Thanks to everyone for the tremendous response.
As I suspected, eesh! going to class in a Holiday Inn in Wheaton! - I mean I'd love to be a tourist in Chicago but this ain't the trip.
Having said that, I'm off to Adelles for din and I'll think of you all when I'm getting pleasantly smashed and full of their (hopefully good food).
If you are ever in the Seattle area give me a shout and I'll clue you in to the hidden delights.
Thanks again, Jay Kaiser firstname.lastname@example.org
Now for the ps.
I grew up in St. Louis. My mom would take us 3 kids to Chicago on the train Friday night. We'd wake up in Chicago. I was only 5 or 6 I guess (1960?) I remember sleeping on the train was so cool. In Chicago we'd to to a restaurant. You entered the main door. All you saw was an elevator door. You entered the elevator. And it seemed like you were going down down down (like in a mine shaft) There must have been a rolling pictograph on the little window in the elevator window making it seem like you were going down a long ways. You entered the restaurant and voila'!
Can't remember what the food was like but the elevator experience was so neat for me as a little kid. Anyone else been there?
Another trip we went to an Italian rest. and I ordered the spagetti and meatballs. The waiter said basically, "what's a little kid doing ordering this grown up meal?" Well my Mom - bless her heart let it be and I at about 2 bites. Good times!
Now she's 85 and living in a nursing home in Tucson. Check out my facebook page.
Speaking of restaurants - my 2 delinquent nephews have 3 restaurants in Tucson. And that's another story. Google Vero Amore In Tucson and Noble Hops there also. Little stinkers!
Thanks again. Buzz me if you are in Seattle.
6161 Grand Ave Lbby 1, Gurnee, IL 60031
Thanks to everyone. What a tremendous response.
We like to think we are friendly in Seattle but you people take the cake.
I especially like the last idea, hot dogs, beer, chocolate cake.
I googled the mass transit directions and transit time to downtown - is that correct it takes nearly 2 hours to get there from 60187?
>> I googled the mass transit directions and transit time to downtown - is that correct it takes nearly 2 hours to get there from 60187?
No, although the travel time depends on where you're going in downtown Chicago and where you're leaving from in Wheaton. More specifically, you can take the Metra commuter train from the Wheaton station to downtown Chicago (the Ogilvie Transportation Center, where the French Market is, just west of the Loop). The ride takes 53 minutes for the local trains which run in non-rush hours. In the morning and evening, there are express trains that take as little as 41 minutes. You can find schedules on the Metra website at www.metrarail.com (The Wheaton station, and the College Avenue station which is also in Wheaton, are on the Union Pacific West line.) If the ticket office in the station is open, buy your ticket before boarding the train to avoid a surcharge applied when paying on the train. So that's 41 to 53 minutes for the train ride between Wheaton and downtown Chicago. But if you need to also take a local bus within Wheaton and/or go somewhere in the city other than the Loop, that can add to the travel time - even more so if you have a long time to wait between connections.
Once you're in the city, you'll take the CTA to get around on buses and on the el (subway trains, some of which are elevated). CTA information is at www.transitchicago.com To get around within the suburbs, you may need Pace suburban buses. Bus routes in and around Wheaton include 709, 711, 714, 715, and 747. For schedules and more info see www.pacebus.com There's a system map showing routes for all three transit agencies on the RTA website at www.rtachicago.com/downloads/Jan2011_RTA_System_web.pdf They all share a trip planner which you can find at www.goroo.com (In my experience, Google Maps sometimes works better than the trip planner, but not always.)
My mother lives in Wheaton and we lunch frequently . Some places we have enjoyed
Ivy Restaurant http://www.ivyofwheaton.com/index.html unique decor, as it used to be a church
Austin BBQ for a quick “fast food” BBQ. It’s counter service with some tables.
The Cellar Bistro http://thecellarbistro.com/ is upscale small, in-between restaurant and wine bar,
Muldoons , an Irish pub http://www.muldoonswheaton.com/ with good pub fare.
Sushi Mono for updated Japanese emphasizing sushi http://www.sushimono.com/
India palace restaurant is among the better Indian restaurants in suburban chicago
These are all located in downtown Wheaton around Front St. There are others over by Rice Lake Square, mostly chains (Macaroni Grill, Panera, Outback). There is Sushi House which is pretty good http://www.mysushihouse.com/sushi.asp... next to the Whole Foods Market. (whole foods prepared foods section is not as good as other locations). There are also a couple of Portillos nearby if you want an excellent Chicago hot dog or sausage – and they also have fish and salads.
Whole Foods Market
1101 S Canal St, Chicago, IL
133 W Front St, Wheaton, IL 60187
1206 N Bridge St, Yorkville, IL 60560
132 N Hale St, Wheaton, IL 60187
>> There are also a couple of Portillos nearby if you want an excellent Chicago hot dog or sausage – and they also have fish and salads.
They also have burgers and Italian beef sandwiches. The closest is the one in Glendale Heights, 2.8 miles from the Wheaton Metra station. (The ones in Downers Grove, Bloomingdale, and on Ogden in Naperville are all about 6 miles away.) www.portillos.com
I grew up & still live in the area... there are some very good options in Wheaton and Glen Ellyn.
Vietnamese: Luong Loi on Main Street in Wheaton. Nicely decorated, casual spot in Wheaton. BYOB
Breakfast: Either of the Egglectic locations in Wheaton (one in the downtown area & one on the southern area just north of Butterfield & Naperville in Town Sqaure. Has been our favorite breakfast spot for at least 15 years.
Breakfast, lunch or dinner: Honey Cafe in Glen Ellyn (previously mentioned): Have been there for breakfast and lunch - delicious! Many organic & locally grown items. Everything is made fresh there.
Burgers: Alfie's Inn on Roosevelt in Glen Ellyn. Have been going there since I was a kid. Casual, very reasonably priced, melt in your mouth burgers & ice cold beer!!!
BBQ: Have not been here as of yet, but Austin BBQ in Wheaton has gotten some great reviews. I've driven by it and have no idea how I didn't stop since it smelled so good! If it makes a difference, I don't think they sell alcohol.
Sandwich: If you want a quick sandwich, Shane's Deli in downtown Wheaton makes great sandwiches using Boar Heads products. Our daughter worked there years ago and brought home some delicious creations!
There's more, but it's getting late & I need to get up early for work!
Hope this helps!
201 W Wesley St, Wheaton, IL 60187
>> I've checked the drive time to Calumet Fisheries and it's an hour.
Calumet Fisheries is farther from Wheaton than downtown Chicago. If you're willing to drive an hour, then virtually the entire Chicago area, including downtown Chicago, is within range, with a huge number of additional possibilities. Keep in mind, that drive time of one hour will increase dramatically if it is during prime commuting hours (evening, roughly 3 pm to 6:30 pm).
>> Rye Bread?
Two places downtown have really good rye bread. Fox & Obel does a great ciderhouse rye. (It was recently named by Bon Appetit as one of the top ten bread bakeries in the country.) www.fox-obel.com And Steve's Deli does a great Jewish rye, although it's a seedless version, common at delis in Detroit, which is slightly different from the traditional one loaded with caraway seeds. www.stevesdeli.com For a traditional Jewish rye, I like the cornmeal rye at Kaufman's in north suburban Skokie (it's only coated with cornmeal on the outside, and is otherwise very traditional). www.kaufmansdeli.com Keep in mind that none of these is the dark Eastern European rye which was the subject of that other discussion at http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/112246 I've heard that some of the places featuring dark rye in years past have closed, and I'm not sure which ones are still around.
Adelle's in Wheaton is quite nice. Pleasant bar area, and good American bistro fare. It was featured on Check Please. For breakfast you might try Honey Cafe in downtown Glen Ellyn. Suzette's Creperie in downtown Wheaton is nice (even though the decor is a little fussy), and they also have a bakery. They may do breakfast as well, but I'm not sure. Do check Adelle's website, because I believe they were planning to move to another location in Wheaton. Sugartoad in far north Naperville is another option. And for some innovative French/ Asian dining, check out L'Anne in Wheaton.
I'm not familiar with Wheaton itself, but I've got the impression that its restaurant offerings are fewer than surrounding towns. Perhaps others here know of good places in Wheaton. Here are a few suggestions in nearby towns:
Lou Malnati's (deep-dish pizza, Carol Stream location is carry-out and delivery only) - www.loumalnatis.com
Giordano's (stuffed pizza, Glen Ellyn) - www.giordanos.com
Glen Prairie (contemporary American, Glen Ellyn) - www.glenprairie.com
Greek Islands (Greek, Lombard) - www.greekislands.net
Parker's (seafood and Neapolitan pizza, Downers Grove) - www.parkersamerican.com
Reel Club (seafood, Oak Brook) - www.reel-club.com
Mon Ami Gabi (French bistro, Oak Brook) - www.monamigabi.com
Antico Posto (Italian, Oak Brook) - www.anticoposto.com
Tuscany (Italian, Oak Brook) - www.stefanirestaurants.com
Hugo's (seafood, Naperville) - www.hugosfrogbar.com
Heaven on Seven (cajun, Naperville) - www.heavenonseven.com
Lou Malnati's and Giordano's both have outlets in downtown Naperville (which is closer than Carol Stream al least). Naperville also has Catch 35, a good seafood restaurant in downtown, plus Tasso's (greek food in downtown, not to mention Basil's a few miles west of Naperville which has very good Greek food). Parker's in Downers grove is good and Chef Paul's German restaurant in Lisle. Allgauer's in Lisle Hilton on Warrenville Road serves excellent duck breast and fish courses. Lots of place to try near Wheaton.
100 S Washington St, Naperville, IL 60540
>> Lou Malnati's and Giordano's both have outlets in downtown Naperville (which is closer than Carol Stream al least).
That last part is simply not true - not for Carol Stream and not for Glen Ellyn, both of which are closer from virtually anywhere in Wheaton than downtown Naperville. For example, according to Google Maps, the Malnati's in Carol Stream is 2.1 miles from the Metra commuter rail station in the center of Wheaton, and the Malnati's in downtown Naperville is 8.2 miles away. Similarly, Giordano's in Glen Ellyn is 1.7 miles from the Wheaton Metra, whereas the one in downtown Naperville is 6.8 miles away.
However, the Lou Malnati's in downtown Naperville is full service, whereas the one in Carol Stream is takeout only, so if you want to go to Malnati's and eat your pizza on the premises, you'll need to go to Naperville, even though it's further.
>> Naperville also has Catch 35, a good seafood restaurant in downtown
I haven't been to the one in Naperville, but I was really disappointed in a recent dinner at their location in the Loop. (We had to send two entrees back, and that almost never happens to us.) With such other consistently excellent seafood restaurants nearby (Parker's, Reel Club, and Hugo's), I would be hesitant to go to Catch 35 based on that experience.
I just spent part of 2 weeks in Naperville and went to Hugo's twice. Their Angus burger is really good vs their regular burger, we had it with gorgonzola and bacon. We also enjoyed the fish and chips, mussels and clam chowder. The martinis are more than generous and the wine list is approachable. The (new) Naperville location of Rosebud in the Riverwalk Plaza was great for lunch and I see they are quite busy at dinner, the portions were quite large. Gemato's on Ogden and Jefferson Ave. has some dynamite ribs and are a special on Mon/Tues. The wood fire grill there has an amazing smell as you approach and then enter. Lunch was wonderful at Greek Islands, I really missed that place after a couple years due to time constraints of working. You might also like Chinn's 34th St. Fishmarket on the cusp of Lisle/Naperville easily driven to from Wheaton.
They have extremely fresh seafood and have the manifests of the origins of delivery on the wall as you enter with the bill of lading from the airlines. On Monday they have a crab leg special and Tuesdays is a big shrimp special. They have these garlic rolls that come off a conveyor belt in the dining room that are then dipped in a vat of butter, dipped in fresh herbs and then sprinkled with garlic. We always enjoy that place and the menu is large and varied and has beef and lamb as well.
Recognizing your broad knowledge of dining in the Chicago area, I nonetheless do not think it reasonable for you to say that your experience with Catch 35 in Chicago Loop justifies your negative comment about trying Naperville's Catch 35. Two different places should be judged on actual experience, without casting doubt on one due to another's faults. We've been many time to dinner at Catch 35 in Naperville and never have had a significant problem. Obviously, I should not expect to be poorly served at Catch 35 in the Loop, but your experience was exactly the opposite.
100 S Washington St, Naperville, IL 60540
While it is certainly a matter of opinion, I would have to agree with nxstasy on Catch 35. I have been to the Naperville location 3 times and it is mediocre at best. BTW, Chef Paul's was re-named Bavarian Lodge about 10 years ago. They have one of the best craft beer lists in the U.S.
>> Two different places should be judged on actual experience, without casting doubt on one due to another's faults.
Given that they share the same name, ownership and menu, there's a strong possibility that they may also share any particular problems as well as any particular strong points. Maybe they do, maybe they don't, but IMHO there's a greater likelihood among a single company's multiple locations that market using a common name, image, menu, etc. I intentionally noted that my experience was at their other location, with the assumption that any reader would consider those comments with whatever weight he/she deems appropriate, in light of the different locations but common ownership. Anyone who thinks that the experience at another location is totally irrelevant is welcome to ignore it; those who disagree can think otherwise. I stand by my statement: "With such other consistently excellent seafood restaurants nearby (Parker's, Reel Club, and Hugo's), I would be hesitant to go to Catch 35 based on that experience."
I also stand by my statement that Lou Malnati's in Carol Stream is closer to Wheaton than the one in downtown Naperville. (The Malnati's in Carol Stream is actually right on the town line, across the street from Wheaton.)
P.S. dulcie54, thanks for chiming in about those other places around town. I was hoping that someone particularly familiar with Wheaton itself would present some appropriate recommendations, and yours sound great. I hope to check some of them out myself!