Cooking tasty and healthy meals at home is easy when you have some groceries from Cajun Cafe and Grill in Riverside on hand.
These tasty and nutritious snacks will help you push through your long workday.
Upgrade your barbecue by selecting from the fine meats available here.
When all you want to do is relax after a long day, cooking is the last thing on your mind. Eat a delicious meal in a matter of minutes with an easy-to-make TV dinner!
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.
Feeling bold and creative? Dress up your next meal with some unique and tasty seasonings and spices from here.
Cereal tastes so good, you'll want to eat it around the clock (so go ahead!).
Take care of your thirst quickly with a bottle of refreshing water from Cajun Cafe and Grill.
Pick up some noodles from Cajun Cafe and Grill and create a tasty pasta dish for lunch or dinner.
All the supplies you need to make a craveworthy dessert are here.
Planning your meals for the week? Don't forget to pick up a loaf of freshly-baked bread from Cajun Cafe and Grill.
Find a large array of bold and flavorful coffees and teas at Cajun Cafe and Grill and sip your way through tasty goodness.
When you're looking for a little tart flavor to add to your meal, you'll want to grab some vinegar. For something a little more savory, that definitely calls for oil. When you shop here, you can stock up on either to ensure your food is tart and savory in equal measures.
Health-conscious eaters will love cooking with the fresh produce available here.
Feeling hungry? Canned food from Cajun Cafe and Grill makes for a quick and tasty breakfast, lunch, or dinner option.
Don't wait for things like rice to cook when you don't have to. The great selection of frozen food here helps you speed up the cooking time for any number of different foods.
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.
Make use of the safe parking options near Cajun Cafe and Grill and reap the great benefits of parking close by.
So when your fridge is looking a little bare, replenish supplies with a quick trip to Cajun Cafe and Grill.
Though Joel Nickson and his brothers didn’t open the first Wishbone until 1990, the restaurant’s history actually dates back to World War I. Their grandfather, an American soldier, met their grandmother in France, and convinced her to come back to rural North Carolina with him. Once in America, she began to experiment in the kitchen, applying French techniques to ingredients she could find locally. In that simple desire to adapt, she unknowingly designed an approach to food that would be carried through her family's next two generations.
After Joel was born, his family eventually relocated to New Jersey, but he carried a torch for the French-Southern meals he grew up on. At 15 he took a job at a soul food restaurant, and went on to apprentice at famed New York City establishments 21 Club and Quo Vadis. He then followed his roots back to North Carolina, becoming the head chef at a resort there before getting an invitation from his brothers in Chicago: they wanted him to help them open their own restaurant. He agreed.
Naturally, the project became a family affair. The brothers and a sister-in-law helped build the space with their own hands. Once it was ready, their mother, Lia, covered the walls with her surrealist, farm-inspired oil paintings. They started out serving breakfast and lunch in a style they call Southern Reconstruction, which integrates everything their family had tasted or prepared in France, North Carolina, New York, and Chicago—with an extra bit of Creole spice. As the Nicksons supplied larger and larger crowds, they decided to start serving dinner as well. Beneath fried-egg light fixtures, diners can start their day with buckwheat pancakes or shrimp and grits, and dig into dinners such as blackened catfish or NC-style pulled pork, sometimes served by Joel’s own children.
Whether you prefer your meal mild or with a spicy kick, the top-rated Mexican fare at Lalo's Restaurant hits a home run with each and every order.
Calling all gluten-free and low-fat diners! Lalo's Restaurant has a multitude of dishes right up your alley that are freshly-prepared and taste amazing.
Complement your meal with a beer or wine from this restaurant's delightful drink menu.
This restaurant is great for families with kids.
Impress your friends and invite them to a party to remember at Lalo's Restaurant.
Al fresco eating options are also available at Lalo's Restaurant, which presents a lovely patio seating area for warmer months.
Get connected at lightning fast speeds with Lalo's Restaurant's complimentary wifi.
Make a reservation to ensure your table is ready when you are.
At Lalo's Restaurant, "dress to impress" is a thing of the past, and jeans are the new norm.
Some say walking is the greatest thing in life. This restaurant knows it's carryout.
Can't get enough of Lalo's Restaurant's tasty dishes? They also offer a catering service for parties and events.
Drive to lunch or dinner at Lalo's Restaurant and find easy parking in a lot close by or on the street.
Hitting the mid-range mark, Lalo's Restaurant s prices are perfectly reasonable for food that goes above and beyond.
If you're more of an evening diner, you're in luck. Though all three meals are served, the restaurant's dinner menu will blow you away.
Sample some of the highest rated Mexican dishes around when you stop in for a meal at Lalo's Restaurant.
For great Mexican food in a casual setting, look no further than Lalo's Restaurant.
When it comes to Mexican cuisine, Lalo's Restaurant has you covered. Visit the restaurant today and enjoy a tasty meal.
If cooking isn't on the agenda, the perfect pie awaits you at Michael Anthony's Restaurant and Bar, where customers praise the pizza like no other.
Follow the game or the news from the TVs in the bar.
Grab the kids when you head to this pizzeria — its family-oriented menu and ambience are perfect for the whole clan.
The pizzeria's "rush" is all weekend long, so diners should be prepared to wait for a table.
Michael Anthony's Restaurant and Bar honors a business casual dress code, so formal wear can be left behind.
Through their catering service, Michael Anthony's Restaurant and Bar can also set out a delicious spread for your next party.
Choose wisely. Wait at home for delivery or come into this pizzeria for carryout.
At Michael Anthony's Restaurant and Bar, you won't have to worry about circling the block multiple times to find parking.
If you go out for a nice meal, it doesn't need to cost $100, come treat yourself at Michael Anthony's Restaurant and Bar.
The pizzeria's dinner menu receives the most attention, but diners have the option of grabbing breakfast or lunch here, too.
Some people say that if you've had one pizza, you've had them all. Diners who've tried Michael Anthony's Restaurant and Bar's pizza say it is the absolute best.
High-quality pizza is waiting for you at Michael Anthony's Restaurant and Bar, so find out what all the fuss is about and get your hands on a cheesy slice of deliciousness.
Next time you're in the mood for a casual night out, be sure to stop for a delicious pizza at Michael Anthony's Restaurant and Bar.
Switch up your normal pizza routine and head on over to Michael Anthony's Restaurant and Bar for a new take on pizza.
Come to Connie's Family Restaurant for a sandwich and side — this eatery serves American cuisine everyone will love.
Health nuts will love Connie's Family Restaurant for its gluten-free and low-fat menu options.
This restaurant's fully stocked bar is a perk for patrons who enjoy a fine wine (or more) with their meal.
Parents appreciate this restaurant's kid-friendly attitude, and little ones are often seen dining out with the adults.
Host your next party at Connie's Family Restaurant for a meal your guests will remember.
Wifi is on the house at Connie's Family Restaurant, so bring along your tablet or laptop.
The restaurant accepts reservations, so you can get around the busy crowd.
Folks tend to dress down at Connie's Family Restaurant, so keep comfort in mind when heading to the restaurant.
Ordering food? You can pick it up yourself!
A catering menu is also available if you're looking to dazzle the diners at your next shindig.
Street parking is available, or, on busy nights, a nearby lot is another option for drivers.
Store your bike at a nearby rack and enjoy a bite to eat at Connie's Family Restaurant.
Fancy-schmancy price tags don t always bring the best results, and Connie's Family Restaurant s super yummy, mid-range menu is taste-test approved.
All major credit cards are accepted.
Breakfast fare is rated highest at the restaurant, though you can also stop by for lunch or dinner.
Rediscover your favorite American meals at Connie's Family Restaurant.
Connie's Family Restaurant serves up a variety of American eats in a casual setting. Swing by today and munch on some of your favorite dishes.
Seven Things to Know About Cigars and Stripes
“A strange place for nice people.” Part philosophy and part catchy slogan, this vision drives everything at Cigars and Stripes, a beer-and-barbecue joint where patrons devour smoked meats in an atmosphere tinged with mischief and rebellion. Here are some things to know when visiting:
The meat is smoked onsite. Three smokers—including one that can handle 150 pounds of meat—slowly cook every cut to fall-off-the-bone tenderness. The smokers make regular appearances in the beer garden.
Even the hot wings are smoked. The chefs put a creative spin on this bar staple, which they tumble in one of four house sauces.
They resurrect a Chicago classic. Though they’re usually pegged as a Kansas City specialty, rib tips actually started in Chicago (according to Cigars and Stripes), and the chefs regularly toss them in the smokers.
Beers rotate on 13 taps. Selections from Chicago breweries such as Arcade, Half Acre, and Motor Row regularly appear, as do regional offerings.
Vegetarians are welcome. Despite the pride in barbecue, vegetarian-friendly dishes dot the menu, such as pizza piled high with brightly colored veggies.
There’s always something on. The gigantic big screen behind the bar plays entertainment such as live sports, professional wrestling, and The Walking Dead.
They’re a sponsor of the Route 66 Car Show. This has made the bar popular with automotive enthusiasts, who often grace the parking lot with their restored cars, hot rods, and motorcycles.
Cindy Espinosa has cooked almost every dish on the menu at Nellie’s (2458 W. Division St.), the Humboldt Park luncheonette she co-owns with her husband, Pablo. Yet she’s never attempted mofongo, a dish of mashed fried plantains that’s a Puerto Rican tradition.
“I see it being made,” she said. “I know how it’s made, but I’ve never tried it.”
It’s easy to see why. The cooking process, which I watched unfold in Nellie’s kitchen, is pretty involved, with a lot of hand-mashing and frying. “It’s more of a Friday-night dinner type of thing,” Pablo said. “You might eat it once a month at home.”
Yet the final result—a dome of fried plantain that diners can moisten with a dip into housemade chicken broth—is worth the work. Here’s how Cindy and Pablo’s cook, Carmen, makes it.
Carmen first peels and chops green plantains, the same fruits used in the restaurant’s jibaritos and tostones. According to Pablo, the restaurant goes through a crate of about 50 green plantains every week.
Then Carmen tosses them into a deep-fryer with some chopped tocino, or pork lard. When the lard has cooked down to a salty, crispy crunch, she dumps it and the plantains into a type of mortar and pestle called a pilon. “Every Puerto Rican household should have one,” Cindy said. The pilon’s concave bottom is what gives a serving of mofongo its distinctive dome-like shape.
In Puerto Rico, you see “all types of sizes” of pilon, Pablo said. That includes some as large as a butter churn, which sit on the floor. Nellie’s is a tabletop model, about 6 inches tall, wooden, and covered in carvings. It makes only one portion of mofongo at a time, which can make things hectic for Carmen on a busy weekend day. (All that mashing “takes an arm,” Cindy said.)
Making mofongo to order gives the staff flexibility to tailor each serving. For instance, Carmen can leave out the tocino to make a vegetarian version of the dish. (Both Espinozas have been vegetarian for a year and a half.) Other versions on the menu include iterations with shrimp in place of tocino or with a mound of chicken, shrimp, or steak nestled inside the dome. Mofongo can also be a side order to fried chicken (chicharron de pollo) or fried pork.
I get to sample the classic, main-course version.
The mofongo dome appears next to a small silver tureen filled with housemade chicken broth for dipping. There is still a big chunk of meat and bone floating in it, as well as a big, soft carrot that I devour, savoring its umami flavors. Moistened with a little broth, the green plantains lose their fibrous dryness to become melt-in-your-mouth comfort food; the bits of tocino provide an occasional kick of salt.
I send a mental thank-you to Carmen’s arm for providing this food. I hope it was worth the work.
Photo credit: Andrew Nawrocki, Groupon
To many Chicagoans, the neighborhoods south of Roosevelt Road seem to be a culinary wasteland. To Jimalita Tillman, Chicago native and executive director of the Harold Washington Cultural Center and Performing Arts Theatre (4701 S. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr.), fine-dining opportunities definitely exist on the South Side—if you give them a chance.
Because many of these restaurants depend on word of mouth, Tillman said, the advertising budgets of their more northern competitors often trump their oral marketing, and so she often spends “all day” giving South Side restaurant recommendations to area visitors and theater-goers.
“There are many great places [to eat] throughout these areas,” she said. “It really depends on what you’re in the mood for.”
And if you're in the mood for a little musical and cultural Chicago history to pair with your meal, you don't have to travel far from the landmark arts center. The Harold Washington Cultural Center, in the former location of the historical Regal Theater where the likes of Ella Fitzgerald once performed, is right in the heart of the Black Metropolis—a region marked by the culture and Southern-inspired music scene that developed during the Great Migration. Today, Bronzeville is still flavored with leftovers from its swinging past.
To savor alongside your meal, we paired each of Tillman’s restaurant recommendations with a few musical, historical, and cultural tidbits.
4655 S. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr., Chicago, IL 60653
It’s the quick and personable service that makes this gourmet hot-dog eatery a standout, Tillman said. Of course, Chef Cliff Rome serves the usual Chicago-style hot dog, but it’s the varied wiener and burger options he creates that color H-Dogs’ menu with the fine-dining flair he perfected while studying in Paris. The Healthy Hound—a grilled veggie dog with sprouts, roasted peppers, red onions, and cucumbers—sits alongside salmon burgers, turducken sausages, and portobello-mushroom sandwiches without the least bit of tattletaling or fighting over who had the mustard first. Sweet-potato or truffle fries complete the gourmet-on-the-go experience.
Bite of History: The gourmet hot-dog diner sits in a historical building that was once known as 47th Street Marketplace. Before a 2010 fire destroyed the building, it was considered a symbol of the revitalization of Bronzeville and housed Tillman’s Spoken Word Cafe—one of the original hosts of HBO’s Def Poetry series hosted by hip-hop artist and actor Mos Def.
2. Pearl’s Place
3901 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60653
“I’m a breakfast head,” said Tillman—as are many in the crowd of diners waiting to get inside for brunch on any given Sunday. The kitchen cooks up a mix of Southern and soul food—yes, there’s a difference—but Pearl’s Place sprinkles it with the right amount of creole flavor. After sampling Pearl’s juicy yet crispy fried chicken, sautéed salmon croquettes, or all-day breakfasts of vegetable omelets or homestyle pancakes, it seems only right to finish with a bite or two of peach cobbler or sweet-potato pie.
Bite of History: The interior decor, with album jackets and vinyl records lining the walls, features a photo story of the neighborhood’s jazz and blues history with jazz legends Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, and Lena Horne—all of whom graced the stage at the Regal Theater during Bronzeville’s musical heyday.
3. Norman’s Bistro
1001 E. 43rd St., Chicago, IL, 60653
The bistro’s entrees—including vegetable confetti ravioli, smoked cranberry salmon, and the Great Duck burger—offer an upscale taste-bud experience at “South Side prices,” Tillman said. From the food to the decor, presentation is an art in this sleek and classy spot featuring creole-inspired American food with a Brazilian flair. In the exposed-brick, art-filled wine bar, sommeliers pour from an extensive list of wines. Separate from the dining room, the intimate setting of the bar creates an ideal spot for the happy-hour crowd.
Bite of Culture: On Sundays at 9 p.m., the bistro hosts a live jazz jam session. Or make an appointment and walk over to Gallery Guichard—housed in a turn-of-the-20th-century Italiante row house—to peruse its African-diaspora art and blown glass, sculptures, and photography by local as well as international artists.
Photography by Andrew Nawrocki.
Clockwise from top: Birria in action—rich, briny consommé and tender goat meat, stewed for hours with bay leaves, cinnamon, and other spices. // Ceramic bowls absorb the birria's heat, keeping the broth warm throughout meals. // When Rick Bayless recommended Birrieria Reyes de Ocotlan to "Esquire" magazine, he described the eatery’s birria as "full of flavor, incredibly homey and satisfying."
In Ocotlán in Jalisco, Mexico, the temperature rarely dips below 40 degrees. That's mild by Chicago standards; however, when the Reyes family immigrated 2,000 miles from Ocotlán to Chicago, they brought with them a recipe that would prove thoroughly compatible with the colder weather. That recipe is birria—a savory stew made by simmering goat meat for hours with herbs and spices. On a cold day in mid-March, I made a trek across town to the family's Pilsen restaurant, Birrieria Reyes de Ocotlan, to taste it myself.
As soon as I entered the eatery, I smelled the warm, rich aroma of simmering goat meat. Goats were also present in the decor: miniature replicas decorated shelves and cupboards, and a mounted goat head kept watch over the booths, a toothpick dangling humorously from its lips.
After I ordered birria at the counter, a server presented me with three dishes. The smallest held pickled onions and lime wedges, which are traditional birria condiments, and an oblong basket cradled warm, fresh tortillas. The largest bowl brimmed with rich, briny consommé, chopped onions and cilantro, and hunks of tender goat meat.
The first spoonful of broth tasted bright and smoky with hints of ancho peppers and cinnamon. I separated a piece of goat meat with light pressure from my spoon. Leaner than beef, the meat still had pieces of bone inside, which infused the meat with the flavor of their marrow. The crisp onions and fragrant cilantro stood out against the birria's savory elements to create a harmony of flavors that was especially comforting on a cold day.