Chef K., owner of MyGi's Bakery Cafe, shapes cakes into giant Ramen packets, plates tapas, and serves gourmet lunches and dinners. Glittering candy buffets coat tables with sweetness and sparkle, and her specialty cakes personalize birthdays. Chef K. sometimes infuses her food with Caribbean influences, but her skill set spans the globe: students can choose to craft sushi, for instance, or cook their food in a Scandanavian hot spring. Chicago native and Ladha Catering owner Chef Tammy joins Chef K. in spreading the joys of international cooking and entertaining in pallet-expanding classes. Whether teaching a novice to perfectly grill a steak or serving brunch to some hungry weekend patrons, the chefs' passion for food and sense of artistry guide their endeavors.
With 45 locations, the aromas of hot soup and freshly baked bread greet customers across the nation as they approach Souper Salad's overflowing display of crisp salad greens and freshly prepared hot selections. Menus for the buffet change daily, but can include albóndigas soup, Tuna Skroodle pasta salad, A-MAIZE-ing cornbread, and other dishes. Dine-in guests are free to fill their bowls with their favorite soups and chilis, build their own salads from a plethora of crispy greens and tangy dressings, and see how much soft-serve ice cream they can pile atop a single cone. Patrons can also make a visit to the taco bar or flatbread pizza zone, and gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan options are available.
Inside Giulianna's intimate dining room, bright yellow walls dappled with framed artwork cultivate a cheerful atmosphere, while black tablecloths and a glimmering chandelier add a splash of elegance. Fresh from the chefs' hands, warm pasta dishes such as eggplant rollatini and cheese lasagna give stomachs comforting hugs, and chicken arrives at tables wearing various sauces, such as marinara and white-wine lemon. A rustic wood oven bakes savory pizza pies—with toppings such as fresh basil, thinly sliced sausage, and gorgonzola cheese—until they bubble and crisp like a rubber duck in a fire pit.
Ribs rule the day at Barbeque Tavern, but there's still plenty of room for chicken wings, brisket sliders, and other delicious barbecue eats. The chefs are serious about their methods here; all the meats are slow-cooked until they practically fall off the bone. The seriousness pretty much ends with the food, though. The bar tends have a party atmosphere during big sports games, and karaoke nights blur the line between what's a microphone and what's a chicken drumstick.
The talented chefs at The Churro Factory imbue crispy pastries with seven different sweet fillings to fashion a scrumptious, Spanish-styled snack, often introduced by an opening act of fresh deli sandwiches and milkshakes. Handmade in small batches to ensure freshness, traditional churros are dusted with sugar and cinnamon ($1.95 each, $9.95 for six), tickling tongues better than a feather-boa toothbrush. Palate-popular pastries include the filled churros with flavorful cores of vanilla, chocolate-hazelnut, cajeta, strawberry, or honey ($2.25 each). Appetites of larger proportions can match hunger against the oven-warmed Pamplones sandwiches ($4+ each), featuring the Chasturias with turkey and avocado and the Chadiz steak fajita with bell peppers and oaxaca cheese. Five enrapturing milkshake flavors mingle into the dining party, including oreo, strawberry, and chocolate ($3.29 each), tantalizing guests with their smooth sips and proactive straw postures.
Bacon & Friends bedeck bellies with fresh half-pound patties that have never known the cold embrace of a freezer, and daily-cut fries from within the confines of a homey eatery. Comestible cowboys can rope the menu's Crazy Texan—which corrals a herd of fire-roasted garlic, jalapeño peppers, and jalapeño-infused bacon spicier than wasabi peas wearing stilettos ($6.95)—or the Breakfast burger, a cheese-smothered ode to the most important meal of the day, complete with the savory flavor of one egg made to order ($6.50). Tuck into the avocado bacon burger, steeped in smooth avocado and latticed with thick slabs of bacon ($7.95). Although this Groupon is not valid toward sides, munchies such as beer-battered mushrooms ($5.95) or bacon-cheddar fries ($5.95) are available.