Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Mmmm, breakfast (Blackberry's Pancake House, Tinley Park)

Greek-owned/themed diners and brunch spots are a dime a dozen. In fact, there are probably at least a dozen on LaGrange between 135th and 179th St. If you count the ones just off LaGrange I've been to at least five.

But Blackberry's (9536 179th St, Tinley Park) is just a notch above most of these, I gotta say.

I needed an easy place to meet my family on their return from the Quad Cities. Didn't want to make them go too far of I-80. So this place fit the bill.

It's in a smallish strip mall, across a quiet road from some cornfields and maybe a mile off I-80. It was pretty busy on Sunday around noon, but not slammed and we were seated pretty quickly. The decor is nice, and seating is a bit crowded but relatively comfortable.

The menu is huge, but with some nice twists over the typical stuff -- seems like 85%+ of these greek diners and pancake houses have the same menu, you know? But Blackberry's has variations on French toast (nut-crusted, with Bananas Foster), omelets you don't see everywhere (like bacon-avocado-jack cheese) and tasty-sounding skillets, plus wraps, burgers, chicken, etc., etc.

I had a veggie skillet (I forget the precise name of it) that came with broccoli (which I opted out of -- and there wasn't a piece in it), zucchini, mushrooms, onions, roasted red peppers and goat cheese with hash browns and two eggs (plus toast or pancakes). The veggies were roasted perfectly, the eggs were just right and it was the perfect portion size to feel full but not gluttonous -- although I did not finish my toast, and pancakes would've been too much.

I also tried a little of my brother's chicken-rice soup; he got a big bowl along with his burger and fries (not just a little cup) and it was really creamy and delicious.

Service was friendly, coffee was refilled promptly; they seemed a little scattered but I can imagine a busy Sunday morning will do that to you.

Basically, the next time we need a place for a brunch with my in-laws, I'm going to suggest Blackberry's -- it's a nice change from the generic "pancake houses" of the world.

Hot dog, hot dog, hot diggety dog (The Meaner Wiener, Wood Dale)

There's a brand-new hot dog joint in town, and I'm thrilled to have it. 

We stopped in to the Meaner Wiener (364 Georgetown Sq, Wood Dale) for a quick dinner around 7 pm one evening. The place is freshly painted and decorated with the sort of things you see at Scooby's and the like, "old" memorabilia. Menu is pretty basic -- dogs, beef, polish, hand-cut fries and pizza (with other items noted as coming soon). They also feature a case full of old-school sodas including Nehi Orange, Green River, Dog n Suds Root Beer and Hires Root Beer (which I have only ever seen on the east coast). They also had YooHoo, if that's your thing!

But to business: we each got a hot dog (no relish for me; onions & mustard for him, plus a cheese dog for him), and two fries. Our food was made freshly and delivered quickly.

The dogs were quality, and so were the toppings -- a great fresh cucumbery pickle, fresh tomato, good peppers. The bun tasted like it might have been nuked but now I'm just nitpicking. The fries were quite good though actually slightly undersalted for my taste (easy to remedy and I'd rather add some than have them taste totally salt-ridden).

All-in-all, this is a solid entry into the local food scene, and I'm definitely rooting for these guys!

Long time no see!

Hello faithful readers ... any of you still left?

I must apologize, this has been a VERY busy summer for me and my husband and I are moving in a week and a half -- to the beautiful town of Lombard! We are looking forward to finding all-new awesome suburban finds for you... in the meantime, I do have a few posts I've been saving...

And I'll say it again -- if there's anyone out there who would like to join the team, please leave a comment or drop me a line at suburbanawesome (at) gmail.com ... we'd be happy to have you!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

High on Garlic

Do you love garlic? Or perhaps you just want to keep the vampires away? Are you free on Wednesday, August 17th? Well then Highwood's first-ever Garlic Festival is for you!

You can consume and purchase garlic in all kinds of ways. There will be your standard sauces, etc...but what true garlic afficiandos are waiting for is the Garlic Cupcakes & Garlic Ice Cream! And not for the faint hearted there will be an Ice Cream Eating Contest. No, this is not a joke. The city of Highwood is serious about becoming "The City that Stinks"!

And don't fret if you've always dreamed of being named "Garlic Queen" because, believe it or not, they are still seeking entrants.

You can check out their Garlic Festival website at: http://highwoodgarlicfest.com
or the WBBM news article at: http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2011/08/08/highwood-to-stage-first-ever-garlic-festival/

The festival will be conveniently located near the Highwood Metra stop.

BYOBM - Bring Your Own Breath Mints ;-)