Naming your kids Oak, Willow, and Pine Glen might raise some eyebrows—unless, of course, those "kids" are actually golf courses. That's certainly the case at Sycuan Golf Resort, where a family of three distinct layouts presents an array of challenges across 54 holes. Located near some of San Diego's most popular attractions, the resort has played host to a number of prestigious tournaments, including the Junior World Championships and PGA Chapter Shootout.
The resort's pair of championship courses—Oak and Willow—boast numerous similarities. Both check in at just under 6,700 yards and prominently feature the Sweetwater River in their layout. Pine Glen, meanwhile, is a challenging par three course that stretches to just over 2,400 yards. After severe flooding in the late 1970s, each course received a facelift from renowned architect Ted Robinson, Sr. He added elevation changes, tiered greens, and even man-made lakes that test drive accuracy and sate thirsty golf carts mid-round.
El Cajon's Valley Foods is your one-stop shop for all of your grocery items, including fresh product and meat.
When you body needs hydration most, grab some drinks off the shelf.
A simple solution to long hours spent over the stove, a microwavable meal will trick your taste buds into thinking it was made from scratch!
Pick up a loaf of freshly-baked bread from Valley Foods and create that tasty sandwich you've been craving all day.
If you're a lover of all things dairy, help yourself to some great products at Valley Foods for all your protein and calcium needs.
Going on a road trip or heading to the office? Easy to take anywhere, this snack will hold you over between any meal.
The produce available here is a great side to any meal in need of some fresh nutrients.
For the meat lover in you, you'll enjoy the offerings of eclectic meats at this place.
Have you heard about the amazing frozen food offered here? Conveniently priced and designed to save you time where it counts, you'll be amazed you didn't try these dishes sooner.
Start your long and busy work week off on the right foot with a tasty and energizing coffee or tea from Valley Foods.
Cereal in the morning, cereal in the evening, or cereal at suppertime. With the selection here, you'll want to eat cereal anytime.
At Valley Foods, you can grab some fresh noodles, channel your inner chef and get your cook on.
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!
If you're curious about the various types of vinegar and oil the world has to offer, stop by here and discover a new blend.
For cool, refreshing H20, Valley Foods' got you covered.
Pick up super fresh fish (and a heck of a lot of nutrients) for your next meal.
This store has quite a selection of rich spices and seasonings.
You'll find a wide variety of canned food, among other necessities here.
The store is next to a parking lot, but drivers can also settle for street parking.
With weekly sales, Valley Foods' grocery store in El Cajon understands your needs, both budgetary and nutritional.
Hungry for a tasty meal but don't have the time to spend in the kitchen? Frozen food is an easy solution.
Don't settle for bland meals. Add some pizzazz to your food with an extensive selection of seasonings and spices.
Whether you prefer coffee or tea, Nestle Toll House Cafe By Chip offers options for both the coffee enthusiast and the tea lover.
Discover a new flavor of bread at Nestle Toll House Cafe By Chip and get creative with your sandwiches.
Dial down your thirst with some delicious drinks that are both refreshing and cool.
Two of the most versatile ingredients in the kitchen, you can never have enough oil and vinegar (so stock up!).
Water junkies can get their gulp on with a swig from Nestle Toll House Cafe By Chip.
This store has all the supplies you need to make a scrumptious dessert when your tastebuds are calling.
Going on a road trip or heading to the office? Easy to take anywhere, this snack will hold you over between any meal.
Add some produce to your next dinner plate for a delicious meal jam-packed with vitamins and nutrients.
Planning a barbecue? Check out the selection of meat inventory here and go home with a range of tender meats.
Get your noodle on! Nestle Toll House Cafe By Chip has some of the best and affordable noodle and pasta options in the area.
Take a dive and swim away with some succulent fish. It's a great source of protein for your next meal!
Cereal tastes so good, you'll want to eat it around the clock (so go ahead!).
Dairy is packed with the essential nutrients your body craves, so help yourself out. Dairy products have everything you need.
If you're cooking up a large dinner for the whole family, grab some canned goods from Nestle Toll House Cafe By Chip and create some yummy and easy side dishes.
Who's hungry? A frozen entree will fool anyone's palate, so why waste time cooking up a storm?
Patrons are provided with sufficient parking nearby.
Whether you prefer sausage, 'roni, or all-around veggie, Marechiaro's' easy-to-please pizza has fans dishing out top-notch ratings.
Whether you are looking for food low in fat or gluten-free, this restaurant is the place you want to eat.
Whether you have something to celebrate or just need something to take the edge off, the drink menu at this pizzeria won't disappoint.
Youngsters are more than welcome to join mom and dad at this pizzeria.
Large groups will appreciate Marechiaro's for its ability to seat them quickly.
Reservations are available for those who prefer to skip the waiting game.
Marechiaro's is a casual spot to dine, so don't worry about being underdressed.
The food's ready when you are. Come on in or carry out.
Marechiaro's prides itself in its delicious catering.
At Marechiaro's, you can park your car in seconds with the nearby street and lot parking options.
At Marechiaro's, diners can make use of the safe bike rack.
Most items on the menu are reasonably priced, so expect to spend around $30 per person at Marechiaro's.
AM, midday, and PM meals are served at the pizzeria, but supper takes the cake for best in show.
For talk-of-the-town pizza, Marechiaro's is your pizzeria. Stop by for a slice or two and judge the ratings for yourself.
When pizza's on the mind, there's no going back. For quick pies that no one can stop talking about, get the best of the best at Marechiaro's.
For just about the best pizza around in a cool atmosphere, Marechiaro's is serving up the right pies for you and your company.
So stop fantasizing about ordering pizza and call the team at Marechiaro's to make that amazing pie a reality.
High-quality Italian food awaits you at Marechiaro's!
It's certainly time for you to try cheese on cheese on cheese when you take a chance on the best Italian food around at Marechiaro's.
For top-rated Mexican fare that customers rave about, head to Hacienda Casa Blanca for a meal packed with bold flavor.
For a healthier dining option, try one of the many vegan, low-fat, or gluten-free dishes at Hacienda Casa Blanca.
Unwind with a glass of wine or cocktail with your meal — this restaurant has a wonderful selection of drinks to accompany your dinner.
With its kid-friendly vibe, this restaurant is a great spot for families to chow down.
If you're having a party, no need to stress out about cooking, cleaning or getting tables and chairs, have your party at Hacienda Casa Blanca instead.
Al fresco eating options are also available at Hacienda Casa Blanca, which presents a lovely patio seating area for warmer months.
Make a reservation to ensure your night goes according to schedule.
Save your formal dress for another occasion — a nice top is the perfect fit for Hacienda Casa Blanca's business casual code.
Hacienda Casa Blanca will even bring the amazing food from their kitchen to yours.
For those in a hurry, the restaurant lets you take your meal or snack to go.
Parallel-parking experts can find room on the street, though patrons also have access to the restaurant's adjoining lot.
Hacienda Casa Blanca offers safe bike parking outside.
Hacienda Casa Blanca s fare is so good, you ll want to sample everything on the menu (and with its middle-of-the-road prices, you can!).
Hacienda Casa Blanca dishes up breakfast, lunch, and dinner, so stop by for your favorite meal.
So head to Hacienda Casa Blanca, where you can expect nothing less than the highest rated Mexican cuisine.
Everyone in El Cajon knows the secret to a great place for Mexican takeout is Hacienda Casa Blanca.
With all the spices and flavors you love, Hacienda Casa Blanca is ready to be your Mexican restaurant of choice tonight!
Come to T.G.I. Friday's to grab an American classic with a side of fries.
T.G.I. Friday's is a jackpot for those looking for low-fat and gluten-free meal options.
Enjoy a drink with your dinner — this restaurant has a full bar to serve up a glass of wine, beer, or more.
At this restaurant, everyone will find something they love — kids included!
Don't miss out on the great happy hour deals at T.G.I. Friday's.
T.G.I. Friday's' outdoor seating is available during the warmer months.
Surf the web from your tablet or laptop on T.G.I. Friday's' complimentary wifi.
Between the music and the crowds, be prepared for a lot of noise at this restaurant.
If your weekend plans include a trip to the restaurant, avoid the packs of people by securing a reservation ahead of time.
It doesn't get much more laid-back than T.G.I. Friday's, so dress for comfort when you come.
Catering is also available if you'd like to serve T.G.I. Friday's' tasty dishes at your next party.
If time is of the essence, this restaurant's take-out option may be a better fit.
At T.G.I. Friday's, you can find ample parking that is readily available any time of day.
For those who prefer to travel by bike, T.G.I. Friday's is a great option due to its generous bike parking options.
Prepare to spend about $30 per person when dining at T.G.I. Friday's.
The menu at T.G.I. Friday's includes breakfast, lunch, and dinner — stop by for your favorite meal.
Indulge in all of your favorite American classics with a trip to the definitive standard in town at T.G.I. Friday's.
See what great American fare is cooking up next at T.G.I. Friday's.
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