Archive for Saturday, August 12, 2006

Eating great, even late

What’s open into the wee hours to sate your grumbling tummy

August 12, 2006

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The Frosty. The Big Mac. The Double Decker Taco. They're cheap, impossibly convenient and yes, deliciously decadent during the late night hours. But, as the saying goes, too much of a good thing is never a good thing. So for those looking to revamp their nocturnal fast food habit, here's a guide to the best eats in town after the sun goes down.

Grills and Bars

Buffalo Wild Wings Grill & Bar, 1012 Mass. Open until 1 a.m.

This conveniently located sports bar has a tantalizing array of bar food. From fries to burgers to, of course, buffalo wings, there's something for anyone with a penchant for deep frying, hockey or both. Try a plate of the low-priced hot wings to spice up the night.

Jefferson's Restaurant

743 Mass.

Open until 11 p.m.

Step inside Jefferson's dollar bill-plastered interior and indulge in the aroma of fried catfish and crawfish. The storied Massachusetts Street staple also serves burgers, fries, onion rings and other bar fare, but it's the seafood that sets it apart from other restaurants. And with prices ranging from about $5 to $10 a plate, you won't wake up the next morning with buyer's remorse.

Exotic eats

The Burrito King

900 Ill.

Open until 3 a.m.

The King truly holds reign over all the late-night grubbers in the land. The drive-through restaurant's royal reputation brings in new customers while its assortment of chips, tacos and enormous burritos keeps them coming back. It's cheap, too. An entire meal costs about $5. The drive-in is quick and easy, while the picnic-table patio is a good spot to nosh on some free chips and salsa and your burrito of choice.

La Parrilla

814 Mass.

Open until 3 a.m.

If you're looking to sample a dish from south of the border, going to La Parrilla is always a good idea. The restaurant, a favorite among locals, goes above and beyond tacos and burritos to give you a taste of Central and South America. The Salvadoran enchiladas are popular, as are the loaded rice bowls. The Brazilian limeade is out of this world - made with coconut milk and lime juice, it's sure to quench your thirst on a steamy summer evening. Chips and salsa are free and unlimited.

TryYaki

701 W. 23rd St.

Open until 3 a.m.

This new fast-food joint on the block sells Chinese food like egg rolls, fried rice and won tons in a snap. That makes it the only drive-through, fast-food Asian restaurant in town. So for those on the prowl for a bite of Eastern cuisine early in the morning, be warned: Once you start, you won't be able to quit this TryYaki habit. Delivery is available, too.

Sandwiches

Jimmy John's Gourmet Sandwich Shop

922 Mass.

Open until 3 a.m.

This delicious little deli, which offers "free smells" to passers-by, serves up long sandwiches stacked with fresh meats, cheeses and a wide array of condiments. Mayonnaise is a must, and the shop's freshly baked bread is at once perfectly soft and crusty. Still hungry? Try the chocolate chip cookies. Delivery available.

Yello Sub

624 W. 12th St.

Open until midnight

It may not be open as late as Jimmy John's, but Yello Sub is still a local favorite for its toasty, decadent subs. With two convenient locations, one by campus, you're always within reach of a hot, foil-wrapped sandwich and that warm, cozy feeling you get after devouring the last bite - perfect for cool fall nights.

24-hour diners

International House of Pancakes

3102 Iowa

Open 24 hours

With its broad selection of flavored syrups and jams, IHOP aims to please any palate. The diner serves baskets of chicken fingers with honey mustard, grilled cheese sandwiches and the like, but most people go there for the breakfast. Sausage, bacon, pancakes, omelets, waffles and crepes are always tasty late at night, if only for the novelty of eating breakfast at 3 a.m. If you need to feed your inner child, order a Funny Face. It's a chocolate-chip pancake with a whipped-cream smiley face and cherries for eyes. Scrumptious.

Perkins Restaurant

1711 W. 23rd St.

Open 24 hours

Perkins probably never gets busier than it is at 2 a.m. Friday night. By day, it's a mild-mannered diner, but by night it's a local hangout for bargoers and party animals looking for grub. Coffee and pie is a classic combo at Perkins, but they also serve breakfast, burgers and other diner staples to suit any fancy.

Steak 'n Shake

3111 Nieder Road

Open 24 hours.

This '50s-style diner is known for its black-and-white tile floor and open kitchen, which allows you to watch your burger being seared and flipped as you sip on your milkshake. Fries, chili and breakfast menu items are other heartburn-inducing favorites.

Pizza

Domino's Pizza

832 Iowa

Open until 3 a.m. weekends

Delivery is Domino's specialty. The chain pizza is fast, cheap and available after the bars close - what more could a college student ask for?

Pyramid Pizza

1016 Mass

Open until 3 a.m. weekends

If you prefer supporting local business, or if you're at Fatso's late Saturday night battling the munchies, you'll delight in a slice of Pyramid Pizza. At Fatso's, the slices are served fresh on paper plates to barhoppers migrating en masse along Mass. Other locations in town deliver.

Pizza Shuttle

1601 W. 23rd St.

Open until 3 a.m. weekends

Sometimes, there's just nothing better than spending the night playing Super Nintendo in your dorm room with a personal pizza from the Shuttle at your side. You can buy a good-sized personal pie (way bigger than the Personal Pan at Pizza Hut) and a drink for about $6. And with unique toppings like cream cheese, the Shuttle lets you experiment with tastes without breaking the bank.

Gumby's Pizza

1445 W. 23rd St.

Open until 3:30 a.m. weekends

Gumby's keeps delivering pizza even after all the other pizza places in town fire down their ovens. And with prices ranging from $5 to $8, you don't have to worry about price-gouging.

The Wheel

14th and Ohio streets

Open until 2 a.m.

Though The Wheel is known primarily as a bar, its first-floor pizza shop is frequented by bar hoppers and partygoers well into the night. Pizza is sold by the slice from 10 p.m. until 2 a.m.

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