For years, as I have driven on Lake Avenue (just East of Milwaukee Avenue) in Glenview, I noticed a building that has housed many a dining spot. Over the years, the changes have been numerous, but with all the apartments and hotels in the area, it certainly seems as if a restaurant could be a winner at this location. When Gullivers moved into the spot, I was sure that at last one had been found. Note: I always loved the original on Howard and California. But even they were not what the doctor ordered. North Branch Pizza and Burger, a company that is owned by people who live in the community and a staff of local employees is in this building at 4520 W. Lake Street. Their manager, Jonathan Steinberg, who has great food credentials in the Chicagoland area, knowing my love of certain types of dishes, asked me to come by with some friends and taste the items that his staff puts out for the people of the North Shore.
Jane and I met our friends Alan and Vickie at the front door and once we entered the restaurant felt the warmth of the staff immediately. Our server Elizabeth, a sweetie-pie who truly knows every items on this menu, gave us a booth where we could enjoy each other while at the same time view one of the many large screen TV’s ( after all, this might have been the night for my Cubbies to “clinch” their division). Alan remarked right away that this was truly a menu for the masses, If someone could not find something to order on this menu, they were evidently not hungry (or they might be out of their minds). The Pizzas looked terrific, but with the many choices on the menu, we opted to skip Pizza and come back at a later time to taste the thin crust masterpieces we saw being brought to neighboring tables.
For our “starters” we chose the Frings (deep battered onion rigs and hand cut fries), The Moon Pot Stickers (to die for), Molten Meatballs (fantastic four cheese and marinara sauce with some tasty garlic bread) and some crispy calamari. They have a list that goes on and on with sliders, couch potatoes (tater tots) quesadillas, wings, fried pickles (next trip, for sure) and so much more. They also feature tacos and a number of what they call 2-handed sandwiches ( they are full size. As I said, the pizza looked great, both thin and deep-dish and we will return for these tastes very soon.
The girls wanted a salad (the selection is HUGE), but we selected P.K.’s Chopped Chop Salad-chicken breast,tomatoes, bacon, corn,scallions, avacocado,bleu cheese crumbles and tortilla chips. This was large enough for all to share and take some home. The burger list is another mind-blowing experience Over a dozen different choices and from what I saw, each appeared to out do the other. Here is a place you can go to often and never eat the same meal twice in the same month.
Our entrees were the Cedar Plank fire roasted salmon (lightly seasoned and grilled to perfection) served with smashed potatoes that were delish and grilled veggies that make even the non-veggie eater pick up their fork and dig-in, House smokes ribs (we opted for 1/2 slab, each of us having 2 ribs) with cole slaw and hand cut fries, the third entrée was their honey butter fried chicken-WOW! ( I am a chicken lover and this even tasted better than broasted chicken that I love). This meal takes a bit longer, but as the menu says, “be patient, it’s worth it” (they are so right!). and for the fourth plate, the Grecian Style Lamb Chops. Again wood-grilled and served with the great smashed potatoes as the salmon was, along with roasted tomatoes( that Jane went crazy for). There are so many more items on this menu- steaks, pasta, fish and chips. Like I said earlier, one could make many trips to North Branch and never try every item on the menu. In fact, they change menus from time to time, moving things in and out by the season. Desserts is one of those places. We truly wanted to try the “Helen’s soon to be famous bread putting” , but were told maybe towards the Holidays it would return, so we opted for their cookie skillet (a home-baked chocolate chip cookie with Homer’s ice cream. Elizabeth noted that not a crumb was left behind on this plate or with our other choice, Hill-Billy wedding cake; two chocolate donuts with Homer’s ice cream in the middle (sauce and whipped cream as well). We enjoyed our coffee with these desserts and vowed that “we would return” with others!
North Branch Pizza and Burger Company is l;located at 4520 West Lake Street in Glenview. The phone number is 847-813-6400 and their website, www.northbranchglenview.com
if you order online, they will give you a 5% discount. Pick-ups are available, but the full experience is to dine-in so you can see the entire menu as the items go from kitchen to table. North Branch is open: Mon-Saturday from 11 a.m.- 12 a.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m. until 10 p.m. They have plenty of parking and by the way, the bar serves a mighty fine martini. Enjoy- I know we did!