To get the most for your dollar, shop the great grocery deals at Pammel Grocery in Ames.
If you always seem to have one foot out the door, breakfast can be tricky. For a quick and easy solution, a box of cereal is right up your alley.
When the heat gets the best of you, water is more important than ever. Cool off no matter where you are with a bottle from Pammel Grocery.
Stay healthy on the regular with the produce available here. It's super fresh and can be used with any meal.
Yogurt, cheese, milk? Do some or all of these sound great to you? Be a dairy fan and purchase some dairy products. They will keep you happy and healthy.
Pick up super fresh fish (and a heck of a lot of nutrients) for your next meal.
Whether you prefer wheat or white bread, Pammel Grocery serves up a large selection of freshly-baked breads.
When you only have time for a quick lunch during your busy workday, heat up a TV dinner from here and enjoy a quick and yummy meal.
Going on a road trip or heading to the office? Easy to take anywhere, this snack will hold you over between any meal.
Make sure you always have the ingredients to make a delicious dessert on hand.
Make your own salad dressing in a snap! Oil and vinegar are essential components for a number of common creations, so make sure these guys always have a place in your kitchen.
When you're a busy parent on the go, shopping at Pammel Grocery for some canned food might be the perfect way to save you hours a week.
Experience a new blend of coffee or tea from Pammel Grocery and sip your way to happiness.
Switch up your weekly pasta routine with a new and exciting pasta recipe. Grab some noodles from Pammel Grocery and get cooking.
If you're in the need for some protein, this is THE place to go, as they have wonderful and various meats for purchase.
You'll definitely want to experiment with frozen foods to help maximize your time in the evening.
Make sure you always have a variety of beverages on hand, especially during the warmer months. This drink is sure to take care of business.
Spices and seasonings make every meal more flavorful, so expand your horizons and try some new ones.
If you're commuting by car, you will be happy to know that Pammel Grocery is located near a number of parking options.
Whether you need fresh herbs or just the basics, Pammel Grocery in Ames makes it easy to round out any recipe.
Pick up some of your favorites from Harlan's Food Mart in Story City and enjoy a fun night of grilling out.
Going on a road trip or heading to the office? Easy to take anywhere, this snack will hold you over between any meal.
Harlan's Food Mart takes the word deli to a whole new level and offers much more than just sandwiches.
When you need to prepare a quick and healthy meal, some canned goods from Harlan's Food Mart will do the trick.
Add a little bit of sweet goodness to all your baked goods for top-notch flavor and form. Pick up your staples at Harlan's Food Mart.
Create your own sandwich or choose one of the signature sandwich options at Harlan's Food Mart.
The drinks available here are a great way to restore your body's natural balance, so start sipping.
Harlan's Food Mart's selection of bread goes great with any meal you were planning on making.
If you are starting to run low on oil and vinegar, head on over here and pick up your favorites.
You won't be able to tell the difference with the frozen foods available here for your cuisine convenience.
Cereal in the morning, cereal in the evening, or cereal at suppertime. With the selection here, you'll want to eat cereal anytime.
Pop one of these TV dinners into the microwave, and you'll be ready to relax in front of the TV.
If pasta is what you're in the mood for, swing by Harlan's Food Mart and pick up some fresh noodles.
Stay refreshed no matter where you are! Water is available at Harlan's Food Mart.
Dairy is packed with the essential nutrients your body craves, so help yourself out. Dairy products have everything you need.
Produce like this is not just nutritious...it's delicious, too!
More often than not, their patrons leave with the best, delicious meats the city has to offer.
When you're in the mood to cook a gourmet meal, pick up some spices and seasonings from here and get down in the kitchen.
Health-conscious eaters will love the wide selection of fish on hand.
Whether you prefer coffee or tea, Harlan's Food Mart offers options for both the coffee enthusiast and the tea lover.
At Harlan's Food Mart, drivers will appreciate the ample parking options in the area.
So when hunger pains strike, get everything on your grocery list at Harlan's Food Mart.
Great Plains Sauce and Dough Co.'s piping pizza is just as hot as its ratings, and customers call this tasty spot one of the best around.
Pair your entree with a glass of wine or draft beer — this pizzeria has a fully-stocked bar to complement your meal.
Children are more than welcome to dine at this pizzeria, where there's something for everyone on the menu.
Skip long waits and head to Great Plains Sauce and Dough Co. with your large group for easy seating.
At Great Plains Sauce and Dough Co., "dress to impress" is a thing of the past, and jeans are the new norm.
Through their catering service, Great Plains Sauce and Dough Co. can also set out a delicious spread for your next party.
This pizzeria accommodates your schedule. Pick it up yourself or have it delivered to your door.
Great Plains Sauce and Dough Co.'s diners can score a street parking spot just a short walk away.
You'll also find plenty of safe spaces to lock up your bike if you prefer to cycle to the pizzeria.
Everyone's talking about Great Plains Sauce and Dough Co.. Find out why when you treat yourself to a delicious pizza pie.
If you can't get enough pizza, be sure to try the pies at Great Plains Sauce and Dough Co., which earn ratings too hot to handle.
If you're in the mood for a casual night out, pay Great Plains Sauce and Dough Co. a visit and munch on some delicious pizza.
So when you need a quick solution for lunch or dinner, stop by Great Plains Sauce and Dough Co. and enjoy a hot and tasty pizza.
Hot cheesy goodness awaits your appetite at Jeff's Pizza Shoppe — this pizza joint is the place to go for a serious five-star slice.
With G-free dishes and fare that's low in fat, you won't feel guilty about dining out at Jeff's Pizza Shoppe.
Take your pick of beer, wine, or other beverages offered on this pizzeria's menu.
Both the young and the young-at-heart will dig the family-oriented menu and ambience at this pizzeria.
Jeff's Pizza Shoppe is a prime location to dine with a group.
Jeff's Pizza Shoppe's business casual policy makes it the perfect place for a number of occasions.
Jeff's Pizza Shoppe will even bring the amazing food from their kitchen to yours.
With delivery and take-out options, you can enjoy this pizzeria's cooking from the comfort of your own living room.
At Jeff's Pizza Shoppe, diners should plan to park on the street.
Conveniently charge by major credit card when cash isn't an option.
So come taste the pizza at Jeff's Pizza Shoppe for yourself and see what all the ratings buzz is about.
High-quality pizza is waiting for you at Jeff's Pizza Shoppe, so find out what all the fuss is about and get your hands on a cheesy slice of deliciousness.
For hot pizza and a cool atmosphere, be sure to stop in at Jeff's Pizza Shoppe.
For a pizza that is out of the world, call or make a visit to Jeff's Pizza Shoppe.
Visit Ames' Hickory Park Restaurant for fresh ribs that fall off the bone, sweet corn and homemade baked beans.
Take your pick of beer, wine, or other beverages offered on this restaurant's menu.
Got kids? No problem at Hickory Park Restaurant! This restaurant is a fantastic spot for families to dine together.
Gather up your friends, coworkers or family members and head to Hickory Park Restaurant for a group meal.
A tad noisy, the restaurant is well-suited for those who don't mind a little extra hustle and bustle.
No need to gussy up for a trip to Hickory Park Restaurant, where patrons dress for comfort and fun.
If you need to feed a big crowd, Hickory Park Restaurant also offers catering services for parties and get-togethers.
If you need to get somewhere fast, the restaurant also serves up grub to go.
At Hickory Park Restaurant, we supply free parking. No fees, just your car and our lot.
Hickory Park Restaurant offers various parking options, including bike parking.
If you don't want a night that will cost you an arm and a leg but you do want a delicious meal, come to Hickory Park Restaurant.
The jury is in. For the best barbecue in town, you'll want to taste the sizzling eats at Hickory Park Restaurant.
Make sure your next meal is a good one. Get your barbecue on at Hickory Park Restaurant.
Enjoy traditional American cuisine at Aunt Maude's, home of American comfort food.
Ready for a drink to unwind? At this restaurant, you can pair your meal with something from their full bar.
Grab the kids when you head to this restaurant — its family-oriented menu and ambience are perfect for the whole clan.
Aunt Maude's will be able to accommodate your large party.
Sit back, relax, and enjoy the beautiful weather during your meal at Aunt Maude's.
No need to dress to the nines here — Aunt Maude's' policy is business casual, so guests can dine in comfort.
Through their catering service, Aunt Maude's can also set out a delicious spread for your next party.
Dining out isn't your only option here — pickup is available, too.
If preferred, visitors can leave their vehicles in a nearby lot, though space is available on the street as well.
Travel by bike to Aunt Maude's and store your bike at a nearby rack.
Who s hungry for great grub at a reasonable rate? Aunt Maude's s yummy creations will leave a mark in your memory but not a dent in your pocketbook.
All major credit cards are accepted.
Dinner is the real yum factor here, though breakfast bites and lunch are also featured.
No matter what type of American dish you're in the mood for, Aunt Maude's has a great selection of dishes to choose from.
Siu mai: small pork dumplings. Each has a thin wrapper that needs to be delicately pleated by hand. Easily, they’re one of the most labor-intensive items at Phoenix Restaurant in Chicago, where each weekend this Chinese restaurant serves 80 different varieties of classic dim sum snacks.
This little fact about the siu mai is one of many surprising stories I learn from Eddy, the chef at Phoenix, where he also handles a million other tasks to keep the restaurant running smoothly. When I first came in, he was waving at a group of regulars while on the phone haggling with a seafood vendor.
“What we are serving in this restaurant is what we are eating in Hong Kong. ... It’s very typical,” Eddy says.
In 1996, Phoenix was one of the first restaurants to introduce dim sum to Chicago. Its customer base has grown over the years, and today, even with other dim sum restaurants up and down the block, you’ll find long lines winding out the door on any given Sunday.
Sound intimidating? It doesn't have to be.
Here's our guide to dim-sum dining, with a few tips from Eddy.
On the weekend: order dim sum off a cart
On weekends and special holidays, the wait staff winds traditional dim sum carts around tables, lifting lids off stacked steamer baskets to reveal the enticing contents. Should you see something you like, they leave the basket on your table and put a checkmark on your bill (it’s tallied at the end).
Phoenix is one of the only dim-sum restaurants in Chicago that still uses these carts. When I ask Eddy why they keep them, he says “tradition.” Not only to impress the tourists who come in, but also to let Chinese-American customers share this bit of culture with their kids.
Hot tip: if you want to experience the pushcarts without the crowds, head over on a Saturday, which tends to be less busy than Sundays, Eddy says.
On a weekday: order dim sum off the menu
Cartless weekdays offer a quiet, more peaceful atmosphere for ordering off the paper menu, which you can find near the hostess stand. Don't be intimidated—the menu has pictures; it has numbers; it has names written in both Chinese and English. And best of all, you need only point to what you want to have it brought out from the kitchen.
So what should you get?
“Everyone has their favorites,” Eddy says. The most popular dishes with Westerners are ha gao (shrimp dumplings) and siu mai (pork dumplings mentioned above). Kids gravitate toward the crunchy, easy-to-grip shrimp rolls and sweeter fare, from mango pudding (pictured above) to custard rolls.
Foreign travelers, especially those from Latin America, and adventurous eaters alike seem to love the chicken feet (pictured at bottom-right of top photo), a more exotic dish consisting of skin and tendons. While all these dishes are traditional, the chefs can tweak the recipes to accommodate for special diets or food allergies.
When diners are new to dim sum, Eddy encourages them to experiment. He’ll point out a few of the more popular dishes; if there’s something they don’t end up liking, it can easily be swapped out for something else. This way, by the second or third visit, diners will have a better idea of what they like.
And don't forget the tea
At dim sum, the tea is equally important to the food. Phoenix serves three different types: green tea, white tea, and brown tea. “Each one has its own usage,” Eddy says. While we talk, we drink jasmine tea, which is good for getting rid of toxins.
You can show your dim sum know-how by obeying proper tea etiquette. When your teapot is out of water, prop the lid off to the side. This signals to the wait staff that you need more hot water.
Eddy pours more tea and tells me to tap my fingers lightly against the table when the cup is nearly full. “When your friend or host fills your tea, this means ‘thank you’,” he says. “It’s part of the custom.”
Photos by Andrew Nawrocki, Groupon
I had no idea what to expect upon arriving at Elizabeth, the Michelin Star winner from Chef Iliana Regan. But an unmarked, unremarkable storefront between a tire shop and a sporting-goods store certainly wasn’t it. With few exceptions (Schwa, most notably), Chicago’s upper-echelon restaurants boast exteriors that match their illustrious River North and Restaurant Row addresses.
But as it turns out, Regan has no taste for that sort of superficial flash. She dons no chef’s whites. She displays no awards. She does not raise her voice to the Gordon Ramsay–level roar or even the Rachael Ray-ish rollick that TV cameras eat up.
Instead, this northwest Indiana native quietly built her reputation as someone who hunts for frogs and spears them herself. Someone who has suffered tick bites and poison-ivy rashes foraging for wild flora. Someone who has penned an essay on intensity for Lucky Peach and once themed an Elizabeth tasting menu after those violent and visceral A Song of Ice and Fire novels.
So yeah, I was kinda terrified to eat her food.
I’d never done a tasting menu before. And I wouldn’t necessarily classify myself as a picky eater, but I’m not a particularly adventurous one either, particularly when it comes to meat. (I can barely look at plated octopus without shivering.) I’d heard that Regan once served edible ants. Which are, like, bugs.
My nerves were calmed upon walking into Elizabeth, though. Austere yet charming, the whitewashed space was accented by light fixtures made from bare tree branches; dining chairs draped with faux-fur slipcovers; a chef’s counter armed with Elder Scrolls and Vikings Funko Pop! dolls. It was all in support of the season’s menu theme: vikings.
There were two options: land or sea. Or, as the first in a delightful succession of servers explained it, “Imagine a viking ship has reached the shore. One group goes on land to look for food, the other into the sea.” My friend Erin and I opted to order one of each to share and, despite my trepidation of certain meats, placed no restrictions on what we would eat. (You can arrange for some allergies and dietary needs in advance.) We wanted to go all in.
After the amuse-bouche—a surprisingly complex roasted whey carrot dressed with goat’s-milk cheese and edible flowers—came our first courses. The land dish was … a bowl of rocks. The server assured me the top “rock” was actually a baked potato coated in edible clay. But it was very convincing as a rock, so I bit in with trepidation. As Erin ate the rest, dipping it into the cheese and butter puddings it was served with, I forked into her langoustine with lingonberries. (Pro tip: don’t try to tear off the claw without looking. You will stab your finger on a spine.) So far, so very good.
As the servers continued to weave their culinary narrative, I realized there was an unmentioned character in their tale—Elizabeth itself. The restaurant is small, seating about 16 or so, and the kitchen is wide open. It was impossible not to get caught up in what was happening back there, particularly when sous chefs were wielding brûlée torches and “plating” on gorgeous pieces of handmade pottery. And the line between front and back of house was practically nonexistent. One moment, you’d see someone in the kitchen stirring and slicing; the next they’d be presenting your next course or clearing your table. (Chef Regan included.)
This created an unexpected intimacy, one that removed any hesitation when asking about a particular dish. It’s clear the teammates take a deep yet quiet pride in their collective work. They spoke warmly about where ingredients came from, excitedly about the preparation techniques used. They always used “we” or “our,” never “me” or “Chef Regan.” (Again, Chef Regan included.)
Over the next few courses, there were so many charms. An herb-rolled, soft-boiled quail egg served in an actual nest; impossibly chewy seaweed bread darkened by squid ink; a cauliflower-mushroom soup that Erin about died over. I was particularly fond of a course called Barnyard: headcheese dusted with beet powder, paired with a collage of root vegetables and flavored puddings reminiscent of something out of the Art Institute of Chicago’s Modern Wing.
And that’s the thing. Never in my life would I have thought that I’d be fond of headcheese. I would have probably never eaten it if it weren’t for this meal. But it was fun to break out of my culinary comfort zone.
The other surprising thing? How full we were, considering it was a tasting menu. By the time we were served the entree courses—rare lamb medallions wrapped in swiss chard and pickled fish in a sauce of its own bones—we were taking deep breaths between bites. I’m pretty sure they were the only two plates we didn’t completely clean.
We managed to buck up for our “one-and-a-half” dessert courses, as the server put it. (The “half” was a palate-cleansing sorbet.) Our favorite was Under the Sea, a spongy coral-seaweed cake so realistic looking it prompted me to ask the server just how much of it we could eat. “All of it,” she said. We complied.
Maybe, as a writer, I’m just a sucker for a good story. But I was enchanted by Elizabeth, both in backstory and in not knowing what was coming next throughout the culinary adventure. And while I probably won’t be buying headcheese any time soon, I’m excited to see what Chef Regan has up her non-chef’s-whites sleeves next season.
Shop Chef Iliana Regan's tasting-menu experience at Elizabeth Restaurant:
Watch her explain her approach to fine dining:
As useful as WD40 and much more edible, coconut oil is a powerhouse. In fact, just one jar of the stuff can replace several household staples, from kitchen ingredients to baby wipes. Here’s how to substitute it for 16 total items in 3 rooms of the home:
1. Coffee: Coconut oil is a reputed energy booster. Swallowing a spoonful or two in the afternoon can be a healthful alternative to a cuppa.2. Coffee creamer: Emulsified and poured into coffee, it’s much tastier than (and probably just as nutritious as) that bulletproof stuff.3. Butter or oil (when sautéing): Coconut oil’s high smoke point makes it great for cooking on the stovetop, especially at high heat. Try swapping it in when making stir-fries, scrambled eggs, or pancakes, especially if you like a very mild coconut flavor.4. Oil (when baking): The oil imparts a delicious je ne sais quoi to baked goods—even boxed ones. Use it to give from-the-box brownies an upgrade, and you’ll dream about them for days.5. Condiments: Drop it into quinoa or oatmeal for added nutrients and healthy fats. You can also put it on top of sweet potatoes instead of butter!
6. Moisturizer: It works on your body and your face. It’s naturally SPF 4, so it offers a bit of protection from UV rays, too.7. Leave-in conditioner and anti-static agent: Rub a small amount between your hands and smooth them over your hair to control flyaways.8. Lip balm: It soothes sore, chapped lips, and other skin irritations.9. Eye-makeup remover: Rub it between your fingers until it liquefies, smear it on your lids, and wipe it off with a cotton pad.10. Face wash: Add a little water and rub it in your hands until it foams.11. Hand and foot cream: Massage it into cracked knuckles, or slather it onto your soles and stick them into socks for an overnight soak.12. Shaving cream: It’ll give you a smooth shave, plus additional moisture for your skin.
13. Ouchie ointment: Dab it on cuts and scrapes, which will benefit from its antimicrobial properties.14. Anti-itch cream: Coconut oil reduces itching from bug bites, and helps to calm sunburn, eczema, and cradle cap.15. Diaper cream: A layer on baby’s bottom guards against (and soothes) diaper rash flare-ups.16. Baby wipes: Simply mix it with hot water and pour it over a stack of paper towels that you’ve cut in half. Keep the towels in an airtight container so they stay moist.
Check out more coconut-oil coverage:
Oil Pulling Whitens Your Teeth and (Maybe) Makes You Invincible
The Five Best Uses for Coconut Oil You’ve Never Heard Of