The Silo packs in crowds for unique pizzas and more in Lake Bluff

As The Silo restaurant in Lake Bluff continues to attract more customers, the husband and wife ownership team of Larry and Sandy Pike continues to expand their unique menu.

On a recent weekday, a lunch crowd from local businesses and corporations began to fill the dining room around 11 a.m. One of the groups came from Rosalind Franklin University and enjoyed the macaroni and cheese pizza.

“It’s an orchestrated rush,” said Pike, while overseeing operations in the kitchen while his wait staff dashed to and fro.

Known for its pizza, The Silo currently offers 18 specialty pies, and new ones are created all the time.

In addition to the Four Cheese Macaroni and Bacon, there is the Aloha with Canadian bacon, caramelized onions, pineapple, barbecue sauce and an added zip from jalapenos. The toppings were suggested by one of the restaurant’s hostesses.

Another specialty pie is the Vegetarian Soufflé, which includes a myriad of garden-fresh veggies including yellow squash. It is topped with a sophisticated spinach soufflé.

Diners have at least 25 toppings to choose from including unusual items like broccoli and sun-dried tomatoes. Gluten-free and low-carb pizzas are also on the menu.

For those having trouble making a decision among all the options, The Silo also offers a flight of pizzas for those interested in trying several tastes. For $21.99, diners can have any three, 5-inch pan pizzas.

Sandy Pike explained that the idea was inspired by beer and wine flights.

“This way they can try a little bit of several,” she said.

Pizza isn’t the only option on the menu, however.

There are oversized stuffed baked potatoes, an assortment of sandwiches, and refreshing summertime salads.

One of the most popular sandwiches, pork tenderloin, is an ode to Larry Pike’s roots growing up on a farm in Ottawa.

He said he gets many comments from diners who remark how hard it is to find a good pork tenderloin sandwich these days.

The Silo’s latest salad is the Hawaiian, which includes fresh spinach, grilled pineapple, brie cheese, jumbo shrimp and toasted walnuts.

It was concocted by server Sue Hartle, who has been a server for more than 20 years. She hails from a food and beverage family. She said her grandmother, Elsie Bowers, was the first woman in England to obtain a license to open a pub.

The Pike’s journey in the food industry started at Northbrook Court, where Larry had a restaurant in the food court and Sandy worked at her parent’s eatery next door.

They bought the barn-like Silo restaurant 26 years ago from two men who built the place in 1968.

Shortly after acquiring it, the couple turned it into a family-oriented restaurant, moving and downsizing a bar, and adding more tables. An upstairs loft is used for additional dining and parties. On warm evenings, diners flock to an outdoor patio.

Not long ago they also added toy trains which are a wonder for both young and old who watch the locomotives circle a motorized track.

Adding to the family fun is magician Tom “Boz” who entertains diners on Sunday evenings.

True restaurateurs, the owners appear at home at The Silo. On-site daily, Larry Pike manages the office, but has also done his share of everything including waiting tables and washing dishes. Likewise, Sandy Pike has done all the jobs when necessary.

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The Silo

625 Rockland Road, Lake Bluff

(847) 234-SILO (7456)

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