If you need a quick and affordable lunch or dinner option, browse the selection of tasty TV dinners here.
Bread at Village Cafe is absolutely delicious.
When you're looking for a caffeine fix, Village Cafe has the best coffee and tea to get you going.
Pick up some noodles from Village Cafe and create a tasty pasta dish for lunch or dinner.
For dairy lovers out there, this store does dairy right, so make sure to pick up some on your next trip.
Perfect for cooking! Almost every delicious dish begins with oil and vinegar as an ingredient or for simply making sure your food doesn't stick to the pan!
You can never have too much water on hand, so grab a bottle or two from Village Cafe.
Eating healthy isn't always easy, but with produce on hand like this it just got easier.
Dial down your thirst with some delicious drinks that are both refreshing and cool.
Great spices and seasoning will up the flavor in everything you make.
Make sure you always have the ingredients to make a delicious dessert on hand.
Pick up all of your favorite snacks and enjoy a relaxing night in while you veg out.
If you're looking for an alternative to everyday cooking, the frozen bites here are a great way to go.
Cereal doesn't have to be just for kids. If you are looking for a quick, easy, and tasty breakfast to get out the door, pick some up today.
Purchase an assortment of meats from here and gather up the whole family for a nice Sunday dinner.
If you're cooking up a large dinner for the whole family, grab some canned goods from Village Cafe and create some yummy and easy side dishes.
Packed with plenty of "good" fat, fish of your choosing are on hand.
Luckily, Village Cafe is only a short walk away from available parking.
Mellow Mushroom does not just make pizza. They serve decadent slices of heaven that anyone who sinks their teeth into rate high on their list.
If you're avoiding fat or gluten, you can still eat great at Mellow Mushroom, which offers a number of low-fat and gluten-free choices.
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.
Perfect for after-work outings, Mellow Mushroom's happy hour is hard to beat.
Need to catch up on some work or the latest news? Get online at Mellow Mushroom with their complimentary wifi.
Whether you have a large or small group, Mellow Mushroom can accommodate both.
Guests may have a hard time conversing, as the pizzeria is rather noisy.
Folks tend to dress down at Mellow Mushroom, so keep comfort in mind when heading to the pizzeria.
Meeting the gang for a movie? Pick up some food from this pizzeria.
Bring the Mellow Mushroom's great food to your place.
At Mellow Mushroom, you can find ample parking that is readily available any time of day.
You'll also find plenty of safe spaces to lock up your bike if you prefer to cycle to the pizzeria.
Smothered in piping hot cheese and toppings of your choice, the pies at Mellow Mushroom come highly recommended by pizza connoisseurs.
So bring your appetite to Mellow Mushroom. This no-muss, no-fuss pizza joint comes with rave reviews.
Mellow Mushroom cooks up great, casual pizzas just how you want them: delicious and scrumptious.
Mellow Mushroom serves up hot and fresh pizzas, so head on over today and enjoy a tasty slice of paradise.
Wine and dine at Bayou Smokehouse and Grill in Banner Elk.
Bayou Smokehouse and Grill serves up endless healthy meal options.
Bayou Smokehouse and Grill is one of the hippest BYOB spots in town.
This restaurant also operates a bar, so a round of drinks with dinner is not out of the question.
Children are more than welcome to dine at this restaurant, where there's something for everyone on the menu.
Stay connected at no cost thanks to Bayou Smokehouse and Grill's wifi.
Sit outside at Bayou Smokehouse and Grill and soak up the sun on those nice summer days.
At Bayou Smokehouse and Grill, you won't have to wait for your large or small group to be seated.
A tad noisy, the restaurant is well-suited for those who don't mind a little extra hustle and bustle.
Great food is best enjoyed comfortably, so Bayou Smokehouse and Grill encourages less-than-fancy attire.
Hosting a swanky shindig? Call up Bayou Smokehouse and Grill for their catering services.
Don't be afraid to enjoy your food on the go — this restaurant offers takeout for your busy schedule.
Looking for quick and easy parking options? Bayou Smokehouse and Grill is close to a parking lot where valet is also an option.
Cyclists will also appreciate the plentiful space to lock up their bikes outside the restaurant.
Menu items at Bayou Smokehouse and Grill tend to be mid-priced, so expect to plop down about $30 per person to dine here.
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.
Casa Rustica Restaurant knows how to perfect pasta, and foodies rave about its cream-of-the-crop Italian eats.
Casa Rustica Restaurant is a gluten-free friendly restaurant that serves up tasty eats.
Pair your entree with a glass of wine or draft beer — this restaurant has a fully-stocked bar to complement your meal.
You won't need to get a sitter before heading to this restaurant — kids are more than welcome at this family-friendly establishment.
Casa Rustica Restaurant is ready to help you throw the dinner party of your dreams!
Get online for free courtesy of Casa Rustica Restaurant's wifi.
Wear what you like when you dine at Casa Rustica Restaurant — the restaurant has a chill vibe just right for casual dining.
The food is prepared and packaged, just waiting for your pickup.
Feed the gang at your next get-together with catering from Casa Rustica Restaurant as well.
Casa Rustica Restaurant provides easy access to an adjacent lot.
Bikers can store their bikes safely while they enjoy a meal at Casa Rustica Restaurant.
For food that tastes like a million bucks, Casa Rustica Restaurant s got you covered for a fraction of the price.
Treat yourself to breakfast, lunch, and dinner all in one place
the restaurant offers three main meals a day, though dinner is the real winner.
See for yourself why Casa Rustica Restaurant's Italian food is so highly considered.
So head on over to Casa Rustica Restaurant and send your taste buds on a delicious trip to Italy.
Both you and your furry friend will enjoy your stay at The Inn at Crestwood in Boone.
You'll find a wonderful selection of drinks from The Inn at Crestwood's full bar to top off your meal.
Big groups always enjoy coming to The Inn at Crestwood.
Al fresco eating options are also available at The Inn at Crestwood, which presents a lovely patio seating area for warmer months.
The hotel also offers spacious suites that are sure to make your trip unforgettable.
Wifi here is on the house.
Vacations take a toll on your workout routine. Here, they don't have to. Fitness center on-site.
Whether you're looking for a workout, a cool down, or a way to entertain the kids, the swimming pool is sure to please guests of all ages.
This hotel is an unique establishment that features apartment-like rooms with kitchenettes and other great amenities.
Delicious breakfasts are served complimentary for all guests who stay at The Inn at Crestwood.
Check out this hotel's restaurant for a tasty meal for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
The hotel lounge is a great place to hold an informal meeting over drinks.
Parking is provided in a nearby lot, so diners can easily walk to and from their cars.
Commute by bike to The Inn at Crestwood and find easy bike parking.
Step out of the ordinary and into the extraordinary this weekend when you book your stay at the serene The Inn at Crestwood in Boone.
Come taste what Coyote Kitchen is doing to transform classic American cuisine.
Coyote Kitchen is also a good option for those with special dietary needs, offering both vegan and healthy items on the menu.
Bring the whole clan to this restaurant — kids and parents will love the menu and ambience here.
Need to catch up on some work or the latest news? Get online at Coyote Kitchen with their complimentary wifi.
Enjoy the luxury of eating a delicious meal outside at Coyote Kitchen.
The restaurant's "rush" is all weekend long, so diners should be prepared to wait for a table.
Carry-out is also available for those who prefer to enjoy this restaurant's cooking from the comfort of their own home.
Tired of driving in circles? Head to Coyote Kitchen for a bite to eat and find quick parking in the lot next door.
Cyclists will also appreciate the plentiful space to lock up their bikes outside the restaurant.
Your tab at Coyote Kitchen will usually run to about $30 per guest.
Coyote Kitchen has three square meals a day on the menu, so swing by for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
There's a classic American dish waiting to be made for you at Coyote Kitchen.
So enjoy a casual lunch or dinner at Coyote Kitchen and indulge in some America-inspired cuisine.
If you're seeking a highly-rated American restaurant in the area, look no further than Coyote Kitchen.
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
A dainty sweet-potato bourbon cake (seen above). A deconstructed cheesecake topped with a sphere of fruit purée. A crème brûlée decorated with delicate, edible flowers. Ceviche plated to look more like a frothy cocktail than a bite of raw fish. These are just a few of the dishes that Chef Roque Heidler has conceptualized, plated, and posted to Instagram over the years.
Jump to his five tips for food photography.
This Tulsa chef is a bit of a Renaissance man. First and foremost, he works at The Chalkboard, an elegant New American restaurant where he does triple-duty as chef de cuisine, pastry chef, and resident plating expert. There, he quickly earned a reputation for his immaculate desserts, which helped him win the Sweets category in the first annual Taste of Groupon Awards. But that’s just his day job.
Over the years, Chef Heidler’s explored all sorts of facets of the art world. He experimented with street art in his youth, and, early on in his career, he took a two-year hiatus from the food industry to work as a tattoo artist. Today, he’s using those art skills to create the stunning desserts that first caught our attention.
We had the chance to chat with Chef Heidler after he won his award recently. Here are some of the highlights from our conversation.
Turning dining into an adventure
A video posted by Keepin Tha Block Fed (@purpstagram) on Dec 28, 2015 at 4:00pm PST
For Chef Heidler, cooking is all about balancing the familiar and the surprising. “I generally like to do a take on my childhood favorites,” he explained. He starts with these classic dishes and infuses them with “some sort of whimsy” while maintaining their approachability.
Frequently, that whimsy he talks about comes in the form of some sort of sneaky molecular-gastronomy trick, be it dessert gels made with agar or fruit purées transformed into delicate spheres that crack open with the whack of a spoon. Or, consider his take on chocolate pie:
“I got ahold of some methylcellulose and I did this crazy, crazy mad-scientist chocolate pie … that had this strawberry-buttermilk foam and this methylcellulose chocolate filling. [The filling] would be liquid at 70 degrees, but once you heated it up to 140, it would turn into that custard state.” The resulting dessert balanced different temperatures, textures, and flavors—subverting the diners’ expectations about what a classic chocolate pie could be.
How his unique background inspires his food
A photo posted by Keepin Tha Block Fed (@purpstagram) on Apr 10, 2016 at 8:22pm PDT
An artistic eye pervades everything Roque Heidler does. Though it’s been years since he did any street art or worked in a tattoo parlor, those experiences still give him a unique outlook on food: “I’ll look at flavors sometimes as colors, if that makes any sense. And I plate them out like that. Sometimes I’ll base a whole dish on a color and search for those flavors that go with it,” he said.
But over the years, he’s learned to let the flavors shine as much as the aesthetics. “Like, I mean, if you dig back a little deeper in [my career] ... you’ll see more of that really, really modernistic art on the plate, and I’ve dialed back from that a lot. I kind of learned, you know, you’ve gotta plate to the crowd.”
Working under the constraints of a traditional Lebanese restaurant helped him strike the right balance even more. “I just would take their classic flavors and would try to just distribute it out in that street-art form, like, layers and different takes and elevating it with different textures. But working under that [chef] taught me a lot about not detracting from the flavors so much that you couldn’t tell where it was from.”
Plating food like a pro
A photo posted by Keepin Tha Block Fed (@purpstagram) on Apr 8, 2016 at 9:26pm PDT
Now that he’s traded in no-frills Lebanese cuisine for fine dining at The Chalkboard, Chef Heidler has a lot more room to experiment with his food’s presentation. But even though he knows that many of his diners will rush to snap and post photos of these beautiful plates, he tries not to let that Instagram culture shape what he does too much.
“I don’t think about 6 o’clock. I don’t think about any sort of clockwise on a plate. I more or less look for that overall balance from a bird’s eye view,” he said. That’s because when a plate is placed in front of a diner, that’s the first perspective they get. And this first impression is important—even if the guest immediately drops down to plate level to snap that perfect piece of food-porn photography.
They say that you eat with your eyes first, so moments like these are vital to a restaurant’s success. But last impressions are just as important as first ones at The Chalkboard. “I love doing the plate ups on desserts because it’s gonna be the last thing that sticks in your mind when you leave,” Chef Heidler said.
Five tips for improving your food photography
When his knack for plating, arts background, and love of Instagram, Chef Heidler is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to food photography. That’s why we took the opportunity to ask him for some of his best tips.
1. Find the best lighting.
Natural light is your friend.
2. Shoot on neutral backgrounds.
Chef Heidler works on gray tables at The Chalkboard, but he recommends photographing your own food on “anything black or white—that’s always going to give another element to your photo.”
3. Combine different textures.
Varying textures form the most interesting compositions. “Try to provide three different textures, be it a purée, be it a frozen element, be it something crunchy. ... That’s what’s going to give you that depth in your dish.”
4. Add some acid to boost the colors.
This is especially true if you’re photographing a dish you cooked yourself. “[Acid] will give you those bright, vibrant colors everybody tries to achieve,” he suggests. This usually means adding lemon juice or white vinegar to a dish to bring out its natural green, purples, or reds.
5. Try different angles.
He explains, “Take a step around, even if it’s like, I don’t know, 6 inches from where you were just at. You might capture a cooler way.”
Don’t roll up to the bar trying to stump Brandon Phillips. Brandon knows his cocktails. And he likes a challenge. As the bar director at Chicago’s The Duck Inn, he’s had more than a few. As he told us:
A neighborhood guest was positive I couldn’t make him an old-fashioned that tasted like a prime-rib dinner. A little beef bouillon, horseradish, Worcestershire sauce, rum, and voilà, the Prime Rib Old-Fashioned was born.
In the video below, hear more on craft, cocktail culture, and good old-fashioned hospitality directly from Brandon, the winner in our inaugural Taste of Groupon Awards for the The Drink Award for the Advancement of Potent Potables.