Bring out your Italian side in the kitchen and create a yummy pasta dish with some noodles from Birch's Fish Market.
When you don't have time to grab lunch or dinner, these tasty snacks will hold you over until you can take a break.
Packed with essential nutrients, be sure to try walk away with some delicious fish for dinner.
Dial down your thirst with some delicious drinks that are both refreshing and cool.
Add a little bit of sweet goodness to all your baked goods for top-notch flavor and form. Pick up your staples at Birch's Fish Market.
Next time you're in a rush, check out the amazing TV dinners available here to get you going out the door.
For food that takes less time to prepare, you'll definitely want to take advantage of the canned food selection at Birch's Fish Market.
Sip on the caffeinated treats offered by Birch's Fish Market's impressive coffee and tea connection.
Whether you cook it or eat it raw, the produce from Birch's Fish Market will be tasty no matter what.
The bread baked at Birch's Fish Market gets rave reviews, so taste it yourself today.
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.
For cool, refreshing H20, Birch's Fish Market's got you covered.
If rushing out the door is your morning routine, be sure to pick up a box of cereal for a quick and easy breakfast solution.
If you're in the need for some protein, this is THE place to go, as they have wonderful and various meats for purchase.
This place lets you recreate the wonders of fair fare by offering terrific vinegar and oil options to help you make everyone's favorite, vinegar and french fries!
Craft a flavorful meal with some of their gourmet seasonings and spices.
Fight for your free time by utilizing the modern convenience of frozen food, which promises to maximize your time.
There are many parking spaces available for customers.
Treat yourself to tasty, homemade barbecue at Tin Roof BBQ in Humble.
Tin Roof BBQ is a jackpot for those looking for low-fat and gluten-free meal options.
Find time to peruse the wine list here — this restaurant offers a variety of drink options.
Having trouble finding that family-friendly restaurant everyone will love? This restaurant serves all ages, so little ones are welcome to come along, too.
At Tin Roof BBQ, your large or small group can be seated quickly and comfortably.
Outdoor seating is ready for diners on those warm summer days.
No need to dress to the nines here — Tin Roof BBQ's policy is business casual, so guests can dine in comfort.
Can't get enough of Tin Roof BBQ's tasty dishes? They also offer a catering service for parties and events.
Don't be afraid to enjoy your food on the go — this restaurant offers takeout for your busy schedule.
For drivers, a nearby lot is available for use.
If your preferred mode of transit is of the two wheel variety, you're in luck — there's tons of bike parking outside the restaurant.
Hitting the mid-range mark, Tin Roof BBQ s prices are perfectly reasonable for food that goes above and beyond.
Tin Roof BBQ accepts all major credit cards, such as Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express.
Tin Roof BBQ dishes up breakfast, lunch, and dinner, so stop by for your favorite meal.
So head on over to Tin Roof BBQ, order some tasty barbecue eats, and satisfy your hunger in a flash.
Mind-blowing barbecue awaits you at Tin Roof BBQ, so head on over for a quick and casual bite to eat.
It's always a party at Chachi's Mexican Bar and Grill, where the Mexican dishes are so incredibly tasty fans have a hard time containing their excitement (just read the chain of five-star reviews!).
This restaurant guests can also take advantage of the many drink options offered here.
Don't leave the kids at home — youngsters will love the family-friendly cuisine at this restaurant just as much as mom and dad.
Patio tables and chairs are ready for Chachi's Mexican Bar and Grill diners who prefer their meals al fresco.
You can tote your laptop here to take advantage of the free wifi.
Leaving the couch is half the battle. Your foods awaits your pickup at this restaurant.
Impress the visitors at your next gathering by calling in Chachi's Mexican Bar and Grill for catering.
Chachi's Mexican Bar and Grill is located near endless parking possibilities, allowing drivers to park with ease.
Chachi's Mexican Bar and Grill offers outdoor bike racks for cyclists.
Treating yourself doesn't mean breaking the bank, come taste the great dishes Chachi's Mexican Bar and Grill has to offer.
For the highest rated Mexican food around, make Chachi's Mexican Bar and Grill your first stop.
Chachi's Mexican Bar and Grill is an easy choice for anyone looking for a casual meal and great Mexican food.
So pay Chachi's Mexican Bar and Grill a visit and get introduced to the many flavors and spices of Mexican cuisine.
Italian eats can be found at Zammitti's, and fans will argue it's the best fare in town (fantastic reviews are everywhere in sight).
A night out deserves a drink to celebrate, and this restaurant has the perfect selection of beer and wine to go with your meal.
The perfect place to take the kids, dining out at this restaurant won't cost you a sitter.
At Zammitti's, your large or small party can easily enjoy a meal.
Don't go off the grid! With the free wifi at Zammitti's, you can surf the web and get some work done.
Zammitti's provides seasonal outdoor seating — be sure to grab a chair before it's too late.
Zammitti's welcomes laid-back diners, so there's no pressure to throw on heels or a tie.
You can also have Zammitti's cater your next event.
No time to sit down? No worries! This restaurant offers a take out option so you can grab your food on the go.
At Zammitti's, you can park quickly and safely in a lot next door.
Bicyclists will also find lots of space to safely lock up their bikes.
A typical meal at Zammitti's will set you back less than $30.
Short on cash? No problem. Zammitti's happily accepts all major credit cards.
Eat your way through the day at Zammitti's — diners can enjoy breakfast, lunch, and dinner here.
Visit Zammitti's for great Italian food that is well worth the price.
For authentic Italian food done right, make your way over to the highly-rated Zammitti's.
Build your own burger at The Tasting Room - Kings Harbor — this restaurant serves all-American food.
Ready for a drink to unwind? At this restaurant, you can pair your meal with something from their full bar.
Shake off your workday and treat yourself to The Tasting Room - Kings Harbor's happy hour.
At The Tasting Room - Kings Harbor, there's no need to confine your meal to a traditional dining room — outdoor seating is available when the weather is warm.
Enjoy live music with your food and drinks at The Tasting Room - Kings Harbor as well.
Reserve your table ahead of time if you're heading over to the restaurant on a Friday and Saturday — it can get quite crowded during the weekend.
Save your formal dress for another occasion — a nice top is the perfect fit for The Tasting Room - Kings Harbor's business casual code.
Feeling a little shy? Carryout is available.
The Tasting Room - Kings Harbor is located near a parking lot, which many diners take advantage of.
The Tasting Room - Kings Harbor is a prime location for cyclists to park their bikes and enjoy a bite to eat.
Meals at The Tasting Room - Kings Harbor are incredibly tasty and reasonably priced around $30.
All major credit cards are accepted.
Isn't it time you indulged in the old classics of American food? Stop by The Tasting Room - Kings Harbor to have a bite of deliciousness.
Fresh from the oven every time, the insanely-cheesy slices at New York Pizzeria have visitors hooked on five-star reviews.
Pizza lovers and pasta fans will find more than enough to choose from on the pizzeria's menu.
New York Pizzeria may serve dishes that are low in fat, but that doesn't mean they're low in flavor.
This pizzeria welcomes kids, too, so you can feel good about bringing the whole family.
Get online gratis thanks to New York Pizzeria's complimentary wifi.
Summer meals will taste even better when you enjoy them on New York Pizzeria's gorgeous patio.
New York Pizzeria will even bring the amazing food from their kitchen to yours.
This pizzeria serves your food any way you like, delivered or carried-out.
New York Pizzeria is located near endless parking possibilities, allowing drivers to park with ease.
At New York Pizzeria, bikers can lock their bikes safely outside.
For the cheesiest, most delicious pie in town, pizza lovers claim that New York Pizzeria is at the top of the list.
If you can't get enough pizza, be sure to try the pies at New York Pizzeria, which earn ratings too hot to handle.
So head over to New York Pizzeria, where you can sit down to a delicious pizza in a relaxed, casual setting.
Select your toppings and create a delicious pizza made from scratch by visiting New York Pizzeria.
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