-old. I was invited there with my family as I was one of their national merit corporate scholars (my father worked for ITW, Illinois Tool Works, as a tool & die maker.) It was the first time in my life I was told to order "anything off the menu" with no regard to the price, and I felt so weird and uncomfortable doing so, that I just picked reasonably priced items. But I really dug the feel of the place, and it was the epitome of "high class" to me at the time. I also remember ... catacombs? Some semi-private places there for couples? This is all very vague to me.

    Then, when I graduated university (1998), we celebrated there with a family dinner, on my suggestion, (I kind of liked the narrative element of bringing things full circle.) Wonderful red sauce Italian meal.

    I really am curious what I would think of the place today. I just remember that at the time, it felt to me like the pinnacle of fancy, old-school Italian.
  • Post #321 - January 29th, 2020, 1:20 pm
    Post #321 - January 29th, 2020, 1:20 pm Post #321 - January 29th, 2020, 1:20 pm
    Cock Robin

    D4DDAA7B-E796-4E9F-959E-CD5107D028E5.jpeg Surviving sign in Brookfield

    A Chicago original, steamed burgers much in the style of White Castle (but bigger and better).

    Favorited enough it would always be included in my Festival of Food every birthday.

    Memories stretching back to when I was as a preteen tasked with picking up an occasional Saturday dinner, stealing fries from the individual bags on the walk home.
    "Very good... but not my favorite." ~ Johnny Depp as Roux the Gypsy in Chocolat
  • Post #322 - January 29th, 2020, 2:38 pm
    Post #322 - January 29th, 2020, 2:38 pm Post #322 - January 29th, 2020, 2:38 pm
    Panther in the Den wrote:Cock Robin

    D4DDAA7B-E796-4E9F-959E-CD5107D028E5.jpeg

    A Chicago original, steamed burgers much in the style of White Castle (but bigger and better).

    Favorited enough it would always be included in my Festival of Food every birthday.

    Memories stretching back to when I was as a preteen tasked with picking up an occasional Saturday dinner, stealing fries from the individual bags on the walk home.

    The downtown Naperville location was a treat for me as a kid. According to the update on this article, there's a new location opening in Sonoma County, California "sometime soon."
    https://www.positivelynaperville.com/20 ... ries/16934
  • Post #323 - January 31st, 2020, 2:10 pm
    Post #323 - January 31st, 2020, 2:10 pm Post #323 - January 31st, 2020, 2:10 pm
    WOW this got the memories flowing. Came to Chicago in 1970 and lived in Rogers Park and West Ridge. In no particular order, the best places I remember are Cindy Sue's and My Pi on Sheridan. Talbott's and The Angus on Western Ave. The P&S diner on Western was my favorite diner of all time. Followed by the A&T when it was across the street from where it is now on Clark and a fourth of the size. Also there was a famous, fancy place on Ridge and Pratt and the name escapes me now. The Steak and Stein on Sheridan was a favorite for taking the parents from out of town. (pretty sure I have that name wrong) Good memories!
  • Post #324 - February 3rd, 2020, 4:11 pm
    Post #324 - February 3rd, 2020, 4:11 pm Post #324 - February 3rd, 2020, 4:11 pm
    dfishgrl wrote:Also there was a famous, fancy place on Ridge and Pratt and the name escapes me now.


    Grassfield’s ??? I vaguely remember the place, it has been a million years since they closed. I was also a big fan of My Pi on Sheridan - spent many nights there after finishing our work shifts at Dominick’s.
    "Goldie, how many times have I told you guys that I don't want no horsin' around on the airplane?"
  • Post #325 - February 4th, 2020, 1:27 am
    Post #325 - February 4th, 2020, 1:27 am Post #325 - February 4th, 2020, 1:27 am
    Image

    The previous restaurant at the location was Allgauer’s which also had a lobster logo.

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