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Omega in Niles -- Chicagoland's best 24-hour diner?

Omega in Niles -- Chicagoland's best 24-hour diner?
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  • Omega in Niles -- Chicagoland's best 24-hour diner?

    Post #1 - June 9th, 2011, 9:53 pm
    Post #1 - June 9th, 2011, 9:53 pm Post #1 - June 9th, 2011, 9:53 pm
    Mentioned here and there, the Omega really deserves a thread of its own.

    One of the largest, possibly the largest, 24-hour eateries in the Chicago area, the Omega is an old-fashioned Grecian diner/family restaurant. It offers a vast menu, well-filled baskets of good, house-baked breads, a large display case of pretty if sometimes insipid house-made cakes and desserts, and breakfast served all day and all night. The service is always friendly. If there's a better 24-hour diner around town, I don't know about it.

    I confess I tend to order the same things over and over again and can't speak to the vast menu as well as somebody who's visited the place on an average of once every month or two for years ought to be able to. I often get the Athenian skirt steak, infused with lemon and oregano, and sometimes the lamb chops, especially when they're on special -- a deal at $15 for four chops with soup or salad. I get eggs, sunny-side up usually, which always come nice and runny, just as I like them (order the hash browns well-done, though). Himself alternates between the immense chopped salad and the black peppercorn blue cheese burger, dripping in thick, creamy blue cheese spread. I have enjoyed the good and greasy patty melt.

    Branching out can be hit or miss. Last night I tried a Tex/Mex omelet, full of nice spicy chorizo, but the tomatoes were pale and the jalapenos canned.

    If other Omega fans chronicle their favorite meals, we might all benefit from an increased repertoire.

    I should also say that I've almost never been there before 10 p.m., so if it's different at lunch, I can't tell you.

    Omega Restaurant and Bakery
    9100 Golf Road
    Niles, IL 60714
    http://omeganiles.com
    (847) 296-7777

    There are other Omegas in Schaumburg and Downers Grove with separate ownership.
  • Post #2 - June 10th, 2011, 10:51 pm
    Post #2 - June 10th, 2011, 10:51 pm Post #2 - June 10th, 2011, 10:51 pm
    Sadly, Sally's is not open late on the weekends anymore and Omega got rid of their olive burger (Mr. Pie is still saddened by this), but this has now become our after-midnight spot. We almost always ended up pleased with their food, and their prices are great. Late at night the place could use more frequent cleaning, but that's my biggest complaint. The last time we were there he tried a bite of some focaccia that came in the breadbasket, and decided I should finish the rest. My first response was a loud sigh followed by "okay, fine" but was I ever glad I did. It was buttery, crusty, and freakin' delicious. Plus you can't go wrong with that giant bakery. I believe I ate in the Downers Grove one and it wasn't quite as good.
    I want to have a good body, but not as much as I want dessert. ~ Jason Love

    There is no pie in Nighthawks, which is why it's such a desolate image. ~ Happy Stomach

    I write fiction. You can find me—and some stories—on Facebook, Twitter and my website.
  • Post #3 - June 11th, 2011, 10:33 am
    Post #3 - June 11th, 2011, 10:33 am Post #3 - June 11th, 2011, 10:33 am
    I think Omega is overrated. Last time I had the hot turkey sandwich which was just average. I got a piece of chocolate cream pie for dessert which was awful. I'll probably stick to breakfast if I ever go there again.
  • Post #4 - June 11th, 2011, 3:59 pm
    Post #4 - June 11th, 2011, 3:59 pm Post #4 - June 11th, 2011, 3:59 pm
    I absolutely love the Niles Omega. My family and I regularly dine there. Great food at a reasonable price. I am a sucker for their homemade soups. I cannot dine there without getting at least a bowl of their matzo ball soup. It's delicious served with two fat matzo balls. Many times, I'll opt for their endless soup bowl. With every soup being homemade, you can't go wrong. I've been known to construct a meal out of 4 bowls of soup. Before my kids were born (10 years ago <gasp!>), my wife and I would routinely go there post-bar scene to fill up on homemade soup before heading home at 2am.

    Also high on my list is their smoked salmon crepes. They are fantastic. Luscious lox, cream cheese, red onions and capers wrapped up in thin, slightly sweet crepes.

    I personally am a huge fan of Niles Omega. Delicious homemade food that won't put a hurtin' on your wallet.
  • Post #5 - June 11th, 2011, 4:00 pm
    Post #5 - June 11th, 2011, 4:00 pm Post #5 - June 11th, 2011, 4:00 pm
    Ram4 wrote:I think Omega is overrated. Last time I had the hot turkey sandwich which was just average. I got a piece of chocolate cream pie for dessert which was awful. I'll probably stick to breakfast if I ever go there again.

    I pretty much agree. I really want to love their food but it just never clicks for me the way it does at Jack's Restaurant on Touhy (which is now only open until 3 pm every day) or other places in the category. For example, last time I was there (about a year ago), I was craving a ham and cheese omelet with hash browns and rye toast, which is specifically why I went there. The omelet was way brown on the outside, dry on the inside and fairly flavorless. The hash browns were completely soggy and tasted like they'd been cooked in old oil. The toast was cold. If a place like this can't turn out a plate of simple breakfast fare, I'm not sure if there's a reason to go there...and that's why I haven't been back.

    Their desserts have just never done it for me. Yes, there are many of them and they all look quite beautiful on display in the glass cases at the front of the restaurant. But I've never had one there that I've finished or even really liked. The desserts seem to be very much of the 'quantity over quality' school, which is really disappointing to me.

    =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 #6 - June 11th, 2011, 4:01 pm
    Post #6 - June 11th, 2011, 4:01 pm Post #6 - June 11th, 2011, 4:01 pm
    Seems like a pretty standard diner to me. If Omega were in NJ it would blend in perfectly.
    -Josh

    I've started blogging about the Stuff I Eat
  • Post #7 - June 11th, 2011, 4:19 pm
    Post #7 - June 11th, 2011, 4:19 pm Post #7 - June 11th, 2011, 4:19 pm
    ronnie_suburban wrote:I'm not sure if there's a reason to go there...and that's why I haven't been back.


    The soup!! Oh that soup!! Specifically, the matzo ball soup. Their homemade soups are thee primary A#1 reason I go there.
  • Post #8 - June 11th, 2011, 6:46 pm
    Post #8 - June 11th, 2011, 6:46 pm Post #8 - June 11th, 2011, 6:46 pm
    Mr. Maki thinks they're overrated- the last time we were there, they charged $7 or $8 for a grilled ham & cheese with fries. It wasn't exceptionally large or anything- he's used to Kaufman's where you pay that much for a sandwich but it's a massive sandwich.

    I think they're okay- everything I've had there has tasted pretty good, their bread basket croissants are great (just the fact that croissants are an option is great!), but I think you do pay for the convenience of a 24-hour restaurant, since there's more overhead.
  • Post #9 - June 11th, 2011, 6:57 pm
    Post #9 - June 11th, 2011, 6:57 pm Post #9 - June 11th, 2011, 6:57 pm
    Seamus wrote:The soup!! Oh that soup!! Specifically, the matzo ball soup.


    I had a very bad experience there that revolved around the matzo ball soup. Board policy prohibits me from going into details, but let's just say I've not yet returned nor am I ever likely to.

    P.S. I agree about the baked goods. They look great, but taste like cardboard.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #10 - June 11th, 2011, 7:03 pm
    Post #10 - June 11th, 2011, 7:03 pm Post #10 - June 11th, 2011, 7:03 pm
    stevez wrote:I had a very bad experience there that revolved around the matzo ball soup. Board policy prohibits me from going into details, but let's just say I've not yet returned nor am I ever likely to.


    Argh. I had a similar experience. During high school a decade ago, Omega was a frequent late-night stop...Until there was a fiasco concerning a dish that was requested to be vegetarian. Since then, I have not been back.
  • Post #11 - June 11th, 2011, 7:04 pm
    Post #11 - June 11th, 2011, 7:04 pm Post #11 - June 11th, 2011, 7:04 pm
    Not a big fan. Our real estate agent took us there after a sale and I still can't understand why anyone likes this place. The food was at best average. So many better places to eat unless you want something at 5am. Then everything tastes good.
  • Post #12 - June 12th, 2011, 9:11 am
    Post #12 - June 12th, 2011, 9:11 am Post #12 - June 12th, 2011, 9:11 am
    Headed toward the area of Omega's usually means we are undecided but will probably end up at Himalayan, Mykonos, Periyali or even Pita Inn. Once in a while, as we are approaching it, my wife will exclaim "hey what about Omega...remember their cabbage soup". Well I do have good memories of their cabbage soup, but that's about it, so it's been about 20 years since my last visit.
  • Post #13 - June 12th, 2011, 10:19 am
    Post #13 - June 12th, 2011, 10:19 am Post #13 - June 12th, 2011, 10:19 am
    ronnie_suburban wrote:
    Ram4 wrote:I think Omega is overrated. Last time I had the hot turkey sandwich which was just average. I got a piece of chocolate cream pie for dessert which was awful. I'll probably stick to breakfast if I ever go there again.

    I pretty much agree. I really want to love their food but it just never clicks for me the way it does at Jack's Restaurant on Touhy (which is now only open until 3 pm every day)...=R=


    I haven't been to Jack's since I found Jell-O in my salad, except for recently to get a pineapple sundae. The sundae was fine but I still have no desire to return for a meal.
    I want to have a good body, but not as much as I want dessert. ~ Jason Love

    There is no pie in Nighthawks, which is why it's such a desolate image. ~ Happy Stomach

    I write fiction. You can find me—and some stories—on Facebook, Twitter and my website.
  • Post #14 - June 13th, 2011, 7:52 am
    Post #14 - June 13th, 2011, 7:52 am Post #14 - June 13th, 2011, 7:52 am
    At Omega I only would recommend 2 items on the menu which I cant find anywhere else tasting as good:

    1 - The Sweet and Sour Cabbage Soup:
    Has a very homemade taste with chunks of meat and lots of cabbage with sweet and sour broth.

    2- The Omega Cheesecake (not meaning all cheesecakes @ Omega, but their signature cheesecake)
    A Slice of Omega Cheesecake contains plain cheesecake with layers of chocolate cake covered with a chocolate ganache topping and then added a chocolate covered strawberry on top. One of the tastiest deserts I've had in such an affordable price point.
  • Post #15 - June 16th, 2011, 10:45 am
    Post #15 - June 16th, 2011, 10:45 am Post #15 - June 16th, 2011, 10:45 am
    abe_froeman wrote:Mr. Maki thinks they're overrated- the last time we were there, they charged $7 or $8 for a grilled ham & cheese with fries. It wasn't exceptionally large or anything- he's used to Kaufman's where you pay that much for a sandwich but it's a massive sandwich.

    I think they're okay- everything I've had there has tasted pretty good, their bread basket croissants are great (just the fact that croissants are an option is great!), but I think you do pay for the convenience of a 24-hour restaurant, since there's more overhead.


    I need to retract my post. Last night, we visited a friend whose mother passed over the weekend. The memorial service was out in Aurora, where both the friend and his mom lived. After the service, there was a family dinner at Golden Corral...the bad traffic on 294 was a mixed blessing as Mr. Maki and I didn't get out there until after everyone was done with dinner and we just met them at their home to pay our respects. Needing something to eat at 10:30pm, we went to Omega. We were both hungry, but didn't want to overeat, given the time.

    I had a bowl of sweet and sour cabbage; Mr. Maki had the matzo ball. I was please to discover that they put chunks of meat in their pre-entree sized bowl, unlike The Bagel, where you only get meat if you order the full tureen.

    Mr. Maki had the turkey melt...either their prices have gotten cheaper since we were last there or everyone else has raised theirs and Omega's now seem reasonable. It was a decent-sized sandwich with fries. I got the Reuben: I'm not normally a Reuben fan because I don't dig on sauerkraut, but someone suggested substituting coleslaw for sauerkraut. [After some research, I've found out this substitution, along with pastrami instead of corned beef, is called a Rachel sandwich.] I have to say, I am finally able to experience the delight of a [pseudo-]Reuben!

    We each packed up at least half of our dinner, split a piece of cherry cheesecake and left happy. Our waitress, Joyce, was great- I want to be her when I grow up! I am counting the minutes until I get to eat the rest of my sandwich for lunch! It's on the counter, warming up to room temperature now!
  • Post #16 - June 23rd, 2011, 4:28 am
    Post #16 - June 23rd, 2011, 4:28 am Post #16 - June 23rd, 2011, 4:28 am
    Will those of you who think the Omega is overrated kindly recommend better places where you can get similar food after midnight? Or even after 10 p.m. in the suburbs?

    I'm sure there are plenty of people who go to the Omega when other nearby restaurants are open, but I almost never do. (Back when Jack's was still open late, I still preferred Omega, in part because the service was so much better.) There is a Korean restaurant open late (not sure of their exact closing time) in the same mall, but it was unfriendly and not very good on my one visit and they have karaoke besides.

    I don't necessarily hold all-night restaurants to the same standard as early-closing places, although I think some dishes at Omega hold up to that benchmark. As I said in my original post, the menu -- as is typical of places with huge menus -- can be hit or miss, which is why I suggested that we share our recommendations. On my list to try now is Polster's rec of the Omega cheesecake.

    I think the only other 24-hour restaurants anywhere nearby in the north and northwest suburbs are Steak n Shake and Denny's.

    Pie Lady, have you tried asking if they'll still make the olive burger? Himself used to like it, too. Maybe if they get enough requests they'll bring it back, at least as a special.
  • Post #17 - June 23rd, 2011, 7:55 am
    Post #17 - June 23rd, 2011, 7:55 am Post #17 - June 23rd, 2011, 7:55 am
    LAZ wrote:Will those of you who think the Omega is overrated kindly recommend better places where you can get similar food after midnight? Or even after 10 p.m. in the suburbs?
    ...
    Pie Lady, have you tried asking if they'll still make the olive burger? Himself used to like it, too. Maybe if they get enough requests they'll bring it back, at least as a special.


    Look on this thread for some 24-hour places...I swear I'm working on the list! :lol:

    I also noticed that Norwood Restaurant has an olive burger too, and that's within walking distance.
    I want to have a good body, but not as much as I want dessert. ~ Jason Love

    There is no pie in Nighthawks, which is why it's such a desolate image. ~ Happy Stomach

    I write fiction. You can find me—and some stories—on Facebook, Twitter and my website.
  • Post #18 - January 30th, 2012, 9:48 am
    Post #18 - January 30th, 2012, 9:48 am Post #18 - January 30th, 2012, 9:48 am
    I was desperate for a diner meal yesterday, specifically one with soup, and I knew Omega had at least three kinds to choose from. I ordered the ham with raisin sauce and sweet potatoes for an entree (I feel especially elated over the meal now that I see "raisin sauce" attributed to Avec and L20 in my LTH search) with a salad (lots of actual green things in it!) and cream of chicken soup with focaccia for dipping. It was a really satisfying meal, and I have leftovers for lunch today; for the two of us, I think the bill came to $35 with tip. Not too shabby.

    My dessert, however, was some really bland chocolate ice cream. C'est la vie.
    I want to have a good body, but not as much as I want dessert. ~ Jason Love

    There is no pie in Nighthawks, which is why it's such a desolate image. ~ Happy Stomach

    I write fiction. You can find me—and some stories—on Facebook, Twitter and my website.
  • Post #19 - March 10th, 2019, 9:20 pm
    Post #19 - March 10th, 2019, 9:20 pm Post #19 - March 10th, 2019, 9:20 pm
    In Niles for errands this evening, I was struck by the urge for breakfast food. I hadn't been to Omega in years but a coworker mentioned it the other day and it was on my mind. After sitting at the counter, I read through the large menu and my mind did one of those locked up, screeching spinouts it sometimes does: breakfast is out, reuben is in. I placed the order for the sandwich 'deluxe,' selecting cream of chicken soup and fries.

    The soup was *alright*, sort of bland with a few grains of rice and similarly sized bits of chicken. It's uniformly white in color though I spotted about two dice-sized bits of what I think was red bell pepper. It might have been weird to squeeze lemon into a creamy soup like this but I would have. This isn't to say I didn't finish the bowl. A basket of breads with some butter was set down which I didn't pay much attention to but looked like a croissant, something in a muffin liner and some others.

    The plate arrived, not what I was expecting. Served open face, this is a comically large portion of reuben sandwich. The two full slices of dark rye were completely obscured by the sauerkraut, corned beef & Swiss cheese. For better or for worse, it was delivered with a serrated knife and I see why: this thing is completely unmanageable to eat as a sandwich. I ate one flat of reuben with knife and fork. The fries were ok, cooked to order, McDonalds in shape, size & appearance. Cole slaw is fresh, not too wet or milky. The most interesting thing is the ramekin of thousand island dressing offered. It is as pink as melted strawberry ice cream and I assume made in-house, tasted fine. I brought fully half of the sandwich home for later. Next time, I'll place an order for some rye toast to make two sandwiches.

    Service is great. Sitting at the counter which is near the back of the place at Omega, I was able to hear some of the staff talking amongst themselves and, suffice to say, it's nice hearing coworkers being pleasant to each other AND actively striving to do their best for their customers. There must have been 30 people working there at 6pm on Sunday.

    I used to go to Omega a lot more often when I lived, worked and attended classes (OCC) in the area. Some of the other messages in this thread aren't so hot and Omega will never be an innovative destination but tonight's visit has me interested again. It was at least 80% full when I arrived so biz seems alright. Video gambling available.
  • Post #20 - March 10th, 2019, 9:34 pm
    Post #20 - March 10th, 2019, 9:34 pm Post #20 - March 10th, 2019, 9:34 pm
    BrendanR wrote:The plate arrived, not what I was expecting. Served open face, this is a comically large portion of reuben sandwich. The two full slices of dark rye were completely obscured by the sauerkraut, corned beef & Swiss cheese. For better or for worse, it was delivered with a serrated knife and I see why: this thing is completely unmanageable to eat as a sandwich. I ate one flat of reuben with knife and fork. ... I brought fully half of the sandwich home for later. Next time, I'll place an order for some rye toast to make two sandwiches.

    Your idea of ordering rye toast to make two sandwiches is brilliant! I am going to borrow your idea when I confront a situation like yours in the future.

    Thank you for the pro tip!

    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 #21 - June 30th, 2019, 4:49 pm
    Post #21 - June 30th, 2019, 4:49 pm Post #21 - June 30th, 2019, 4:49 pm
    Post family wedding brunch at Omega, 25-people, grandfather of the bride picked the restaurant and treated. Service was slow(ish) but steady and no one but the octogenarians got impatient, huge selection of menu items, clean, friendly, open 24/7.

    I had a club sandwich, bride lox omelette, nothing I'm going to crave but I wasn't expecting Band of Bohemia brunch. Skirt steak looked very good, as did the burger, and both were cooked to order, stacks upon stacks of desserts, which no one but the 7-year-old ordered and he seemed happy with his chocolate cake

    Would I go back, sure, especially if someone else picks and is buying or its 4am. Would I go out of my way on my own accord, no, probably not.

    Omega3.jpg Omega Club House Sandwich

    Omega4.jpg Omega Lox Omelette

    Omega1.jpg Omega desserts
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #22 - June 30th, 2019, 7:10 pm
    Post #22 - June 30th, 2019, 7:10 pm Post #22 - June 30th, 2019, 7:10 pm
    G Wiv wrote:Would I go back, sure, especially if someone else picks and is buying or its 4am. Would I go out of my way on my own accord, no, probably not.
    Summed up perfectly.
  • Post #23 - July 1st, 2019, 8:42 am
    Post #23 - July 1st, 2019, 8:42 am Post #23 - July 1st, 2019, 8:42 am
    I think I'm on record as very much loving Omega, but it is a very specific and exact love. In other words, it's only certain things I love. These include the gratis muffins, the greek salad, the skirt steaks both Grecian and, what "regular"--I almost always go with Grecian for the salad, but occasionally like the regular for the onion rings--the rice pilaf, and the one dish Wiviott would probably really like too, and that is the deboned crispy chicken with crispy cottage fries. Dessert has to be the flan.
    Think Yiddish, Dress British - Advice of Evil Ronnie to me.
  • Post #24 - July 1st, 2019, 12:27 pm
    Post #24 - July 1st, 2019, 12:27 pm Post #24 - July 1st, 2019, 12:27 pm
    Although I am not a fan of this diner as the prices have gone up significantly and quality of product has gone down over the years. I do enjoy the following items at Omega in 1x a year trek to this restaurant.

    Sweet and sour cabbage soup - A very delicious soup when made right with Cabbage and beef pieces.

    Omega Cheesecake - Omega's signature Cheesecake is a combination of cheesecake, chocolate cake layers covered in chocolate ganache and chocolate covered strawberry's on top. Goes great with coffee.

    Dear Julie Salad - A very large salad by portion size with turkey, ham, and cheese. Goes great with there house made blue cheese dressing.

    Also the various omelettes are decent from my memory..

    https://www.omeganiles.com/menu
  • Post #25 - July 1st, 2019, 12:32 pm
    Post #25 - July 1st, 2019, 12:32 pm Post #25 - July 1st, 2019, 12:32 pm
    G Wiv wrote:Would I go back, sure, especially if someone else picks and is buying or its 4am. Would I go out of my way on my own accord, no, probably not.

    This is how I feel about every Greek diner I've been too so far up in Lake County. If anyone has a more positive recommendation for a Greek diner in Lake/northern Cook County, I'd be interested to hear it.
    "Your swimming suit matches your eyes, you hold your nose before diving, loving you has made me bananas!"
  • Post #26 - July 3rd, 2019, 2:38 pm
    Post #26 - July 3rd, 2019, 2:38 pm Post #26 - July 3rd, 2019, 2:38 pm
    Katie wrote:
    G Wiv wrote:Would I go back, sure, especially if someone else picks and is buying or its 4am. Would I go out of my way on my own accord, no, probably not.

    This is how I feel about every Greek diner I've been too so far up in Lake County. If anyone has a more positive recommendation for a Greek diner in Lake/northern Cook County, I'd be interested to hear it.
    Me too. When done right, I love these kind of restaurants. But so many seem to follow the same pattern of good but nothing special. Give me a 24/7 diner like the Peppermill in Las Vegas for the food.

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