Way back, after Byron and Cyndi had gotten married, just Brian and I had gone to visit them for a weekend. That Sunday, Cyndi had not been feeling good and Byron had had to work for awhile, so Brian and I had set off exploring. Turns out that the direction we headed off into, is pretty much closed up on Sunday's. That resulted in us driving further than we probably would have. And after a while, we went from being 'kind of hungry', to "let's find someplace to eat!".
The first real restaurant we came across, we pulled into, but for reasoning's that we don't now remember, we just weren't that thrilled with the looks of the place. As we started to pull out of their driveway, another place caught our eye. And the things they were promoting on their digital front sign sounded good. It was close to St. Patty's Day and they were promoting a Corned Beef and Cabbage dinner, as well as a Lamb dinner. Brian likes both, and I was willing to try something new, so we pulled in.
The name of the place is Simon's Restaurant, and it's located at 2 W. Roosevelt Road, in Villa Park, Ill.
We had gotten there shortly before noon, so we were just in time to see the 'Sunday Church Crowd' arrive. We found them very interesting and fun to observe. We were impressed with how cross racial lines they were. There were blacks and Mexicans and obviously Greeks and Caucasians, all sitting table to table and smiling warmly at one another. We were also impressed with how cross income groups they were. While some weren't flaunting their wealth, they wore it oh so subtly well!!! And there were others whom you'd dub 'hicks'. But like I said, everybody smiled warmly at one another, and lots of them seemed to be regulars, whom more than nodded at one another. Nice!
Getting there when we did, had also then allowed us to view a whole lot of their menu choices, as they were paraded past us to their destinations. What a colorful interesting parade! Everything was served with garnished flare! Somewhere in their kitchen, was a culinary garnish-er whom took pride in their work! The fruit platter with a huge scoop of chicken salad in the middle, was a colorful, multi-textured, arranged not dropped on the plate, inspiring work of art! All this time latter, I can still close my eyes and picture it's beauty.
Not only were all of the passing dishes pretty to look at, most all of them were also mouth watering appealing. We had already started on our dinners, and were enjoying them immensely, but "doesn't that look good!" Oh man!
We liked the place so much, that not only did we make mental notes to take the "kids" there sometime, but I also jotted the name and address of Simon's down in my calender/reference book. We didn't want to have to try and remember where it was and what it had been called!! (I'm sure none of you ever have that problem. ;-p)
So time has passed, and even though we have visited "the kids" several times, it just never seemed to work out to take them there. But this time we were determined that WAS going to work out. It didn't on Saturday, which was fine, so we set Sunday as our goal. Wouldn't ya know that Ms. Analyse took a long nap on Sunday. ;-p. But that was okay, because she was in an extra good mood afterwords!
We found out that they (the restaurant) run special features EVERY Sunday. And due to the owners Greek heritage, several of those specials are always Greek cuisine. They also always feature a good ole ham dinner, a fish dinner, and something made with chicken. "Sunday Dinners"! :-)
Right when we started looking over the menu, Cyndi had gotten all excited. They had "Saganaki Flambe" as an appetizer!!! We had no clue what she was talking about. But man was she excited! ;-p She explained that it's a thick slice of some type of cheese that's been fried, they light it on fire when they serve it to you, and then put the flames out by squeezing the juice from lemon wedges onto it. We were both intrigued and curious, so we ordered some. She was right, that's really good!
Brian (aka: "Pappy!!" :-) ordered their Greek Combo which contained Lamb roast, Moussaka, and Spinach Pie with HUGE burgundy/red pitted olives and small chunks of Fetta cheese. He declared all of it delicious!! And, "we have got to bring Brent here!" (Brent loves lamb!)
Cyndi had some kind of a roast beef and cheese sandwich, Byron had Veal Parmesan, I had turkey with dressing, mashed potatoes and green beans, and we ordered Chicken nuggets for Ms. Analyse. Her's cost $5. The PLATTER came with ten(10) larger than McDonald's sized chicken nuggets and a heap of thick fries on it. Yup, she had a couple of day's lunches brought home for her. ;-p
At the end of your meal, everybody is served a small scoop of a soft serve ice cream, which our waitress described as "choconilla" flavored. She was right. It was a mixture of vanilla with a small amount of chocolate in it. Smooth. And tasty. And it cleared any hidden spices out of your mouth, like she had told us it would, "that way, you don't latter regret what you ordered". ;-p!
So-o-o, if your ever any-where's near Villa Park, Ill, we highly recommend that you drive yourselves over to Simon's Restaurant! Every day of the week their menu contains good looking and sounding selections. But on Sunday's, they take it notches higher!
When (not "if", WHEN) you go there, let us know what you ordered. ;-)
Don't know where "Villa Park" Ill is? Neither did we originally. ;-) Thankfully for you, internet based maps or "Tom Tom's" (TM) can locate it easily for you.