Family-friendly restaurants in Downers Grove
June 23, 2006 (WLS) -- The suburbs are known for having a number of family-friendly restaurants. In Downers Grove, two new places are aiming to reach a wide audience. ABC7's Hungry Hound says their focus is on breakfast and lunch and the food is worth the trip.
Downers Grove has some very nice restaurants, such as Parker's Ocean Grill. But on opposite ends of the western suburb, there are now two options that families will just love -- one, an updated Greek diner with high-quality ingredients and the other, a family-friendly place where everyone will feel like a kid.
No, it's not a swanky bubble tea lounge in Chinatown but rather, the latest breakfast and lunch option in Downers Grove. Juicy-O's name implies lots of freshly-squeezed juices, but the stars are the bubble teas - so named because of the bubble-shaped tapioca pearls that rest on the bottom. Triple berry, cantaloupe and frappe - an addictive coffee version - are just a few examples. "We see a lot of the young kids liking it, and we're selling like, it's crazy, we're selling like 500 a week, people love it," said Jimmy Bannos, Juicy-O.
Bannos and his friend, Jimmy Banakis, decided to create the kind of Greek coffee shop they remembered as kids. That means everyone gets to taste the homemade donuts, which are fried before your eyes on a little donut maker. Hearty omelettes are stuffed with top-notch ingredients such as arugula and fresh mozzarella -- and a side of roasted potatoes hits the spot. For lunch, the chopped salad could easily feed two or three - loaded with chicken, avocado, bleu cheese and bacon.
"We kind of elevated, I want really super fresh ingredients, nothing frozen and its really proven out, our customers are really excited about it."
In downtown Downers Grove -- the 2 Toots Steam Whistle Grill has become the de facto destination for kids of all ages.
"We were looking for an area to put a train concept and this one was perfect because of the train station. The trains are coming and going all day long, it was just phenomenal. We saw the kids, we saw the familes, this was perfect," said Dale Eisenberg, 2 Toots Steam Whistle Grill.
The highlight is that all meals are delivered to your table via electric train. Its standard kid fare, but the burgers rise above the average diner.
"It's very simple. It's just basic hamburgers, the way they cooked them in the fifties," said Eisenberg.
Adult options include noteworthy egg salad and tuna salad - both served on some high-quality multi-grain bread. Cupcakes and Rice Krispy treats are the desserts of choice and Eisenberg says the food and atmosphere instantly transport kids of all ages back to another time.
"When they were kids, they get to live it through their children now," said Eisenberg.
If Jimmy Bannos from Juicy-O looks familiar, that's because he's the chef and owner of Heaven on Seven restaurants and Dale Eisenberg from two toots may look familiar to fans of the original pancake house in Park Ridge because he's owned that legendary joint for over 20 years.
2942 Finley Rd., Downers Grove
Two Toots Steam Whistle Grill
950 Warren Ave., Downers Grove
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