T is for Taco Burrito King

Taco Burrito King

(My theme for the A-Z challenge is places, things and people around Chicago)

Taco Burrito King is a small chain that is unique to the Chicago area. It has grown from a small, converted taco stand back in 1992 to14 locations. Recently, they opened one in East Oakton in Des Plaines, so we could not wait to try it out.

I had the combination platter that consists of one taco with your choice of meat, one pork tamale, one cheese quesadilla and of course the obligatory beans and rice. Tom ordered the taco plate (two tacos with beans and rice) and chips with salsa and a side of guacamole. Can’t have Mexican without the latter!

Warning: Do not go here for a first date, it’s pretty messy to eat. I had to finish my taco before being able to unroll the tamale to get to it. And forget about the plastic fork and knife–my fork was bent by the time I was done. By then I was so full, I was moving the quesadilla into a to go container (thank goodness they provide those at the counter), I found another one underneath. Hey, I never complain about extra.

Tom could not finish his meal either, and believe me, we can eat. The descriptions says “generously filled tacos” and boy were they right. Lots of meat.


The ambiance was that of your typical fast food place, but the food was really good, so was the service, so we came back and the second time I had a tostada and cheese fries. Tom also likes to stop by occasionally to bring home some of their awesome guacamole. Yummy!

S is for Silver Stallion

Silver stallion pork chops

Greek-Style Pork Chops

No, it’s not a male strip club. The Silver Stallion is another one of those Des Plaines restaurants that is located next to a cheap motel. (I think it’s the Best Western). Some of the online reviews are horrible, like the one that talks about “having to wait on the trailer trash waitress with the bad teeth to come back from her smoke break to wait on you.” When I read that I said to Tom, jokingly, that it sounds like our neighbor. We found out she actually does work there, but so far we have avoided her. Thank goodness.

greek salad silver stallion

Greek Salad

Anyway, a lot of people also complain about the old clientele. The Silver Stallion is located next to a nursing home, so yes, some of the residents show up to eat. It does not bother us. After all, we go to a place for food, not to pick up dates. Besides, at my age I appreciate a slower pace! The food is always good and that is what matters.

P is for Pine Grove Restaurant

Pine Grove Breakfast

(My theme for the A-Z challenge is places, things and people around Chicago)

Shortly after we were settled in our new home last year, Tom asked me if I wanted to go out for breakfast. Well, duh. (According to the date on my pic, this was on Oct. 14, 2012). I had no idea what I was in for when he took me to the Pine Grove Restaurant. I ordered the one-egg breakfast with pancakes and a bowl of oatmeal for good measure as I really love the stuff.

Well, you see what that looked like–between mine and Tom’s order, it looked like they were wheeling in enough food to feed a family of four. I finished most of it, except for the hashbrowns. Not really into those. However, they did not go to waste. Those went home for the dog!

We’ve been back several times since then as the restaurant is only about a mile away or so, and I usually order this breakfast. I once had lunch too, a patti melt (see below).

Pine Grove Patti Melt

And of course we had to try dinner too. I made mine a “Windy City Reuben” (see below). Yes, it’s really called that. One factor I really like about the Pine Grove Restaurant is that they have fresh fruit as a side option. It makes me feel less guilty about ordering dessert! I’ve had the cherry pie and while the slices are pretty small for what you pay, it’s awesome. Tart, not sugared, just the way I like it.

reuben at pine grove

Now, since the Pine Grove Restaurant is attached to the Best Western Hotel, don’t try to go there for the ambiance. The music is usually from the 50s and a lot of the clientele is probably passing through since O’Hare Airport is across the street.