At this location, there is the Highland House known as a motorcycle Mecca on Sunday mornings. Ultimo seems to be a veteran motorcyclist who has probably rendezvoused there and may be able to comment on the food.
From that location, I would head east rather than west. If you insist on going west, then stop in at the upscale strip mall anchored by a Dominicks at Waukegan and Half Day Road (22). There are some restaurants there but I haven't been that way in a while so I don't know the current mix.
Heading east into Highwood has much more options. Highwood has been a restaurant Mecca on the north shore ever since it was the only community that allowed liquor service. Today the North Shore is wet, the restaurant tradition continues.
I am intentionally not including the white table cloth places in Highwood because these can be found in Metromix. IT is Highwood off the beaten track where locals do the quick pick-up. This is not all conclusive but a beginning list.
I haven't been to all these places, however I recall VI pointing out that sometimes identifying a potential place can be useful.
508 East Old Elm Road (Next exit north of 22, then east)
Highland Park, IL 60035
This place was a surprise to my lunchtime friend and myself. I found this place while doing quick research to respond to this query. We came for lunch the same day we learned of this Ma and Pa Japanese restaurant, which is 4 years 4 months old. We simply had never heard of it ... but our first visit will not be our last.
We found the restaurant clean, service was good and the lunch menu of good value. I had Bento box B which was beef teriyaki, sticky rice, tempura consisting of a green bean, shrimp, sweet potato and potato, plus a salad with ginger and orange for $7.95. My friend had Lunch Sushi B, which included 3 pcs kappa, 3 pcs tekka, and 5 pieces sushi for $8.95. My friend identified that each sushi purchased a la carte was $2 each, so she felt she had good value. We each had miso soup. We plan to return soon, so a broader review will follow.
Tacos el Norte
118 Washington Avenue
This is my default lunch location and popular with local Mexicans. I work at home so often the walls feel like they are coming down around me. I vary between tortas, burritos, castillos de res and chile rellenos. During Lent, my lunch friend and I order plates of fish fillets and grilled garlic shrimp, then have the kitchen split the portions between two orders.
329 Waukegan Avenue
(street parallel to railroad tracks on the east side)
Highwood, IL 60040
I walked in just to check the menu. The prices are higher than Tacos el Norte. No horchata. Though they do have Chimichangas and Flautas, which are absent from Tacos el Norte. Many of the steak dinners featured genuine fresh cut fries. The clientele on my brief visit were entirely gringos, only the proprietor was Mexican.
Il Forno Pizza and Pasta
496 Old Elm Road (Next exit north after Route 22, then east)
Highland Park, IL
Though this is a popular take-out place since 1961. This location has seating and a full Italian menu for those who may not want pizza. Pizza can be purchased by the slice at lunchtime only.
848 Sheridan Road
This is take-out pizza with 2 booths, which can seat 4 people each at their front. We ate there once about a year ago. Among their combinations is a cheeseburger pizza.
431 Sheridan Road
Highwood, IL 60040
Pizza, Italian beef, burgers, and salads --- I have eaten here perhaps once in 30 years. I know others who regularly visit. Lunch today was busy when I stepped in to collect a menu.
17 Bank Lane
Located directly across the street from Tacos el Norte. I will have lunch there sometime next week. Menu features 23 different hoagie combinations plus hamburgers, Vienna hot dogs, Italian beef sandwiches. This is a mini chain with locations in Waukegan, Chicago and Palatine. Since there are locations in Chicago, maybe someone can comment if this is worth the effort to try.