Find affordable, must-have grocery items at Jack and Pat's Old Fashioned Meat Market in Chicago Ridge and treat yourself to a home-cooked meal tonight.
Healthy eaters realize the importance of dairy in their diet. Make sure you're getting your fill of Vitamin D with dairy products from Jack and Pat's Old Fashioned Meat Market.
From classic sandwiches to signature creations, the sandwiches at Jack and Pat's Old Fashioned Meat Market are sure to make your stomach happy.
Don't let the amazing deals at this place pass you by. When you stop in today, you'll be able to browse an absolutely fabulous selection of vinegar and oil that can mean transformative changes to your cuisine.
Next time you're in a rush, check out the amazing TV dinners available here to get you going out the door.
If your hydration habits could use some work, pick up some delicious beverages to drink with a meal or on the go.
Take a dive and swim away with some succulent fish. It's a great source of protein for your next meal!
This fresh produce here is so tasty it will change the way we think about healthy eating.
With a bottle of water in hand, it's easy to refresh and refuel. Grab a couple drinks from Jack and Pat's Old Fashioned Meat Market and stay on the go all the time.
Planning a movie night? Stock up on all of your favorite snacks and munch and crunch all night long.
The healthy and tasty canned food items from Jack and Pat's Old Fashioned Meat Market make great side dishes and cooking ingredients.
Planning your meals for the week? Don't forget to pick up a loaf of freshly-baked bread from Jack and Pat's Old Fashioned Meat Market.
If you're planning a party, you will love the platters and deli munches that Jack and Pat's Old Fashioned Meat Market has to offer.
Balance out the taste of a midday dessert with one of the excellent coffees or teas at Jack and Pat's Old Fashioned Meat Market.
Cereal in the morning, cereal in the evening, or cereal at suppertime. With the selection here, you'll want to eat cereal anytime.
Take your cooking up a level of flavor when you choose from their wide selection of seasonings and spices.
Pick up some noodles from Jack and Pat's Old Fashioned Meat Market and create a tasty pasta dish for lunch or dinner.
Just a touch of these key baking ingredients will make your baked goods pop, so make sure your kitchen is always well-stocked.
You'll definitely want to experiment with frozen foods to help maximize your time in the evening.
Kick off your weekend with a barbecue. Pick up some fresh and tender meats from here and start cooking.
The noise level can often drown out conversation, so make sure your party is prepared to speak up.
Find parking easily in one of their many available spaces.
Stock up your kitchen with only the best quality groceries from Jack and Pat's Old Fashioned Meat Market in Chicago Ridge.
When you have a hunger craving in between meals, these snacks will come in handy.
Make your own salad dressing in a snap! Oil and vinegar are essential components for a number of common creations, so make sure these guys always have a place in your kitchen.
Get your grill fired up and grab your tongs! The meat here is perfect for the grill any time of year.
Whether you're a double shot of espresso or a jasmine tea, this place has you covered.
Dial down your thirst with some delicious drinks that are both refreshing and cool.
If you need a quick and easy meal solution for lunch or dinner, consider a tasty TV dinner from here.
Feeling hungry? Pick up some frozen food from here and enjoy a night snacking on all of your favorite items.
Packed with plenty of "good" fat, fish of your choosing are on hand.
Whether you cook it or eat it raw, the produce from Oasis Cafe will be tasty no matter what.
When you're in the mood to bake, remember to add a dash of extra sweetness. It will make your creations come alive like never before.
If pasta is what you're in the mood for, swing by Oasis Cafe and pick up some fresh noodles.
Both sugary and high-fiber cereals are delicious and this store carries them all.
If you're a lover of all things dairy, help yourself to some great products at Oasis Cafe for all your protein and calcium needs.
H20: The essential element for every human being. Stay hydrated everywhere you go with a bottle from Oasis Cafe.
Bread at Oasis Cafe is absolutely delicious.
Purchase some new spices and seasonings from here and treat yourself to a fun and creative night cooking in the kitchen.
Feeling hungry? Canned food from Oasis Cafe makes for a quick and tasty breakfast, lunch, or dinner option.
Drivers will appreciate the great parking options in the area.
Score your next slice at Nick's Pizza — this joint has pizza-lovers dishing out cream of the crop reviews.
Nick's Pizza will keep those with dietary needs happy with a menu filled with gluten-free and low-fat items.
Take a peek at the drink menu here, and make sure to sample something off the list.
At this pizzeria, kids of all ages are welcome.
Nick's Pizza is a good restaurant to dine with a small or large group.
The patio seating at Nick's Pizza is perfect for those warm summer days.
Take note that the pizzeria can get a bit loud, so vocal cords and eardrums should be in tip-top shape.
Delivery and carryout are easy options for those interested in staying home.
Catering services are also available.
In addition to street parking, there is a lot right around the corner, so finding a space shouldn't be an issue for drivers dining at the pizzeria.
Nick's Pizza serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, so stop by whenever is most convenient for you.
When melted cheese and quality crust is all you can think about, it may be time for a hot slice or two. Experience pizza at its best when you order a pie from top-rated Nick's Pizza.
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 Nick's Pizza.
So if you're looking for a casual hangout spot in town, be sure to stop in for a hot pizza at Nick's Pizza.
You won't want to go anywhere else for a superlative piece of pizza than to Nick's Pizza's great restaurant.
Order all of your favorite pub classics and munch away at Tilted Kilt Pub and Eatery in Chicago Ridge.
Help yourself to a healthier lifestyle at Tilted Kilt Pub and Eatery, where gluten-free and low-fat plates are the standard.
TVs are also readily available in the bar area to broadcast the best games.
Patio tables and chairs are ready for Tilted Kilt Pub and Eatery diners who prefer their meals al fresco.
Wifi is on the house at Tilted Kilt Pub and Eatery, so bring along your tablet or laptop.
Prepare to face the crowds if you visit on the weekend — Friday and Saturday are Tilted Kilt Pub and Eatery's busiest days.
Leave the fancy duds at home — patrons at the bar dress informally.
No delivery needed. In and out for carryout.
The lot adjacent to Tilted Kilt Pub and Eatery provides free parking for diners.
For those who prefer to travel by bike, Tilted Kilt Pub and Eatery is a great option due to its generous bike parking options.
Taste the greatness Tilted Kilt Pub and Eatery is serving up with meals around $30.
Tilted Kilt Pub and Eatery's menu is decked out with all your pub favorites, so you won't need to worry. There's definitely something for everyone!
Enjoy some food and a relaxing beer at Tilted Kilt Pub and Eatery.
If you're craving food from one of the top British pubs in Chicago Ridge, Tilted Kilt Pub and Eatery is the place to go.
For wings with a ton of zest, Chicago Ridge's Buffalo Wild Wings has got you covered.
Being a fan is serious business; don't miss a minute of your team's game.
Go ahead and bring your rug rats with you — this bar has kid-friendly food and seating.
Buffalo Wild Wings will be able to accommodate your large party.
Bring your laptop here and tap into the complimentary wifi.
Sit outside when the weather is fine — Buffalo Wild Wings has a lovely patio to enjoy a warm day.
The noise level can often drown out conversation, so make sure your party is prepared to speak up.
The weeknight rush is in full force at Buffalo Wild Wings, so anticipate a wait if you go after work.
Keep it casual at Buffalo Wild Wings — the bar is laid-back and patrons dress accordingly.
Buffalo Wild Wings prides itself in its delicious catering.
Meeting the gang for a movie? Pick up some food from this bar.
You can leave your car curbside with nearby street parking.
Make use of the luxurious bike racks at Buffalo Wild Wings.
Buffalo Wild Wings s moderately-priced platters and top-notch taste bring foodies back to Buffalo Wild Wings time and time again.
If you're looking to rack up your frequent flyer miles, feel free to pay by major credit card.
The wings at Buffalo Wild Wings make for an exciting and fun meal.
In 1988, Auntie Anne's founders Anne and Jonas Beiler purchased a Pennsylvania farmers'-market stand, where they experimented with dough until they created a pretzel that seemed to strike the perfect chord with their customers. Today, at their more than 1,150 locations worldwide, the pretzel makers still hand roll the original recipe but have added to the menu with inventive options, such as the pepperoni pretzel and eight signature dipping sauces. The team constantly explores new uses for the pretzel dough, such as wrapping it around hot dogs, slicing it into bite-size nuggets, or using it to build historically accurate Austrian villages. To transform the snack into a meal, they accompany it with specialty drinks, including frozen-lemonade desserts.
When not twisting dough, Auntie Anne's team partners with the national charitable organization Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation, which raises funds to fight childhood cancer. Auntie Anne's also reaches out to the community through fundraising opportunities.
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.