Thursday, July 12, 2012

Philly G's

Location: 1252 East US Highway 45, Vernon Hills, IL
Cost: About $35 per person


So my car doesn't have air conditioning. There's some crack somewhere that leaks freon every time we fill it up. The point is that I did a that whole road trip to Duluth and back in the sweltering heat without any relief. When I finally got home, I was pretty exhausted. Then I got a call from my mom saying that my family members Annie and Nathan were in town and that I should tack an extra 45 minutes onto what had already been a 7 hour drive to come to the northern suburbs. See, Nathan was on his way from Minnesota as well. He was going to this summer program in economics for bright high school students at Northwestern and had some free time before it started. We decided to hit up one of our favorite home town Italian spots, Philly G's (used to be Gilardi's if you don't recognize the name).


Logistics
Philly G's is in old house turned restaurant. They've got a beautiful closed in patio and a bunch of really great party rooms. They used to have this real old timey car out front, but I think it's long gone now. It gives me a more toned down feel of how Meson Sabika is set up. We usually make reservations, but I'd imagine you can get by with a small enough party without one.


Our waitress was friendly and put up with my family's lame jokes. Our food came out quickly too. The cost is what you'd probably expect from this scale of an Italian restaurant. The pasta dishes are in the mid teens and the proteins float around $20.


The Food
All of our meals came with a soup or salad. I started with the Escarole and Sausage Soup while others got the Minestrone or the House Salad. The soups were a little on the thinner side, but they were well seasoned. The salad had nice large roasted red peppers on top (plus my dad had some bleu cheese crumbles tossed on his).

The House Salad

The Escarole and Sausage Soup

 The Minestrone


For the main course, Nathan got the Chicken Parmesan, Annie got the Cavatelli, my mom got the Veal Vesuvio, my dad got the special Shrimp and Pasta with a side of Meatballs, and I got the Branzino. The cavatelli was homemade and on the al dente side. The sauce was tangy and complemented everything very well. The veal was tender, but I wasn't digging the vesuvio sauce. It was too thin and too heavy on the lemon. The dish of the night was my dad's Shrimp and Pasta. These shrimp had a rich and spicy kick. Plus, the meatballs he got on the side were well textured and complex. The branzino was a well constructed filet that came out flaky and light. It was a definite step above the one we had at RPM.

The Branzino

The Chicken Parmesan

The Veal Vesuvio

The Shrimp and Pasta Special

The Meatballs

 The Cavatelli


For dessert, instead of sticking around the restaurant, we decided to head down the street to Greg's Frozen Custard. It's basically your average neighborhood custard stand, but on a hot summer night, it's hard to beat a place like that.



Overall
I don't think things are as great as I remembered them during my childhood, but I still really enjoyed the meal at Philly G's. The restaurant is interesting and well accustomed for parties. The pastas they make there are spot on. When I go back, I'll make sure and order the shrimp. If there out of that, I'd be good with any fish filet they're serving up. I'm giving them 4 out of 5 Pearls.



Greg's Frozen Custard on Urbanspoon Philly G's Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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