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Feb 20, 2010 02:37 PM

Looking for an Interesting Sandwich or Notable Meal along 294...

So I have to be in Skokie for a bday party around 8-8:30, and I figured I might get some dinner on my way there. However, I live in the Darien/Westmont area, so I've got a long drive up 294 to Dempster, and I figured I might like to try someplace new.

I'm pretty open and adventurous when it comes to food, so suggestions are welcome. However, I'm eating alone, so I'm probably more interested in a remarkable sandwich, crazy good burger, or something else unique that can be eaten fairly casually. But I do make this drive all the time, so anything I don't try tonight I may try in the future.

Any suggestions?

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  1. Since you make that drive all the time, you're probably aware that it takes 30-40 minutes when it's not the prime drive time.

    There's a Portillo's right on Dempster where you can get burgers, Chicago hot dogs, Italian beef, etc. The same place has Italian specialties if you stand on the Barnelli's line rather than the Portillo's line.

    Portillo's / Barnelli's Pasta Bowl
    8832 West Dempster
    Niles IL 60714
    847-795-0600 Portillo's
    847-795-0700 Barnelli's

    5 Replies
    1. re: nsxtasy

      True, but I do Portillo's all the time, especially since they built the one in Willowbrook. I was looking for a more unique place or sandwich.

      1. re: bourj

        I don't know of anything for unique sandwiches or lighter fare like that. Everything I can think of in the area are sit-down type places - ethnic (Thai Pavilion and Ruby of Siam for Thai, El Tipico and Wholly Frijoles for Mexican, Ttowa Dumpling House for Chinese which I haven't been to), deep-dish pizza which takes time or needs to be ordered ahead (Giordano's, Nancy's, Lou Malnati's, Pequod's, Burt's), or nicer places like the chains around Old Orchard (Cheesecake Factory, California Pizza Kitchen, Maggiano's, Bonefish Grill, Corner Bakery, Panera) or L. Woods. Oh, and Kappy's Pancake House. And there's a new Mexican restaurant in downtown Skokie, called Yolo, in the space where Papillon used to be, and it's outstanding. But again, these aren't the burger/sandwich type places you seem to be seeking.

        Maybe Frontera Fresco, the fast-food/carry-out arm of the Rick Bayless group located in the Marshall Fie... I mean, in the Macy's store in Old Orchard would work for you?

        1. re: nsxtasy

          Nsxtasy, your knowledge of the suburban dining scene never fails to impress me.

          Frontera Fresco I totally forgot about; maybe that might be worth checking out. Although I drive by Kappy's almost every day, and I have yet to go in...

          1. re: bourj

            I just remembered another place that might be exactly what you're looking for. It's Patty's Diner in Skokie, and known for its burgers. But I think it's only open for breakfast and lunch, not dinner. See (and no, it's not closing).

          2. re: nsxtasy

            one small correction: ttowa dumpling house is korean, not chinese.

      2. Look up Las Asadas on Lee street in Des Plaines. Hole in the wall taqueria. Flame grilled skirt steak.
        Steak. Get the steak.

        1. How about the Pita Inn on Dempster in Skokie, just east (I think) of Skokie Blvd? Great Middle Eastern, informal (counter service), and the added bonus of their grocery store next door. And Tub Tim Thai in downtown Skokie ,4927 Oakton, is great. It's sit-down, but small and quick. I'd be perfectly comfortable having a solo meal there.