Travel Reference
In-Depth Information
Tufano's is a popular place that's been family-owned for 60 years—and it's
attracted neighborhood regulars as well as celebrities and politicians. (Check out
the wall of photos that includes everyone from Tommy LaSorda to Dolly Parton.)
Suburban Safaris
If you have access to a car, you'll want to explore suburban Chicago's
highways and byways. These restaurants alone are worth a special trip:
Phil Smidt's, 1205 N. Calumet Ave., Hammond, Indiana ( & 800/376-
4534; Northwest Indiana is just a hop, skip and
jump across the Chicago Skyway (and close to the Indiana gam-
bling boats). The fried perch dinners (all-you-can-eat, a boon for
families with growing kids) will make your kids reconsider their
preference for frozen fish sticks. For dessert, try the tart gooseberry
pie. Closed on Monday.
White Fence Farm, 11700 Joliet Rd., Lemont, Illinois ( & 630/739-
1720; For the best fried chicken
north of the Mason-Dixon line, Chicagoans in the know head to
White Fence Farm. And what better kid-pleaser than a fried
chicken dinner with all the fixings?
Robinson's No. 1 Ribs, 940 Madison St., Oak Park, Illinois ( & 708/
383-8452; Backyard Chef Charlie Robinson par-
layed a win in the late Chicago journalist Mike Royko's first annual
rib cook-off into this large and extremely popular venue. After a
day touring the Oak Park's architectural gems, go low-brow and
dive right in to a plate of smoky ribs slathered in a secret sauce
made with 17 herbs and spices.
Hecky's Barbecue, 1902 Green Bay Rd., Evanston, Illinois. ( & 847/
492-1182; When in Evanston, do as the locals do
and indulge at this rib joint. Since the place isn't big on atmosphere
(there is a dining room, two doors down the street, so you must pick
up your food and go), the best plan is to get dinner to go, head
back to your hotel and dive in (don't skimp on the napkins). Other
specialties include hot pork links, chicken and turkey drumsticks. If
your travel plans don't include a visit to Evanston, head to Hecky's
new Chicago branch, at 1234 N. Halsted St. ( & 312/377-7427).
Homer's Ice Cream, 1237 Green Bay Rd., Wilmette, Illinois. ( & 847/
251-0477; Homer's is the kind of
place where you feel good about feeding your kids burgers and
ice cream. And in fact, Homer's is all about the ice cream, which is
the best I've had. (Adults should try the cappuccino chip; kids go for
peppermint stick.) Seasonal flavors might include pumpkin in the
fall, and prairie berry and peach in the summer. The burgers, hot
dogs and chicken sandwiches are fresh and grilled to order. The red-
and-white signage outside and matching decor inside evokes good
old ice cream parlor fun. Homer's is a convenient stop after a tour
of the North Shore and a welcome relief from the usual fast food.
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