Monthly Archives: December 2015

Sushi+ Rotary Sushi

I have to say I love this place. Located in a little strip mall on Rt 59, just north of entrance #1 (the McDonald’s entrance) to the mall between Jamba Juice and Naf Naf is a little piece of sushi heaven.

I used to drive up to Mt Prospect to go to Kampai all the time, a distance of almost 40 miles round trip, to get sushi like this. Well, not really like this. At Kampai, theirs was made earlier in the day or the day before and put into a cooler and brought out when only when needed. That meant it could have been in there for a day or two before you ate it.

Rotary Sushi has designed the ultimate conveyor belt delivery system that brings you an endless variety of nigiri, rolls, deserts, salads, etc all in a temperature controlled environment. In addition, there is a complete menu featuring tempura, bento boxes, yakitori and other cooked items for the sushi-phobic in your party.

Is Rotary Sushi a new concept? No, it is in use all over Japan. It is also used at some of it’s competitors. It is just done much better here. A lot of people in the area rave and make claims that Sushi Station is better but after trying both many many times, I have to figure that those that make those claims have absolutely no idea what real good sushi is. The sushi is kept at the proper temperature within this system. It is made just before it is placed on the belt and does not remain on there more than an hour, not that it last that long.

Sit at the “bar” or at a table adjacent to the conveyor belt and watch as all the different items pass by you. Open the panel to access the plate(s) you want and enjoy. Plates are color coded with prices being lower than any other place of this type. Plates range from $1.50 to $6.50 depending on what is on them.

What I have found after eating sushi at almost every other sushi restaurant in the area is that the pieces of fish here are larger and there is less rice. Usually it is the other way around which causes you to fill up on rice instead of fish, a typical method to save money for the restaurant. The rolls are beautiful and the variety is amazing. You will always find something new and interesting.

Service is exceptional. The servers are always available and ready to take any special order. The moment you arrive you are greeted and when you are seated a warm hand towel is put in front of you. Order a drink from the Saki menu and start selecting what you want to eat from the belt. If you want something from the menu, simply let your server know and they will quickly have it made for you.

If you are in the Fox Valley area, this is the place to go for sushi. Lunch or dinner, you will not be disappointed. There is also a variety of special meal deals. Five blue ($3.50) plates and a glass of wine for $20. A sushi set for 2 which is made up of multiple pairs of items for $39.95. For lunch only, there is also a bento box special for $6.95

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Linebackers Grill

EDIT: 12/1/2015

Looks like I was correct in my opinion that this place would not last a year. I recently drove by and remembered that I hadn’t updated this post to reflect that they closed within six months of opening.

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I really wanted to like this place but I just cannot lie to you. It was not worth the time and money.

They Sho-Me’s location on Ogden Avenue in Napperville and it appears that they made no changes to the interior. Okay, maybe they spent the money on a decent chef and upgraded the food. Nope, that wasn’t it.

We were seated and looking over the menu as the waitress asked for our drink order. I asked for a Coke and Karen ordered a Boddingtons. I have to admit that their beer list was impressive. To bad the rest of the menu wasn’t.

Got my Coke and it was completely flat, no bubbles anywhere. I asked the Manager as she stopped by our table a few minutes later. She brought me another one and said that it had carbonation. Not even close. Flat as the first one. Okay, forget that, drink water. I also mentioned that it would be nice to have closed captioning turned on on those TVs that had talking heads and nothing else on them. She said that people didn’t like that so they didn’t turn it on. I guess I am not people.

Anyway, we ordered dinner after asking the waitress what the favorites were. She said the Linebacker Burger was the best and that the Salmon was good too. Okay, we ordered one of each. Oh yeah, we also ordered a bowl of their Beer Cheese Soup. To say it was salty was an understatement. I am not sure what cheese they used, but it mus have been packed in salt because the soup was inedible. They did take it off the bill when we told them that.

At this point I was not having much hope for dinner based on the soda and soup and I was right. The burger, while it was a nice 1/2 pound burger tasted burnt and really had no flavor at all. The french fries were soggy and limp, like they were barely fried and then thrown in the oven. Karen’s salmon was just as bad and most of it went home for the dogs who have less discriminating taste than we do.

With so many restaurants to chose from in the Naperville area, the Linebacker Grill is immediately forgettable. Do not bother going there. I bet they will be gone in less than a year.

Naf Naf

My mother was in town one weekend and we decided to go to Naf Naf. I have to say that I really enjoy this restaurant. I have eaten here (Freedom Commons,  the new Fox Valley location and the original location in the old Taco Bell on Ogden Ave.) many times. If you are looking for something new – Middle Eastern – to eat, this is the place to go to. They do it right.

My wife, who happens to be part Assyrian, says the Kifta is almost exactly like her nana (grandmother) used to make when she was a child. I am really jealous that she got to eat this type of food when she was growing up. I only learned about it by going to the better known and not as good, Pita Inn. Now that I know what real Middle Eastern food is supposed to taste like, this is the only place I will go to get it.

Anyway, the three of us went last night and ordered a large hummus plate ($4.99) which comes with two of their signature pitas. If you get nothing else here, get the pitas. They are made, born, according to the saying on one of the employee shirts,  fresh and hot every 15 minutes. They look like a pillow when they are served. You may think you know what a pita is supposed to be and taste like, but you have never had a real one until you have a Naf Naf pita.

We also split the Beef Kifta Kabab plate ($11.99) between the three of us. Usually, Karen and I will split this between ourselves and take half of it home. Tonight we only took enough for a light lunch home. The sides are basmati rice, fresh salad or home-made fries (you get to choose two). The fries are actually they are more like freshly made potato chips than fries. With the Kifta Kababs (think of five 4 oz patties of perfectly seasoned Angus ground beef) on the plate, that is a lot of food.

If you don’t want Beef Kababs, they also have Chicken Breast or Thigh Kababs, Chicken Shawarma, Schnitzel and Falafel. Each of these dishes can be ordered as a plate with the above additions or on a pita (yes that same incredible pita) – think heaven in a sandwich. They also have Baba Ghanoush, which for those unfamiliar with this cuisine is a cold dip made from grilled eggplant.

There is enough food for the price, which is a little higher than you would expect, but the quality and taste more than makes up for it.