LTH Home

P&S Restaurant: classic coffee shop/diner, extra nicenes

P&S Restaurant: classic coffee shop/diner, extra nicenes
  • Forum HomePost Reply BackTop
     Page 1 of 2
  • P&S Restaurant: classic coffee shop/diner, extra nicenes

    Post #1 - April 18th, 2008, 4:18 pm
    Post #1 - April 18th, 2008, 4:18 pm Post #1 - April 18th, 2008, 4:18 pm
    I don't want to overstate here, because the food is what it is (and what it should be)---no more, no less. But the whole is more than the sum of the parts.

    Located on the northeast corner of the intersection at Touhy and Western, it looks like a million others: an old, heavy sign that once lit up hangs over the door, the windows have fairly primitive signage regarding breakfast all day, etc.

    Inside you have your counter with round vinyl covered stools and then your booths in dark red/maroon vinyl with the little juke box in each one.

    The grillman does his thing just north of the counter but sort of walled off by a higher than normal partition, so only his head is visible and you are deprived of the theatre of watching a short-order guy work, which I miss.

    I've been in about 3 times now, always in conjunction with visits to my GP a half block down Touhy. Both the quality and the firendliness are absolutely consistent.

    The menu is the standard large laminated list of eggs, omelets, sandwiches, etc.

    However, the justifiably breathless young man who greets you (and also takes orders for the whole room--counter and booths--buses, and cashiers) is truly glad to see you. You are greeted immediately. Seated immediately. Get your menu. Get asked if you want coffee right away. (Of course it's that thin, coffeeshop classic from Superior, but what else?) He stops by to make sure everything is OK after you're served, and apologizes for delays I don't even notice. All this should not be exceptional, but how many places don't do it? Or don't do it with genuine warmth?

    The floors and surfaces are absolutely clean, and there are a few copies of the Sun-Times scattered around so you don't have to pop for your own.

    The food comes out fast and hot in generous portions. It's not miraculous, not apotheosized, transmogrified, or ready to make folks forget the glory of Edgebrook Diner, et. al., but it is just what it should be.
    Omelets are flat, made-on-the-grill style, but not dry. Hash browns are shredded and probably started out frozen, but they get a nice brown crunch on the grill, and they are happy to give them a bit more of the same treatment if you ask.

    This morning they really warmed my heart. Usually I go for a standard omelet or scramble right off the menu. Today, noting that the cook looked Latino and that there was a small section of the menu devoted to Mexican and Southwest things, I decided to go that route.

    Their Huevos a la Mexicana was described as a scramble with jalapeno, tomato, and onion. I asked if I could get some chorizo thrown in there as well. Mine host said sure and stuck the order on the carousel. When the cook got it, he came charging out from behind the grill area and with no prelude, directed a torrent of Spanish at me which my rusty Kitchen Spanish 101 brain was able to decipher as wanting to confirm that I wanted my chorizo scrambled in with the rest, not as a side. (I guess he assumed that only a landsman would order that way, and never noticed that I look like a total gringo, so the Spanish just kept flowing despite my game but clearly non-fluent replies.) Either my genial, halting Spanish, or just the fact that I did, indeed, want the chorizo mixed in seemed to get him thoroughly goosed.

    I was expecting a scramble seasoned with some sausage. What appeared before me a few minutes later was about 3/4 lb. of meat, seasoned with some egg, tomato, onion, and wicked fat slices of jalapeno. The whole plate reeked of enthusiasm and generosity of spirit.

    The jalapenos combined with the heat of the sausage was almost too much for me at 8:45 AM, but piling th bites onto english muffin brought it into line.

    In addition to producing this special request, he also brought it to the table personally and attended to my coffee refills after that.

    When I paid up I received the usual but startlingly genuine thanks from the young man.

    There is nothing going on there to cross town for, but if you're nearby and want a classic coffeeshop breakfast, go in.

    One note of interest that I didnt' have time to pursue: At the cashier's counter, posted at about knee level, was a piece of paper saying that they specialize in empanadas and Filipino food for catering. Oddly, there is no hint of this on the menu. I asked about it, and he only said that it was not available for a couple of months because the woman who does it is on vacation back in the Filipines. He did not explain her connection with the place, or why this "specialty" is not at all integrated into the regular menu. Guess i'll have to go back and ask more questions.

    P&S Restaurant
    7201 N Western Av.
    773.465.9413
    "Strange how potent cheap music is."
  • Post #2 - April 18th, 2008, 4:35 pm
    Post #2 - April 18th, 2008, 4:35 pm Post #2 - April 18th, 2008, 4:35 pm
    I spent a lot of time at P$S back 25-30 years ago. There was a very cut brunette waitress that I liked flirting with. And the food was always honest. Order a turkey club and get real turkey, not deli style turkey. And not upscale "generous hand carved slice of pan roasted" etc fluff. Just real turkey.

    Sound like it's the same today.
  • Post #3 - April 18th, 2008, 4:43 pm
    Post #3 - April 18th, 2008, 4:43 pm Post #3 - April 18th, 2008, 4:43 pm
    No cute waitresses, though.
    "Strange how potent cheap music is."
  • Post #4 - April 18th, 2008, 4:46 pm
    Post #4 - April 18th, 2008, 4:46 pm Post #4 - April 18th, 2008, 4:46 pm
    Well she'd be in her 50's now. Probably not so cute anymore.
  • Post #5 - April 18th, 2008, 4:51 pm
    Post #5 - April 18th, 2008, 4:51 pm Post #5 - April 18th, 2008, 4:51 pm
    midas wrote:Well she'd be in her 50's now. Probably not so cute anymore.

    Midas, I suggest you duck, and quick.

    Mr. Barolo had me at hello, but " What appeared before me a few minutes later was about 3/4 lb. of meat, seasoned with some egg, tomato, onion, and wicked fat slices of jalapeno. The whole plate reeked of enthusiasm and generosity of spirit. " tied the knot.

    P & S is on my short list, thanks Mr. B.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #6 - April 18th, 2008, 5:02 pm
    Post #6 - April 18th, 2008, 5:02 pm Post #6 - April 18th, 2008, 5:02 pm
    For 22 years, my parents owned a store a few doors north of P&S. Throughout my formative years, I spent my fair share of time hanging out at the counter and having an after-school milkshake, sundae, BLT, whatever when I got bored of running around my Dad's shop. Saturday mornings, whenever I was at the shop, I'd pop in for breakfast (I was fond of the little tiny boxes of cereal when I was a tyke).

    As a teenager, I graduated to their Greek chicken, but by then I was spending less time hanging around the store.

    P&S was probably the first place that I made a cash transaction without any adult with me (probably around the age of 7), and I think the waitresses had a hand in teaching me how to count and make change. I think I've logged more time on a P&S stool than in any other restaurant anywhere.

    They've since changed hands, I'm told, but I haven't been back in years. Thanks for bringing back some nice memories. I'll have to stop in for a milkshake and a BLT.

    Best,
    Michael
  • Post #7 - April 18th, 2008, 5:54 pm
    Post #7 - April 18th, 2008, 5:54 pm Post #7 - April 18th, 2008, 5:54 pm
    Well she'd be in her 50's now. Probably not so cute anymore.

    Midas, I suggest you duck, and quick.


    Dadgum right. The nerve!

    Anyway, thanks for the heads-up. I've wondered about this place for a long time. Looks like I'm due for a stop, as it's just a few blocks from my place.
  • Post #8 - April 19th, 2008, 10:11 am
    Post #8 - April 19th, 2008, 10:11 am Post #8 - April 19th, 2008, 10:11 am
    I lived for a while in middle school/freshman year around the corner on Ridge and vaguely remember going there in the mid 80's. That might be a perfect place to start my Sunday motorcycle ride tomorrow morning.

    Yeah, I bought a beautiful vintage Suzuki GS750, I will admit that one of my first thoughts was " It'll be easier to park so more trips into the city" :)
    I used to think the brain was the most important part of the body. Then I realized who was telling me that.
  • Post #9 - April 19th, 2008, 10:55 am
    Post #9 - April 19th, 2008, 10:55 am Post #9 - April 19th, 2008, 10:55 am
    Eat to live
    Live to ride
    Ride to eat!

    I wonder how many vintage moto owners are on LTH?

    grace


    Octarine wrote:Yeah, I bought a beautiful vintage Suzuki GS750, I will admit that one of my first thoughts was " It'll be easier to park so more trips into the city" :)
  • Post #10 - April 19th, 2008, 11:16 am
    Post #10 - April 19th, 2008, 11:16 am Post #10 - April 19th, 2008, 11:16 am
    I'll probably be there early, Claire has a volleyball tourney at Howard and Caldwell

    Check out pics of the new ride here.

    Oh, Grace I know you very vaguely from 2stroke buzz. I have a Honda Elite 150 that I am going to be putting up for sale very soon and I was at Slaughterhouse last year.
    I used to think the brain was the most important part of the body. Then I realized who was telling me that.
  • Post #11 - April 27th, 2008, 5:08 pm
    Post #11 - April 27th, 2008, 5:08 pm Post #11 - April 27th, 2008, 5:08 pm
    We attempted to stop by here this morning before church, but alas, they were closed. Since we just cruised by on a wave of sadness and didn't stop to look at the hours, I don't know if they open late on Sundays or not at all.

    Speaking of a wave of sadness, I would not recommend that anyone do what we did and go to Mike's Place a couple blocks away. For the first time in my life, a restaurant made me wish I'd gone to the McDonald's down the street instead.
    As a mattra-fact, Pie Face, you are beginning to look almost human. - Barbara Bennett
  • Post #12 - April 30th, 2008, 2:57 pm
    Post #12 - April 30th, 2008, 2:57 pm Post #12 - April 30th, 2008, 2:57 pm
    mrbarolo wrote:Located on the northeast corner of the intersection at Touhy and Western, it looks like a million others: an old, heavy sign that once lit up hangs over the door, the windows have fairly primitive signage regarding breakfast all day, etc.

    Image

    mrbarolo wrote:There is nothing going on there to cross town for, but if you're nearby and want a classic coffeeshop breakfast, go in.

    Mr. B,

    Very enjoyable late morning breakfast, perfectly done eggs, hash browns with requested onions and jalapenos came crisp, rye toast was standard issue, coffee replenished often, and with a smile. Only miscue was my side order of chorizo, way too salty for this somewhat salt adverse fellow, knew I should have gone with link sausage.

    Hash browns, over easy, chorizo
    Image

    P & S Hash Browns w/onion and jalapeno
    Image

    P & S Restaurant
    Image

    Nice recommendation Mr. B, thanks.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #13 - April 30th, 2008, 3:16 pm
    Post #13 - April 30th, 2008, 3:16 pm Post #13 - April 30th, 2008, 3:16 pm
    Nice post - thanks very much. I've gone past P&S many times but I'll stop in soon.

    Suzy Creamcheese wrote:Speaking of a wave of sadness, I would not recommend that anyone do what we did and go to Mike's Place a couple blocks away. For the first time in my life, a restaurant made me wish I'd gone to the McDonald's down the street instead.


    How true! When I visit Jesse's Mexican Grill on Western (my favorite Mexican food near my home) I watch an endless supply of neighborhood folks and Chicago cops go into into Mike's Place. One day I thought I would check it out - I was expecting a diner of some sort. It wasn't a diner - it's a counter you order at and go sit down sort of place. They didn't appear to specialize in anything and the vibe wasn't encouraging. I again went to Jesse's instead.

    Jesse's Mexican Grill
    6950 N. Western
    Did you know there is an LTHforum Flickr group? I just found it...
  • Post #14 - April 30th, 2008, 3:39 pm
    Post #14 - April 30th, 2008, 3:39 pm Post #14 - April 30th, 2008, 3:39 pm
    I've been looking at Jesse's hungrily for a while, but so far it's always breakfast time when I'm up there, and P&S calls.

    Doubling back and crossing parallel threads (if that's permissable), Gary: First, thanks for retrofitting my routine post with those lovely pictures. Were they taken with the Fuji f50 you disparage in the ongoing camera thread, or something else? Also, I notice that the lighting seems to change dramatically between the shot of the whole plate, and the close-up of the hashbrowns, with the former looking kind of glum and shadowy, and the latter all glistening and food-porny. Did you add flash, or fool around in Photoshop or something? Just curious.
    "Strange how potent cheap music is."
  • Post #15 - April 30th, 2008, 3:52 pm
    Post #15 - April 30th, 2008, 3:52 pm Post #15 - April 30th, 2008, 3:52 pm
    I know all these places because one of the best parks in the city, Indian Boundary, is tucked away on Lunt. Great sprawling jungle gym thing, even has a little zoo with swans, llamas, etc.

    Years ago, Chowhound days, I went to P&S, thinking I'd find a cool little diner place. The whole vibe was kind of elderly, and as I recall a hot roast beef sandwich had a weird cinnamon hint (as well as plenty of Kitchen Bouquet or something). Of course, that could be 3 managements and 28 cooks ago, so it doesn't really mean much.

    Mike's is an okay typical "Greek-style" burger place, except run by Koreans, I think. Nothing great, not terrible, unless you find all those places with their frozen beef patties and frozen fries terrible, which is a legitimate point of view. No better or worse than a million others. Always cop-filled.

    The ice cream place at the corner, name escaping me at the moment, serves Chocolate Shoppe from Madison (same as the Halloween place in Edgebrook) and is very friendly.

    Jesse's is by far the best news to happen in that area. Not a great Mexican place but a reliably well-above-average one, and bright and clean (some of my kids' playmates' parents do not have my love for grimy Mexican dives).
    Watch Sky Full of Bacon, the Chicago food HD podcast!
    New episode: Soil, Corn, Cows and Cheese
    Watch the Reader's James Beard Award-winning Key Ingredient here.
  • Post #16 - April 30th, 2008, 4:27 pm
    Post #16 - April 30th, 2008, 4:27 pm Post #16 - April 30th, 2008, 4:27 pm
    We have a regular Summer playgroup that meets at Indian Boundary to practice English and Spanish as well...sadly, though we often pack picnics, we almost always wind up at McDonalds. I've often professed love for the sweetbreads at Jesse's, but it seems a little over-the-top for a second lunch. I posted a while back on an odd experience I had at P&S a few years back, (which I mis-named Pat's) it would appear that this yet even newer management, though our experience there was overall a good one, if odd.

    On another note, I noticed that the former Fluky's had a Max's catering truck sitting outside it yesterday...I'd welcome a Max's II to the area; never liked Fluky's, and a good dog stand would be an asset to the park.
  • Post #17 - April 30th, 2008, 5:05 pm
    Post #17 - April 30th, 2008, 5:05 pm Post #17 - April 30th, 2008, 5:05 pm
    Mhays wrote:On another note, I noticed that the former Fluky's had a Max's catering truck sitting outside it yesterday...I'd welcome a Max's II to the area; never liked Fluky's, and a good dog stand would be an asset to the park.


    i believe the same people own Max's and U Lucky Dog, the former Flucky's

    so no Max II
  • Post #18 - May 1st, 2008, 5:55 am
    Post #18 - May 1st, 2008, 5:55 am Post #18 - May 1st, 2008, 5:55 am
    ChgoMike wrote:How true! When I visit Jesse's Mexican Grill on Western (my favorite Mexican food near my home) I watch an endless supply of neighborhood folks and Chicago cops go into into Mike's Place. One day I thought I would check it out - I was expecting a diner of some sort. It wasn't a diner - it's a counter you order at and go sit down sort of place. They didn't appear to specialize in anything and the vibe wasn't encouraging. I again went to Jesse's instead.

    Jesse's Mexican Grill
    6950 N. Western


    I tried to tamp down the bad feeling I had about the place by noting all the neighborhood people who were cramming in. I can only come to the conclusion that a certain amount of Rogers Parkers are affected by a bizarre brain-wasting disease that makes the prospect of slimy eggs and flabby microwaved sausage simply irresistible.

    For some reason, flapping around in my head was the idea that Mike's Place had been recommended by LTH. In retrospect, I think I may have been conflating it with any number of other, better., "___ Place" diners.
    As a mattra-fact, Pie Face, you are beginning to look almost human. - Barbara Bennett
  • Post #19 - May 1st, 2008, 7:11 am
    Post #19 - May 1st, 2008, 7:11 am Post #19 - May 1st, 2008, 7:11 am
    I used to eat dinner at P&S quite regularly back in the day (GREAT beef barley soup on Tuesdays). The food was better than the average coffee shop fare, and the service was terrific. The original owners sold the business about 7-8 years ago, and it's changed hands several times since then.

    The place was pretty consistent until a Thai gentleman bought it and did a complete overhaul, replacing the longtime cooks and waitresses. Needless to say, it failed badly. The restaurant really deteriorated and has struggled mightily in recent times.

    It's good to see that it's made a comeback. I might have to make a comeback, too. It's been awhile.
  • Post #20 - May 1st, 2008, 9:31 am
    Post #20 - May 1st, 2008, 9:31 am Post #20 - May 1st, 2008, 9:31 am
    I really want to get the low-down on that "specializing in empanadas and Filipino food for catering" mystery. Did anyone note if that sign was sitll on the front of the register counter?
    "Strange how potent cheap music is."
  • Post #21 - May 1st, 2008, 9:48 am
    Post #21 - May 1st, 2008, 9:48 am Post #21 - May 1st, 2008, 9:48 am
    mrbarolo wrote:I really want to get the low-down on that "specializing in empanadas and Filipino food for catering" mystery. Did anyone note if that sign was sitll on the front of the register counter?


    It's right in the window on the Western Ave. side. Unfortunately, I didn't check them out on my one visit. I say unfortunately, because I thought my breakfast of scrambled eggs was terrible. The eggs were cooked too quickly over too high a heat so that the eggs exuded water on my plate and continued to do so even though I used my napkin to mop it up when first served. The potatoes were good, though. Personally, I see no need to ever return, given the multitude of other choices in the area.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #22 - May 1st, 2008, 10:39 am
    Post #22 - May 1st, 2008, 10:39 am Post #22 - May 1st, 2008, 10:39 am
    That's really too bad about the eggs. Don't see how you can really get that wrong when you have some experience. Ah well.
    "Strange how potent cheap music is."
  • Post #23 - May 1st, 2008, 12:11 pm
    Post #23 - May 1st, 2008, 12:11 pm Post #23 - May 1st, 2008, 12:11 pm
    mrbarolo wrote:Don't see how you can really get that wrong when you have some experience. Ah well.


    I agree.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #24 - May 2nd, 2008, 5:14 am
    Post #24 - May 2nd, 2008, 5:14 am Post #24 - May 2nd, 2008, 5:14 am
    mrbarolo wrote:Doubling back and crossing parallel threads (if that's permissable), Gary: First, thanks for retrofitting my routine post with those lovely pictures. Were they taken with the Fuji f50 you disparage in the ongoing camera thread, or something else? Also, I notice that the lighting seems to change dramatically between the shot of the whole plate, and the close-up of the hashbrowns, with the former looking kind of glum and shadowy, and the latter all glistening and food-porny. Did you add flash, or fool around in Photoshop or something? Just curious.

    Mr. B,

    P & S pics were taken with a Canon Powershot SD700IS. My wife started taking more pictures a few months ago, which prompted the f50 purchase, but I've taken to filching the Canon out of her purse.

    Flash was used in the I'm ready for my close up hash brown shot, good eye.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #25 - June 11th, 2011, 3:52 pm
    Post #25 - June 11th, 2011, 3:52 pm Post #25 - June 11th, 2011, 3:52 pm
    midas wrote:I spent a lot of time at P$S back 25-30 years ago. There was a very cut brunette waitress that I liked flirting with. And the food was always honest. Order a turkey club and get real turkey, not deli style turkey. And not upscale "generous hand carved slice of pan roasted" etc fluff. Just real turkey.

    Sound like it's the same today.



    It's the same today, P & S has become our go-to place for diner fare. And I usually get a turkey club because it's one of the best I've had, and the turkey is real. Breakfast stuff is quite good, prices are cheap and service is terrific.
    trpt2345
  • Post #26 - June 12th, 2011, 3:21 pm
    Post #26 - June 12th, 2011, 3:21 pm Post #26 - June 12th, 2011, 3:21 pm
    For other diners in the area of Western and Devon, you may want to consult this thread.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #27 - June 12th, 2011, 4:09 pm
    Post #27 - June 12th, 2011, 4:09 pm Post #27 - June 12th, 2011, 4:09 pm
    One of the wonderful mysteries of LTHForum is how often this sort of thing happens:

    I was driving by P&S yesterday with my son -- it is on my regular route and fades into the background so I never notice it -- but yesterday, I said to my son, hey, we need to go in there sometime and check it out, I can't believe we haven't yet, since it's a place we pass all the time.

    And today it pops up in the active topics list.

    And by the way, I'm thinking of adding this as my tag line, I can't think of a nicer thing to say about a restaurant:
    The whole plate reeked of enthusiasm and generosity of spirit.
  • Post #28 - June 12th, 2011, 8:10 pm
    Post #28 - June 12th, 2011, 8:10 pm Post #28 - June 12th, 2011, 8:10 pm
    I've eaten breakfast at P & S a fair number of times over the years because it is convenient for early meetings for community groups I belong to. The people are very friendly and warm, but in my experience their breakfasts are mediocre. The breakfast sandwiches are OK, and everything else I've had has been at best forgettable. Really, I wanted to forget the mushy, pasty hash browns and canned corned beef hash. I've never been motivated to return for lunch.
  • Post #29 - April 17th, 2014, 8:38 am
    Post #29 - April 17th, 2014, 8:38 am Post #29 - April 17th, 2014, 8:38 am
    P&S Restaurant has closed forever, after changing hands a few time in the past few years. The restaurant has been for sale for about 2 years, but they wanted almost 100k for it (in its run down condition)....

    This place piqued my interest as of recent, as my new hobby is studying the old fashioned art of the soda fountain. We are exploring opening a soda-fountain/lunch counter joint, so when this place went up for lease - I called to inquire.

    Stopped by yesterday, and the place has been GUTTED to the walls. The hoods, all the old infrastructure (be it outdated, but charming) was scrapped. Such a shame, the stools, formica counter, table-top jukeboxes, etc. all gone.

    So now it's a relic, an abandoned space, history gone.....

    I am happy to report, I gladly purchased this AWESOME old neon sign from the building owner - I am now the proud owner of 2 awesome vintage neon signs, 1 in use at my BBQ joint, the other will be carefully stored until my soda fountain / lunch counter is ready to open...

    Image
    Image
    I love comfortable food, and comfortable restaurants.
    http://www.bbqsupply.com
    http://thebudlong.com
    http://denveraf.com
  • Post #30 - February 15th, 2018, 8:00 am
    Post #30 - February 15th, 2018, 8:00 am Post #30 - February 15th, 2018, 8:00 am
    The P & S restaurant sign I snagged a few years back has traveled 1200 miles across country, and found it's home in our new Denver, CO headquarters... I've tried to use this sign on a few other projects, but at 14 ft wide x 6 ft tall - it has just been too damn big.. happy to have saved this relic...

    Image
    Image
    Image
    Image

    In Denver, we're opening Au Feu, a catering and commissary outpost of BBQ Supply Co., & a Budlong Hot Chicken food truck... end self promotion ;)
    I love comfortable food, and comfortable restaurants.
    http://www.bbqsupply.com
    http://thebudlong.com
    http://denveraf.com

Contact

About

Team

Advertize

Close

Chat

Articles

Guide

Events

more