Dining pick of the week: ASCAR Café



3231 N. Decatur Blvd. at Cheyenne Avenue, 492-0102

Executive chef Robin Hearon knew what she wanted with her own place. She wanted a simple menu with unique sandwiches and hamburgers. Success is hers. The popular Escalade is made with two, Angus beef patties with pastrami, lettuce, tomato, pickles, onions, mayo, mustard and double cheese. That's a hamburger! The PBO Beast is oven-roasted turkey with thick bacon, lettuce, beefsteak tomato, mayo, mustard and pepper jack cheese on toasted marbled rye bread. Other sandwiches include turkey patty, deep-fried or sautéed shrimp on a hoagie, catfish filet, three all-beef sliders called the Cooper Minis, grilled marinated chicken breast, grilled pastrami with caramelized onions and cheese on choice of bread (rye, focaccia, white, whole wheat, sourdough) and quarter-pound all-beef hot dog. There are chicken wings and chicken fingers, salads (chicken Caesar, chef) and appetizers such as chicken quesadilla, chicken taquitos and NXS Nachos made with tri-color corn chips, chicken, cheddar and jack cheeses, guacamole, sour cream and jalapenos. Sides include coleslaw, sweet potato nuggets, onion rings and hush puppies. Ask about the pie or cake of the day for dessert. Sandwiches begin $5.99. ASCAR Café is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday. -- Jack Bulavsky