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rockfordchowhound's Profile

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GOOD FOOD IN THE DELLS?

Not sure if this will help anyone now as many of the Lake Delton restaurants are having problems due to the floods.
We virtually live in the Dells area during the summer months. We rarely eat out unless we go to a local place.
I agree with the thumbs up for Del Bar, Carvelles, and Monks- great places. The kids would love Paul Bunyons because of the atmosphere, but the family style meals are below par.
One of our favorites is Ananda's-great hummos, tabouleh, and falafel. They are across from the wax museum.
If you feel like taking a drive west, Portage is only about 30 minutes west of the Dells and we have found a couple of gems hidden there.
There is an authentic Mexican restaurant near the Pierces supermarket (for the life of me, I can't think of the name...I will check and post it). Absolutely the best enchiladas with mole sauce that I have ever had. And there are no words that can describe their shrimp cocktail served with goat cheese, lime, and cilantro.
Also in Portage is a little hole in the wall place called Norm's Speedway. Had we not been with friends, I never would have entered the building-much less dine there. Boy was I wrong. It's clean, it's tiny, but they have some of the best breakfast food I've ever had. The serving are huge! Five egg omelets! Hash browns and American fries that are fresh. Fresh breakfast sausage patties that are as big as a cup saucer and by their non-uniformity (is that a word??) you can tell that they have been patted out by hand. A HUGE breakfast for two will come to about $15 including your tip!

Jul 09, 2008
rockfordchowhound in General Midwest Archive

Boneless Boston Rolled Beef Roast

I found a recipe and the roast was wonderful! It can be served rare! Hope they still have them on sale.

Rockford Chowhound

Feb 07, 2008
rockfordchowhound in Home Cooking

Boneless Boston Rolled Beef Roast

Hello,
I found a great buy, $1.39 a pound boneless boston rolled beef roast, and couldn't pass it up. Unfortunately I have never purchased one of these before and the internet is not giving up any information on this cut of meat.
Has anyone ever prepared one of these roasts? Can I roast it as I would any roast? Is it tender enough to serve rare?
Any advise or recipes would be greatly appreciated!

Rockford Chow

Feb 06, 2008
rockfordchowhound in Home Cooking

Rockford IL restaurant

Avival,
It really depends on what you are looking for as Rosemary said.
I saw your post on the Chicago board and really don't recommend the Capri. Years ago it had fantastic food and the place was quite charming. It hasn't been updated in a long time and the last time we were there I swear they served us Stouffer's lasagne. And don't get me started on the bathrooms!
Rosemary has given you some good suggestions for downtown. My favorite is Brio or Cru, both perfect places for a night on the town.
Have fun!

Rockford chow

Jan 25, 2008
rockfordchowhound in General Midwest Archive

Food souvenirs from Beloit area?

This reply may be a little late for you.
Rockford has a place that makes potato chips, it is called Mrs. Fisher's. Fulton and North Main area.
Wonderful potato chips!

Rockford Chow

Jan 24, 2008
rockfordchowhound in General Midwest Archive

Rockford IL restaurant

Hey grill_nutt,
I don't think you are the only one who hesitates driving through Rockford, the road grid has no rhyme or reason, there are many roads which have one name at the south end while having an entirely different name on the north end LOL.
As someone who was raised in Rockford, moved out of state for college, married, divorced, and returned to Rockford after many years, I am slowly getting to know this city again.
At first I thought it was a culinary desert here, now I am finding otherwise. When asked about good restaurants in Rockford I have found that most citizens will give you 3 restaurants which they rave about:
Maria's
Stockholm Inn
Lino's
These places, to me, are good but not great. Their diffinitive attribute is that Rockford loves them so they must be good. Rockford is stubborn that way.
If you like pizza, the best I've found is a little place called Luigi's near state and Alpine the absolute best I've eaten in years. They have a dining area, not sure if they serve alcohol as I ususally do carry out.
If you want a great meal with cocktails, great atmosphere, wonderful serve staff, and a fabulous menu try out the Olympic on Fulton and North Main- it is one of my favorites.
If you like ribs, a sports type atmosphere, the Back Yard grill in Cherry Valley is wonderful, but be hungry because the amount of food you get is unbelievable.
Breakfast food has to be the Sunrise restaurant on Harrison Avenue. Biscuits and gravy, denver omeletes are some of the best I've had. (My absolute favorite is in Portage, Wisconsin a little hole in the wall called "The Speedway" unbelievable food---all comfort the way I WISH my mom would have cooked.
Another favorite is Garrett's on Perryville (it's affiliated with the Golf Shack) the appetizers are to die for (LOVE the artichoke and spinich dip) their sandwiches are inventive and delicious maybe on the pricey side but worth every penny.
Hope these help,
Rockford Chow

Jan 23, 2008
rockfordchowhound in General Midwest Archive

Rockford IL restaurant

Thanks Nsxtasy,
You are right, I was using the Chicago board. I will make sure to post on the midwest board.
Unfortunately, most of the links you gave me were more about Beloit than Rockford, so I guess I'll just start reviewing every restaurant that I go to in the area. Hopefully I can get the word out about the good things in Rockford.

Rockford Chow

Jan 23, 2008
rockfordchowhound in General Midwest Archive

Rockford IL restaurant

Renov8r,
Your post made me laugh, you probably went to the Courthouse Cafe which has been a staple for judges, attorneys, and patrons of the courthouse since downtown became downtown LOL. They are well known for their basic comfort foods and their breakfasts.
Come to think of it, I think Rockford is a breakfast town. Almost all of the family style type diners/restaurants serve an excellent breakfast and usually very inexpensive.
I agree with you regarding the excess chain spots. From 90 west on State Street that is basically all you will see. There are a couple fast food places stuck in between the chains:
Beef a Roo which is near Forest Plaza-fast food which is preferrable to McDs-salads are really good, everything made to order, very clean, but still fast food.
Uncle Nicks which is closer to Alpine known for their gyros which are pretty good.
There is also a Lino's Italian restaurant which is a local favorite around here (not mine) and they are always packed.
Aunt Mary's which has pretty good food, the owner is terrific, waitstaff is okay. But it is clean and usually busy.
Also closer to 90 is Hoffman House, one of the original restaurants when the brothers did actually own it.
Family owned restaurants in this area are failing fast unfortunately. That is why I posted about the Sahara, I'm hoping that it will be around for a long time if satisfied customers let the word out.

RockfordChowhound

Jan 23, 2008
rockfordchowhound in General Midwest Archive

Rockford IL restaurant

I've been reading Chowhound for years and this is my first post.
I live in Rockford, IL and am often dismayed that there is not much information on locally owned restaurants in our area. Many visitors feel that we are a vast wasteland of chain eateries when in reality we have many wonderful restaurants here.

For example, this past weekend a friend and I found a new place and tried it out. Wonderful!

Sahara Palace
5621 Wansford Way
Rockford Illinois
Phone: 815-395-1112

The restaurant itself was small and lacked great atmosphere, however it was clean and the staff was very friendly, (and helpful).
Ordering and paying is done at the counter, the food is then brought out to you – the food arrived to our table quickly and was beautifully presented, (the hummos we ordered was decorated with fresh, chopped tomatoes, olive oil, parsley sprigs, and a few dashes of paprika).
We dined on a Saturday night – early on, about 6:00 and the weather was frigid; which may account for the lack of customers. There were, however, some customers calling in to place orders for carry-out.
We ordered the hummos, tabouleh, vegetarian falafil plate, and the kifta kabob dinner (the kabob came with Arabic salad and rice).I have to say that the hummos and falafil were the best I’ve ever had! The hummos was so fresh and flavorful that I had a difficult time sharing! The falafil was perfectly prepared; crispy on the outside and full of flavor on the inside – the combination of herbs and spices was amazing! I have had versions of these dishes prepared homemade by a friend who is from Jordan and the food I had at
Sahara Palace beat them hands down! The food at Sahara Palace surpasses that of the renowned Pita Inn in Skokie , IL and several of the authentic Arabic restaurants in Chicago . The tabouleh was light, crisp, and refreshing – you could tell that it was freshly made.
The kifta kabob was very tasty, a bit on the dry side, but in my experience that is the norm. The Arabic salad that came with the meal was just as delicious as the other dishes. And the pita bread, OH! to die for – so soft, warm, it was gobbled up in no time at all! The only disappointment with the whole meal was the rice that was served with the kabob dinner, it was merely plain, steamed rice. It was good for steamed rice, but I suppose I was looking for something more “authentic”.

Overall, our experience at Sahara Palace was a fantastic one. The food was simply amazing, the prices were reasonable, ($25 for all that we ordered – and the serving sizes were generous) and the staff was friendly. You cannot ask for better than that. I only hope
that people will read about the restaurant, such as I did, and decide to go! This, folks, is a GEM of a place – a long-needed addition to the hum-drum, chain-style restaurants that we have so many of in the Rockford area! Don’t let this one slip away!
By the way, did I mention that they offer a children’s menu (including chicken fingers) and carry-out services?!

If you are in the area and are a tabouleh fan, give it a try.

RockfordChowhound

Jan 23, 2008
rockfordchowhound in General Midwest Archive