The Pit Rib House – Hickory Hills, IL

25 11 2008
  • 9430 S. Roberts Rd.
  • Hickory Hills, IL 60457
  • (708) 599-7576
  • Website
  • Menu
The Pit Rib House on Roberts in Hickory Hills, IL

The Pit Rib House on Roberts in Hickory Hills, IL

How fitting is it that there’s a BBQ place in a town called Hickory Hills?  J and I were discussing dinner when her step dad starting throwing out restaurant names that they like in the area.  After ten minutes or so, he suggested The Pit Rib House and after a quick scan of the menu, I was sold.

The Pit is located on near the corner of Roberts Road and 95th St.  The outside of the building is lit up with neon which is supposed to resemble a 1960’s road house on Route 66.  There are parking lots on either side of the building and even on a Tuesday night, they were pretty full.  We found a spot to park (not near a light pole) and headed inside.  When you walk in, you’re again met with the feel of a stop along The Mother Road.  There are antique vending machines (for display only) and the walls are covered with pictures, newspaper articles, and old signs.  The first stop inside is the waiting room for carry out.  Just past that, a waitress met us and showed us to a table inside the dining room.  The theme continued with exposed wood walls and ceilings although the walls were covered with artifacts and pictures.  We were seated next to a table overlooking a patio area that was filled with fire wood for the upcoming winter. Read the rest of this entry »

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Country House Restaurant – Alsip, IL

25 11 2008
  • 5400 W. 127th St.
  • Alsip, IL 60803
  • (708) 389-4618
  • Website
  • Menu
The Country House Restaurant in Alsip, IL

The Country House Restaurant in Alsip, IL

Can you believe that my first meal back in Chicago wasn’t an Italian Beef?  J and I went to see her grandma and on the way back to her parents, we decided to stop for lunch.  There’s a Portillo’s close, but I suggested we stop at the family restaurant that looked packed.  If there’s a lot of cars in the parking lot on a Tuesday afternoon, it must be good.

Country House Restaurant is located in Alsip near the intersection of 127th Street and CalSag Road.  There are entrance from both roads with most of the parking being behind the building on the CalSag Road side.  We found a parking spot near a light pole (more on that later 😦 ) and headed inside. 

Once inside, it looked like a seat yourself deal.  I didn’t see a hostess and there were no signs that said wait to be seated, so I found a booth along the wall and sat down.  I noticed while we were sitting there that there actually was a hostess seating people, but a waitress noticed us and brought menus over without making a big deal about us sitting down.  Read the rest of this entry »





Lumes Pancake House – Palos Heights, IL

19 10 2008
  • 12401 S. Harlem Ave.
  • Palos Heights, IL 60463
  • (708) 361-7744
  • No Known Website
  • Menu
Lumes Pancake House in Palos Heights, IL

Lumes Pancake House in Palos Heights, IL

I know I say this every time I do a breakfast review, but I am not a breakfast person.  My girlfriend’s parents, however, are.  Day two of J’s vacation started bright and early (for me anyway) with breakfast at a popular destination in downtown Palos Heights. 

Lumes Pancake House is situated on Harlem Avenue just past downtown Palos Heights.  When we pulled up around 10:30, the parking lot was packed.  We debated not stopping, but J jumped out of the car to go put our names on the list and see what the wait was.  I went with her and when she got to the doors, I started to wonder if this was a good idea.  There were a lot of people inside.  J got a number and came back out and said the wait was around twenty minutes.  We decided to stay.  Turns out the wait wasn’t all that long and by the time we were seated, things started to calm down a little bit. Read the rest of this entry »





Smokin’ Joe’s BBQ – Palos Park, IL

18 10 2008
  • 6523 W. 127th St.
  • Palos Park, IL 60463
  • (708) 489-1800
  • Website
  • Menu
The menu logo from Smokin Joes BBQ in Palos Park, IL on Chicagos south side

The menu logo from Smokin' Joe's BBQ in Palos Park, IL on Chicago's south side

Good BBQ is so hard to find in Mid-Michigan.  Not in Chicago.  J hasn’t used any vacation days since starting her new job and since we wanted to go see my niece, she decided to take a few days off which would give us a chance to catch up with both of our families and a number of friends in Illinois.  On our first night in town, we hung out at one of J’s friends in Crestwood.  They have a little one of their own so carry-out is one of their best friends.  We were hanging out in their living room when it started to get close to dinner time.  I haven’t known these people all that long yet, but they knew BBQ was a good way to earn a special place in my heart.

Smokin’ Joe’s is a little carry-out place in Palos Park.  I didn’t go pick up the food, but I’m told they’re in a strip mall.  The joint is strictly carry-out and since that’s what we were looking for, Smokin’ Joe’s was a good fit.  I didn’t want to eat ribs in front of people I still don’t know that well, so I ordered a pulled pork sandwich and fries.  When we were all putting in our orders, J’s friend asked me if I wanted coleslaw on my pulled pork.  Cole slaw?  That’s something I’ve never encountered before.  I know it’s a very Carolina concept and I see people doing it in the cooking shows I watch, but I’ve never actually eaten at a place that actually puts coleslaw on the sandwich.  I wasn’t really wanting to try it so I asked to leave it off.  J and her friend bothgot the pulled pork with the slaw and a side of jalapeno beans.  Read the rest of this entry »





Palermo’s 95th – Oak Lawn, IL

18 10 2008
  • 4849 W. 95th St.
  • Oak Lawn, IL 60435
  • (708) 425-6262
  • Website
  • Menu

Palermo's 95th in Oak Lawn, IL

This is a review I’ve been holding for a couple months.  Honestly, I forgot about it.  When I was in town for a job earlier in the year, my girlfriend’s parents took us out to dinner the night before.  We drove home this weekend to see my niece and whenever we head to my parents, we stop at J’s parents on the way.  We came in to Oak Lawn late Friday night and drove past Palermo’s 95th.  I remembered I never did a review so I got out and snapped a few pictures.

J has always said Palermo’s ruined her on pizza.  Nothing she’s had anywhere else has even come close to living up to the standard Palermo’s 95th set.  I thought she was being dramatic, but I’d give her the benefit of the doubt.  When her parents suggested we go to Palermo’s for dinner, I was up for the challenge.

Palermo’s is on 95th Street in Oak Lawn.  There’s parking behind the building, but if you’re not there early, good luck.  We stopped in for a late dinner on Saturday night.  We thought maybe we’d be ok since it was after 8:00, but we were wrong.  The wait was only about 15 minutes so it wasn’t bad.  Had we been earlier, we could have waited up to two hours for a table. Read the rest of this entry »





Chicagoland Speedway – Joliet, IL

8 09 2008
  • 500 Speedway Blvd.
  • Joliet, IL 60433
  • (815) 722-5500
  • Website
The outside of Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, IL

The outside of Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, IL

My final stop in Illinois this week was at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, IL for the IRL Peak Antifreeze Indy 300.  I went to school in Joliet and this track was being built during my senior year.  The first race was the summer after I graduated.  Chicagoland doesn’t sell individual race tickets.  The only way to get tickets to any of the races is to buy tickets to all the races.  That first year, a buddy was able to get Busch series tickets off eBay, and until this weekend, that was the only race I had been to other than NASCAR qualifying.  My dad’s cousin buys the track pass every year to get tickets to the Nationwide and Sprint Cup race, but they couldn’t care less about the ARCA/IRL weekend.  For the last few years, I’ve wanted to get their IRL tickets, but I always had something going on.  This year, it just worked out that I was going to be in town, so my dad asked for the tickets and he and I finally got to go to an IRL race.

Chicagoland is great for the Indy Cars.  It’s the last race of the year and for some reason, the track provides a really racy surface for the open wheelers.  The two closest finishes in IRL history have come at Chicagoland and this year added another one as Helio Castroneves edged out Scott Dixon by .033.  The race saw a lot of three wide and side-by-side racing and that’s not just for half a lap.  This was going on for 10 to 15 laps at a time. Read the rest of this entry »





Big Ten Weekend Update

3 09 2008

I’m heading back to Illinois AGAIN this weekend, but this time, it’s for work.  I’ll be in Champaign for the University of Illinois football game against Eastern Illinois.  The Big Ten Tour will start up again as I will find at least one if not two or three places for a meal in Champaign-Urbana and I’ll let you know what the new Memorial Stadium looks like since MSU won’t be making the trip to Champaign or even playing U of I this year.

On Sunday, I scored free tickets to the Indy Car race at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, IL.  I’ve been to Chicagoland once before the year it opened, but I’ll probaby post about my experience for the open-wheel racers. 

The whole weekend should lead to a handful of reviews of places I stop along the way.  Posting will be light for a while…just wanted to let you know why.