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For its size, Mokena has quite a few dining options, ranging from fast food to fancy steakhouses—and nearly everything in between. You can stop for a quick bite at Steamboat Hotdogs, treat yourself to sushi at Sapporo or sit down at the Oyster Bar at Nick’s Steak & Seafood to sample the fare. There’s a great deal to choose from—and here is an inside look at a few places around town:

EggCetera Café— Not Your Typical Diner

Open for breakfast and lunch seven days a week, EggCetera Café has been around for five years and shows no signs of slowing down. Owned by Mokena residents Dino and Gail Bastas, the restaurant serves homemade soup, chili, skillets, omelets and more—and everything is made to order. Dino Bastas says, “We pride ourselves on quick service with a smile,” noting that approximately 60 to 80% of their business are regulars who enjoy the café’s quaint feel and out of the way location.

“The atmosphere here is warm and cozy,” says Bastas, pointing out that the place seats about 70 people. (They still have counter service in addition to the tables and chairs.) He enjoys working in the village, and says, “It’s one of the last small towns left—you really get to know most of the people.”

An Eclectic Menu At paulE’s place

If you are in the downtown historic area, don’t miss paulE’s place, located across the street from the Metra station on Front Street. The 140-year-old building holds a lot of history, and was formerly a saloon and a general store before becoming a restaurant. Owner/Chef Paul Buel decided to open the place after studying French cooking at school, working for Hyatt and many other fine Chicago restaurants.

The walls are decorated with the work of local artists, and Buel says, “The atmosphere is like you are going to someone’s home. When people come in to eat, we don’t want to rush them.” The restaurant also has a separate carry-out entrance for pizza—and they serve up a special thin crust cracker recipe. There are twelve specialty pizzas available in addition to the standard pies.

Buel describes the menu as “eclectic,” and notes that everything is done from scratch. Some menu items include homemade pot roast, lobster ravioli, steaks, pork chops and a lot of fresh fish. The restaurant also makes its own pasta.

Desserts include bread pudding and chocolate molten lava cake, and there is also a very large wine cellar on-site, featuring a wide selection of California wines, as well as other varieties. After only four years in business, the television show “Check Please” has been in touch with paulE’s place to discuss a featured spot on the popular program—an honor not too many suburban restaurants can claim.

Chef Paul’s Steak & Chophouse—Casual Fine Dining

With a warm atmosphere and mouth- watering menu, Chef Paul’s Steak & Chophouse is a popular stop for those looking to indulge in a fine meal in the Mokena area. The comfortable surroundings are well-appointed but not intimidating and the dress code spans the range from casual to dressy.

The steaks served here are all chosen by Chef Paul himself, and are dry-aged for the optimum flavor and texture. Select a filet, share the Chateau for two—or try out the chops—they serve both lamb and pork. There is also a good range of seafood, such as Tortilla Encrusted Tilapia, Lobster Tail and Shrimp De Johnge.

In terms of dining, these places are good samples of what is available in Mokena; but there is more. If one is in the mood for ice cream or authentic Mexican food or even Italian fare—it can be found in town. Remember, this is just a taste!

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