Leona’s – Chicagoland, IL

I’ve been to Leona’s a number of times before but this was Chris’s first visit. Normally, I wouldn’t think to go here for lunch as the portions are so large and the normal “girl’s weekend” routine involves shopping at Woodfield and lunch at Sweet Tomatoes.

Side note: Why oh why do we not have a place like Sweet Tomatoes anywhere in the state of Michigan?!?!

On this trip, our dinner reservation wasn’t until 8:45 and breakfast was a light continental style from the hotel so a hearty lunch would be quite alright.

The menu at Leona’s is large as are the servings. Throughout the menu, they warn you of this but its not until they set a salad plate the size of a turkey platter down that you really understand. Fortunately, there are a number of items with half-sizes available including the chicken sandwiches, one of which I ordered. The half-size Cobb Chicken sandwich is one-half a chicken breast (you know, a normal serving) topped with tomato, avocado, bleu cheese and pesto mayo. Melissa also went with the half-chicken sandwich, the Tuscany with provolone, bacon and pesto mayo. Tarik had a burger and Chris ordered the 5-cheese lasagna topped with chicken. I was a little surprised the chicken wasn’t sliced for easier eating but Chris just moved it to a side plate and sliced off as needed.

On top of the already huge entree serving, each item came with a side dish choice. Melissa and Chris had soup. I can’t remember what Tarik chose and I had steak fries. Big giant wedges of potato tossed in some kind of seasoning and baked to crispy deliciousness. Dipped in ranch dressing for good measure.

Melissa and I were initially disappointed that we wouldn’t be getting the yummy fresh baked bread with herbed butter and Marinara sauce. Then we realized that it came with pasta dishes like lasagna and Chris could never eat a whole loaf of bread himself.

While we waited for our meals, we quizzed each other using the Trivial Pursuit-like cards on the table. I managed to pick the card with all the impossible (for the others) questions. We also noticed that we were in the family section, whether by accident or intention, every table in our section had a kid or two. The group right behind us had very young baby twins and a toddler.

I managed to eat my whole sandwich but had to leave a few fries behind. The only person with leftovers was Chris. We boxed up his lasagna and ended up leaving it with Melissa and Tarik whom I’m sure enjoyed it later that weekend.

I’ve been to Leona’s enough times to know what to expect. They haven’t disappointed me yet other than some silly things like “you don’t get bread unless you order it or pasta.” Melissa did mention that every time they get take-out lately its been wrong and not discovered till they are back home. They aren’t far from the location we went to but that would still be mighty irritating.


Leona’s Neighborhood Restaurant: Website & Menu
Locations: 12 throughout greater Chicago. We ate at the Rogers Park location.
Hours: Vary by location but generally open till 10:30-11 during the week and midnight on Friday/Saturday

Pepsi products, all locations smoke-free (thanks Illinois!!); Delivery and Catering services also available

This brings us to our third significant meal in Chicago, at Quince in Evanston. By the far the most significant and best meal of the trip. We were very pleased with our dinner on Saturday night. But, its late so I’ll have to tell you about it tomorrow.


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