>> BUDGET BEAT
If Glenn’s Diner (1820 W. Montrose Ave., 773-506-1720) isn’t all things to all people, it’s not for lack of trying. For starters, it’s an all-day breakfast place, where $4.25 buys you up to three pours of cereal (extra milk is $1.25, fruit $1.50). Eggs, pancakes, and French toast are also served all day. Then there’s Glenn’s, the not-cheap-but-perfectly-reasonable serious seafood restaurant, where you can order one of 16 fully accessorized daily fresh-fish specials (prices top out at $29.95 for Wednesday’s all-you-can-eat king crab legs) and a bottle of wine to go with it. In between those two extremes is Glenn’s, the diner, with its solid list of salads and sandwiches, including secret-recipe meat loaf sandwich ($7.25) and catfish po’ boys ($7.95). Look for the Diner Dinners list, with its tasty grilled pork chop with apple-bread stuffing, roasted potatoes, and a big pile of fresh vegetables for $11.95, and half a barbecued chicken with smoked-Cheddar macaroni and cheese, vegetables, and watermelon for $9.95. An even better deal, though available only before 6 p.m., is the First Catch Special-a half pound of fresh fish (one of three daily) with spuds, vegetables, a small salad, and an ambitious cup of clam chowder, all for $10.95 (pictured here; Tasmanian king salmon). For dessert, share a piece of pie ($4.95) or a bowl of Fruity Pebbles.
Since Sam & Harry’s Steakhouse (1551 N. Thoreau Dr., Schaumburg; 847-303-4050) opened last July, customers have looked past the corporate ownership and zeroed in on the USDA prime aged beef. But there’s more to the place than just meat: seafood specials of jumbo lump crab cakes and wild Alaskan king salmon are caught and flown directly to Chicago each day. While you’re splurging, finish up with a Key lime pie cheesecake parfait (pictured here; $8) and a glass of Champagne.
The distinguished honor of becoming just the fourth restaurant in the country that’s certified organic comes at a high price: paperwork and waiting. It seems eons since Michael Altenberg (Bistro Campagne) announced his plan for Crust (2056 W. Division St.; 773-235-5511), but this April it’s finally scheduled to début. Crunchy, flatbread-style pizza will be featured, as well as “living” salads that are picked from a hydroponics medium moments before they’re served. Here’s hoping everyone’s patience is rewarded with a wood-fired chicken breast sandwich on five-seed bread with fontina and oven-dried tomatoes (pictured here; $8.75).
This spring, the veteran restaurateur Marty Fosse (Spiaggia, Carlucci) is opening his own rustic Italian place in Andersonville, Anteprima (5316 N. Clark St.; 773-506-9990). The menu will feature filled pastas and ragùs, and for meat, expect more leg and shoulder cuts than steaks, such as the oven-roasted leg of pork glazed with chestnut honey and served with Brussels sprouts (pictured here; $14). Be sure to take an appetite; Fosse plans to put whole fish on the menu and hopes to cook entire pigs and lambs on a garden rotisserie.
Photography: Tyllie Barbosa