Although John's original location in Calumet City, IL was just around the corner from our office, I never did try the pizza from that location and when it closed on December 31, 2005, I saw people on food chat boards crying about their demise so I was happy to hear that they were reopening John's in Whiting. The John's in Calumet City was opened in 1943 by Phil Bacino (don't know if they are related to the Bacino's restaurant in Chicago) and named for his son John. John's sons, Phil and Vince, are the ones that have opened the restaurant in Whiting, they also have a carryout location in Munster and another location in St. John. The locations in Dyer and Griffith are not associated with this one although I believe they are franchises of the original.
The Whiting location opened in November 2007, the 1st time we went, the place was absolutely packed with a long wait so we waited to try it as a takeout pizza. While I've never eaten inside, it looked like a nice place to eat.
Favorite Dish: John's pizza has a unique cut, they cut it down the center and then several lateral strips which allows each slice to have both crust and center. This is thin crust pizza, the crust is chewy, their distinctive topping is crumbled sausage. I can't compare it to the original since I never had it but posts I've seen on the LTH forum suggest that it is close to the original and they claim to be using the same recipes. Some people travel great distances for this pizza, I think it's alright but it's not one of my favorites.
We've visited Winey Beach Cafe many times over the last couple of years, everyone we've eaten here with has been extremely happy with their food and the prices are extremely reasonable. The restaurant is very small, maybe 10 tables, and is located on the main business street in Whiting. In the warmer months, they open the doors and you have a nice breeze coming in.
Favorite Dish: To start they give you complimentary won ton like strips with a yummy cream cheese spread, their drink menu is stacked with delicious Caribbean inspired drinks to get you going, we had Mojitos ($4) and key lime martinis ($4) on our last couple of visits. I've had the apple bacon wrap a couple of times but I usually get the Cuban sandwich ($9), delicious! You can pick your side, this time was sweet potatoes and garlic mashed but you can get fries or several other choices. My husband has tried the Cuban chicken, a nice sweet sauce and lots of little sides on the plate and the jerk burger which you can get spiced to your preference.
The key lime pie is a nice finish to the evening, the slices are small ($3) but reasonably priced but you might not want to share so get your own!
Last visit November 2010
There aren't many places to eat in Whiting, it's only a town of 5,000 after all. Keith's (named after the owner Scott Keith) is Whiting's "fine dining" restaurant but don't worry it's not pretentious and you would feel at home even wearing jeans.
The bar is well stocked and I hear they have a good wine list (not my thing), the bartender makes a delicious chocolate martini and a pretty mean Long Island ice tea. Good thing we don't have far to go after an evening out here!
There are lots of regulars who hang out here and it can sometimes be hard to get a table on the weekends. It's very convenient for us, so close we could even walk home should we have too many martinis, we come here at least once every couple of months.
Favorite Dish: Keith's is known for it's steaks, we started going there for their penne porcini which is no longer on the menu, but I can always find something good to eat here.
On recent visits we have tried several excellent dishes-fried calamari and saganaki for appetizers, if ribs are on the special menu, the portion is huge and delicious, the grilled lamb with cucumber sauce ordered medium rare was perfect, their ribeye and strip steaks rank up with the best steaks in Chicagoland. My husband also enjoys their pasta special which is tricolor pasta with sun dried tomatoes and sausage and I've had their delicious seafood pasta several times.
If we're in the mood for a casual meal, Grillers is a great place to go for either dine in or takeout right in the downtown area of Whiting. It's very casual, you order at the counter and they bring the food out to you. Or you can get it to go which is what we usually do. Open from 8am-8pm (9pm on Friday and Saturday, closed on Sunday).
Favorite Dish: My last visit I got the steak asada wrap with chopped stea, pico de gallo, mozarrella, avocado, lettuce and sauce. The portion size is huge, I could only finish about half but that was OK because it reheated pretty well the next day. Sandwiches and burgers come with a choice of chips, fries or tater tots, we also got an order of their tasty onion rings. I didn't even make a dent in the fries but the onion rings were gobbled up.
Most menu items are in the $6-8 range. Credit cards are accepted.
Small bar/lounge restaurant with great food and drinks! Have a steak or a burger, a martini or a beer! They also have a party room upstairs!
Favorite Dish: They have great soup, steaks, and their burgers are almost as good as mine!!! Let me know when you're going, I live only a block away!
Dino's has been around since I moved to the area back in 1989 and we've been enjoying their pizza ever since, at some point they moved from their more visible location on 119th Street in Hammond to a more remote location in Whiting on 121st Street near the BP Refinery. Although I think there are a couple of tables, we always order it for takeout.
Favorite Dish: We almost always order the same thing, a thin crust sausage & pepperoni pizza.
Since Whiting has been put on the map by the humble Polish dumpling, the pierogi, it's fitting that we have a year round deli that sells them. Earlier this summer, Chicago Tribune columnist John Kass wrote an article about Lynethe's Deli, oddly he wrote it before Pierogi Fest, the best we could figure is that he was down here covering the BP Amoco permit debacle. Anyways, Kass crowned Jesus Alvarez, the owner of Lynethe's, the Pierogi King.
Now that may sound a little odd, a Mexican immigrant being crowned the King of Pierogis, but he knows his pierogis, a selection of 10 or more offered up daily as well as other Eastern European favorites such as stuffed cabbage.
Favorite Dish: You can get a pierogi meal with 7 pierogis, 2 sides and a roll for $6.29. I went for the meat pierogis and sweet cheese, you can either take them home or have them cook them for you and as I am currently stoveless, he cooked them up for me.
Located right on the downtown Whiting stretch of 119th Street, Sunrise is a terrific place to get a bit to eat. Not fancy and not gourmet and what I order is NEVER healthy, just good solid food at very affordable prices.
Favorite Dish: I usually end up getting a skillet or a Monte Cristo sandwich, we are always amazed at the amount of food we get for the small bill that they bring us.
This is one of the better small greek hot dog stand places that are found throughout Chicagoland. Look for a place with a Vienna Hot Dog sign outside and you will probably get a good meal for a very low price. The gyros special at Richway tastes like a salty heart attack, a perfect combination of grease and spices. Stay away if you are training for the Olympics (this place kept me out of Barcelona 1998, well Richway and a lack of athlethic ability, who is to say which had more impact) or have high blood pressure. Vegetarians actually can eat well here, try the veggie pita. Chase the special with a shake topped with homemade whipped cream! Cheap and hearty, a true taste of Chicago (via Athens I suppose).
Favorite Dish: Gyros Special. A great gyros sandwich with fries and a large coke for $4.00.