HOME > Chowhound > Chicago Area >

Discussion

Depot Diner or Glenn's Dinner, Smoque or Honk Tonk ? Is Paradice Pup worth the trip?

  • 24
  • Share

Need some help and feedback on choosing the following restaurants. which of these is a good place to eat and if you had to make a choice which ones would you recommend over tehe other

Depot American Diner
Glenn's Diner
Taste of Peru

Smoque
Honky Tonk

Paradise Pup

-----
Taste of Peru
6545 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60626

Glenn's Diner
1820 W Montrose Ave, Chicago, IL 60613

Paradise Pup
1724 S River Rd, Des Plaines, IL 60018

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
Posting Guidelines | FAQs | Feedback
Cancel
  1. Of those listed, Smoque is the only one i've been to, but without reservation I recommend trying it. If you're a real fan of true BBQ that is. I'm not a huge fan of their ribs, but their pulled pork is wonderful and the beef brisket is the best I've ever had. They have great sides as well: baked beans, cornbread, mac and cheese, but the peach cobbler is for me, the stand out here. The peaches may be canned, but the granola crust is a thing of beauty.

    1. Smoque is the only one I've been to, also. If you like your barbecue in a dry rub style with a strong smoky taste, you'll probably love it. (I prefer the style that's frequently basted with barbecue sauce.) I thought the sides were just okay, nothing special, except their cole slaw, which was awful.

      1. In all my visits to Glenn's (and there have been many) I've only had dinner courses, which are consistently good. My wife is a big fan of all-you-can-eat crab legs night. Glenn's ain't cheap for fish but it's a good value and I can't think of anything else in that area that can compete.

        1. If I wanted a simple seafood entree (fish more so than crustacean), Glenn's would be one of the first places I would choose. It's not inexpensive but it is one of the better values for seafood restaurants in Chicago.

          Depot is more of the typical diner, and everything is freshly made. Their pot roast sandwich is one of the best sandwiches in Chicago. Hours can occasionally be erratic, so be sure to call.

          Both Smoque and Honky-Tonk, IMO, are better for brisket and pulled-pork than ribs, altho Honky-Tonk is one of the few places in Chi where you can get bbq'd beef ribs on occasion. I haven't tried them, but they sure look good.

          5 Replies
          1. re: jbw

            I find it interesting that no one has commented on The Depot or Taste of Peru

            -----
            Taste of Peru
            6545 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60626

            1. re: coachrbc

              In the post to which you've replied, jbw commented on Depot.

              FWIW, no one has commented on Paradise Pup, either.

              Apparently these places have been featured on a television program called "Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives". Obviously some of them are not all that popular among us locals, at least not enough for very many people here to be familiar with them.

              If you go, let us know what you think!

              1. re: nsxtasy

                Paradise Pup has great messy hamburgers, char grilled hot dogs and super thick shakes. It's a tiny place run by two brothers on River Road in Des Plaines and is always crowded. There are a few stools inside and a handful of picnic tables outside. It's a pretty well know place through tv exposure as well as other internet food forums, yelp, metromix, etc.

                1. re: tonyg

                  Is waiting as long as an hour standing in line waiting to order worth it? Not for me, but I've done it a couple of times with friends. The hot dogs here aren't special at all ... you can have better at many places not requiring a wait. The draw to this place, as I understand it ... are the hamburgers, but they're not worth that long of a wait IMO.

                  -----
                  Paradise Pup
                  1724 S River Rd, Des Plaines, IL 60018

                2. re: nsxtasy

                  Makes me wonder how those show that feature local eateries choose them. I am always always surprised by what they come up with and rave about. Dive-ins and Dives, Rachel Ray's traveling stuff, even Anthony Bourdain. Good PR people? Payoffs? Easy to make arrangements with?

            2. Glenn's Diner has great fish dinner specials until 6 or 7 daily. The fish is fresh and the chowder that comes with it is the best I've ever had, and I'm from Boston.

              -----
              Glenn's Diner
              1820 W Montrose Ave, Chicago, IL 60613

              1. Paradise Pup is merely OK. If I lived very near, I might go if afflicted with sudden urge for a hot dog, but it's definitely not worth a trip. Nothing about the place was particularly memorable and, given the (relative) proximity to Gene & Jude's, why bother.

                -----
                Paradise Pup
                1724 S River Rd, Des Plaines, IL 60018

                1 Reply
                1. re: Masonville

                  People go to Paradise Pup more for the burgers over the hot dogs. I've been going there 15 (20?) years so they are not an overnite sensation. The burgers are addicting.

                  You can also get a char dog which is a plus for me and my preference over a boiled/steamed dog. Gene and Judes? You can have 'em...

                  Smoque is a yes too. The brisket is amazing.

                  -----
                  Paradise Pup
                  1724 S River Rd, Des Plaines, IL 60018

                2. I'm a fan of Smoque ... particularly the rendition of pulled pork. I'll agree with an earlier comment that the 'sides' there are weak. I go for the meat. I haven't eaten at Honky Tonk. I've not eaten at Glenn's, almost a couple of times ... but I've forgotten about it because almost all of the comments from friends who've dined there have been negative.

                  1. American Depot Diner - Big no! Indifferent service, very average food, miserable coffee and a filthy restroom.

                    Glenn's Dinner - Not worth a special trip. Decent enough food, but overpriced for what you get. No decor to speak of. Detached service. The only redeeming aspect is they serve Hoosier Mama pies, but with the tab for a single slice I'd rather go to Hoosier Mama and pick up a whole pie to go.

                    Honky Tonk BBQ - The food is good enough, the place has a great vibe and is a terrific value - plus it's BYOB. Go on a Friday or Saturday and enjoy some live C&W music. Added bonus: Pilsen is a vibrant and colorful Chicago neighborhood with lots to see (and eat) from the great old facades along 18th St. to the Mexican Fine Arts Museum nearby.

                    Paradise Pup - Chicago style char-cheddar burgers are what it's all about, Drippy, greasy, slathered with Merkt's Cheddar and toppings galore.

                    Smoque - Haven't been yet, but my niece and brother swear by it.

                    Taste of Peru - Haven't been.

                    -----
                    Honky Tonk BBQ
                    1213 W 18th St, Chicago, IL 60608

                    Paradise Pup
                    1724 S River Rd, Des Plaines, IL 60018

                    1. I haven't been to any except Taste of Peru BUT I'm going to Glenn's tonight! More importantly, I LOVE Taste of Peru. It's fun, it's random, it's tasty, it's cheap, the portions are enormous. Things I love: paella, lomo saltado, tamales (I HATE Mexican tamales. Peruvian ones rule. Get them.) Also, I love that the owner is a 7 foot tall Jolly Green Giant Peruvian. He alone is worth the trip.

                      -----
                      Taste of Peru
                      6545 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60626

                      5 Replies
                      1. re: mlipps

                        Call ahead! It can get crowded, even on a Tuesday.

                        1. re: Shaggy

                          ESPECIALLY on a Tuesday; it's all-you-can-eat crab leg night.

                          1. re: ferret

                            Thanks guys. I think I'll call this afternoon and make reservations for NEXT Tuesday--they were booked at 1:30 when I called yesterday, and I'm not brave enough to wait an hour! I'm shocked they're so busy for all-you-can-eat crab leg night--it's $35! That seems a bit pricier than all the rest of their food.

                            1. re: mlipps

                              Their dinner entrees can get pricey (low-mid $20's) compared to the diner menu but it's all very good. As for crab leg night, my wife is a huge fan and always feels she's getting a good value.

                              1. re: ferret

                                I've heard the same, people rave about it. Regarding the price of their meals, I usually go with the dinner special, which is 2 fillets of fish (I like the trout), a side, potato and chowder. It's $15, and to me well worth it.

                      2. I love Glenn's. The fish is excellent, and despite what another commenter said about the service, I have had nothing but great, attentive service the four times I have been there. The last time, in fact, we had a few mix ups in service and the manager came over to take care of things himself, and took our drinks and our dessert off the bill.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: lulubelle

                          I really enjoyed Glenn's last night. I guess that the service is a little incongruous with the prices and the quality of food; it wasn't bad at all, but not as good as you'd normally expect when you pay about $20/plate. On the other hand, it was totally congruous with the fact that it's a diner. I LOVED my food (scallops in a sherry cream sauce w/bacon & mushrooms) and boyfriend enjoyed the all you can eat ribs, although he wasn't as impressed since we just went to Ribfest in Uptown this weekend. At any rate, I thought it was a great spot--there's obviously a reason it's always incredibly busy.
                          On a side note, if I was looking for a job waiting tables, I'd be begging at the door of Glenn's. The tips must be pretty good given the prices, and yet, the restaurant isn't fancy at all. Seems like a great gig to me!

                        2. Personally, I love Smoque, but as someone said above, not for their ribs. Their brisket and pulled pork are fantastic. Their sides are just ok, also said by several posters above, with the exception of their peach cobbler which I think is also great. The peaches I'm pretty sure are canned but their oatmeal almond crust on top is to die for!

                          1. I have been to Smoque and Paradise Pup. Both are good IMO.

                            Smoque's baby back ribs and pulled pork are fabulous. Their fresh cut fries are good too, but the rest of the sides are just okay. We have started to order ala carte because it's all about the meat. It's BYOB and they always manage to squeeze your party in even though the lines get long. We try to go at off peak times just for more elbow room.

                            Paradise Pup has been a favorite of people in the area - way before DDD ever went there. I highly recommend the merkts cheddar burger and the cheese (also merkts) fries. I dont know that I would wait in that kind of line for any hot dog - but when you get a craving for a juicy char broiled burger with fresh toppings, it can't be beat. I have heard their Italian Beef is good, but if I am going there, it is to get a burger. It is cash only, there is no room to sit, they close early and parking is lousy - but they get a steady stream of business for good reason. Is it the best burger I ever had? No, but it is the best "fast food" style burger without a doubt. I heard their shakes are great too - but never have room. Try it....go for an early 11-ish or late 2-ish lunch.

                            -----
                            Paradise Pup
                            1724 S River Rd, Des Plaines, IL 60018