We love to go out to eat, but sometimes it's hard to get the
five of us to agree where to go. My 5-year-old wants to make his
own pizza. My oldest son really wants to see the football game. "I
think I'd like ribs," chimes in his brother. When you need a little
bit of everything, Mad Mark's Mystic Pizza in Schaumburg has the
The huge restaurant appears to be a colorful sports bar
from the outside. (In fact, during warm weather, the patio,
complete with its own bar, ongoing "bagz" tournaments and
volleyball games, is a popular destination.) Multiple indoor dining
spaces provide plenty of distractions for kids and adults. Giant TV
screens broadcast multiple sports contests, a huge relief to my
oldest. And every inch of wall and ceiling space is covered in
pop-culture memorabilia-from Grateful Dead magazine covers to a
life-size Elvis statue, football helmets and even a rocket
My sons could barely focus on the children's menu because
they were so intent on discovering every hidden treasure buried in
the restaurant's décor. But I was pleased to find a variety of
kid-friendly options with budget-friendly prices. Children's
make-your-own pizzas are less than $5. The dough comes to the table
with a container of sauce and cheese for the child to spread
around. The kitchen then adds one choice of topping. In the end,
each child ends up with eight slices of thin-crust
I recommend sharing some appetizers. Mad Mark's sports-bar
influence shows in its gooey mozzarella sticks and salty beer
nuggets (fried and seasoned bread) with dipping sauces. Generous
portion sizes for entrees meant we ended up with plenty of
leftovers to take home.
Daily drink specials, along with a good selection of beers
on tap, will keep adults happy. Plus, Monday nights are a great
family deal with "Kids Eat Free" after 4 p.m. and a roaming
magician who performs table-side tricks from 5:30-8:30
Alena Murguia lives in Berwyn, Illinois along with her husband and three growing sons.
See more of Alena's stories here.
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