This is a little stupid. I grew up in the area and my family all stills lives in the area, but whenever I go home and ask for a place to eat, I get the same five or six places recommended. So, I'll be home quite a bit for the holidays and I want to find the hidden gems in the Kankakee area....the places I always get told to go and have many times are...
1. Brickstone Brewery
2. Blue's Cafe
4. Macino's Pizza & Grinder.
5. Arby's (yes, my family considers Arby's good food)
6. Monical's Pizza
7. Bulls Pit BBQ (which I freakin' love)
So, other than that, is there anything worth a damn in the area. Pubs, diners, pizzeria's, etc...any place I can get a good burger or slice of pizza works for me..
I almost hate to share this place as it is a hidden gem that only serves dinner on Friday and Saturday (Maybe Sunday?) but is worth the drive from Pontiac (where I live) It is called the Long Branch Saloon in L'erable, IL just outside Gillman which is south of Kankakee off of rt45. Everything I had there was perfect. This is just a dining room off of a tavern in the middle of nowhere (L'erable might have 200 citizens counting pets) but the food here is on par with my experience at Prudhommes Creole restaurant when I lived in New Orleans and Ouest where I just had two amazing meals in mid December. The chef grew up in the restaurant and went to Chicago to cooking school and came back home. He has several Cajun/Creole dishes on the menu as well as standard tavern food. Going with family is great because you can try other peoples food. I have had blackened catfish, mahi mahi, frog legs, and off the lunch menu a great philly. Hope this doesn't come too late for you to try it but if it does keep it in mind for the next drive. You wont whine about the little bit of drive either.
Funny you mention the Longbranch. My mom, aunt, and sister-in-law all work there. I eat there everytime I go home....just ate there this past Saturday night.... They actually just started serving a full menu on Thursday as well as Friday and Saturday. Every Wednesday is Taco night and the first Thursday of every month is Smelt/hogwings night. It just outside of Clifton, not Gilman. It's got a Clifton address, but it's probably closer to Ashkum.
I've been eating there since I was a kid and have been friends with the chef for many years. I think my mom's been a waitress there for 15 years now and I even worked one summer as a bartender after I got out of college.
I did a review for my blog a couple months ago. Your right, it's totally a hidden gem in an unicorporated part of Iroquois County.
Here are a couple of places recommended in other topics. However, if you're just looking for a burger or pizza, it sounds like they may be more than what you want.