Steak 'n Shake is now a national chain with 300+ stores in thirteen states. The very first Steak 'n Shake, however, was in Normal, IL. I kid you not! Of course it has now been closed and turned into a pizza place, but there are four other ones you can visit. People in this town love their Steak 'n Shake.
Favorite Dish: Cheddar cheese fries!
The Coffee House has, by far, the best vegetarian food in town, and probably in the entire damn county. Their menu is entirely veggie, and it doesn't matter what you order because it's ALL good.
Favorite Dish: Chili Quesidillas
Very mexican decorations...white, orange, and green. Tablecloth-covered tables, soft lighting, and stuccoed walls look very authentic. Arched open doorways lead to the kitchen, and dark-stained hardwood all over.
Wrought iron gates frame the bar.
The waitresses are all friendly, always with smiles.
A VERY cheery place to eat.
Favorite Dish: Chiles Rellenos - Poblano peppers stuffed with cheese or meat, battered, and fried. It's warm, gooey, and just a little spicy. The peppers are a little smoky/sweet and fantastic.
Gazpacho - Generally served only during the warm months. A chilled tomato soup with cucumber, onion, garlic, and cilantro. Very refreshing.
Chilaquiles - A mexican casserole-type side dish. Cornmeal with mild peppers and I think some garlic. Plebian, but wonderful
There actually is a variety of food at the food court.
Elenor's Kitchen has decent Chinese food. The General's Chicken seems to be a favorite with many students, I however, don't enjoy the breaded chicken all that well. I do recommend the black pepper chicken or the pinapple chicken. While not great, it's better than must of the fair.
The Tower Deli actually has some decent sandwiches. First off, if you don't like a MASSIVE amount of whatever condement you ask for, let the student who's making your sandwich know. This is especially the case if you get mayonase. They just put globs and globs of mayo on. This is why I refrain from the mayo and stick with mustard. You can either get one of the premade sandwiches or get your own custom one. The Randolf is a pretty good premade sandwich. It's turkey, swiss, and grey poupon on a crossant. I mostly eat a custom made sandwich on Seven Grain bread (yes! They actually have good wheat breads there!).
Stay away from the Mexican place.
The Salad Bar actually has leaf lettuce and spinach. Make a nice healthy salad with that and go light on the dressing and you're set.
The italian place, Donzillos, has pizza and some other dishes. I don't eat at it though. I hear the pizza is horrible.
There is actually a Chic-fil-a there. This sounds nice since Chic-fil-a is usually pretty damn good. Well, the food is obviously different from your local fast food place. What I recommend there is the grilled chicken sandwich. It's usually dry, but throw some barbacue sauce on, and you're good.
Boomer's Grill can be satisfying on the occasion. However, if you show up later at night, you might be feasting on a cold burger. The burgers are decent, the fries just bad, but the pork sandwich and fish sandwich are alright. Load all of these with condements as they are all very dry. I hear the "Boomer Burger" is pretty good too. They put lettuce, tomato, and some western sauce on it. There was this one time where the fish sandwich was actually bitter. It was not a pleasant experience, beware.
Favorite Dish: There is a place there with Bagels, Muffins, and Cakes/Cookies. The Bagels are good. Blueberry is great, and the Cinnamin Rasin ones are good too. Muffins are pretty damn good too, again I like the blueberry. The cookies are hit or miss. Sometimes they're good, sometimes they are rather lacking. Now, my favorite food to get here are the Rice Crispy Treats. They make they using Lucky Charms, Cocca Cripies, or Fruit Loops. OMG are they good.