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Saturday, December 2, 2023

Your Table is Ready — The Linebacker Grille


The Linebacker Grille pays homage to Chicago Bears linebacker legends while serving great food prepared by experienced Chef Aaron Wendinger.  Or is it the other way around?

Recently opened on Ogden Avenue in the former Famous Dave’s site, The Linebacker Grille offers upscale family dining in an atmosphere that provides fine food and entertainment – and neither is compromised. In addition to a diverse menu, The Linebacker serves a wide selection of burgers by the number – 50, 51, 54, 55, 58, 61, 71 – each after a Bears linebacker great.

We started with a house special Santa Fe Roll – a wonton filled with chicken, black beans, cheddar, pepper jack, onions, garlic and Anaheim chilies – finished with a cilantro cream sauce.  We knew then that this was going to be a good review.

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Up next for Laurie was a chopped salad topped with bleu cheese and pancetta (Italian bacon) and finished with citrus vinaigrette.  And since it was Cinco de Mayo, Mark ordered Spanish Pazole soup – rich broth with pork and chilies – and just the right kick. Mark broke out in only a mild sweat.

Our ever present and very knowledgeable server, Ryen, did a wonderful job of explaining the menu and answering all our questions – in fact, the entire staff was extremely attentive.

Laurie, for her entrée, ordered Amish Lemon Chicken. Ryen informed us that it would take a little extra time to prepare – but it would be worth the wait.  And it was.  A half chicken marinated in lemon, herbs and spices, grilled and served over roasted Yukon gold spuds with green beans and bacon, Laurie’s comment was “it was probably the best chicken I have ever tasted – and the sides were great.”

A salmon lover, Mark decided on pan seared Citrus Loch Duart Salmon from Scotland, a generous portion crusted with lemon, lime and orange zest and served over spinach confetti rice.

In one word – for both selections – “outstanding.”

The dining room at The Linebacker is very comfortable – flat screen TV’s and pictures of past and present Bears line the walls.

After finishing with dessert and coffee, General Manager Denis Witek introduced himself and asked if our meal was to our liking – to which we responded in unison, “Oh Yeah – Go Bears.”

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Laurie & Mark Rice
Laurie & Mark Rice
The Rice’s have lived in Naperville since 1987. Mark is a graduate of The Culinary Institute of America and a Sunrise Rotarian. Both Laurie and Mark are Kansas City Barbeque Society certified BBQ judges.


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