Food is an international language. No matter where you go, it speaks to people. It can bring a pleasant feeling or evoke a memory from our childhood.It can also be something that you have never experienced before. The bottom line is that food brings pleasure.
Between the glamour of downtown Chicago and O Hare, we were invited to try the food at a cute little place in Schiller Park called “The Great Escape.” I wondered why it was called that and I got my answer. The name of the owner of the restaurant is one Brian Great. It turns out that Brian’s mother and father had a restaurant in Chicago called the Drift Inn. Their specialty was the best baby back ribs and broasted chicken in the Chicago area. Brian and his family have happily carried on this tradition . We got a chance to try the food and absorb the homey atmosphere last week. It was a foodtastic experience . Sometimes the simplest food is truly the best.
Walking in the place, I was transported back to my childhood and the many mom and pop places that we went to in Ohio and on vacation. The decor was early American with wooden tables and chairs and a red , white and blue motif . It was a refreshing drink of water from the pretentious bistros of the Gold Coast. When we sat down at the table, a bountiful feast was laid out for us to enjoy. Brian had to have us try what made them famous. I have to be honest, I have heard the term “broasted” chicken most of my life and finally learned what it was. It was nice to indulge in chicken that was not skinless and boneless. The skin was tasty, the cole slaw had a mayo base and that is the way it should be, the steak fries were hearty. Verdict, delish. The ribs came right off the bone and the spice was just right, not too tangy. We tried the the bass as well, with it s special coating. I liked its taste, not too fishy and a big one …no bones. We got to try a few of the items not on the regular menu. One was a healthy treat called chicken and quinoa , Quinoa is a super food that is loaded with protein , but not with carbs. It had mushrooms and grilled chicken mixed with fresh vegetables. It had my approval for tasty and healthy at the same time.
Two items stuck out as what I would call my faves. One was the most magnificent chicken pot pie I have ever seen. You are talking to a baby boomer who grew up with frozen chicken pot pies. Believe me, this one is different . Start with a flaky crust that is fashioned to look like a true work of art. When you see it, you’ll think its too pretty to eat. Fill that shell with chunks of chicken, vegetables, and make it piping hot. We will have to venture back to the place when we are in the dead of the Chicago winters. The other I called a summer explosion of flavor .It was an amazing salad that consisted of fruit, grilled chicken, nuts, and provolone with a yogurt citrus dressing that made it pop. The food at Great Escape is pure from the free range chicken to the farm to table vegetables. It is good old fashioned food at its best. And you are going to get a healthy helping for your money. That is good news.
The food isn’t the only attraction here at Great Escape. From the huge wine turbine to the famous who have dined here like the legendary Al Capone, you will be entertained and informed as well as fed well. The Great Escape is located at 9540 W Irving Park Road in Schiller Park. They are also available for banquets and catering.