Downtown Dogs of Algonquin Hot Dogs, Fries and Soft Serve Cones

I stopped in at Downtown Dogs N More of Algonquin a couple of weeks ago. Turned around and abruptly left. Why? The place was jammed!

So last week I got there early enough to beat the crowd  and now I know why it was so busy. I had their special, 2 dogs fries and a drink for 4 bucks. The dogs were great.

The dogs were great. The home-made fries are excellent and we topped of the meal with chocolate dipped soft-serve cones. I’m looking forward to trying one of Downtown Dogs’ burgers.

Eat in the restaurant or take your order to go.

Downtown Dogs N More Algonquin, Illinois

Downtown Dogs N More Algonquin, Illinois

Downtown Dogs N More on Urbanspoon

Randall Roadhouse Tavern Carpentersville

The Randall Roadhouse Tavern sits just a little south of the McHenry County border on the busy Randall Road corridor. Despite the large western exposure windows, the inside is a bit dark. The comfortable interior is a cross between north woods hunting lodge and a sports bar.

Large taxidermied animals share the walls with big screen televisions and neon beer signs. The televisions are always on and tuned to sports stations. Daily food and drink specials are prominently posted on the wall and tables.

The food menu has something for everyone. Start off with options from deep fried veggies, chicken wings, quesadillas, chips and salsa, to nachos. Lunch and dinner menues include steaks, burgers, sandwiches, salads, fish, pastas and pizza. The homemade chili got especially high marks on our visit.

There are some vegetarian items on the menu including Eggplant Parmigiana, Greek Salad, Cheese Ravioli, Stuffed Shells and pizza. Veggie burgers are noticeably missing from the menu.

Sandwiches are served with a variety of sides choices including fries, cole slaw, potato chips or Tater Tots. Soft drinks, beer, wine and full bar service available.

We visit frequently and find the wait staff friendly and attentive to our needs. They are generally open to any special requests or substitutions. Changing the type of cheese or bread for a sandwich, for instance, is no problem.

Pick your choice of seating areas from the L shaped bar lined with stools, tables on the main floor or booths and tables up the a half flight of stairs.

The Randall Roadhouse Tavern is located in a strip mall just south of Huntley Road. Plenty of parking is available in the lot in front of the building.

A catering menu is available to serve parties large and small. Ask about the off-site catering where they bring the party to you.

Randall Roadhouse Tavern Carpentersville, Illinois

Randall Roadhouse Tavern Carpentersville, Illinois on Randall Road

 

Randall Roadhouse Tavern on Urbanspoon

Chen Newest Chinese Restaurant in McHenry County

If you like Chinese food, check out Chen Chinese Cuisine restaurant in Lake in the Hills, McHenry County. This stand alone site which was once a Bakers Square restaurant has been completely remodeled. If the Chen name sounds familiar, you may have been to Chen’s original location which was in a strip mall across Randall Road for the past 8 years. The original restaurant, opened 16 years ago, is in Crystal Lake.

Throughout our meal we could hear the soothing sounds of the water sculpture in the front entry way. Large windows surround the dining area which is bisected by the bar area. Black lacquered tables and warm brown and red colors complete the atmosphere.

Our meal began with a pot of tea. We choose green tea; Oolong and jasmine tea are also available.

We ordered from the large lunch time specials menu. I had the vegetarian Ma Po Tofu, soft tofu with peas, carrots, dried pepper flakes in a brown sauce. Noel F. Williams had the Mongolian Beef, with beef, white and green onions in a somewhat sweet sauce served over a bed of rice noodles. Noel asked for his meal to be prepared spicy and the dish was not as hot as he would have liked.

Lunch specials come with crisp, fried vegetarian spring rolls and rice. Jasmine rice is served though brown and friend rice are available upon request.

Ma Po Tufu and Mongolian Beef

Ma Po Tufu and Mongolian Beef at Chen Chinese Cuisine in Lake in the Hills, McHenry County

 

We also order soup with our lunch. Noel had a bowl of the egg drop soup. I ordered the vegetable soup with tofu, mushrooms and broccoli in vegetarian broth. My soup came in a large serving bowl with a ladle which I used to fill my bowl.

At the end of our meal the bill was served with a couple of traditional fortune cookies.

“The restaurant opened on January 26” said Owner Ming Chen, “and we have seen a surge in business. This location is more visible to existing and new customers who are driving by or shopping locally.”

Chen Chinese Cuisine Lake in the Hills, McHenry County

Chen Chinese Cuisine on Randall Road in Lake in the Hills, McHenry County

 

Chen Chinese Cuisine is open daily.
270 N. Randall Road
Lake in the Hills, IL 60156
847-458-8000

Chen Chinese Cuisine on Urbanspoon
Chens King Wok Restaurant on Foodio54

Algonquin Golden Corral Buffet Restaurant McHenry County, Illinois.

Golden Corral is a buffet restaurant in Algonquin, McHenry County, Illinois. Prices for meals include everything on the menu except for drinks.

Grab a plate and help yourself to your choice of foods from a wide variety of menu items. Foods are grouped in sections of like foods. The first section is a salad bar with several types of greens, toppings and dressings. Also in this area is nacho and chili fixings.

The next area had soups, potatoes, vegetables, mac and cheese, popcorn shrimp and other hot dishes. In a third area we found several meats and rice, pizza, quiche and a grill.

The last section included breads, pastries, cookies, pudding, ice cream and toppings.

Golden Corral buffet restaurant Algonquin McHenry County

Golden Corral buffet restaurant Algonquin, McHenry County

 

The restaurant is located in the Algonquin Galleria Center, an outdoor shopping mall, there is plenty of free parking. Families with children filled most of the restaurant.

A large meeting room with a door can be reserved at no charge for private parties or meetings.

Buffet foods

Help yourself to your favorites at the Golden Corral in Algonquin Galleria Center

Golden Corral on Urbanspoon

Port Edward on the Fox River Algonquin McHenry County Illinois

We dined at Port Edward in Algonquin, guests of Port Edward and McHenry County Visitors Bureau. The nautical themed restaurant and seafood menu has been a fixture of Algonquin and Fox River valley since 1952. It is a favorite fine dining locale for McHenry county residents and visitors alike.

Flat Iron Steak at Port Edward

Try the Flat Iron Steak at Port Edward

Owner Ed Wolowiec is a gracious host involved in all details of the restaurant. His background includes diving the oceans for treasure, classical musician and teacher. Ed designed and supervised the building of Port Edward Restaurant doing much of the work himself. You may see him driving around town in his classic Stutz Bearcat. Ed is active in the community including the Rotary Club.

Here is Ed holding the 1st production Materra Merlot wine.

Ed Wolowiec at Port Edward Restaurant with 1st production Materra Merlot

Ed Wolowiec at Port Edward Restaurant in McHenry County with 1st production Materra Merlot wine

The Friday night international seafood buffet and Sunday champagne brunch are highlights of the week. The selection of seafood treats is like no other you will find in the area. Limited vegetarian selections are on the menu. While known for seafood delights, Ed and Chef Randy have a little secret to share with you.


Diners can customize their experience with a choice of seating options available in the spacious restaurant. The well lit main dining room offers accessibility for all and is perfect for everyone. For a romantic dinner, request a quite table in the Lobster Cove or Secret Room. The Red Room is often used for cabaret shows or special events.

For those who plan ahead, reserve a table aboard the “Porpoise” up to one year in advance. Your party can enjoy a private meal while floating in the koi pond.

Savor scenes that change with the seasons from the Salem Lounge’s over-sized windows overlooking the Fox River. Enjoy cocktails or dinner as the wood bar radiates a warm glow in the sunshine. Evening crowds range from after work business colleagues to girls night out to couples.

Summer time dining dockside on the patio is a favorite for boaters who tie up and come ashore for lunch or dinner. Even dogs have their day with Tuesday evening outside Doggie Dine Out for owners and their pets.

Chicago’s WTTW Check, Please! filmed a segment at the restaurant last year. We were there for the shoot and took video of their video taping. Our favorite was producer David Manilow pretending to dive into the huge dish of paella.

You can keep up with Port Edward on Twitter and Facebook.

PORT EDWARD RESTAURANT
The Fox River and Algonquin Rd. (Rt. 62) in McHenry County
Algonquin, IL 60102
Phone: 847.658.5441 Fax: 847.658.5690

Our visit was sponsored by Port Edward and McHenry County Visitors Bureau.

Port Edward Restaurant on Urbanspoon
Port Edward Restaurant on Foodio54

The Journey to Chicago’s Lakefront

This weekend we made a journey into the city to see the Burnham Plan exhibit at Millennium Park on the lakefront. It was a trip we contemplated for a while but were discouraged by the time commitment.  As we traveled into town, we reminded ourselves why we don’t do this trip very often.

Saturday afternoon at 3:30 PM we started out by car and 100 minutes later had crawled our way as far as Wrigleyville. We stopped there to park our car at reasonable rates. A 10 minute walk to the el,  then a 20 minute ride before another 10 minute walk. Over 2 hours of commute time one way.

Now some of you may suggest we opt for public transportation. The train is 20 minute drive  from home, runs once an hour and takes 90 minutes then a 20 minute walk to the park. No time or money saved there. The closest el stop is almost an hour drive from home. And buses? Never see them out here.

So now we are at beautiful Millennium Park on a warm late summer evening with my Dad. We took video at the Crown Fountain where children and adults are delighted by the smiling faces and surprise awaiting them.

Millennium Park Chicago Lakefront

Millennium Park Chicago Lakefront

Our journey was inspired by the Burnham Plan exhibit with lighting  by artist Tracey Dear.  After our walk we happened upon Hot Woks, Cool Sushi and had dinner under wall art commissioned by the restaurant. The artwork changes colors like the pavilion across the street. We talked to David, one of the owner of this new restaurant to get the scoop. If you like sushi and art – this is the place to be. The service was slow during our visit. The waitress did not get to our table for over 10 minutes when we arrived. Our appetizers arrived before our drinks. Just open since June, they may still be ironing out a few kinks.

Our diners enjoyed the sushi served and gave it hit marks for freshness and presentation. I recommend the sweet potato and asparagus maki rolls. The tempura was served hot with a batter fried light and crisp. Vegetarian items on the menu were clearly marked.

For the art lover, take a stroll along the long narrow room where each area displays a different artists work. You can read up on the artists in their bios within the menu.

All in all, it was a pleasant way to spend the afternoon. Just wish the commute time was shorter. If the 2016 Olympics land here, perhaps the infrastructure will improve and travel times will drop.


Hot Woks Cool Sushi on Urbanspoon

Chessies 111 Grill Meetup at Ice House Barrington Illinois

We will be at the Chessie’s 111 Grill (formerly Chessie’s) in the Ice House Mall Barrington, Illinois. Stop by and say “hello” at Chessie’s 111 Grill. Bring your business cards and make new contacts.

Check out the special 1/2 Price Bottles of Select Wines. Appetizers, sandwiches and steaks too. Daily specials are favorites of the regulars.

Chessie's 111 Gril Barrnington, Illinois

Chessie's 111 Gril Barrnington, Illinois

FREE WI-FI
Chessie’s 111 Grille
200 Applebee St
Barrington, IL 60010
847-382-5020

Chessie's 111 Grille Restaurant on Urbanspoon
Chessies 111 Grill on Foodio54

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