Tag Archives: Oak park

Where to eat in Oak Park, Illinois (after getting my sister’s okay)

This from a NYTimes article on Oak Park, Illinois (several years after my 36 Hours NYTimes article on Oak Park). Of course I will first run these dining options past my sister, a long time Oak Park resident.


Lake Street is the main commercial corridor in downtown Oak Park, brimming with restaurants and shops.


With gluten-free options and a homey feel, Delia’s Kitchen (1034 Lake Street, 708-358-1300; deliaskitchen.net) can send you to breakfast nirvana. Try the Mediterranean omelet ($9.50), with feta, baby spinach and green onions.

The Lake Street Kitchen and Bar (1101 Lake Street, 708-383-5253; lakestreetkitchenbar.com) is a solid destination for farm-to-table fare. For brunch, try the carrot cake French toast, served with candied pecans and a cream-cheese glaze ($11); and the smoked sockeye salmon and rye crepe ($11). Pair meals with drinks like the Boulevard Blue, with raspberry vodka, blueberries and lemonade ($10); and Smoak Park, with mezcal, ginger liqueur, orange juice and lime ($13).

Sugar Fixé Pâtisserie (119 North Marion Street; 708-948-7720; sugarfixe.com/opmenu) has a variety of French pastries. The gluten-free lemon macarons ($2), cupcakes ($3 to $3.75) and turkey and Gouda croissant ($4.25) are winners.

Close to the Oak Park Green Line train station, Maya Del Sol (144 South Oak Park Avenue; 708-358-9800), a Latin fusion restaurant, is popular with locals. Start with the taquitos de camaron, with shrimp, roasted tomato sauce and onions ($10). Then try the carne asada, with skirt steak, Brie and chimichurri ($26).


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Filed under Chicago, DINING, Illinois

Pain in the neck paying my “unpaid toll” in Illinois

Illinois Tollway logo.png

It took me about an hour to figure out how to pay my 60 cent “unpaid toll” on Interstate 284 online, in part because I couldn’t figure out which of the many interchanges was the specific one that I drove through without paying because I had two untenable choices – the exact change lanes or the i-pass lanes, neither of which I had. My advice in the future: if you do drive through without paying – try to figure out or make a mental note of where you are and the exchange number if possible (I don’t recall one being posted anywhere.) And you have to pay within 7 days or supposedly you are liable for a $20 fine. We had another situation like this on I-88 with unpaid tolls (this time because are only option was NOT to pay since the toll booths were unattended after 10 p.m. or so when we were passing through during our drive from Des Moines) and we got some sort of threatening warning that the third unpaid toll would not be a charm. And this was several years ago (we stopped going on I-88 after Illinois jacked up the tolls so markedly and now we go primarily on toll-free I-80…our tolls last week was because we took toll roads to Oak Park and to Evanston rather than taking toll-free I-55 into Chicago, as usual.)

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Filed under Illinois, interstates

Oak Park, Illinois suggestions

My sister Jill, who has lived in Oak Park, Illinois for about 13 years, offers these restaurant, gallery and book store  suggestions:
– Marion Street Cheese Market!
– Her favorite Italian restaurant is La Bella; favorite little French restaurant is Hemingway’s Bistro in the Write Inn
– An artist friend of her’s gives a major thumbs up to Prodigy Glassworks in the Harrison Street Arts District.
– The Book Table, is a good independent book store, and so is Magic Tree (children’s) book store.

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Filed under DINING, Illinois