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Looking for any unturned stones in or near Gurnee

Fellow Chowhounds, please help. I've lived in Gurnee for 10 years now, and I've pretty much hated every year here from a dining perspective.

It seems like if you like Pizza, pub burgers and Durango Mexican style food, then northern Lake county has a few respectable options. Just don't go looking for any good ethnic or unique cuisine. And I don't think any good Chinese exists here!

So here is my request; I'm looking to see if anyone has any good non-national corporate chain recommendations (local Chicago only chains are OK) in the area, anything in a 5 mile radius is fair game.

So far, here are 4 worthwhile spots that I've found in the area, but I really would value any additions to this list that anyone might have, as I still know there must some hidden gems out there.
1) Backyard Steakpit - Grandwood Park
2) Rancho Nuevo - Round Lake
3) Mickey Finn's - Libertyville
4) Yuri Of Japan - Third Lake

Thanks for your recommendations.

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  1. Somehow I'm not surprised by the 0 responses to this one... I guess I live in restaurant hell.

    1. I haven't been to Gurnee in years...only a pass by on the way to WI. My parents used to journey out there to go to a place called Rustic Manor but I think that it may have burned down several years ago. Don't know enough about your zone to comment, but you might check out the Northbrook/Northfield area, there are a few good places there - lots of folks like Charlie Beinlich's for burgers, there is Prairie Grass, etc. I don't think that's too too far from you...also there is a Chef's.com store in that area - addictive!!!

      4 Replies
      1. re: Suburban Sandy

        Sandy, thanks for the tip, especially on the chefs.com store. I didnt about that. Yes I'm very familiar with the wonderful options all around and right off Lake-Cook Rd., yeah Beinlich's is great isnt it? I regularly roam that area in search of food, form restaurant row in Wheeling, to Buffalo Grove's Deerfields bakery all the way east to Highwood; and the options are staggering. Unfortunately the eating joy ride seems to end somewhere north after at Rt 60 with a few exceptions in Libertyville.

        I was just hoping that there might be something great 5-20 mins from home, instead of the usual 30-60 mins I seem to drive every time I want to go out.

        For those up who are far up north like me, perhaps you've also discovered that Kenosha, WI has some good places as well; Frank's diner is a one of kind 1926 original diner car in Downtown Kenosha, the owners serve amazing food and its totally vintage. Manga's Italian is very good as is the Stonewall Grille to name a few.

        Happy eating.

        1. re: abf005

          No problem. Chef's.com has a website and I would get registered on it if this is something you are interested in as they have a big sale twice a year and it is WELL worth it. How far are you from Wauconda? We used to go to Phil's Beach, and I thought that there were some good hole-in-the-wall places that served up some good stuff. There also used to be a Dog-n-Suds there - awesome Black Cows!! I really gotta get up that way one of these days :-) Sorry I can't serve up some finer dining options...aren't there any good, old-fashioned steak houses???

        2. re: Suburban Sandy

          what's chef's.com store is in the area?

          1. re: jenbluedog

            Chefs.com is a website, I don't see an outlet store. I used to go to a Chefs catalog store in Highland Park at 151 Skokie Valley Rd but I don't think it's there any more.

            Does anybody know?

        3. Ah yes, we all feel your pain. I personally am a big fan of Firkin on Milwaukee Ave. in Libertyville. It's almost directly across the street from Mickey Finn's and they share a kitchen with The Tavern. I really like their fish tacos and the pannini with smoked salmon and goat cheese. They have excellent fries that are always hot and crispy. The atmosphere is a little more "grown up" than Mickey Finn's, but I never hesitate to take my 14 and 18 y/o there.

          Our current favorite Mexican place is in Wauconda right on Liberty St. in a little strip center. It used to be Dos Hermanos, but it changed hands about a year or so ago and is now called La Cave. Friendly staff, great food and we always enjoy ourselves.

          Although I haven't been there yet, I've heard from a credible source that Sushi Masa on the SE corner of 60 and Milwaukee is very good. It's definitely on my short list of places to try.

          The Tribune has had very recent good reviews of both Opa (in the former Hamburger Hamlet space in VH) and Rudy's (Mexican in Grayslake).

          Finally, rumor has it that Rick Tramonto is opening a steak place in Wheeling. I know that's kind of far from you, but it's a thought.

          http://firkinoflibertyville.com/

          1. Dog and Suds in Grayslake (downtown)

            1. I'm in the same boat in Fox Lake (no pun intended). There are bars every other store front, but few good restaurants. Here are the ones I've found to be good in our general area:

              Country Squire in Grayslake (great brunches on holidays)
              Tony's Paisans Ristorante in Gurnee(excellent creative Italian)
              Cafe Pyrenees in Libertyville (pricey but good)
              Thai Noodles and Rice in Libertyville