Having read the extended soup thread here a while back, I was feeling full of self pity - stuck in the far western suburbs without any decent soup, or good place to eat, almost. But then I snapped out of it. Plus I was feeling guilty that I am taking recos and not providing any info (using Tony, as it were). This is the first of a few postings on good restaurants in the Naperville area (defined largely).
We shall start with Polish food, which coincidentally, can include some pretty good soups. I know there are a wealth of great polish and eastern european places going east, but these are places that do well and are not too far from N'ville.
Has anyone eaten at the Bobak's in Burr Ridge? I go there to pick up meats (cured pork products, mostly) and their little prepared salads, plus miscellaneous products that catch my fancy, but I have not tried the restaurant. I assume it is good, based on the store, but would be interested in feedback.
Susan's Place, in Lisle, is a real surprise. Sitting back in a mall, presenting itself as another coffee shop. I used to know Susan, and had sort of dismissed the place, but I wandered in hoping for soup for lunch. Susan's gone, and it has really become a Polsih Cafe, I think. Menus and signage in polish. Piles of baked goods from Baltic Bakery by the register, and the entire clientele appeared to be Polish contractors. Good sign. Tried the Beet Soup (respectable version, though too many things in it) beets, sour cream bits, onions, potatos, kidney beans (not a bad touch), meatballs (really unnecessary), nicely seasoned and not too heavy. At $1.79 for a bowl, with bread, this is a great deal. Then I had "Pancakes with meat and cheese." Another real deal at $3.79 for enough food for 3 or 4 people (I was overfed eating one of the two). Potato flour, I think, with a little onion, a patty of some meat in the middle (same as the meatballs I bet) some melted cheese on top, with ham bits. Not as crispy as I would like, but decent flavors and very filling. I will be exploring Susan's further, though I think they are limited by the kithchen which is not really a full one. Good lunch place.
Polish Touch Deli - Woodridge - Not a restaurant, but they have a couple of tables and you can eat there. They make (or buy) wonderful Kolacky, and the farmers soup is quite respectable. You can also buy a number of dishes to go, and so far I have liked everything I bought there. This is also a lunch spot.
Chef Paul - Okay, this place is really Bohemian. Been around forever, and moved from Naperville to Lisle a few years ago. Nice room with the walls painted, wooden booths, etc. It would fit in well on Cermak in Cicero. They have all the standards, roast pork, cutlet in all its variations, roast duck, liver dumpling soup (which I love). They do it all well. Prices are reasonable. They also have a bar and a good selection of imported beers. Good choice for a hearty meal. Authentic, unchallenging, nice atmosphere.
There is real food in the far western suburbs, you just have to sift through the chains to find it. Would you like Indian or Chinese/Japanese/Korean selections next?
Polish Touch Deli 7404 Janes Ave, Woodridge, 630-963-0661
Susan's Place 1600 Maple Avenue Suite F, Lisle, 630-493-9624
Bobak's Restaurant, 100 Burr Ridge Parkway, Burr Ridge, 630-655-2100
Chef Paul, 1800 Ogden Avenue, Lisle 630-241-4701