There are family-style restaurants and then there are family-style restaurants like Skyline in Chicago Heights, Ill. Right across from Bloom High School on busy Dixie Highway, you can’t miss the gigantic digital marquee advertising daily specials. You really want to stop in and see what this place is all about.
Spotless, light and airy, bustling with diners and fast, friendly service, I had an excellent experience on a recent Sunday (the restaurant is open daily until 3 p.m.).
Owners Chris, Vivian, Dimitri, John and Helen Valaveris have been in business for 30 years and their experience shows. The menu is huge. I think every imaginable breakfast is on it — eggs, cereal, corned beef hash, skillets, Benedicts, omelettes, pancakes, French toast, waffles, biscuits & gravy, crepes, breakfast burritos, steaks, chops and chicken, and I’m sure there are few other categories I’ve missed.
Then there are the side salads, low-cal plates, main-course salads, sandwiches (hot, cold and club), burgers, wraps, melts, croissant sandwiches, and entrées like barbecued ribs, Grecian chicken, butt steak. Specials can include fish, spaghetti and meat balls and brisket, changing daily.
You know what the best part is? Everything on the menu is spelled correctly! That’s a major accomplishment in itself.
I started with Stuffed Pepper Soup. The standard portion is a bowl, not a cup. It was so good I bought a quart to go ($8). Next was the excellent Chicken Fajitas ($8.95) with corn tortillas, rice, salsa and sour cream. The portion was so large, I had to take half home. Even with my stomach satisfyingly full, the housemade bread pudding called to me. I’m glad my stomach listened. It was superior.
Along with the Half Slab Barbecued Ribs ($9.95), Grecian Chicken Breast ($8.45), Broiled 1/2 Grecian Chicken ($10.98), the 1/2-pound Black Angus Burgers ($7.65 to $8.25) are the most-ordered items. Dinners come with soup or salad, roll and butter. Burgers are accompanied by soup, fries or fruit cup.
Dimitri, the son of Chris and Vivian Valaveris, is a culinary school graduate and his touch is evident in many of the specials, including the soups and bread pudding. John Valaveris and his wife operate Yanni’s Cafe in Manteno, Ill. That is next on my list to visit. If it’s as good as Skyline, and I have no doubt it is, I’ll be just as pleased.
There is a Rewards Club. For every $100 you spend at the restaurant, you receive a $10 award certificate. Hang on to those receipts and ask the hostess how this works. Customer Appreciation Day is every Thursday when you will be given Double Rewards points.
If you call the restaurant, a recorded message will tell you the soups of the day along with the day’s specials. Private parties can be accommodated if you call in advance. Breakfast catering is available. There is a huge parking lot and the prices are very affordable.
They were really jammin’ on a Sunday afternoon but still the service was fast and friendly. I’m going back. You should, too!
1016 Dixie Highway, Chicago Heights, IL 60411
Open 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily