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Mar 4, 2014 02:45 PM

Need hamburger and Mexican restaurant recommendations

My grandson is now stationed at the Great Lakes Naval Station and will be there for at least a couple of more months. He is a native southern Californian and has some serious cravings for some of the food he left behind. We have a hamburger chain in CA called In N Out. They make the old fashion "greasy" burgers that are reminiscent of the 50's. They are fried on the griddle and not charcoal broiled or grilled. They have the usual condiments, tomato, lettuce, cheese etc. I would love to know of some places in Chicago or closer to his base that I can recommend to him. He also misses the good old Mexican food from home and also some of the local restaurants here in the south Los Angeles region.
Anybody know of some really good places that fits these two criterias?
He will be very grateful, I know. TIA

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    1. re: c oliver

      Not according to their website

      SoozyQ - I wish I could be more help. I know of good burgers/Mexican but they wouldn't be convenient for him from the Great Lake Naval Station. I hope that people in that area chime in.

    2. Burgers - Edzo's in Evanston has been widely acclaimed for some of the best burgers in the entire Chicago area. Evanston is the first town north of Chicago on Lake Michigan, so it's not exactly near Great Lakes, but it's closer than going into the city (which is roughly 40 miles from the naval base). Edzo's is outstanding for burgers. They offer a choice of flatter burgers smashed onto the griddle, or plumper burgers flame-broiled, and also offer a choice of ranch, grass-fed meat upgrades (although the standard burgers are excellent too). The fries are great and they have ten different kinds. Their milk shakes are the best on the planet. They get very busy during lunch hours. Unless they're half empty, don't grab a table until your food is ready; that's a rule. Closed Mondays.

      For Mexican, I recommend one of our creative, contemporary Mexican restaurants, whose cuisine offers a lot more options than the standard tacos and enchiladas. Three of the best are in Skokie/Lincolnwood, just west of Evanston (again, not close to Great Lakes, but closer than the city):

      Yolo -
      Libertad -
      Wholly Frijoles -

      I recommend making reservations in advance for Yolo (phone only) or Libertad (phone or Opentable). Wholly Frijoles does not accept reservations and they do get busy with long wait times, although you can call ahead to get your name on the waiting list.

      4 Replies
      1. re: nsxtasy

        Edzo's is a great suggestion and he can get there by Metra.

        1. re: lbs

          Correct. Metra is the commuter rail line, and Edzo's is a couple of blocks from the Davis St. station in downtown Evanston, on the same line that stops at Great Lakes.

          Inovasi is just a few miles from Great Lakes; if Metra is convenient for you, Inovasi is a quick walk from the Lake Bluff station, the next stop from Great Lakes on the same line.

          The restaurants in Skokie and Lincolnwood are not so easy to get to from Great Lakes, since they are not near any stops on Metra's UP North line.

          Schedules and more info for Metra at

          1. re: nsxtasy

            For Mexican food near a Metra station (and not all that far from Great Lakes), I've heard good things about La Casa de Isaac, haven't been there myself though.

            La Casa De Isaac Mexican Resaurant
            431 Temple Ave (near the Highwood Metra station)
            Highland Park, IL
            (847) 433-5550
            La Casa De Isaac & Moishe Mexican Restaurant
            2014 First St (near the Highland Park Metra station)
            Highland Park, IL
            (847) 433-7400

      2. Probably not the right vibe, but Inovasi, a fine dining spot in Lake Bluff (not very far) has a burger night on Tuesdays. Pricier than In n Out (about $11-$14 with fries, depending on options) but it's a big, high-end burger.

        1 Reply
        1. re: ferret

          Inovasi is a great suggestion. Note, they have a lot more than burgers; their menu covers a wide variety of food options, largely in a small plates format and is priced accordingly (i.e. moderate prices). It's a casual, bistro type of place. They do get busy during dinner hours, so it's best to make a reservation in advance. And yes, it's VERY close to Great Lakes.

        2. For hamburger he can check Charlie Beinlich's ( it is known for it hamburgers and cheeseburgers