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Pastabilities, Buffalo Grove
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  • Pastabilities, Buffalo Grove

    Post #1 - June 21st, 2007, 9:45 pm
    Post #1 - June 21st, 2007, 9:45 pm Post #1 - June 21st, 2007, 9:45 pm
    Hi,

    Pastabilities in Buffalo Grove never really attracted my attention beyond finding the name rather off-putting. Arriving with time to kill before seeing Miss Potter, a very enchanting movie, at the Buffalo Grove Theatre. I decided to finally check Pastabilities out.

    Pastabilities is a storefront operation where food is ordered at the counter and picked up when your number is called. The bulletin board menu does not tell the whole story. You really need to look at their take-out menu to get the full breadth of their offerings. I learned this after I ordered because I kept seeing unexpected dishes being collected by other customers. One lady took away an order of chicken breast tossed lightly in garlic and oil with sauteed brocolli and spinach. It was made to her specification variation of a low carb meal offering. She startled the servers by asking for bread that normally does not accompany a low carb meal.

    In my effort to give Pastabilities a whirl, I ordered their simplest meal: Monthly Special $3.99 of marinara sauce on mostaccioli while my friend had meat sauce on angel hair pasta including Italian bread.

    Image

    After a ten minute wait, our food arrived on decent plates. My mostaccioli was not mushy, but cooked with enough bite to find them better prepared than some restaurants. My friend also commented on the quality of her angel hair, a pasta too easy to overcook. I now avoid angel hair because it is just asking for disappointment. The sauces were fresh tasting and if food service, then not obviously food service. Their sauces may have been made on the premises, though at $3.99 it isn't always expected.

    Pastabilities Italian bread was better than average quality, especially for a fast food store front operation. The crust had character with traces of decorative pattern and flour from kneading. The bread's interior was firm and not cottony.

    While Pastabilities is not destination dining, it certainly provides a better meal than the price point may suggest. While I cautiously chose the cheapest pasta item for evaluation. From seeing other diner's food and the execution of mine, I would not hesitate to try other offerings.

    Pastabilities, in my very limited experience, provided a quality product beyond my initial estimates. It was really better than it had to be. I'm happy to be wrong!

    Pastabilities
    167 McHenry Road
    Buffalo Grove, IL
    NE corner of Lake Cook Rd & Route 83 (Jewel Shopping Center)
    Tel: 847/419-1800
    Mon-Sat: 11 AM - 9 PM
    Sun: 4 PM - 9 PM

    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 #2 - June 21st, 2007, 10:14 pm
    Post #2 - June 21st, 2007, 10:14 pm Post #2 - June 21st, 2007, 10:14 pm
    in my experience of pastabilities, the monthly special never changes.

    i find it good for a quick pasta fix, but i've never thought that the food was spectacular nor a great value.
  • Post #3 - June 21st, 2007, 11:07 pm
    Post #3 - June 21st, 2007, 11:07 pm Post #3 - June 21st, 2007, 11:07 pm
    Hi,

    Yeah, we notice the monthly special seemed fixed in stone.

    Here is what my minds eye expected: gummy overcooked pasta with Chef Boyardee (sp?) tinny tasting sauce in a styrofoam container. Cheap easy to break utensils and too many thin napkins. One maybe two slices of French bread cut from long loaves often seen at Jewelin barrels.

    Many places serve the above for $3.99 without any embarassment. I just thought it was better than that, though not destination dining. Just better than it had to be, when a much more mediocre product was predicted under the circumstances.

    Stuck in the area waiting for a movie, I would go again. Of course, if you have better alternatives then I am all ears. In that immediate area, I've been to Pita Inn, Buffalo, Continental, Dengeo's. I thought the Chinese buffet a few store fronts from the Buffalo Grove Theater was pretty bad.

    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 #4 - June 21st, 2007, 11:36 pm
    Post #4 - June 21st, 2007, 11:36 pm Post #4 - June 21st, 2007, 11:36 pm
    Cathy,

    We have had some good meals at India House in the same mall as the BG Theater. I found out about it from some Indian friends who raved about it.

    Best,
    Al

    India House
    228 Mchenry Rd
    Buffalo Grove, IL 60089
    847.520.5569
  • Post #5 - June 22nd, 2007, 10:39 am
    Post #5 - June 22nd, 2007, 10:39 am Post #5 - June 22nd, 2007, 10:39 am
    though it goes against the very fiber of this forum, if i was stuck in that area i'd probably go to wendy's or jimmy johns.
  • Post #6 - June 22nd, 2007, 10:42 am
    Post #6 - June 22nd, 2007, 10:42 am Post #6 - June 22nd, 2007, 10:42 am
    dudefella wrote:though it goes against the very fiber of this forum, if i was stuck in that area i'd probably go to wendy's or jimmy johns.


    I've been to both, no shame it is just a choice we sometimes have to make.

    :D
    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 #7 - June 22nd, 2007, 2:31 pm
    Post #7 - June 22nd, 2007, 2:31 pm Post #7 - June 22nd, 2007, 2:31 pm
    dudefella wrote:though it goes against the very fiber of this forum, if i was stuck in that area i'd probably go to wendy's or jimmy johns.


    Or Culver's------A couple of blocks north of the area in question.
  • Post #8 - June 22nd, 2007, 3:18 pm
    Post #8 - June 22nd, 2007, 3:18 pm Post #8 - June 22nd, 2007, 3:18 pm
    I was somewhat surprised to hear Pastabilities was still in business. They opened when I lived in Buffalo Grove about 10 years ago, and at the time, it was nothing special at all. I tried it twice and gave up, as the pasta at the time tended to be more like the "standard" $3.99 version described by Cathy, above. Sounds like they shaped up nicely, which is good for them, if not exactly a miracle for Northwest suburban dining.

    Speaking of long-gone restaurants in the strip mall housing the BG Theatres, there was a KC Masterpiece franchise there for a couple of years in the late 1990s that was pretty good for what it was; it reminded me a lot of Carsons. There was also a decent Chinese place called, I believe, Cilantro in that same strip mall. Mod in design, fancy looking and fancy-priced foods, but pretty good as I recall. Wonder who took over that space?
    JiLS
  • Post #9 - June 22nd, 2007, 3:59 pm
    Post #9 - June 22nd, 2007, 3:59 pm Post #9 - June 22nd, 2007, 3:59 pm
    Makes me want to try it out next time I need a pasta fix.

    As for other places -- I agree with the assessment that the Chinese buffet in the same mall as the BG theater is NOT a good choice.

    As for India House, I'm a regular.

    If you don't mind driving a few blocks, Berutti's has pretty good deli food. This is the place where we had the special French dinner, as Steve Berutti shares kitchen space with Patrick Chabert. But while Chabert's food is magnificent, Berutti's is pretty darn good -- good housemade sauces, soups, and sausages, hand-cut cole slaw, and a decent muffaletta sandwich (I didn't think I was in New Orleans, but it was still mighty tasty). They also have Italian food, a dinner menu, and wine and beer are available. Not a destination place (unless Patrick is cooking), but another decent pre-movie option.
    "All great change in America begins at the dinner table." Ronald Reagan

    http://midwestmaize.wordpress.com
  • Post #10 - June 22nd, 2007, 4:11 pm
    Post #10 - June 22nd, 2007, 4:11 pm Post #10 - June 22nd, 2007, 4:11 pm
    Hi,

    Berutti's was also on the plate of considerations. If I weren't meeting a third person who would be sitting outside the theater until I arrived, then I might have risked it.

    In the past, I have gone to the Continental across the street from Berutti's. It's in my plan to visit Berutti's instead of the Continental, when the next opportunity arrives.

    Not enough time to do everything.

    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 #11 - June 22nd, 2007, 4:43 pm
    Post #11 - June 22nd, 2007, 4:43 pm Post #11 - June 22nd, 2007, 4:43 pm
    I'd second the recommendation for India House. But, if you have a little longer to spend on a meal, drive a mile or so south on Buffalo Grove Road to Dundee and check out Chaihanna, the Uzbek restaurant on the SE corner of that intersection (directly across BG Rd. from Nino's Pizza). Excellent meat and (mostly) pickled veggies, great soup and bread, for a very reasonable price point (I had soup, side dish of spicy carrots, and a loaf of bread for $13, including tax and tip).
  • Post #12 - June 22nd, 2007, 4:47 pm
    Post #12 - June 22nd, 2007, 4:47 pm Post #12 - June 22nd, 2007, 4:47 pm
    Sharpie66 wrote:I'd second the recommendation for India House. But, if you have a little longer to spend on a meal, drive a mile or so south on Buffalo Grove Road to Dundee and check out Chaihanna, the Uzbek restaurant on the SE corner of that intersection (directly across BG Rd. from Nino's Pizza). Excellent meat and (mostly) pickled veggies, great soup and bread, for a very reasonable price point (I had soup, side dish of spicy carrots, and a loaf of bread for $13, including tax and tip).

    Just chiming in to say that I too have had some very enjoyable meals at India House.

    And thanks for the tip about Chaihanna -- will definitely check it out soon.

    =R=
    Same planet, different world
  • Post #13 - June 22nd, 2007, 6:48 pm
    Post #13 - June 22nd, 2007, 6:48 pm Post #13 - June 22nd, 2007, 6:48 pm
    Sharpie66 wrote:But, if you have a little longer to spend on a meal, drive a mile or so south on Buffalo Grove Road to Dundee and check out Chaihanna, the Uzbek restaurant on the SE corner of that intersection .


    I'll second that the food is good, but I'll also note that the key is "if you have a little longer to spend." I don't know if it's because we were the only non-Uzbeks in the place, or if it's just one of those places that thinks of itself in terms of a no-hurry hang-out, but the service was excruciatingly slow. The food was worth the wait, but I was glad I didn't have to be somewhere in a hurry.
    "All great change in America begins at the dinner table." Ronald Reagan

    http://midwestmaize.wordpress.com
  • Post #14 - June 23rd, 2007, 12:24 pm
    Post #14 - June 23rd, 2007, 12:24 pm Post #14 - June 23rd, 2007, 12:24 pm
    Taste of Tokyo (in the same shopping center as Pastabilities) has pretty good sushi, they have a floating sushi bar as well.

    http://www.thetasteoftokyo.com/


    Another place with (surprisingly) good food in the area is the Prairie House Restaraunt/Bar, across from the Prairie View train station. They have a very limited menu, but have good sandwiches, burgers, etc.
  • Post #15 - June 23rd, 2007, 1:17 pm
    Post #15 - June 23rd, 2007, 1:17 pm Post #15 - June 23rd, 2007, 1:17 pm
    JimInLoganSquare wrote: There was also a decent Chinese place called, I believe, Cilantro in that same strip mall. Mod in design, fancy looking and fancy-priced foods, but pretty good as I recall. Wonder who took over that space?


    Cilantro became the chinese buffet that is still there now.
  • Post #16 - June 26th, 2007, 5:31 pm
    Post #16 - June 26th, 2007, 5:31 pm Post #16 - June 26th, 2007, 5:31 pm
    JimInLoganSquare wrote:I was somewhat surprised to hear Pastabilities was still in business. They opened when I lived in Buffalo Grove about 10 years ago, and at the time, it was nothing special at all.

    I used to live in the area in the mid-nineties as well. Unlike you, I actually was pretty fond of Pastabilities at the time. It was quick, the prices were reasonable, the food seemed fresh and well-cooked, and you could mix and match the options to get exactly what you wanted. I worked a lot of hours at the time and it was great place to pick up something after work. If I still lived up that way I'd probably hit Pastabilities once or twice a month. Nice tip, Cathy!

    If India House had been in the area at that time as well my joy would have been complete. :)
    Last edited by grits on June 26th, 2007, 5:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  • Post #17 - June 26th, 2007, 5:38 pm
    Post #17 - June 26th, 2007, 5:38 pm Post #17 - June 26th, 2007, 5:38 pm
    lk wrote:Taste of Tokyo (in the same shopping center as Pastabilities) has pretty good sushi, they have a floating sushi bar as well.

    http://www.thetasteoftokyo.com/



    I would not have guessed from the exterior that Taste of Tokyo would be so lovely. I'll have to try it. Thanks for the tip.
    "All great change in America begins at the dinner table." Ronald Reagan

    http://midwestmaize.wordpress.com
  • Post #18 - June 26th, 2007, 7:41 pm
    Post #18 - June 26th, 2007, 7:41 pm Post #18 - June 26th, 2007, 7:41 pm
    Hi,

    We passed on Taste of Tokyo because we thought it would be too great a time commitment. Now that you have commented about the floating sushi bar, I am kicking myself.

    While people may not be in love with Pastabilities, there is a lot of information surfacing on the immediate area. Good for all of us!

    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 #19 - June 26th, 2007, 8:00 pm
    Post #19 - June 26th, 2007, 8:00 pm Post #19 - June 26th, 2007, 8:00 pm
    Cathy2 wrote:Hi,

    We passed on Taste of Tokyo because we thought it would be too great a time commitment. Now that you have commented about the floating sushi bar, I am kicking myself.

    Regards,


    I don't live too far from Taste of Tokyo if you want to meet up sometime to try out those sushi boats.
    "All great change in America begins at the dinner table." Ronald Reagan

    http://midwestmaize.wordpress.com
  • Post #20 - June 26th, 2007, 8:59 pm
    Post #20 - June 26th, 2007, 8:59 pm Post #20 - June 26th, 2007, 8:59 pm
    I moved to BG about a year ago and was excited to try Taste of Tokyo when we first arrived to the area. We were not impressed...

    There were perhaps 40 or so boats circling the sushi bar, but they had no sushi on them. The 1 sushi chef was behind the bar making specialty sushi for those who were ordering it, so had no time to fill the boats. Every once in awhile he would ask us what we wanted and would throw it on a boat and when it reached us we would grab it... But after eating the 2 pieces the boats would now be empty. Finally when he asked me again what I wanted, I answered "Sushi!".

    Mind you, this was at lunch, and I am sure they didnt want to fill the boats with fish that was going to go uneaten if they did not get busy, but there was at least 6 people sitting around the sushi/boat bar and anytime a piece of anything hit the boats, whomever was closest would gobble it up really quick leaving the boats again empty.

    We paid the bill and walked over to a deli in the same mall for corned beef sandwiches.

    IMHO, the best place for sushi in the area is at Hanabi Japanese Restaurant. As an added bonus, the sushi chef there is female, something I have never seen before (and beautiful to boot!!).

    734 S Buffalo Grove Rd
    Buffalo Grove, IL 60089
    (847) 215-9088
  • Post #21 - June 26th, 2007, 10:32 pm
    Post #21 - June 26th, 2007, 10:32 pm Post #21 - June 26th, 2007, 10:32 pm
    Hi,

    The first and only time I have seen a conveyor system for delivering sushi was in Hamburg, Germany. They had several sushi chef's stocking the system continuously allowing product to outmatch demand. What you described at Taste of Tokyo is where the concept sinks fast when they don't have enough business.

    Thanks for the comments. I will still have to go someday to at least capture the boats for the camera.

    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 #22 - June 27th, 2007, 10:06 am
    Post #22 - June 27th, 2007, 10:06 am Post #22 - June 27th, 2007, 10:06 am
    masa's sushi, located across the street (near the giordanos) seems to be the sushi place of choice for my friends. it is mostly carryout focused though.
  • Post #23 - June 27th, 2007, 10:50 am
    Post #23 - June 27th, 2007, 10:50 am Post #23 - June 27th, 2007, 10:50 am
    Cathy, Sushi Station in Rolling Meadows, on Algonquin Rd, near Golf & Algonquin intersection had a sushi conveyor belt when I visited a few times 4-5 years ago. There was lots of sushi on the belt - almost no empty places.
  • Post #24 - June 27th, 2007, 11:46 am
    Post #24 - June 27th, 2007, 11:46 am Post #24 - June 27th, 2007, 11:46 am
    eggplant wrote:Cathy, Sushi Station in Rolling Meadows, on Algonquin Rd, near Golf & Algonquin intersection had a sushi conveyor belt when I visited a few times 4-5 years ago. There was lots of sushi on the belt - almost no empty places.


    Hi,

    I hope they had the volume of customers to eat all the sushi. Otherwise it is watching dollar bills going up in flames. If you have the right business volume, then it doesn't matter. When you don't, it hurts.

    You seemed to have only gone once, what was your impression? Why didn't you go again?

    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 #25 - June 27th, 2007, 12:21 pm
    Post #25 - June 27th, 2007, 12:21 pm Post #25 - June 27th, 2007, 12:21 pm
    Cathy2 wrote:
    Hi,

    I hope they had the volume of customers to eat all the sushi. Otherwise it is watching dollar bills going up in flames. If you have the right business volume, then it doesn't matter. When you don't, it hurts.

    You seemed to have only gone once, what was your impression? Why didn't you go again?

    Regards,


    Well, not going there for a while had nothing to do with them.

    I've been there a few times for lunch with other sushi-eating co-workers, back when I worked in that area. The restaurant was almost full every time we went, so I would expect the sushi to be mostly eaten by the end of lunch.

    Sushi was basic and fine - we liked it, from what I can remember. I stopped going because I switched jobs, so it was not convenient to go there anymore.

    Also, Mr. eggplant is not big on sushi, which contributed to my not going back. When we are in the area we usually go to Tamarind Thai on Golf Rd not far from Arlington Heights Valli's.
  • Post #26 - June 27th, 2007, 3:17 pm
    Post #26 - June 27th, 2007, 3:17 pm Post #26 - June 27th, 2007, 3:17 pm
    I know this started out as a Pastabilities thread but wanted to put my two cents in on Taste of Tokyo. Taste of Tokyo is just mediocre from my experiences. While the floating sushi bar can be very satisfying at the right times, I have been there on a Tuesday at noon for lunch where they couldn't keep up with demand. This resulted in an extremely empty 'boat train' and people grabbing anything that would eventually make it's way to them. I have also had mediocre experiences picking up carryout from there. The sushi was average when picked up but the customer service was not. After arriving 5 minutes past the alloted pick up time, I stood at the front counter for 10 minutes while what appeared to be the owner frantically scurried around the restaurant refilling water glasses, giving checks, delivering food, etc. While this could be blamed on a significant lack of help that particular day, a brief "I'm super busy and will be with you in a couple minutes would have sufficed." Once the owner approached me, she informed me it would be an additional 5 minutes for the sushi which turned into 15 minutes. In the end, our sushi took 50 minutes from the time of the order being placed without even the slightest acknowledgement of the wait. Again, maybe a bad day but I've tried them multiple times, never been impressed, and have been fairly dissapointed on more than one occasion. One positive, they carry Golden Shrimp and it is fairly tasty if you can look past the grease pool at the bottom of the container. Golden Shrimp is like crack to me and I try to order it anytime I see it on the menu. Tsukasa of Tokyo easily beats any other Golden Shrimp I have tried(here, Rok Bonki, etc) and I would shower in the Golden sauce if socially acceptable. Has anyone found golden shrimp anywhere outside Chicago?

    For what it's worth, I enjoyed Hanabi more when they were owned by the previous owner. While the quality of the fish remains the same, the size of the rolls has decreased substantially enough to notice. I tried Masa's sushi once and found skin still on the Salmon, which resulted in a soured experience. I find myself going to Kona Grill, in Lincolnshire, for sushi and apps once every couple weeks. I enjoy the fact that they use actual crab in the california rolls and have half price early bird and late night specials in the bar as well as decent drink specials.

    Kona Grill
    940 Milwaukee Ave
    Lincolnshire, IL 60069
    847-955-1211

    Happy Hour In Lounge
    Monday - Friday 3 to 7 p.m.
    Reverse Happy Hour In Lounge
    Monday - Thursday 10 p.m. to 12 a.m.
    Friday - Saturday 11 p.m. to 1 a.m.
    1/2 Price Sushi: Crab Special Roll, California Roll, Spicy Tuna Roll, Atlantic Roll; 1/2 Price Apps: Sweet Maui Onion Rings, Kona Calamari, Tuna Wasabi, Chicken Satay, Potstickers, Avocado Egg Roll; 1/2 price pizzas: Five Spice BBQ Chicken, Garlic Shrimp, The Hawaiian, The Margarita, The Kona, Shiitake Goat Cheese


    With all the talk of area restaurants, maybe a "Buffalo Grove Area" Thread is in order?
    "And if you don't know, now you know." -BIG
  • Post #27 - October 28th, 2010, 2:36 pm
    Post #27 - October 28th, 2010, 2:36 pm Post #27 - October 28th, 2010, 2:36 pm
    Need a break from working so I'm updating to add a data point from my first trial of Taste Of Tokyo today.
    For 15.00 sushi AYCE lunch, I have no big complaints, but I do have some things I noticed that I would not return for if I was paying full price. Again, for 14.95 AYCE, I am not complaining

    1. The rolls were very heavy on the rice. This was expected.
    2. The pieces of fish on the nigiri were pretty thin. Some were decent, but most were thin and small.
    3. Lots of rainbow rolls. Nice, but the pices of fish on them were paper thin- almost non-existent.
    4. The tuna was a tad off today - edible, but nearing the end of its prime, no doubt.
    5. The seaweed salad was pretty bad, imo. One bite and done.
    6. The rolls were very noticeably augmented with Krab. It was just thrown in to bulk them up in some instances. I Kan't eat Krab. It just does not go down easily for me. I'm not saying it's bad or anything, it just does not work for me at ALL. I wound up using my chopstick to poke the Krab outta my maki.
    7. The fish for the nigiri looked really rough on about 50% of the pieces I had. Not nicely sliced at all.

    Some things I liked: (Oh don't get the wrong idea here, I'm going back to this place for sure)
    The salmon was really good today.
    The service was excellent
    The mussels were decent
    The rolls had a decent amount of fish, but still, too much rice.
    The price.

    This is not a GREAT SUSHI at a great AYCE price type place. It's a passable sushi at a great AYCE price place, IMO. I'll definitely be back. Spicy tuna was ok, mussels were decent, and if you figure out what's good that day, you'll leave very satisfied for the price.
    We cannot be friends if you do not know the difference between Mayo and Miracle Whip.
    Pronoun: That fool over there
    Identifies as: A human that doesn't need to "identify as" something to try to somehow be interesting.
  • Post #28 - May 18th, 2022, 2:04 pm
    Post #28 - May 18th, 2022, 2:04 pm Post #28 - May 18th, 2022, 2:04 pm
    After battling through pandemic with new owner, Pastabilities closes in Buffalo Grove.
    http://www.dailyherald.com/article/2022 ... /220519314
    Never order barbecue in a place that also serves quiche - Lewis Grizzard

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