This list is not all-inclusive.
Doubletree Hotel, 5000 W. 127th St., Alsip, 708-272-4223
Open all day to accommodate hotel patrons and the public, Allgauer's is casual yet sophisticated and with recent renovations it's lovely to look at. Choose from seafood entrees, prime steaks, chops and pasta dishes. The Sunday Champagne Brunch is an eye opening and palate pleasing experience. $$ Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily
Cooper's Hawk Winery & Restaurant
15690 S. Harlem Ave., Orland Park, 708-633-0200
Come in for fine dining and pick up a bottle or two of handcrafted wines from this Napa-style winery and upscale eatery. Diners appreciate wine pairing suggestions next to such items as a chicken al pastor stuffed mushrooms, red wine and mushroom short ribs, and a pistachio-crusted grouper. Stop in the Tasting Room to sample the latest wines. $$$ Lunch and dinner daily
8989 S. Archer Ave., Willow Springs, 708-839-8000
A lovely setting, extensive wine list, comprehensive menu and award-winning chef make Courtright's a favorite for diners near and far. In season, begin with a sautéed soft shell crab. Try the pan seared Alaskan Halibut or Australian rack of lamb. Sample the chef's creativity by choosing from the three- or four-course prix fixe menus. Be sure to savor a special wine from the custom-designed wine cellar. $$$ Open for dinner Tuesday through Sunday
1006 S. State St., Lockport, 815-838-5566
Located in Lockport's historic district, Tallgrass pairs its contemporary cuisine with a 110-year-old red stone and brick Victorian building. Under original gas chandeliers, guests dine on three-, four-, five- or seven-course meals. Selections include crisp veal sweetbreads, heirloom pork tenderloin, smoked Scottish salmon and sautéed diver scallops. Jackets are requested, jeans are not allowed and reservations are a must. $$$ Dinner Wed.-Sun.
808 W. Jefferson St., Joliet, 815-744-5901
A fresh and friendly spot, Truth serves up its own versions of comfort food classics in a contemporary setting. Choose from baked Parmesan-encrusted tilapia over arborio rice, meatloaf with made in house mashed potatoes and mushroom gravy and a hand-breaded and fried lobster tail. $$ Lunch and dinner Tues.-Fri.; dinner Sat.
Choo Choo Johnny's
20831 S. LaGrange Road, Frankfort, 815-806-9005
Cheery servers dressed in overalls and caps welcome families of all ages to this train-themed place. Toy trains come around the bend carrying orders of burgers, hot dogs, sandwiches and salads. $ Lunch and dinner daily
5406 W. 79th St., Burbank, 708-423-1523
10240 S. Kedzie Ave., Evergreen Park, 708-499-0022
14 Elwood St., Frankfort, 815-464-1007
14753 S. Cicero Ave., Midlothian, 708-687-1700
10154 S. Roberts Road, Palos Hills, 708-598-8881
17265 S. Oak Park Ave., Tinley Park, 708-429-1000
Durbin's is a local chain that offers comfortable, friendly surroundings and a menu filled with sandwiches, Italian dishes, and seafood and steak entrees. Its creations include stuffed and thin-crust pizzas and popular Branding Iron baby back ribs and chicken fried, roasted or barbecue. $$ Call locations for hours
9550 W. 123rd St., Palos Park, 708-448-8300
Soak in some South Side Irish hospitality at this Hackney's site complete with high vaulted ceilings and a quaint glass-enclosed dinner scene in the lobby. Hackney's is tops with guests who long for its famous hamburgers and crunchy french-fried onion rings. Other entrees include broiled orange roughy, steak and blue cheese salad, and a buffalo burger. $ Lunch and dinner daily
Max's Red Hots
1307 Hamilton Ave., Monee, 708-534-7590
Max's is a colorful casual eatery filled with kitsch and memorabilia. It serves Vienna beef hotdogs and polish fixed the old Chicago way. Side items include tamales, garlic butter fries and onion rings. A specialty is the pepper and egg sandwich. Try the 18-Wheeler Challenge: Eat an 18-inch Italian beef sandwich topped with mozzarella cheese, hot peppers, sweet peppers and grilled onions, one extra large order of chili cheese fries, and a 20-ounce milkshake in under 20 minutes. $ Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat.
604 Theodore St., Crest Hill, 815-723-9371
This eatery has been family owned and operated since 1933. Its trademark sign and logo is in the shape of a boomerang so "customers keep coming back." Merichka's reputation was built on its steak poorboy sandwich that's still a popular draw. Other choices include steaks, chops, and lobster. $ Lunch and dinner daily
200 W. 8th St., Lockport, 815-838-6500
Housed in the historic Gaylord Building, the restaurant matches its unique locale with American comfort food. Start off with mushrooms Rockefeller, stuffed with Pernod-flavored spinach and hollandaise sauce. Choose a comforting entrée such as pot roast or roasted turkey breast with sage stuffing. $$ Lunch and dinner Tues.-Sun.
Big Tuna Japanese Restaurant
13137 S. LaGrange Road, Orland Park, 708-671-1716
19951 S. LaGrange Road, Frankfort, 815-469-5189
Discover an elegant atmosphere complete with leather seating and earth tones throughout the dining area. Sushi creations include a sweetheart roll with tuna, lobster salad, mango and avocado and an angel hair roll with shrimp tempura, sliced apple and fish eggs. Other attractions include hibachi-style filet mignon and crispy duck. $$ Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat.; dinner Sun.
9650 S. Kedzie Ave., Evergreen Park, 708-636-8180
This popular Asian restaurant offers myriad dishes from three cuisines: Chinese, Japanese and Thai, prepared in three separate kitchens under the tutelage off three master chefs who specialize in their individual cuisine. The lunch buffet draws diners Monday though Friday. The Hibachi Steakhouse is a restaurant within the restaurant offering all the drama of this special teppanyaki cooking method. $$ Lunch and dinner daily
7122 W. 171st St., Tinley Park, 708-532-8883
An elegant atmosphere awaits customers with a yen for Szechwan and Cantonese entrees and an assortment of noodles, chow mein and vegetable dishes. House specialties include stir-fried beef, chicken and vegetables in a potato basket, Mongolian beef, scallops with Chinese broccoli and a meat, seafood and vegetable combination in a black bean and garlic sauce. $ Lunch and dinner daily
Fuji Japanese Steakhouse and Sushi
15132 S. LaGrange Road, Orland Park, 708-403-1580
With more than 20 years at this location, skilled chefs freshly prepare meats and seafood platters right in front of diners' eyes as they experience the steam and sparks of hibachi grills. Combinations include chicken, steak, and seafood. There are also sushi dinner entrees and special rolls. $$ Lunch and dinner daily
G-In Sushi & Grill
7140 183rd St., Tinley Park, 708-342-1652
G-In specializes in fresh hand made sushi prepared to order. Besides sushi, check out the spicy Korean sashimi salad, dim sum dishes of shrimp dumplings and meatballs, stir-fried curried entrees, donburis, ramen noodles and tempura dinners. $$ Lunch and dinner Mon.-Fri.; dinner Sat.
Ichiro Sushi Restaurant
15866 S. LaGrange Road, Orland Park, 708-364-1234
Within this contemporary Japanese setting, patrons eat artful sushi pieces, makimono rolls, traditional udon, bento box and combination entrees. For the adventurous, nosh on chirashi — assorted raw fish and vegetables over rice. Fanciful rolls include tuna, king crab and shrimp soybean sheet Holiday roll or the Superman with spicy tuna, super white tuna and asparagus. $$ Dinner Tues.-Sun.
Jewel of Siam Restaurant
9216 W. 159th St., Orland Park, 708-349-9922
Jazz music provides the beat for guests enjoying Thai food in a warm and relaxing atmosphere. This jewel shines with its seaworthy catches such as spicy catfish, deep-fried sole with ginger sauce and a special egg noodle and seafood mixture. Discover other dishes such as stir-fried meats with pea pods and corn, pepper steak and ginger duck. $ Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat.; dinner Sun.
Kitaro Grill and Sushi Lounge
1224 State St., Lemont, 630-257-2205
A dazzling array of sushi awaits you at Kitaro from sashimi to intriguing maki rolls. The Lemont Queen is avocado over spicy albacore tuna, cucumber, cilantro and jalapeno drizzled with chili oil and lime juice and topped with beet chips. Try one of their seafood salads — squid, king crab, spicy tuna seaweed or octopus. $$ Lunch Mon.-Fri.; dinner Mon.-Sun.
442 LaGrange Road, Frankfort, 815-469-6688
19215 S. LaGrange Road, Mokena; 708-479-9938
100 W. Illinois Highway, New Lenox, 815-462-6688
908 Wilmington Road, Peotone, 708-258-6628
Catering to the south and southwest suburbs, The Rising Sun delivers authentic Cantonese and Mandarin Chinese cuisine in all its locations. This locally owned chain offers a sweet and spicy crispy chicken in tangerine sauce, beef chow fun and walnut shrimp. $ Lunch and dinner daily
Sakebob Japanese Bar & Grill B.B.Q.
6210 W. 159th St., Oak Forest, 708- 926-9943
Sushi lovers come here to savor the taste and texture of this Japanese specialty in all its forms. Spicy sashimi salad offers tuna, salmon and whitefish with cucumber and daikon on spring mix lettuces with ponzu sauce and sesame oil. Roll names are fun, like the Super Viagra Roll — shrimp tempura, cream cheese, spicy tuna, gobo with eel, avocado, and tobiko topped with the house sauce. $$ Lunch and dinner daily
2941 W. 95th St., Evergreen Park, 708-229-2373
4959 W. 95th St., Oak Lawn, 708-425-8228
These sister restaurants offer a large assortment of Chinese, Japanese and Thai favorites in an intimate settings. Choose from platters of sashimi or maki rolls such as the Kama Kaze — spicy tuna inside and white tuna and salmon on top. Chinese specials include happy family, a variety of seafood paired up with chicken and Chinese greens. Pad Thai lovers will find their favorite prepared with chicken, beef or shrimp. $ Lunch and dinner daily
80 River Oaks Drive, Calumet City, 708-862-3438
A serene atmosphere indoors and out and a creative menu have turned this Thai restaurant into a popular spot. Start your meal with escargot or shrimp baked in thai basil coconut curry sauce. Entrees include a number of curries, noodle dishes and specialty seafood such as the clay pot catfish — catfish steaks simmered in a caramelized black pepper sauce. $$ Lunch and dinner daily
7208 W. College Drive, Palos Heights, 708-923-6467
This bright and colorful spot presents an array of Thai specialties. Begin with fresh spring rolls or gui chai — green chive dumplings. Tom Yum, a famous Thai soup, combines chicken or shrimp with mushrooms, lemon grass, lemon leaves, lime juice and rice. The tilapia tamarind is fried tilapia laced with tamarind sauce and crispy red onions. Brown rice is available upon request. $ Lunch Mon. –Sat., dinner daily
Bon a Pit
12200 S. Harlem Ave., Palos Heights, 708-361-9610
Dry spiced-rubbed slow roasted meats and seafood glisten and sizzle in this eatery's wood burning ovens. Signature smokehouse barbecued staples include baby back and St. Louis ribs, free-range chicken, beef brisket sandwich, and grilled tilapia with a citrus sauce. $ Lunch and dinner Tues.-Sun.
6945 W. 79th St., Burbank, 708-233-7427
15800 S. Bell Road, Homer Glen, 708-645-7427
12658 S. Harlem Ave., Palos Heights, 708-923-7427
16638 S. Oak Park Ave., Tinley Park, 708-444-7427
With more than 100 items on the menu from hot dogs to ribs, this locally owned casual eatery can satisfy any craving. Barbecue lovers will enjoy the 2-lb. full slab rib dinner with three sides, as well as pulled pork, beef brisket and barbecued chicken. $ Lunch and dinner daily
9100 S. Harlem Ave., Bridgeview, 708-598-2099
7830 W. 159th St., Orland Park, 708-429-7575
No need to wait for warm weather to enjoy backyard barbecue offerings. Salivate over familiar classics of pulled pork sandwiches, char broiled chicken kebabs, racks of baby back ribs and rotisserie chicken done in an oreganato or a barbecue sauce. Go for fresh burgers, Italian beef, submarines and hot dogs. $ Lunch and dinner daily
The Pit Rib House
9430 S. Roberts Road, Hickory Hills, 708-599-7576
A variety of meats are slow cooked over an open wood pit in this colorful and eclectic eatery. Check out the The Pit Platter with its generous portions of ribs, chicken and chopped pork or beef. Or choose from a number of sandwiches, burgers and salads. Bulk offerings bundle a number of items to feed a family for dine in or carry out. $ Lunch and dinner daily
Smokin' Joe's BBQ
6523 W. 127th St., Palos Heights, 708-489-1800
For those who want to go to hickory-smoked barbecue heaven, Smokin' Joe's can take you there. Check out the sampler platter including pulled pork, brisket, pulled chicken and ribs. Sauces come original, hot and sweet. $ Lunch and dinner Tues.-Sun.
Thom's Turkey Barbecue
4003 W. 167th St., Country Club Hills, 708-206-6060
Thom's keeps its customers health in mind by placing a big emphasis on turkey and chicken, while still offering barbecue pork and beef items. Turkey lovers will revel in the healthful grilled turkey options, as well as everything from Turkey spaghetti and fajitas to turkey meatloaf and tacos. Sides include green beans with turkey and dirty rice with ground turkey. $ Lunch and dinner daily
Blackberry's Pancake House
9536 W. 179th St., Tinley Park, 708-342-1005
Flip over to Blackberry's for its signature pancakes including its popular banana nut version. Daytimers choose other items such as its sweet stuffed French toast, frittatas and Greek Fetish omelet with spinach, roasted red peppers and imported feta. Lunchtime entrees include salads and paninis. $ Breakfast and lunch daily
Blueberry Field Pancake House & Restaurant
558 E. 182nd St., South Holland, 708-225-1982
Diners can eat their fill at this family friendly breakfast and lunch spot with its huge menu. For breakfast order up a stack of blueberry pancakes piled high with the plump, ripe berries. Or order one of the decadent egg Benedicts, such as the spinach, tomato and bacon. For lunch, choose the San Francisco Delight — roast beef, cheddar cheese, grilled onions, peppers, tomato and mushrooms on sour dough bread. For dessert? What else but blueberry pie. $ Breakfast and lunch daily
Chef Klaus Country Cookin'
8450 W 191st St., Mokena, 815-464-5005
Enjoy some down home favorites at this intimate spot. Biscuits and gravy, country fried steak, beef stew, eggs any style and super large sausage patties are some of the highlights. Enjoy some German influenced dishes like schnitzel. $ Breakfast and lunch daily
The Country Charm
101 Lincolnway Drive, New Lenox, 815-485-3996
A local favorite that offers "great county cooking and so much more," this daybreak café's friendly staff and down home decor are part of its charm. Clients come for the basics of pancakes, omelets, chicken-fried steak and the ever popular biscuits and gravy, as well as crepes and blintzes and specialties such as the crab cake Benedict. $ Breakfast and lunch daily
16952 S. Oak Park Ave., Tinley Park, 708-444-0880
Egg Headz gets cracking with its huge menu of egg entrees, pancakes, omelets, wraps and sandwiches. Creative dishes include a seafood Creole omelet, a breakfast quesadilla, green eggs and ham, a turkey sausage skillet, Mediterranean chicken wrap, and a Cuban-style panini. $ Breakfast and lunch daily
The Egg & I
222 Dixie Highway, Chicago Heights, 708-754-0909
7164 W. 183rd St., Tinley Park, 708-614-0909
Both these cafés serve a fresh American cuisine of pancakes, omelets, waffles, baked oatmeal with raisins and bananas, sweet and savory crepes, French toast, country-style meat and egg skillets, salads and sandwiches. $ Breakfast and lunch daily
990 N. State St., Lockport, 815-838-7225
George's likes to say it's always fresh, always friendly and always open. And that's true since this place never closes. Come here for breakfast, lunch and dinner and peruse a large selection in each category. For breakfast (or any time) choose a Santorini omelet with ham, green peppers, feta cheese, tomatoes and onion. Check out the biscuits and gravy or crab cakes Benedict. $ Open daily 24 hours
Kup a Joe Café
41 Old Frankfort Way, Frankfort, 815-464-0909
This breakfast and lunch storefront offers a number of specialties, such as the Down Home Benedict — toasted English muffin topped with sausage patties, two poached eggs and homemade sausage gravy. Popular skillets include the Santa Fe, a choice of chicken or sliced sirloin, peppers, onions, tomatoes, melted Monterey Jack cheese, topped with fire-roasted salsa. $
Lumes Pancake House and Restaurant
9060 W. 159th St., Orland Park, 708-226-0777; 12401 S. Harlem Ave., Palos Heights, 708-361-7744, 20594 S. LaGrange Road, Frankfort, 815-469-7530
This bright and cheery place always welcomes walk-ins with its tried and true pancakes, waffles, blintzes, meat and vegetable omelets and crepes. For heartier appetites, guests patiently wait for the restaurants' oven-baked pancakes, like the large apple that serves two to three. Or come in for a house-made soup, sandwich or a salad. $ Breakfast and lunch daily for both locations
Southfork Family Restaurant
14631 S. LaGrange Road, Orland Park, 708-460-9999
This American/Greek style diner gives out generous portions of breakfast skillets, burgers, sandwiches, salads, and seafood. Try the potato pancakes or check out the Greek offerings such as egg lemon soup, gyros, and Greek style chicken. $ Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily
7961 W. 159th St., Tinley Park, 708-633-7600
Diners come here for Irish and American fare such as a bacon peppercorn-wrapped filet, sirloin slices with Yorkshire pudding, beer-battered cod and chips, and Ashford curry — meat sautéed with onions and simmered in a mild or hot sauce. $ Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily
The Charley Horse Restaurant
901 E. Lincoln Highway, New Lenox, 815-463-1700
Famous racehorses are memorialized in this restaurant's winner's circle of burgers. The Triple Crown double beef burger hits the mother lode of ingredients such as bacon, chili, Thousand Island dressing and aged cheddar. Also, available are pot roast, fried shrimp, barbecue ribs and Italian specialties. $ Lunch and dinner daily
ChicagoBlu Sports Bar and Grill
19917 S. LaGrange Road, Frankfort, 815-469-2204
Come inside this swanky bar and grill to cheer for sports teams or have a family-friendly meal. Sample a mouth-watering menu of burgers, salads, wraps, sandwiches and martinis. The Chicago Fire burger gets its spice from zesty guacamole and jalapenos while the sesame chicken sandwich accents its Asian flavors with a sesame sauce and a hot Sriracha mayonnaise. $ Lunch and dinner daily
Cuzin's Tavern & Pizzeria
17704 S. Oak Park Ave., Tinley Park, 708-633-1144
Off the beaten path, customers come here for friendly service and familiar bar fare while watching sports or meeting up with friends over icy, cold brews and hot half-pound hand-patted burgers. Cuzin's also offers thin crust and pan pizza and sandwiches. $ Lunch and dinner daily
The Department Restaurant and Liquor Lounge
205 N. Chicago St., Joliet, 815-714-2280
Set in a historic building just blocks from Rialto Square Theatre, The Department combines a cozy and romantic atmosphere with an eclectic menu that will appeal to all tastes. Begin with baked crab cakes served over wild rice and topped with a creamy lobster sauce. Entrees include Department chicken — a boneless breast topped with spinach, plum tomatoes, artichokes, feta cheese and kalamata olives. Enjoy outdoor dining on the second story patio and live music on Friday nights. Every Thursday after work come in for a signature martini for $5. $$ Lunch and dinner Tues.-Fri.; dinner Sat. and Sun.
Flossmoor Station Restaurant & Brewery
1035 Sterling Ave., Flossmoor, 708-957-2739
Climb aboard in a relaxing dining atmosphere to peruse the beer list and dishes flavored with ales. Housed in the town's oldest rail station, diners can choose among such items as fried mini brie cheese served over Amaretto-glazed apples, a hearty beer cheese soup, a wheat ale beer battered cod, and a commuter's combo of a char-grilled chicken breast, barbecued ribs, and coconut shrimp. Each selection has a recommended beer choice. $ Lunch and dinner daily; breakfast Sat. and Sun.
Fox's Restaurant and Pub
11247 W. 187th St., Mokena, 708-478-8888, 9240 S. Cicero Ave.,
Oak Lawn, 708-499-2233, 9655 W. 143rd St., Orland Park, 708-349-2111
Fox's different locations offer varied menus with highlights such as Irish nachos, tomato bruschetta, angel hair pasta, filet mignon, prime rib, pizzas, corned beef sandwiches and an Angus beef paddy melt. $ Lunch and dinner daily
18147 Harwood Ave., Homewood, 708-799-4700
Located in downtown Homewood, diners come to Grady's for the family-friendly atmosphere, outdoor patio, live entertainment and eclectic menu. Sanibel salad is mixed greens, diced chicken, mandarin oranges, strawberries and pecans with crumbled blue cheese and poppy seed dressing. Choose a pepper bacon and tomato flatbread, a half-pound burger on a pretzel roll or bun or a lemon caper whitefish. $$ Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat.
Granite City Food & Brewery
14035 S. LaGrange Road, Orland Park, 708-364-1212
Signature ales such as the Duke of Wellington and Broad Axe Stout quench the thirst of visitors who come to this modern, spacious eatery and on-site brewery set with natural stone accents. Offerings include a honey rosemary filet mignon, grilled salmon Oscar topped with asparagus and crab meat, and spinach artichoke chicken sandwich. $$ Lunch and dinner Mon.-Fri.; brunch and dinner Sat. and Sun.
Harrison's Restaurant Brewery
15845 S. LaGrange Road, Orland Park, 708-226-0100
Come with a hearty appetite and choose your handcrafted brew at Harrison's. Go bold with a full-bodied Black Diamond Stout or the unfiltered and light fruity taste of Harrison's wheat ale. Pair your drinks with a wing thing assortment of chicken wings, seared goat cheese and Portabella mushroom salad, sautéed chicken Alfredo, jambalaya and a bone-in rib eye steak. $$ Lunch and dinner daily
2755 Black Road, Joliet, 815-729-0000
9545 W. St. Francis Road, Frankfort, 815-469-0500
With its high ceilings, warm spotlights and plenty of wood accents Jameson's is a cozy place to hoist a few and fill up on food. Enjoy a well-rounded menu of burgers and wraps, pasta, steak and seafood. Come summer, take it outdoors to the patio. $$ Lunch and dinner daily
Murphy's Pub at Palos Country Club
13100 Southwest Highway, Orland Park, 708-448-6550
Tucked inside the pristine green golf courses, Murphy's presents a flavorful Irish-themed menu. Light appetites might choose a mix and match of mini sliders and Reubens or a cup of Irish onion soup. Main attractions include shepherd's pie with chopped sirloin, breaded pork tenderloin, and fresh salmon with a dill cream sauce. $ Lunch and dinner daily; brunch Sun.
Paddy B's Pub
11969 W. 143rd St., Orland Park, 708-349-3077
This Irish pub and restaurant offers menu favorites of hamburgers, corned beef, fried chicken and white fish. Its house specialty is the 6-ounce Paddy cheeseburger accompanied with Paddy fries — beer battered deep-fried sliced potatoes. $ Lunch Mon.; lunch and dinner Tues.-Sun.
Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery
16156 S. LaGrange Road, Orland Park, 708-226-0021
This restaurant says cheers to its own handcrafted seasonal and specialty beer creations made on site. Brewery dishes blend in ethnic flavors such as lobster and shrimp tacos, a seasoned spicy 11-ounce top sirloin and hand-stretched rustic barbecue chicken pizza. $$ Lunch and dinner daily
Rokwelz Bar Meets Grill
11265 W. 159th St., Orland Park, 708-226-0042
Raise the bar with Rokwelz, which offers a variety of martinis, wines, draft beers and its own amber ale. Warm up with a bowl of house made chili or sink your teeth into a blues burger crowned with bacon and blue cheese. Other items include a chicken pesto sandwich, lemon chicken bow tie pasta and breaded and sautéed grouper. $ Lunch and dinner daily
Thayer's 158 North
158 North Chicago St., Joliet, 815-727-0123
Located in the heart of downtown Joliet, this American grill brings a taste of Columbia with imported wood and marble from the South American country to enhance its décor. Starters include such things as baked goat cheese and char-bites — pieces of grilled and seasoned tenderloin. Seafood gumbo is a signature soup and the house specialty is slow roasted prime rib. $$ Lunch and dinner Mon.-Fri.; Dinner Sat.
Tom Kelly's Chophouse and Pub
495 Degroate Road, New Lenox, 815-462-8420
This welcoming restaurant says that there are no strangers in its place, just friends who haven't met yet. The menu combines Irish-inspired dishes such as a Guinness burger and shepherd's pie with American casual classics of Buffalo chicken wrap, a po' boy prime rib sandwich, and salmon. $ Lunch and dinner daily
1375 Benton St., Crete, 708-672-5240
Charm galore is on the menu at Annie's, located in a restored turn-of-the-century house in downtown Crete. The Cafe serves homemade soups and sandwiches, and features daily specials and house-made pies. In addition, Annie's serves a light or full afternoon tea and offers old-fashioned fountain treats in the ice cream parlor. $ Lunch and dinner daily
Pickwick Society Tearoom
122 W. Kansas St., Frankfort, 815-806-8140
Based loosely on Louisa May Alcott's classic "Little Women," this tearoom provides a tranquil respite from a hectic schedule. Visitors enjoy a menu filled with black, white, herbal and oolong teas and sandwiches such as Professor Bhaer — a turkey and provolone treat topped with raspberry honey mustard on swirl rye. Full, breakfast, afternoon and dessert teas are available as well as tea accessories and antiques for sale. $ Breakfast and lunch Tues.-Sat.; lunch Sun.
Thanks Jordan Raw Vegan Café
928 South St., Lockport, 815-838-4626
This all-volunteer café is on a mission: To restore and promote good health through raw vegan foods. And all its profits go to support Hope Children's Hospital in Oak Lawn. Begin with mushrooms stuffed with pine nuts, herbs and spices. Like Grandma's Spaghetti is nut free sundried tomato marinara over zucchini noodles. The café also offers education on eating raw foods and classes on how to prepare dishes. While it does have set hours, since it's staffed by volunteers it is a good idea to call before you go. $ Lunch and dinner Tues.-Sat.
15417 S. Vincennes Road, Phoenix, 708-439-9951
Located just a few blocks from Harvey in the small town of Phoenix, the owners of Unity Café want to promote good health and thoughtful eating. It specializes in vegan, raw and some soul food, in the sense that the mac and cheese is made with soy to help people as they transition to a vegan diet. The menu features a variety of vegan dishes including falafel, tacos and seitan sandwiches. Enjoy a smoothie or a juice bar creation. $ Lunch and dinner daily
14438 John Humphrey Drive, Orland Park, 708-403-3663
This family-owned French American café attracts everyone from those seeing breakfast to those wanting a romantic candlelight dinner. Omelets and skillets reign in the day. Lunch and dinner specials include blackened chicken breast on a croissant, hunter-style chicken, honey-baked salmon with mango salsa and beef Bourguignon. $ Breakfast, lunch, and dinner Mon.-Sat.; breakfast and lunch Sun.
16154 S. LaGrange Road, Orland Park, 708-226-2286
Housed in a welcoming French style country cottage, Mimi's combines the personal service of a dinner establishment with the value of a coffee shop. Its varied menu contains French-inspired dishes such as chicken Cordon Bleu, roasted chicken crepe and asparagus and Brie quiche. Other choices include grilled meatloaf, blackened white fish with shrimp Creole and barbecue pork chop. $ Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily
Chef Klaus' Bier Stube
20827 LaGrange Road, Frankfort, 815-469-0940
Surrounded by authentic German memorabilia, this charming country inn offers diners hearty and comforting dishes, a wide beer menu and German music on weekends. Choose from pork tenderloin schnitzels, beef rouladen, sauerbraten and roasted herb-crusted snapper. Larger appetites can tackle special platters filled to the rim withbratwurst, knackwurst and Thuringer sausage. The Rathskeller Lounge gives lunchtime goers a pleasant, upscale treatment. $$ Lunch and dinner daily
Grand Duke's Restaurant
6312 S. Harlem Ave., Summit, 708-594-5622
Lithuanian food reigns here. Choose a combination plate to get a good sampling of the cuisine. The Lithuanian plate offers kugelis (potato and bacon dish), zeppelin (a football shaped dumpling), potato sausage and Lithuanian sausage with sauerkraut, served with sour cream and bacon-sour cream sauce. The stuffed cabbage is seasoned ground pork, beef and rice wrapped in cabbage leaves and topped with tomato gravy. $ Lunch and dinner daily
7844 S Cicero Ave. Burbank, 708-423-7679
Enjoy Polish and Lithuanian specialties in a festive casual environment that also serves breakfast. Sample traditional dishes such as cold beet soup, an assortment of dumplings representing both countries, blintzes, and Lithuanian and Polish sausages. Come for dinner and dancing on Wednesday night with the restaurant's very own Polish Band providing the fun in the adjacent banquet hall. $ Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily
Old Town Restaurant
113 Stephen St., Lemont, 708-257-7570
This quaint and cozy downtown storefront eatery features the owners' Polish heritage in traditional dishes such as blintzes, stuffed cabbage and pierogi. Added to this cuisine are other central European favorites such as sauerbraten, breaded pork tenderloin and Hungarian goulash. $ Lunch and dinner Tues.-Sun.
Peotone Bier Stube
306 N. Harlem Road, Peotone, 708-258-0800
The hunting lodge look and feel of this spot is the perfect setting for German specialties in food and drink. Sit in the lounge Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings to listen to some lively German music or enjoy the nice weather in the biergarten. For starters, try marinated herring or potato pancakes with sour cream. Large portions of schnitzel is a house specialty, served in a number of ways, such as Florentiner Schnitzel, topped with Bavarian creamed spinach and Jarlsberg cheese. $$ Lunch and dinner Tues.-Sat.
Taj Mahal Restaurant
14812 S. LaGrange Road, Orland Park, 708-460-5800
Diners who like meat or vegetarian dishes find many choices from this Indian restaurant. They can also come for daily lunch and dinner buffets. Entrees include tender lamb in a fiery hot sauce with potatoes, chicken cooked in a sauce with almonds, spiced cauliflower, peas and potatoes, samosas and fish curry. $ Lunch and dinner Tues.-Sun.
17501 Dixie Highway, Homewood, 708-957-1650
An upscale setting with lots of wood and a cozy fireplace, as well as a piano bar, is the backdrop for an inviting menu of Italian specialties, steaks and seafood. Begin your meal with baked herbed goat cheese with garlic chips. Choose a signature pasta, such as Hay and Straw — spinach and egg fettuccine with chicken, asparagus and mushrooms in a light garlic cream sauce. $$ Lunch Tues.-Fri., dinner Tues.-Sun.
2765 Black Road, Joliet, 815-729-3606
Barolo, an upscale eatery, presents fresh seafood entrees and made in house pastas as they are made in Italy. Inside a decorative brick dining room, guests eat dishes of fettuccine with beef tenderloin tips, pan-roasted duck breast with berry sauce, and spinach filled gnocchi in a Roma tomato sauce. Diners can spot celebrities, too, since it is a favorite of performers at Joliet's Rialto Square Theatre. $$ Lunch and dinner Mon.-Fri.; dinner Sat.
Barraco's Pizzeria & Ristorante
5740 W. 87th St., Burbank, 708-636-9594
13445 S. Cicero Ave., Crestwood, 708-385-2002
3701 W. 95th St., Evergreen Park, 708-424-8182
8915 W. 159th St., Orland Hills, 708-873-2540
18040 S. Wolf Road, Orland Park, 708-478-1500
Reaching far and wide in these suburbs is Barraco's thin-crust and deep-dish Chicago style pizzas. Beyond the pizza ovens, Barraco's broadens its large menu to include beef or spinach tortellini, shrimp Tetrazzini, chicken piccata and salmon Rockefeller. And it offers family favorites of barbecued ribs, broasted chicken, vegetable focaccia sandwiches and a variety of pastas. $$ Lunch and dinner daily
14420 S. Pulaski Road, Midlothian, 708-396-2333
Tasty food offered at fair prices is the mission of this family-owned casual spot that aims to create a family-friendly dining environment. Enjoy everything from eggs for breakfast to sandwiches for lunch and fried chicken, beer-battered cod and ravioli for dinner. If you're really hungry attempt the Meatball Challenge — a 10-pound meatball sandwich eaten in one sitting, as seen on Food Network's "Outrageous Food." $ Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily
12307 S. Harlem Ave., Palos Heights, 708-671-1657
Capri offers a cozy atmosphere with northern Italian fare. Entrees include shrimp with artichoke hearts and mushrooms in a garlic and white wine sauce over pasta and gnocchi surrounded in a four-cheese sauce. Meat choices include veal baked with eggplant and mozzarella and a seasoned half chicken with pepper, onion, and olives. $$ Lunch Tues.-Fri.; dinner daily
560 W. Lincoln Highway, Chicago Heights, 630-747-9480
Start your meal at this traditional Italian restaurant with a house specialty appetizer —medium hot banana peppers stuffed with Italian sausage and topped with tomato sauce. Other notables include the lasagna, butt steak topped with Roquefort cheese or garlic butter, and baked shrimp topped with crabmeat and mozzarella cheese. $$ Lunch and dinner daily
Ed & Joe's Restaurant & Pizzeria
17332 S. Oak Park Ave., Tinley Park, 708-532-3051
An eclectic menu, stone-baked thin crust pizzas and warm hospitality draws customers to this popular spot. Pizza varieties include a BLT, buffalo chicken and meatball marinara. Diners who want something more can check out the breaded pork schnitzel, flat iron steak or a Fat Boy burger with cheese and toppings stuffed inside the patty. $ Lunch and dinner Tues.-Sun.
427 N. LaGrange Road, Frankfort, 815-469-4187
For 35 years, this small restaurant has featured Northern Italian fare from pizzas to pastas to meat dishes, including its house-made Italian sausage. Items include a char-grilled and seasoned Italian club steak, linguine with clam sauce, baked mostaccioli, and chicken Toscana — boneless chicken strips with mushrooms, fresh tomatoes, scallions and white wine. $ Dinner Tues.-Sun.
40 Kansas St., Frankfort, 815-464-1890
Francesca's on 95th
6428 W. 95th St., Oak Lawn, 708-598-7007
12690 S. LaGrange Road, Palos Park, 708-671-1600
Perfect for a date night or family gathering, all Francesca's locations provide an ever-changing menu of Northern Italian selections of pastas, fresh fish, veal and chicken dishes along with fine Italian and California wines. Try rigatoni with fresh mozzarella or roasted half chicken flavored with garlic, shallots, rosemary and lemon. Or order grilled salmon with fresh vegetables and light seasoning. $$ Lunch Mon.-Sat.; dinner daily
Gatto's Restaurant & Bar
8005 W. 183rd St., Tinley Park, 708-444-7400
1938 E. Lincoln Highway, New Lenox, 815-485-7007
Gatto's encourages guests to "mangia, mangia" its Italian comfort food classics from family recipes. Its pasta section includes shells with vegetables, potato-based cavatelli and bowties in a red sausage sauce. Meats and fish include a sautéed boneless chicken with jalapenos, potatoes and carrots, grilled pork chops done Vesuvio style and sautéed perch in a lemon sauce. $$ Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat.; dinner Sun.
Isabella Italian Café and Catering
17211 S. Oak Park Ave., Tinley Park, 708-444-8555
A quaint white house named in honor of an Italian patroness of arts, Isabella showcases Northern Italian dishes. Main entrees include polenta-encrusted Chilean sea bass, rigatoni with braised sausage and a mixed grill of pork chops, Italian sausage and chicken breast in a red wine peppercorn sauce. Finish off with sweets such as an Italian strawberry shortcake with mascarpone cheese or a caramelized banana and raspberry terrine. $$ Lunch and dinner daily
1455 Ring Road, Calumet City, 708-868-4647
6616 W. 95th St., Oak Lawn, 708-430-7070
This family owned chain of Chicago neighborhood restaurants began with the matriarch Leona in 1950. A popular spot for deep dish and thin crust pizza, Leona's has a number of "old school" favorites including Calamari Lena garnished with sun-dried tomatoes, Romano cheese and marinara sauce and Sal's Scampi — shrimp, with herbs, butter, garlic, chopped tomato, onion and bread crumbs. $ Lunch and dinner daily
Little Joe's Famous Pizza & Restaurante
1300 N. Cedar Road, New Lenox, 815-463-1099
7976 W. 167th St., Tinley Park, 708-532-2240
Originally born in Chicago's South Side, Little Joe's planted its roots in Tinley Park to give diners Italian-American fare. Enjoy house specialties such as eggplant Parmigiana, sliced tenderloin in a wine sauce and angel hair pasta with fresh bail, tomato and cheese. Choose from a wide list of pasta preparations and meats such as steak Sinatra made with peppers, onions, mushrooms and vermouth. $ Lunch and dinner daily for both locations; breakfast only at New Lenox location
16111 S. LaGrange Road, Orland Park, 708-403-3366
Created by Scott Harris of Francesca fame and Chef Patrick Concannon, Ottimo features an open kitchen, a glassed-in antipasti area and Italian comfort food. Dishes include rigatoni Bolognese, chicken-filled cannelloni and fettuccine with mushrooms and sausage. Imaginative sweets include a Meyer lemon tart and warm chocolate brownies with chocolate gelato. $$ Lunch Mon.-Fri.; dinner daily
11255 W. 143rd St., Orland Park, 708-364-6700
16644 S. Oak Park Ave., Tinley Park, 708-444-0100
While customers know of its famous deep-dish, thin-crust and stuffed pizzas, this eatery's dining room menu features upscale items of lobster ravioli, seafood risotto, baked trout with cannellini beans and braised short ribs. $$ Dinner daily
14459 S. LaGrange Road, Orland Park, 708-403-9099
Sit down in a cozy dining room and choose from many Italian creations from thin and stuffed pizzas to full meat, seafood and pasta entrees. Try the restaurant's halibut almandine, a mixed vegetable Parmigiana, pasta with broccoli, garlic and bacon and a veal dish made with a light sherry and mushroom sauce. $ Lunch Mon.-Fri.; dinner daily
Parmesans Wood Stone Pizza
10235 W. Lincoln Highway, Frankfort, 815-806-1919
Emerging from a traditional wood-burning oven are hand-pulled, crispy, flavorful pizzas like the ones found in Italian trattorias. Too, there are enough classics to satisfy everyone with items of calzones, baked mostaccioli and shrimp scampi over angel hair pasta as well as signature creations of wood stone roasted pork and beef and sausage braciole. $ Lunch and dinner daily
17940 Torrence Ave., Lansing, 708-474-0425
A sibling to the quaint Popolano's in Chesterton, Ind., this Lansing spot carries on the same tradition of authentic Italian cuisine, as well as American favorites. Starters include mushroom caps stuffed with goat cheese, Italian sausage, fresh herbs then topped with marinara. Choose a house specialty — rigatoni pasta with spicy chicken in a mushroom cheese sauce. $$ Lunch and dinner daily
9135 W.159th St., Orland Hills, 708-460-9966
Growing up in Chicago, Ricobene's cultivated a popular item: a well-loved breaded steak sandwich topped with red gravy. Branching out to the south suburbs, it features this item along with Chicago style thin-crust, pan and deep-dish pizzas, hot dogs, char broiled burgers, and hot sandwiches such as Italian sausage, barbecue beef, and meatball $. Lunch and dinner daily
RoccoVino's Italian Restaurant
11255 W. 143rd St., Orland Park, 708-469-5600
RoccoVino's recently added Orland Park to its other locations in Carol Stream and Elk Grove Village. It brings the same extensive menu featuring pizza in all forms as well as specialty pasta dishes and a variety of chicken, steak, veal and seafood dishes. Appetizers include Misto Grigliata — marinated grilled octopus, calamari and shrimp. Pasta Roco combines mostaciolli with ricotta, spinach, garlic and onion in a white wine sauce. $ Lunch and dinner daily
17823 S. 80th Ave., Tinley Park, 708-444-0055
127 W. Main St., Glenwood, 707-758-5500
High terracotta, red and green-colored walls and roomy booths invite guests to dine on familiar Italian dishes. Look for portobello ravioli, cheese tortellini, sausage stromboli sandwich, thin and pan crust pizzas, barbecue ribs, soups and salads. $ Lunch and dinner Mon.-Fri.; dinner Sat. and Sun.
3760 Chicago Road, Steger, 708-755-7200
Soft lighting, warm colors and white tablecloths set the stage for a variety of Italian dishes, including authentic hard to find specialties. La trippa, is tripe cooked in red gravy until just tender. Chippino is its version of a seafood stew with shrimp, mussels, cod, clams and calamari in red sauce over linguine or try the steak served over tender Italian greens. You can start your day here, too, with a breakfast frittata. $$ Breakfast, lunch and dinner Tues.-Sun; lunch and dinner Mon.
195 S. State St., Manhattan, 815-478-0000
4830 Court St., Monee, 708-534-0000
Sicilian Joe's started out with pizza using family recipes inherited from "Sicilian" Joe's Palermo, Italy, ancestors. The eatery soon added pastas, appetizers, and sandwiches. The Tower of Pizza combines two staples: pizza and pasta with sliced meatballs and cheese. $ Lunch and dinner Tues.-Sat; dinner Sun.
15601 S. Harlem Ave., Orland Park, 708-532-2220
The culinary influence of the late "Mama T" (Lena Traverso) infuse this restaurant as it presents her original recipes every evening. Come for a casual dinner of thin-crust pizza and a salad or fried chicken with sides. Pasta entrees include chicken angel hair, gnocchi with a rich meat sauce and baked penne. Join in on karaoke fun on Wednesday and Saturday nights. $ Dinner daily; lunch Sun.
21016 South St., La Grange Road, Frankfort, 815-469-8353
If you're in the mood for a burrito as big as your head, head here. These large and inexpensively priced burritos come stuffed with a variety of things like chili relleno or steak and mashed potatoes. Check out the namesake nachos served with chorizo or steak. $ Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat.
9182 W.159th St., Orland Park, 708-873-1308
Locals come for refreshing margaritas, cold cerveza and hot authentic Mexican entrees. Staples include tacos, tortas, fajitas and many assorted combination and Mexican platters that have chile rellenos or rib eye steak. Other dishes include beef tongue tacos, shrimp soup and a potato chorizo burrito. $ Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily
9549 W. 151st St., Orland Park, 708-403-5585
This house is full of frozen fruit and smooth tropical margaritas and well-known staples of tacos, flautas, quesadillas, tamales and enchiladas along with other entrees of skirt steak and chile rellenos and chicken in a rich creamy mole sauce with a beef flauta. $ Lunch and dinner daily
El Cortez Mexican Restaurant
10128 191st St., Mokena, 708-478-7766
El Cortez's brick ranchero restaurant houses authentic Mexican cooking and hospitality. Familiar dishes of tacos, enchiladas and tostadas reside here along with warm, rustic chips and salsa. Specialties include a fresh and creamy guacamole, steak and chicken and combination plates. $ Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily
Friaco's Mexican Restaurant and Cantina
1121 Essington Road, Joliet, 815-730-3370
The diverse menu features family recipes that have been handed down for generation, as well as contemporary favorites. Enjoy such traditional dishes as carnitas, tamales and carne asada against a backdrop of colorfully painted wooden tables imported from Mexico. $ Lunch and dinner daily
Front Street Cantina
319 Front St., Lemont, 630-312-8636
This is a sister restaurant to those in Geneva, Naperville, Plainfield and Wheaton and just like its siblings it keeps the focus on authentic Mexican cuisine with a touch of Tex. Enjoy one of its signature margaritas with popular items such as fajitas, shrimp ranchero, steak enchiladas and tamales. $ Lunch and dinner daily
La Mex Restaurant
3157 W. Jefferson St., Joliet, 815-729-2686
8600 W. 159th St., Orland Park, 708-349-8339
La Mex livens up its atmosphere with serenading mariachis and authentic standards of carne asada, pork in a chili verde sauce, tacos and burritos. Try its various enchiladas or special combination dinners with quesadillas, chile rellenos, enchiladas, tacos and tostadas. $ Lunch and dinner daily
12947 S. Western Ave., Blue Island, 708-293-1505
Inspired by the simple foods of street vendors in Mexico City and Guadalajara, this family-owned eatery features more than 11 salsas used to flavor its dishes — some hot, some mild, some red, some green. Food is served all day. The menu reflects many regions and is evident in such dishes as Carne en su Jugo — beef stew with bacon, onion, beans, and green salsa. $ Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily
Al Bawadi Grill
7216 W. 87th St., Bridgeview, 708-599-1999
Diners flock here for mesquite wood grilled items including kebabs, lamb chops and quail. Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, start your day with a cup of Arabic coffee and hummus or falafel. Try the arayes with meat — pita bread stuffed with minced beef, lamb, parsley and spices. $$ Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily
Fattoush Chicago Restaurant
10700 S. Harlem Ave., Worth, 708-571-9999
A contemporary setting is the backdrop for such dishes as the namesake salad: fattoush made with toasted pita bread, mixed greens and vegetables. Choose from among Lebanese, Syrian, Palestinian and Jordanian specialties for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Be sure to check out the fresh juice smoothies. After dinner enjoy a flavorful hookah. $$ Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily
Shami Kabob & Grill
15222 S. Lagrange Road, Orland Park, 708-966-4066
This airy restaurant transports you to the Mediterranean. Enjoy hummus with fresh squeezed lemon juice, topped with olive oil or the Shami dip — fried eggplant chilled with chopped cilantro, garlic puree, and freshly squeezed lemon juice with extra virgin olive oil. Choose among several shish kebobs with a variety of grilled meats and vegetables. $ Lunch and dinner daily
Al's Steak House
1990 W. Jefferson St., Joliet, 815-725-2388
Opened since 1964, Al's has a well-known reputation among its locals for its daily hand cut char broiled steaks and fresh fish. Menu offerings include Oysters Rockefeller, slow-roasted prime rib, top sirloin butt, a Greek-style halibut, and pork tenderloin picante. Peruse through the generous salad bar. $$ Lunch and dinner daily; brunch Sunday
15905 S. Bell Road, Homer Glen, 708-645-4440
This eatery has crafted a menu of classic and creative dishes, whether steaks, chops or seafood. Classic Maryland crab cakes are served with mustard remoulade sauce. On the creative side, look to the shrimp Creole fettucine or the smothered rib-eye steak covered with sautéed mushrooms, onions and provolone cheese. $$$ Lunch and dinner daily
The Final Cut Steakhouse
Hollywood Casino Joliet, 777 Hollywood Blvd., 888-436-7737
With a classic Hollywood 1930s and '40s period setting, diners choose from a menu of USDA prime aged Midwestern steaks, rich pastas, fresh salads and seafood delights. Feature presentations include a surf and turf, jumbo prawns in a Dijon sauce, coriander duck breast and wild mushroom risotto. $$$ Dinner Wed.-Sun.
Glenwood Oaks Rib & Chop House
106 N. Main St., Glenwood, 708-758-4400
This big but inviting restaurant has an equally inviting menu. Starters include perennial favorites Oysters Rockefeller and shrimp DeJonghe. Steaks are plentiful but baby back ribs star here, baked in a customized oven, slowly hickory smoked and served on a patented metal platter. $$ Lunch and dinner daily
Jack Gibbon's Gardens
147th and Oak Park Avenue, Oak Forest, 708-687-2331
Since 1922, this local favorite has offered a large menu of steaks, chops and seafood. Start off with the popular stuffed mushrooms filled with sausage and topped with Alfredo sauce. Choose from Chicago strip steak, lamb, pork chops or roast duck on the meatier side, and stuffed golden Gulf shrimp and mahi mahi from the sea side. $$ Dinner Tues.-Sun.
Jenny's Steak House and Pub
11041 Menard Ave., Chicago Ridge, 708-229-2272
10160 191st St., Mokena, 708-479-6873
Steaks here are hand cut and sizzle with a house-seasoning blend. Jenny's signature steak is its blue cheese topped filet mignon. Seafood is prepared broiled, blackened, sautéed and fried. I Did it My Way Chicken is a half bone-in bird oven roasted, barbecued or southern fried. $$ Lunch and dinner daily
9530 S. Pulaski Road, Oak Lawn, 708-636-6800
15531 S. LaGrange Road, Orland Park, 708-403-2206
Grilled steaks star here whether the signature Flo's Filet or the bone-in Outlaw rib eye. Fish and chicken is grilled as well, such as grilled trout topped with shrimp and lobster or Sierra chicken — grilled chicken breasts with tomato basil salsa. $$ Lunch and dinner daily
Luby's Pub & Steak House
6657 South St., Tinley Park, 708-633-8240
Whether it's to grab a pint or a deluxe meal, Luby's has it all for customers of every age. Choose a pan-fried sesame crusted rainbow trout, grilled lamb chops or chicken and broccoli Alfredo. Luby's throws in comfort classics such as burgers, fried chicken and barbecue ribs for good measure. $$ Lunch and dinner Mon.-Fri.; dinner Sat. and Sun.
Mr. Benny's Steak and Lobster House
20857 S. Cicero Ave., Matteson, 708-481-5800
19200 Everett Lane, Mokena, 708-478-5800
Both locales have an inviting steak house feel and menus that focus on fine steaks and seafood. Begin with a house specialty: blue chips — potato chips made in house and topped with blue cheese. Feast on porterhouse steak, rack of lamb, or two-eight ounce pork chops grilled or Vesuvio or Marsala style. Seafood entrees include petite frog legs, pan-fried or blackened walleye and lobster tail. $$$ Dinner Tues.-Sun.
15410 S. 94th Ave., Orland Park, 708-364-9494
94 creates a relaxing oasis for those who enjoy sizzling steaks prepared in many ways and seafood. Choose from a 10 or 14-ounce filet mignon, coconut encrusted sea bass, Australian cold water lobster tail and a Cajun crawfish and andouille sausage pasta. $$$ Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat.; brunch and dinner Sun.
Outriggers Fish House
15917 S. Harlem Ave., Tinley Park, 708-342-2200
Outriggers plumb great depths to bring its customers fresh seafood flown in daily. The eatery uses Mediterranean flavors to season filets of red snapper, walleye pike and East Coast grouper. The menu also has steaks, spicy seafood jambalaya, sautéed sea scallops in a sweet pepper sauce and Australian rock lobster tail. $$ Lunch Mon.-Sat.; dinner daily
Princess Café Restaurant
502 Dixie Highway, Beecher, 708-946-3141
Since 1977, Princess Café has enticed residents from both Illinois and Indiana with its prime steaks and seafood. It's housed in a building that dates back to 1863 and was once known as the Old Stage Tavern. Meals begin with complimentary house made meatballs and a relish tray. Specialty hand-cut steaks are prepared classically in such dishes as Steak Diane and Chateaubriand. For seafood, choose from lobster tails and crab legs to lake perch and salmon. $$ Dinner Tues.-Sun.
Harrah's Casino, 151 N. Joliet St., Joliet, 815-774-2624
Inside Harrah's, this upscale steakhouse shows its passion for food with winning entrees. Beef dishes range from a slow roasted prime rib to 26-ounce king cut Porterhouse. Guests also find chicken scallopini and beef tenderloin tips. $$$ Dinner Wed.-Sat.
18201 S. Harlem Ave., Tinley Park, 708-532-0200
Creating a 1940s seafood house with modern touches, Tin Fish brings in the freshest catch with seafood flown in six days a week that can be prepared in many ways to diners' tastes. For starters pick some fresh-shucked oysters or a spicy shrimp cocktail. Select a Mississippi catfish, have it grilled, sautéed or cornmeal crusted and choose a crunchy three-pepper slaw for a side. Other offerings include sautéed frog legs or a pepper-crusted pork chop. $$ Lunch and dinner Mon.-Sat.; dinner Sun.
Chuck's Southern Comforts Café
6501 W. 79th St., Burbank, 708-229-8700
It's hard to pinpoint this casual dining spot with its eclectic menu of Mexican, Tex Mex, Cajun and American barbecue offerings. Oh, yes, and Oysters Rockefeller and southern Brunswick stew. All items spring from the creative mind of Chef/owner, and Burbank native, Chuck Pine. So, whether you're craving pulled pork, jambalaya, fried catfish, enchiladas, Chicago chicken wings or Mexican eggs Benedict, you'll be happy to pull into Chuck's and chow down. $ Breakfast, lunch and dinner
Dusties Southern Style Buffet
4012 Lincoln Highway, Matteson, 708-228-5500
Whether for an early lunch or a late dinner, the all-day buffet here features a variety of "down home" classics like smothered, baked, and crispy fried chicken, four cheese macaroni and cheese, and collard greens with smoked turkey. The dessert station offers brownies, pastries and crowd-pleasing peach and apple cobblers. $ Lunch and dinner daily
Maple Tree Inn
13301 Olde Western Ave., Blue Island, 708-388-3461
Maple Tree has the distinction of being one of the first restaurants to introduce Cajun/Creole cuisine to the Chicagoland area. Located in a historic building that dates back to 1890, the restaurant emphasizes authenticity and makes its smoked andouille sausage in-house. Specialties include Hickory Buttered BBQ Shrimp, bisques and gumbos and oysters served several ways including the Jambalaya Raw Oyster Shooter. $$ Dinner Tues.-Sat.
Paula Deen's Kitchen
151 N. Joliet St., Joliet, 1-800-HARRAHS
Housed in Harrah's Joliet, this is the first of the TV chef's buffet-style and ala carte restaurants north of the Mason-Dixon line. Highlights include build your own breakfast skillets, Deen's famous crab cakes, baby back ribs, mac and cheese and, of course, grits. $ Lunch and dinner daily
Sabrina's Family Dining Restaurant
17553 Kedzie Ave., Hazel Crest, 708-957-7280
Southern comfort is spoken at Sabrina's delivered in its hearty buffet of soul food favorites. Indulge in such things as smothered chicken, roasted and smoked turkey, fried catfish, neck bones, black-eyed peas and collard greens, just to name a few of its offerings. Save room for peach cobbler or banana pudding. $ Lunch and Tues.-Sun.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times