An assortment of Bodhi Thai menu items. Clockwise from upper left: Gui-Chai, Pad Khee Mao, Pad Thai and Spicy Beef Salad. Photo by Melissa Elsmo

Time for freestyle Thai

Bodhi Thai Bistro, 6211 W. Roosevelt Road, is a quaint eatery that flies low under the radar of the local restaurant scene, but food-lovers in the know are regulars at this affordably-priced gem on the “Veltway.”

Since opening in 2009, Bodhi Thai has been turning out reliable Thai dishes using passion-driven freestyle cooking techniques. This in-the-moment cooking style makes use of seasonal ingredients and ensures quick-thinking cooks can create all dishes to order. As a result, most of Bodhi’s dishes are easily adaptable to vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free diets.

The well-appointed dining room offers a tranquil setting to explore an array of Thai specialties. When selecting an appetizer, pay special attention to Gui-Chai. The steamed and pan-fried chive dumplings served alongside a sweet and spicy soy sauce are crispy on the outside and pillowy soft inside. 

Diners can round out their meal with an array of curries, noodles, or rice-based dishes. Classics like Pad Thai are complemented by a secret menu, rotating specials, healthy salads, and warming soups. 

Tuesday Soups Day and family fare at Big Guys 

Carryout-focused Big Guys Sausage Stand, at 7021 W. Roosevelt Road, has turned toward family-style meals, slow food and hearty fare to welcome autumn. 

“We’ve kicked up the family meals again because there is a real need out there and people appreciate it,” said sausage stand owner, Brendan O’Connor. “Our Oktoberfest dinner was really popular because it is just a stupid amount of food. They are designed to serve six hungry people with leftovers.”

 Oktoberfest meal makes good on the restaurant’s moniker by offering both bratwurst and knockwurst in addition to pork loin. Soft Bavarian pretzels, potato pancakes, apple sauce, sweet cabbage and spaetzle round out the menu. Meals rotate weekly and include homey offerings like meatloaf, shrimp and chicken creole pasta, and turkey with all the trimmings.

In addition to feeding hungry families, Big Guys is serving up chili and other assorted soups. Chicken noodle, cream of potato, split pea and chicken and rice are popular offerings. Every Tuesday, as part of “Tuesday soup day,” customers receive a free cup of soup with every sandwich purchase.

Feeding generations at DiNico’s

For 37 years, DiNico’s Pizza, at 6627 W. Roosevelt Road, has been serving up giant pizza slices and assorted Italian fare. A mainstay in the Berwyn culinary community, the pizza-focused establishment has cultivated generational loyalty. 

For 10 years, Rosanne Saleh, who “does a bit of everything” at DiNico’s, has been overseeing operations at the restaurant known for being open 24 hours per day. In fact, customers often refer to her as “Mrs. DiNico’s.”

“People in the community have been raised on DiNico’s Pizza,” said Saleh proudly. “We’re an old family restaurant and I love watching families grow and children grow up. They keep coming back.”

DiNico’s employs 32 people, many of whom are high school and college students. Saleh indicates the restaurant embraces a family atmosphere and takes pride in providing employment opportunities to younger people.

“I love working at DiNico’s,” says college student, Yaritza Rivera. “The schedule is awesome because they do it by semester and I never have a conflict.”

Cooks at DiNico’s turn out more than 500 pizzas every day brimming with freshly shredded cheese and both house-made crust and sauce — portions sold by the slice are equivalent to one quarter of an extra-large pizza. Stuffed pizzas and specialty pies like taco and BBQ chicken pizzas complement newer menu items like gluten-free and cauliflower crust.

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