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Mar 22, 2011 10:19 AM

Old Orchard in Skokie

I have a lunch meeting planned on a weekday, and need to meet ..... randomly... in or near the Old Orchard shopping mall in Skokie.

Any decent places to eat? It doesn't need to be fancy/formal. The person I'm meeting could eat sawdust and not care. But I really enjoy tasty food, of all ethnic varieties. The idea of eating in a shopping mall is not my favorite, so if there is nothing there nearby recs would be appreciated.


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  1. Ruby of Siam. It's about two blocks south on Skokie Blvd. from the mall. Delicious. Get the Khao Soy, and whatever else piques your interest (one-bite chicken is another one of my favorites).

    1. In the mall itself, there are some excellent places for lunch: California Pizza Kitchen, Maggiano's, Cheesecake Factory, and Frontera Fresco. I really LOVE the chopped salad at Maggiano's (I ask them to top mine with grilled chicken). Frontera Fresco, at the southeast entrance to Marshall Fiel... I mean Macy's, has maybe the most unusual good food in the mall itself, although the atmosphere is your basic fast food joint. DON'T go to McCormick and Schmick, as that location is awful; if you want seafood, go instead to Bonefish Grill, south of the mall on Skokie Blvd. There's also an Edwardo's for stuffed pizza, in the same strip mall as Bonefish. For Thai food, Ruby of Siam, pamiam's reco, is decent. I also like Thai Pavilion 2, which is on Church Street near Skokie Blvd, a mile from Old Orchard.

      1. Also right in the mall is The Bagel restaurant, which is (obviously) Jewish deli food. A local restaurant, not a chain (they have another location in Chicago). Reliable basics: soups, sandwiches, comfort food.

        4 Replies
        1. re: solon

          If sawdust is violin's companion's standard then the Bagel will be perfect. Otherwise, it's a one-star establishment (and I'm being charitable).

          1. re: ferret

            Oh, I don't think it's THAT bad. It's okay - not the best Jewish deli around town, and not a destination, but it's good enough if you're looking for a place in that area and that's what you're in the mood for.

            1. re: nsxtasy

              If a deli-style establishment can't pull off a decent breakfast then it falls off my radar. And their breakfast dishes are pretty much awful across the board. I'd have a meal in the bar at McCormick and Schmick's any day over the Bagel (and I agree with your assessment of M&S).

              1. re: ferret


                FWIW, I had breakfast at the Bagel one day just last month. I thought it was okay. Not great like Walker Brothers or M. Henry, but not dreadful (and nowhere near as bad as that lunch I had at M&S, which was one of those "worst of the year" meals).

        2. I am glad I am not alone in my opinion about M&S - whole heartedly agree with the recommendation for ruby of Siam and bonefish grill - if you want a bagel go to bagel country next to bonefish - it is strictly kosher so no meat but excellent bagels

          1. Thanks everyone!

            I think I will suggest Frontera Fresco or Maggiano's. If we can get off-site, I'll go for Thai.

            Frontera Fresco
            111 N State St, Chicago, IL