If you're looking for an alternative to everyday cooking, the frozen bites here are a great way to go.
If you need that extra push to get you through your workday, a coffee or tea from Garden Cafe will do the trick.
Pick up super fresh fish (and a heck of a lot of nutrients) for your next meal.
If pasta is what you're in the mood for, swing by Garden Cafe and pick up some fresh noodles.
If you like to use the oven, you're going to want to pick up some sweet ingredients in your next masterpiece. They adds that extra bit of flavor that makes your food delicious!
Health nuts will go crazy for the refreshing beverages available here, a great way to stay happy and hydrated.
You'll be able to save time with any of the TV dinners available here. Five minutes is all that's stopping you from total relaxation with these delicious meals.
Whether you prefer your meat smoked, grilled or fried, you can find your preferred choice here.
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.
You can't find a better selection of spices and seasonings than the one here.
Fill up your home pantry with these great canned food options and keep your basic items in stock.
H20: The essential element for every human being. Stay hydrated everywhere you go with a bottle from Garden Cafe.
Grab a loaf of bread from Garden Cafe and make your sandwich just the way you like it.
Healthy eaters realize the importance of dairy in their diet. Make sure you're getting your fill of Vitamin D with dairy products from Garden Cafe.
Health-conscious eaters will love cooking with the fresh produce available here.
A little here, a little there, you can never have enough vinegar and oil. Used in almost every recipe, these liquids will come in handy.
A healthy and light snack from Garden Cafe is a great way to keep your energy up throughout the day.
If you are making your way over to Garden Cafe, make sure you check out the convenient parking options located nearby.
Cuisine Type: New York–style Jewish Delicatessen
Most popular offering: Overstuffed Sandwiches
Delivery / Take-out Available: Yes
Alcohol: Full bar
Number of Tables: 25–50
Outdoor Seating: Yes
Parking: Metered street parking and parking garage
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Pro Tip: Understand our food is all prepared and cooked in house, so wait time can be a bit longer.
Q&A with Ronnie Heckman, Owner
In your own words, how would you describe your menu?
Extensive. [We offer] all-day breakfast, traditional dinner entrees, homemade latkes and knishes, and a special kids' menu. Catering is one of our specialties.
What is one fun, unusual fact about your business?
[We have a] full bar and well-placed TVs. Customer pictures adorn the walls. Housemade cheesecake is unreal. Kids eat free on Wednesday nights.
Do you use any family recipes at your restaurant? Whose family do they belong to (the chef, the owner, or someone else)?
Yes. Our stuffed cabbage is my great grandmother's [recipe], the chopped liver is a close friend's grandmother's, the cheesecake is the chef's secret recipe, and the latkes recipe comes from a chef at a very exclusive country club.
Is there anything else you want to add that we didn't cover?
Our very extensive rewards program is about to start. It includes lots of discounts for signing up—birthdays, anniversary, etc.—customers earn a $20 gift voucher for every $200 spent.
Head to Black's Bar and Kitchen for a modern take on traditional seafood dishes.
Diners are expected to enjoy their meal to the fullest, so items low in fat are not available.
Whether you have something to celebrate or just need something to take the edge off, the drink menu at Black's Bar and Kitchen won't disappoint.
Black's Bar and Kitchen features some of the most affordable happy hour deals in town.
Enjoy the luxury of eating a delicious meal outside at Black's Bar and Kitchen.
Parties of any size can easily be seated at Black's Bar and Kitchen.
It tends to get especially busy on weekends, so be sure to call ahead and make a reservation.
Good luck spotting a suit and tie at Black's Bar and Kitchen — casually-dressed diners are the norm here.
Black's Bar and Kitchen is known for serving great food, and they are able to serve it at your next event with their excellent catering.
Carry-out is also available for those who prefer to enjoy Black's Bar and Kitchen's cooking from the comfort of their own home.
For those driving to the restaurant, a lot is located around the corner with optional valet. Drivers can also find street parking when the lot gets cramped.
Public transit and parking are two main forms of transit convenience near Black's Bar and Kitchen.
Black's Bar and Kitchen offers parking for all diners, including those who travel by bike.
A mid-priced establishment, Black's Bar and Kitchen offers meals that typically cost about $30 or less.
Black's Bar and Kitchen accepts Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express, and all major credit cards.
The restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but it's the dinner menu that really draws the crowds.
For top-rated Mexican fare that customers rave about, head to Guapo's Restaurant for a meal packed with bold flavor.
Specializing in gluten-free and low-fat fare, Guapo's Restaurant has something that every stomach will enjoy.
Bring your favorite beverages with you to Guapo's Restaurant and create your own drink and meal pairings.
Drinks all around! Pair your dinner with a beverage from this restaurant's full bar.
Bring the whole clan to this restaurant — kids and parents will love the menu and ambience here.
Don't stay cooped up on a beautiful summer day! At Guapo's Restaurant, you can dine outdoors on their lovely patio.
Guapo's Restaurant is a good restaurant to dine with a small or large group.
Keep it casual at Guapo's Restaurant — the restaurant is laid-back and patrons dress accordingly.
Carry-out is also available for those who prefer to enjoy this restaurant's cooking from the comfort of their own home.
Guapo's Restaurant is known for serving great food, and they are able to serve it at your next event with their excellent catering.
Store your car on the street or in a nearby lot at Guapo's Restaurant.
Park the car nearby or take the train or bus to Guapo's Restaurant, a restaurant close to public transit and parking.
Make use of the luxurious bike racks at Guapo's Restaurant.
Reviewers rave about the dinner menu at the restaurant, though breakfast and lunch are also served.
So come to Guapo's Restaurant, where you can taste the highest rated Mexican cuisine around.
Spice up your every day with delicious Mexican food at Guapo's Restaurant.
So gather up your friends and family and head to Guapo's Restaurant for a tasty and flavorful Mexican meal.
Deemed "pizza of the year" every year by Italian Pizza Kitchen's loyal fans, this deliciously-cheesy pizza will have you reaching for seconds, thirds, and even fourths.
Unwind with a glass of wine or cocktail with your meal — this pizzeria has a wonderful selection of drinks to accompany your dinner.
Load up the mini-van and bring the kids to this pizzeria — they'll love the menu and scene here as much as mom and dad.
Italian Pizza Kitchen provides seasonal outdoor seating — be sure to grab a chair before it's too late.
At Italian Pizza Kitchen, your large or small group can be seated quickly and comfortably.
Prefer to dine from the comfort of your own couch? Swing by this pizzeria for carryout, or have them come to you with delivery.
Feed the gang at your next get-together with catering from Italian Pizza Kitchen as well.
Commuters will love the easy access to public transit and parking close to Italian Pizza Kitchen.
Italian Pizza Kitchen's patrons can find places to park in the area.
Bike parking is quick and easy at Italian Pizza Kitchen.
Meals at Italian Pizza Kitchen are affordable, with the average tab amounting to about $30 per person.
For talk-of-the-town pizza, Italian Pizza Kitchen is your pizzeria. Stop by for a slice or two and judge the ratings for yourself.
Pizza doesn't have to be fancy to be great. Delicious pies await you at Italian Pizza Kitchen (along with star-studded reviews and sky-high ratings), so grab a seat and dig in.
So enjoy a casual night out this weekend and treat yourself to a tasty pizza pie from Italian Pizza Kitchen.
When pizza is on your mind, head over to Italian Pizza Kitchen and enjoy a fresh slice of goodness.
You can't beat the classics. Stop in at Cheesecake Factory for some good home American cooking.
Traditional vegan food is offered at Cheesecake Factory.
Whether you have something to celebrate or just need something to take the edge off, the drink menu at this restaurant won't disappoint.
Save money on a sitter — kids are welcome to join the table at this restaurant.
Score quick and easy seating for your large group at Cheesecake Factory.
When the weather is nice, hurry to Cheesecake Factory to grab a spot on the patio.
Good luck spotting a suit and tie at Cheesecake Factory — casually-dressed diners are the norm here.
Catering is also available if you'd like to serve Cheesecake Factory's tasty dishes at your next party.
If you need to get somewhere fast, the restaurant also serves up grub to go.
Cheesecake Factory is a prime location for commuters, especially those who need access to public transit or parking.
Free parking is offered every day in the lot next door, allowing guests to relax and enjoy their meal.
Bikers can store their bikes safely while they enjoy a meal at Cheesecake Factory.
Cheesecake Factory is creating dishes any foodie will love at around $30.
What's your favorite meal of the day? Chow down on breakfast, lunch, and dinner at Cheesecake Factory and taste test your way through the menu.
The friendly staff at Cheesecake Factory are ready and waiting to cook and serve your favorite American meal.
Cheesecake Factory has something for everyone with great American fare for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
So take your next meal to the next level and indulge in some great American eats at the highly-rated Cheesecake Factory.
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