Best Casual Dining

Buddy's Grill

READERS' PICK: Buddy Holly would certainly have sung "Rave On" about the food at Buddy's Grill. The menu offers items ranging from steak to shrimp to smoked barbecued chicken breasts and much more. On a recent visit we sampled the lahvosh starter, which proved to be more than a salad and less than a pizza, along with a done-to-perfection burger. The staff was friendly and the service excellent. In addition to food, Buddy's also offers Thomas Kemper root beer on tap and its own frozen yogurt. So if you're looking for casual dining in a booth or at one of the 14 wooden stools along the counter, head to Grant just east of Swan. Because if you knew Buddy's Grill, then you'd know why our readers are so enthusiastic about it.

B-SIDE: Capriccio, 4825 N. First Ave. The roast duckling is a signature dish which, along with a great gumbo and the incredible habanero duck sausage, invaded a generally northern Italian menu. The latest add-on is Portugese pork and clams. The bar regulars prove that Cheers wasn't really fiction, and owners Tom and Marty Brunner could make an Al-Qaida cell feel at home. They wouldn't do it, but they could. Long a weekend home for local jazz and blues, the live entertainment returns in the fall.

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