Located in the weird expanse that is Hoffman Estates, the large, brick-layered Jerseys Pizza and Grill appears like an oasis in the middle of suburbia. Once inside, you'll see why Jerseys calls itself a sports restaurant, claiming to take both aspects of the equation with great seriousness. Sports-wise, its obviously true from the get go: more than 20 screens worth of HDTVs hum brightly on a giant, bi-level platform in the middle of the restaurant, featuring two big screens, measuring 6 by 10 feet (in other words, freaking enormous). There's even an HDTV in the bathroom, presumably so you can listen to Stuart Scott say "boo yeah!" while you sit on the toilet. Needless to say, if you're into sports, you've found heaven.
Pizza's a big deal here, and Jerseys is chock full of unconventional pies. Take the Western, topped with honey BBQ sauce along with bacon and sausage, or the Pizza Quesadilla with southwestern sauce, Chihuahua and cheddar cheese. There's plenty of other sports-friendly choices for those not in a pizza mood, like salads, burgers, chicken wings, shrimp and potato skins. Wash it down with the quintessential element of sports viewing: a frosty beer, like Sam Adams, Peroni, Leinie's Red & Honeyweiss, and Fat Tire.
Another nice and underrated touch: the dim lighting, made possible even during the day with giant screens to block the sun from peeking through the windows. The effect is a cool, this-isn't-Applebees setting that complements the sleek, modern decor. And that's comforting, when sometimes these suburban sit-down restaurants tend to blur together (ahem: Applebees/Chilis/Ruby Tuesday), Jerseys is at least a little bit different.
Average cost: $10-$20
Centerstage Reviewer: Andy Seifert