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Cheap, good lunches in Buffalo Grove, Wheeling, Vernon Hills, et al.?

I also used to work at Allstate and there was a big group of us that were lunch regulars at the Costco food court in Northbrook on Willow at Patroit Blvd. If you or someone you know has a membership I would recommend checking it out, you just need one member for any sized group. High turnover and limited options ensure that the food is always fresh. Choices include cheese or "supreme" pizza by the slice, chicken caesar salad, chicken bake (this looks similiar to a calzone although I've never tried it), kosher hot dog or polish sausage. The hot dog/polish is the stand out deal at $1.50 with a 20 oz soda. The other options cost between $2 and $4 (no drink), but as you would expect from Costco, the portion sizes are very generous.

Mar 27, 2009
aelenoach in Chicago Area

Province, Eve, Aigre Doux or Graham Elliot

chicgail, I couldn't agree more... I ate at RL for the first time last week (after hearing many of my business associates rave about it for some time) and was quite disappointed. After starting out with some amazing oysters, the rest of the meal was decidely mediocore - very bland and I also left hungry. There are too many good restaurants in Chicago to waste money and calories on RL.

Mar 26, 2009
aelenoach in Chicago Area

Authentic Chinese in the burbs

Yes, it gets very busy at dinner and wait times can be long.

Mar 24, 2009
aelenoach in Chicago Area

Authentic Chinese in the burbs

I would add Yu's Mandarin in Schaumburg. They have a great lunch special, also know that the dinner crowd is typically thick.

Mar 23, 2009
aelenoach in Chicago Area

Recommendation for an upscale business lunch spot in Libertyville general vacinity?

I hosted a business lunch at Battio (Italian) in downtown Libertyville and there seemed to be a lot of other business diners there. The food was good, nothing exceptional, but it certainly suited my needs for that day.

I actually like the Firkin which is also in downtown Libertyville but it may not be suitable for a formal business lunch. It's more of an upscale pub environment, but I found the food to be creative and of great quality. For example, they had a mini-lobtster taco special with jicama and avocado that was phenonmenal! They have an extensive beer list as well if this is drinking business lunch (my favorite type).

Mar 11, 2009
aelenoach in Chicago Area

Food in Wauconda

I grew up in the area and agree that you'll probably have to venture out of Wauconda for some better dining options. My favorite in the vicinity is D&J Bistro in Lake Zurich (corner of Rand (Rte 12) and Route 22). I have been going there since it opened in the late 80s and the food is consistently good. French bistro food as you would expect, nothing revolutionary, but great quality and execution. It's about a 10 minute drive from Wauconda.

Another favorite childhood haunt of mine is Fritzl's which is a little further north on Rand at Old Rand Rd. As the name would indicate, the food is German, and although I haven't been in a about a decade, the food was always very good and the service extremely friendly.

Uncle Julio's is another option for Mexican which is on Rand between the two aforementioned restaurants. Great fresh Mexican, but I always found it a bit over-priced. Maybe they have a lunch special of which I'm unaware that would be a good option for you.

Mar 05, 2009
aelenoach in Chicago Area

Grass-fed beef in Chicago?

Thanks, it looks like Tallgrass is only sold at Fox & Obel and Gourment Pantry both of which have somewhat inconvenient places to park. Is Tallgrass the only widely available grass-fed brand?

Mar 04, 2009
aelenoach in Chicago Area

Grass-fed beef in Chicago?

I have had a hard time finding raw, unfrozen, grass-fed beef for purchase in Chicago. Whole Foods on North Ave occasionally has some ground grass-fed beef, but I am looking for steaks (strip, porterhouse, etc.).

Mar 04, 2009
aelenoach in Chicago Area