Venturing outside Chicago to eat

I lived in Chicago for 31 years so its safe to say that I have eaten at a few places in the city over the years…and I really enjoy many of them!  However, I didn’t reside within the city limits so on those days that I didn’t feel like cooking, I had to find a few local favorites.  My family still lives in the suburbs of Chicago, and I visit often, so of course there is a list of things I miss eating most…beef sandwiches, pizza, Garrett’s popcorn, but I can have these delivered right to my door anywhere in the U.S.  And, if I really want to head downtown to my favorite restaurant I will, but if I want to have a good meal without spending a small fortune, I head to these local favorites.

JC's Steak Gorditas

JC Mexican Restaurant in Bartlett, IL – There is only one other restaurant in Chicago that I go to for Mexican food, but since it opened near my home, JC’s became my favorite.  Once the weather was warm, I loved to sit outside and sip on margaritas and munch on chips and salsa all despite the occasional loud noise from the train.  What I love most?  A must try is the gorditas…I have yet to find another place that has these on the menu.  I always go with the steak filling but the pork is really good too.  The mole enchiladas are the best I have had anywhere!  I have spent hours in the kitchen trying to make a mole sauce, but I never have success with a recreation and they are not willing to share their family recipe.




Sakuma’s Japanese Restaurant in Streamwood, IL – Whenever I felt like I was getting a cold, I   would get some take-out miso soup and edamame.  I’m not sure if it really helped or it was all in my head, but I felt better afterwards.  And in the summer, picking up a few sushi rolls to enjoy while sitting on the patio is the way to go whenever I felt like staying away from the kitchen.  They have the best spicy tuna roll!  I have been to many of the “best” sushi restaurants around they country but nothing compares to this one.