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Galati’s Hideaway | Cary, IL

Galati’s Hideaway | Cary, IL

This Place is No Secret

There was a time when Vince Galati did all of the cooking at Galati’s Hideaway in Cary, Illinois. “I still do some of it,” he said. Actually, no one person could possibly handle the job now. The family restaurant and sports bar is enormous – with 13,000 square feet and 450 seats. Galati says there are times when the entire place is filled to capacity.

As a young man, Galati trained with his uncle, Faro Vitale, at Vitale’s Italian restaurant in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. In 1987, he returned to Illinois and operated a take-out and delivery operation. In 1992, he settled in Cary, north-west of Chicago, and opened the 30-seat Galati’s, which he expanded in 1997. “In 2014, we purchased our current building. To accommodate all of the sports fans around here, we divided the place into two separate spaces – a sports bar and a dining room. If our customers want a nice Italian dinner, they can head to the dining room. If they want to root for their Cubs, Sox, Bears, Hawks or the local high school teams, the sports bar offers the perfect venue.”

The bar menu offers something for every preference. The Nachos start with homemade tortilla chips, which are topped with beans, cheeses, roasted corn, red peppers, jalapenos, salsa, sour cream and the choice of chicken, beef or pulled pork. An Italian specialty, Arancini, is an appetizer of breaded saffron rice balls, stuffed with seasoned ground beef and lightly fried. Burgers are all half-pound ground steak patties. Guests can build their own burger, and opt for toppings including six different cheeses, mushrooms, grilled onions, bacon, jalapenos, a fried egg and avocado. Galati’s is the neighborhood place to congregate on Friday nights during football season.

The dinner menu attests to the family’s Sicilian heritage. The pasta and sauces are homemade. There are many vegetarian-friendly options, including Spinach Rotolo (spinach and cheese rolled up in pasta dough), Pasta Arrabiatta (spicy sautéed vegetables tossed with angel hair), and Gnocchi (potato dumplings). A side order of meatballs or sausage can be added for meat lovers. The Chicken or Veal Marsala pairs sautéed medallions with fresh mushrooms and Marsala wine, served over fettuccine. Grilled Salmon is presented with a side of Risotto. For more variety, steak lovers will find a New York Strip and a Prime Filet, both accompanied by baked potato and steamed vegetables. All pasta dishes and other entrees include the choice of soup or salad.

Since starting out with 30 seats and growing to 450 is a pretty remarkable feat, we asked Vince Galati to share the secrets to his success. “It would have to be unrelenting hard work and consistency,” Galati said. “If your customers can count on great food and service, they will return again and again, and tell their family and friends.” Galati is a devoted family man, and it’s important to him to provide an atmosphere in the dining room where families feel comfortable. “I have four children – the eldest daughter is 23, and the youngest is 11. My two sons are 21 and 18, and are still in college. I have not encouraged my kids to follow in my footsteps in the industry. I missed so much when they were young because I worked nights and weekends at the restaurants. But, they can eventually decide for themselves.”

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