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Restaurants & Bars 4

Graziano's in Niles

midas | May 31, 200409:43 PM

Did a search here and didn't see anyone mention one of my favorite places. It's located on Touhy just west of Leigh and east of the Leaning Tower. They also had a location in either Buffalo Grove or Palatine but I think they folded.

The first thing that impresses you about this place is the salad. They have a house dressing that is just great. You don't see many restaurants that sell their salad dressing to go. But I always pick up a pint when I leave. And the salad is all-you-can eat.

Now, they have pizza in their name, but I've never tried the pizza there. It's also quite obviously an Italian restaurant. But I'm not a pasta fan so I've never had that either. I know it sounds strange to like an Italian restaurant but never have tried anything really Italian or the pizza.

When I first started going there I ordered the oven roasted chicken. It's a full half chicken that's wood smoked. And we're not talking KFC sized pieces either, this thing is huge. It takes quite an appetite to polish off the whole thing.

But one time I was sort of forced to go there 2 days in a row and decided to try something different. And I found a new friend. The grilled skirt steak. It's a huge slab of meat chock full of spices and grilled to juicy perfection. It's hard to fathom just how good this pedestrian cut of meat tastes until you try it. It's served with garlic roasted potato wedges, fried onions and roasted bell peppers.

My wife, unlike me, does like pasta. And she's tried a number of dishes and liked all of them so far. Her only complaint was that the portions were too large. But she too stumbled onto something on the menu that she now orders exclusively. It's the garlic encrusted whitefish. Funny, now neither of us order anything Italian at an Italian restaurant.

If I missed another review somewhere about this place I apologize. I really did search and didn't find anything. Either way, I highly recommend this place. The prices are good with an average tab of less than $20 per person. The portions are over generous and the service is usually good. They do get crowded during peak hours so you might want to consider reservations for weekend evenings.

Graziano's Brick Oven Pizza
5960 W. Touhy Ave.
Niles, IL

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