Exposed kitchen, counter-top seating, breakfast served all day – all of the makings of a local diner. No need to venture to Chicago for this wonderfully authentic diner experience. Louie’s Grill was a well-kept secret in Forest Park…but it seems the secret has been let out.
Upon arrival to the Grill, I was cheerfully greeted by Ellen, the co-owner and wife of the famous Louie. It has been Louie’s dream to own a diner since he first started working in restaurants at the age of 16. His partnership with Ellen is a match made in heaven: Ellen’s warm welcome makes all patrons feel at home and Louie’s solid menu keeps you coming back for more.
To date, Louie’s Grill has been a culinary staple in Forest Park for over 13 years. “Louie chose to have a diner in Forest Park because of the people,” says, Ellen. “Everyone in the community is so friendly and is like family. We couldn’t imagine having our diner anywhere else.”
While sitting at the countertop, dozens of locals filled the tables and booths. The classic menu of pancakes, omelets, deli sandwiches, and hamburgers is prepared in astoundingly large stick-to-your-ribs portions. It was hard to decide what to order, the vocal lunch crowd had a variety of opinions about their favorite meal or what they thought was the most popular food item.
Per the waitress’ recommendation, I decided to try the gyro omelet. An order offers a hefty helping of fluffy eggs, teamed with tender slices of trimmed lamb, mozzarella, and onions, alongside a pile of hash browns and raisin toast. Be sure to come hungry because I was barely able to finish my plate. My wing-woman, Meridian, opted for the beloved club sandwich which was pretty darn good. The classic sandwich was nicely executed and served with thick cut fries.
I enjoyed my dining experience so much that I returned the following Sunday for brunch. The place was so packed that we anxiously waited 20 minutes to get a seat. Long story short – it was well worth the wait.
Louie is behind the grill serving breakfast and lunch every day. You can find Louie’s Grill at 7422 Madison Street in Forest Park.
By Morgan P. Davis