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Favorite Chicago Restaurants and Fast food from the past

Favorite Chicago Restaurants and Fast food from the past
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  • Post #241 - July 23rd, 2012, 6:45 pm
    Post #241 - July 23rd, 2012, 6:45 pm Post #241 - July 23rd, 2012, 6:45 pm
    stevez wrote:
    Dave148 wrote:Where we ate & drank, how many do you remember?
    http://www.craigslostchicago.yolasite.com/lost-eats.php


    A nice walk down memory lane, but some of those places had no business being included with the greats.


    Well when the list starts with Jack in the Box, it's all downhill from there.

    But I was surprised to see Johnny D's on the list.

    And for the record, I remember 36 of them, most not fondly.
  • Post #242 - July 23rd, 2012, 6:56 pm
    Post #242 - July 23rd, 2012, 6:56 pm Post #242 - July 23rd, 2012, 6:56 pm
    Peep's is still there, still with the same sign
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #243 - July 24th, 2012, 4:55 am
    Post #243 - July 24th, 2012, 4:55 am Post #243 - July 24th, 2012, 4:55 am
    Had a revelation of sorts the other day. I had heard somewhere that the grinders at Eastern Style Pizza on Touhy just west of California tasted exactly like the ones at the store of the same name that had been shuttered in Skokie for at least 20 years. An Eastern Style beef on garlic bread was my go-to fast food dinner of choice from my high school days in the '70's right up through my twenty-something years, closed arteries notwithstanding.

    So I walked into this nondescript, almost barren storefront. And it smelled right--it's amazing how an aroma can bring back memories, hard. The old menu above the grill where every item is squashed in there with pasted characters, all the easier to change prices. Ordered the standard with an RC, and then brought it to my brother's house in Rogers Park for the test. Incredible--nearly a foot long, the hard yet crunchy exterior of the bread, the chopped whatever cut of beef, the salt, the onions, the wisp of tomato sauce. The same taste, the same texture. Only difference now is that I couldn't eat it all, or if I did there would be major repercussions...

    I couldn't resurrect Cock Robin, but this was close. All's I needed was a One-In-A-Million shake!

    Eastern Style Pizza
    2911 W Touhy Ave
    Chicago, IL 60645
    (773) 761-4070
  • Post #244 - July 24th, 2012, 7:20 am
    Post #244 - July 24th, 2012, 7:20 am Post #244 - July 24th, 2012, 7:20 am
    I had no idea Doc Weed's was so close. My parents raved about their prime rib.
    I don't get why Blackie's is on there. There are plenty in Chicagoland.
    I also remember having a tin from Poppin' Fresh pies. That must have been thrown out years ago. I think when I was a kid I thought it had something to do with Pillsbury. I can't believe I missed out on that and House of Pie! :x
    I want to have a good body, but not as much as I want dessert. ~ Jason Love

    There is no pie in Nighthawks, which is why it's such a desolate image. ~ Happy Stomach

    I write fiction. You can find me—and some stories—on Facebook, Twitter and my website.
  • Post #245 - July 24th, 2012, 7:45 am
    Post #245 - July 24th, 2012, 7:45 am Post #245 - July 24th, 2012, 7:45 am
    Pie Lady wrote:I had no idea Doc Weed's was so close. My parents raved about their prime rib.
    I don't get why Blackie's is on there. There are plenty in Chicagoland.
    I also remember having a tin from Poppin' Fresh pies. That must have been thrown out years ago. I think when I was a kid I thought it had something to do with Pillsbury. I can't believe I missed out on that and House of Pie! :x


    Not sure if Poppin' Fresh counts as "lost" as they merely changed their name to Baker's Square.

    Doc Weed's isn't that long gone - we used to go there occasionally when we lived in the Golf Mill area. It went through a couple iterations before being torn down for the Portillo's currently in that spot.
    What is patriotism, but the love of good things we ate in our childhood?
    -- Lin Yutang
  • Post #246 - July 24th, 2012, 8:03 am
    Post #246 - July 24th, 2012, 8:03 am Post #246 - July 24th, 2012, 8:03 am
    jnm123 wrote:Had a revelation of sorts the other day. I had heard somewhere that the grinders at Eastern Style Pizza on Touhy just west of California tasted exactly like the ones at the store of the same name that had been shuttered in Skokie for at least 20 years. An Eastern Style beef on garlic bread was my go-to fast food dinner of choice from my high school days in the '70's right up through my twenty-something years, closed arteries notwithstanding.


    They are pretty much the same except for a few things. Now all their sandwiches come with the garlic spread whereas it used to be an extra cost item. Since I always ordered with the garlic spread, that's a plus. A negative though, they don't sell the Reuben grinder.

    But the biggest positive, they are still in business.
  • Post #247 - July 24th, 2012, 10:03 am
    Post #247 - July 24th, 2012, 10:03 am Post #247 - July 24th, 2012, 10:03 am
    JoelF wrote:Doc Weed's isn't that long gone - we used to go there occasionally when we lived in the Golf Mill area. It went through a couple iterations before being torn down for the Portillo's currently in that spot.

    I could swear that's been gone for over 25 years. Maybe not. I sent this link to the parents and I'm sure they'll mention it. They could also remind us that John's Garage used to look out onto an ice skating rink, although I came along only during the jukebox-at-the-table and Green River years. Oh, how I miss Lockwood Castle and Ponderosa (oh, those little ham cubes!). I had a nice date at Come Back Inn...what a romantic joint. Too bad about them. Wags brings back nothing but nightmares. I think that's the only place I went literally kicking and screaming.
    I want to have a good body, but not as much as I want dessert. ~ Jason Love

    There is no pie in Nighthawks, which is why it's such a desolate image. ~ Happy Stomach

    I write fiction. You can find me—and some stories—on Facebook, Twitter and my website.
  • Post #248 - July 24th, 2012, 11:31 am
    Post #248 - July 24th, 2012, 11:31 am Post #248 - July 24th, 2012, 11:31 am
    I had tolaugh,I was trying to think of the name of the awful roast beef place and there was a pictureof it - Yankee Doodle Dandy. We usedtostop there because it was almost across the street from a place my mother went to for outdoor items.

    If you miss the Ponderosa and their buffet, as you go north and pass Hartford, WI, please try that one out. It is owned by local farmers and as I understand years ago was bought to sell their produce to. I am not sure if it is still the case,but it is my goto place for anon-asian buffet of decent comfort food.
    They also have a very crowded weekend breakfast buffet. When bringing scouts up north to campout, I divot there and fill them upfor anearly morning breakfast, knowing that they will not be hungry until dinner.
  • Post #249 - July 24th, 2012, 2:01 pm
    Post #249 - July 24th, 2012, 2:01 pm Post #249 - July 24th, 2012, 2:01 pm
    Pie Lady wrote:I also remember having a tin from Poppin' Fresh pies. That must have been thrown out years ago. I think when I was a kid I thought it had something to do with Pillsbury.
    That's because Pillsbury was the original corporate owner.
    Bakers Square began in December 1969 with a restaurant called "Mrs. C's" in Des Moines, Iowa, that became popular for its pies.[2] Pillsbury purchased Mrs. C's around that time, renamed it "Poppin' Fresh Pies", and opened additional locations. VICORP, owners of the Village Inn restaurant chain, purchased Poppin' Fresh Pies from Pillsbury in 1983 and renamed the chain Bakers Square.[3]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bakers_Square
  • Post #250 - July 24th, 2012, 2:12 pm
    Post #250 - July 24th, 2012, 2:12 pm Post #250 - July 24th, 2012, 2:12 pm
    Realizing it's a longshot: does anyone recall a "Casper's Place" (or in an original incarnation, "Casper's Friendly Place") on Manheim Road in the 'burbs in the late 1960s / early 1970s? I'm researching it for a family project and would love to hear any recollections or mentions you run across, however vague.
  • Post #251 - July 24th, 2012, 4:21 pm
    Post #251 - July 24th, 2012, 4:21 pm Post #251 - July 24th, 2012, 4:21 pm
    jnm123 wrote:Had a revelation of sorts the other day. I had heard somewhere that the grinders at Eastern Style Pizza on Touhy just west of California tasted exactly like the ones at the store of the same name that had been shuttered in Skokie for at least 20 years. An Eastern Style beef on garlic bread was my go-to fast food dinner of choice from my high school days in the '70's right up through my twenty-something years, closed arteries notwithstanding.

    So I walked into this nondescript, almost barren storefront. And it smelled right--it's amazing how an aroma can bring back memories, hard. The old menu above the grill where every item is squashed in there with pasted characters, all the easier to change prices. Ordered the standard with an RC, and then brought it to my brother's house in Rogers Park for the test. Incredible--nearly a foot long, the hard yet crunchy exterior of the bread, the chopped whatever cut of beef, the salt, the onions, the wisp of tomato sauce. The same taste, the same texture. Only difference now is that I couldn't eat it all, or if I did there would be major repercussions...



    There is a good reason for the similarity. The one in Skokie has only been closed between 8 and 10 years (it was a block from my house!) and the one on Touhy was opened about six weeks after the one in Skokie closed, after a fire, by the same owners.

    So it IS the same restaurant as the one in Skokie, for all practical concerns. And I confess, I still hold a warm spot in my heart for the very "Philly" eastern pizza they serve.

    And yes, Doc Weed's has not been gone that long; when I used to consult at Lutheran General Hospital in the 80's, it was our Friday Night "work hard play hard" bar of choice. And the beef there was really good!
  • Post #252 - July 24th, 2012, 5:34 pm
    Post #252 - July 24th, 2012, 5:34 pm Post #252 - July 24th, 2012, 5:34 pm
    rfleisch1 wrote:There is a good reason for the similarity. The one in Skokie has only been closed between 8 and 10 years (it was a block from my house!) and the one on Touhy was opened about six weeks after the one in Skokie closed, after a fire, by the same owners.

    So it IS the same restaurant as the one in Skokie, for all practical concerns. And I confess, I still hold a warm spot in my heart for the very "Philly" eastern pizza they serve.


    I don't think that's correct. I know for a fact that the ESP on Touhy was open for many years before I moved out of Rogers Park. And that was in 1996. My father remembers going there before he moved over 30 years ago. And their website says established 1970.
  • Post #253 - July 24th, 2012, 5:41 pm
    Post #253 - July 24th, 2012, 5:41 pm Post #253 - July 24th, 2012, 5:41 pm
    midas wrote:
    rfleisch1 wrote:There is a good reason for the similarity. The one in Skokie has only been closed between 8 and 10 years (it was a block from my house!) and the one on Touhy was opened about six weeks after the one in Skokie closed, after a fire, by the same owners.

    So it IS the same restaurant as the one in Skokie, for all practical concerns. And I confess, I still hold a warm spot in my heart for the very "Philly" eastern pizza they serve.


    I don't think that's correct. I know for a fact that the ESP on Touhy was open for many years before I moved out of Rogers Park. And that was in 1996. My father remembers going there before he moved over 30 years ago. And their website says established 1970.


    But it is the same family. Even when both were open.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #254 - July 24th, 2012, 8:43 pm
    Post #254 - July 24th, 2012, 8:43 pm Post #254 - July 24th, 2012, 8:43 pm
    The Cork in Skokie
    Sam & Hy's in Chicago & Skokie
    Fanny's in Evanston
    Eliot's Pine Log in Skokie
    Jalin 's in Lincolnwood
    Chicken in the Rough in Lincolnwood
    Brady's in Lincolnwood
    Rubin's Deli in Lincolnwood
    Henry's Drive-In in Skokie & Lincolnwood
    Howard Johnson's in Lincolnwood
    Tastee Freeze in Lincolnwood
    Alberti's Pizza in Skokie
    Lockwood Castle
    Richard 's Drive-In in Lincolnwood
    Buddy's Deli in Skokie
    Edwardo's in Skokie
    Mr Ricky's in Skokie
    Niles House of Pizza
    Tasty Pup in Niles
    Tommy Tucker's in Niles
    Big Boy in Niles
    Hot Dog Island in Glenview & Skokie

    More to come......
    Mark A Reitman, PhD
    Professor of Hot Dogs
    Hot Dog University/Vienna Beef
  • Post #255 - July 24th, 2012, 9:09 pm
    Post #255 - July 24th, 2012, 9:09 pm Post #255 - July 24th, 2012, 9:09 pm
    stevez wrote:But it is the same family. Even when both were open.


    Sort of. I believe they sold the Skokie location at some point. If you remember, in the later years the name changed to Mama Marinos, or something like that.

    But my main point was, there is no way the Touhy location opened only after the Skokie location closed.
  • Post #256 - July 25th, 2012, 4:58 am
    Post #256 - July 25th, 2012, 4:58 am Post #256 - July 25th, 2012, 4:58 am
    And if memory serves, the Eastern Style Pizza on Touhy moved down the same block to its present location a couple/few years ago, for unknown reasons.

    Wow--hard to believe the Skokie Eastern Style has been closed for only 8-10 years. I moved out of there in '96, and my 25-year-old daughter remembers me getting food from there before that, so I guess it was there at least through that time.
  • Post #257 - July 25th, 2012, 11:11 am
    Post #257 - July 25th, 2012, 11:11 am Post #257 - July 25th, 2012, 11:11 am
    There were two affiliated restaurants--one in Calumet City near what is now a Denny's and the other in Munster, Indiana on Calumet Avenue just north of Ridge Road--that were my favorite as a teenager in the late 70s and early 80s. The one in Calumet City had an atrium on one side with a tropical garden of all things. They had an RJ Grunts sort of a feel and served the warm chocolate cookie in a cast iron skillet at a time when that was very novel. I recall them feeling very trendy and different from other restaurants in the area where I grew up. They both closed in the early 80s. Does anyone remember their names?
  • Post #258 - August 6th, 2012, 7:18 pm
    Post #258 - August 6th, 2012, 7:18 pm Post #258 - August 6th, 2012, 7:18 pm
    midas wrote:
    stevez wrote:But it is the same family. Even when both were open.

    But my main point was, there is no way the Touhy location opened only after the Skokie location closed.


    I agree with this. I grew up in Rogers Park and I remember Eastern Style Pizza being on Toughy throughout the 90s and around 2000 or so I frequented the joint with my parents. Great food! Haven't been in a while though. Last time I tried to go a couple of years back was after closing time and I haven't tried since.
  • Post #259 - August 7th, 2012, 8:55 am
    Post #259 - August 7th, 2012, 8:55 am Post #259 - August 7th, 2012, 8:55 am
    With regard to Eastern Style Pizza, I understand the grinders are worth a try. Is the pizza any good?
  • Post #260 - August 7th, 2012, 2:12 pm
    Post #260 - August 7th, 2012, 2:12 pm Post #260 - August 7th, 2012, 2:12 pm
    bw77 wrote:With regard to Eastern Style Pizza, I understand the grinders are worth a try. Is the pizza any good?


    I remember the pizza being pretty good but I have not been there in a decade so I could not say what the current state is. I also remember them serving up a great and sizable Italian beef.
  • Post #261 - August 7th, 2012, 2:39 pm
    Post #261 - August 7th, 2012, 2:39 pm Post #261 - August 7th, 2012, 2:39 pm
    Rudy,
    Might the restaurant you are thinking of be "Park Avenue Spats"? It was in River Oaks mall. It indeed had a kind of early Lettuce Entertain You feel (for the late 70s). I had my first date w/drinks at this place.
  • Post #262 - February 23rd, 2013, 8:50 pm
    Post #262 - February 23rd, 2013, 8:50 pm Post #262 - February 23rd, 2013, 8:50 pm
    Melody lane restaurant on 87th St, Chicago IL. Our family lived next to the restaurant on Bishop and my Mom and Dad cleaned the restaurant after closing each night. He was there after the tornado to aid in the rescue of customers and helped greatly with the cleanup. Ed and Emit were very good to our Dad when our Mom died 2 years later. The restaurant had great food and great service. Oddly enough, they had a huge ice cream dish called the "Tornado" that was a tall mountain of ice cream with sparklers lit on top. This awesome dish of course was shared with the whole party of approximately 10-15 people. During the delivery of the dessert, the staff in the kitchen banged on all the pots and pans as it was placed on the table. Such fan fair was for all to behold! A PRECIOUS MEMORY TO REMEMBER!
  • Post #263 - March 9th, 2013, 12:06 am
    Post #263 - March 9th, 2013, 12:06 am Post #263 - March 9th, 2013, 12:06 am
    Ria's Pizza: 3943 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago. Really good deep dish, my favorite neighborhood pizza back in the late 1960's--early 1970's.
    Edible, adj.: Good to eat, and wholesome to digest, as a worm to a toad, a toad to a snake, a snake to a pig, a pig to a man, and a man to a worm. ~Ambrose Bierce
  • Post #264 - March 9th, 2013, 2:25 am
    Post #264 - March 9th, 2013, 2:25 am Post #264 - March 9th, 2013, 2:25 am
    I remember getting the grinders at Eastern Style Pizza in the late 1970's when it was in the now defunct bowling alley at Golf Mill.
    "Good stuff, Maynard." Dobie Gillis
  • Post #265 - March 9th, 2013, 6:34 am
    Post #265 - March 9th, 2013, 6:34 am Post #265 - March 9th, 2013, 6:34 am
    Tom wrote:Ria's Pizza: 3943 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago. Really good deep dish, my favorite neighborhood pizza back in the late 1960's--early 1970's.


    I remember Ria's. They used to deliver pizzas until 4 AM, back in the day.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #266 - March 9th, 2013, 2:02 pm
    Post #266 - March 9th, 2013, 2:02 pm Post #266 - March 9th, 2013, 2:02 pm
    Champs2005,

    Thanks for recalling Park Avenue Spats. I also had dinner there on my first date, after seeing The Deep. I had never had honey butter before. At the time I was a bus boy at Gino's Steak House in Harvey, which is another restaurant worth recalling. By coincidence, I also now live in Evanston.
  • Post #267 - March 9th, 2013, 2:13 pm
    Post #267 - March 9th, 2013, 2:13 pm Post #267 - March 9th, 2013, 2:13 pm
    Tom wrote:Ria's Pizza: 3943 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago. Really good deep dish, my favorite neighborhood pizza back in the late 1960's--early 1970's.


    Ria's provided me with my first deep dish experience. I was a big fan of their pizzas, and we preferred them over Lou Malnati's Lincolnwood (his one and only location at that time). Ria's was always busy, and I have always wondered why they closed-- early 80's if my memory is accurate.
    "Goldie, how many times have I told you guys that I don't want no horsin' around on the airplane?"
  • Post #268 - March 9th, 2013, 3:43 pm
    Post #268 - March 9th, 2013, 3:43 pm Post #268 - March 9th, 2013, 3:43 pm
    Wanted to mention a place that I don't think has been covered yet. On Clark St. just south of Howard was a place called The Big Pit. They served basic BBQ. I wonder now, all these years later, if it was really any good. I know my BBQ palate had changed a lot since then.
  • Post #269 - March 11th, 2013, 3:45 pm
    Post #269 - March 11th, 2013, 3:45 pm Post #269 - March 11th, 2013, 3:45 pm
    In 1977, when I worked in the Prudential building we used to cross the street to the Standard Oil Building and go to Stanley's on the 7th floor. They had a gourmet sardine sandwich that I ordered every time. What was funny was the waiters were elegantly dressed in white jackets with black slacks and they used to hide behind the big pillars in the dining room in order to slack off. My friend Barb, who was very demanding of servers in general, would sneak up on them and surprise them with requests for things. I even did it a couple times. We used to laugh our heads off.
    "Good stuff, Maynard." Dobie Gillis
  • Post #270 - March 12th, 2013, 6:18 am
    Post #270 - March 12th, 2013, 6:18 am Post #270 - March 12th, 2013, 6:18 am
    Two loop lunch places that come to mind and are greatly missed: Ups and Downs, which did terrific carved beef tenderloin sandwiches on an onion roll, and the legendary Bar RR where I'd always get the "Talian!" and a beer
    "Living well is the best revenge"

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