For a grocery store above the rest, you'll want to look no further than A Taste of Italy in Clive.
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.
Take a dive and swim away with some succulent fish. It's a great source of protein for your next meal!
While you're stopping in today, you'll love browsing their selection of terrific meats.
Stay healthy on the regular with the produce available here. It's super fresh and can be used with any meal.
When you need your coffee or tea fix, the selections from A Taste of Italy will certainly come in hand.
If rushing out the door is your morning routine, be sure to pick up a box of cereal for a quick and easy breakfast solution.
Take care of your thirst quickly with a bottle of refreshing water from A Taste of Italy.
Shop for tasty and hearty canned goods here and stock up on all of your favorite side dishes and main courses, such as soups and canned fruit.
Switch up your weekly pasta routine with a new and exciting pasta recipe. Grab some noodles from A Taste of Italy and get cooking.
Pick up all of your favorite snacks and enjoy a relaxing night in while you veg out.
If you're just getting into cooking, pick up some oil and vinegar from here and learn the basics of cooking with these necessities.
Add a little bit of sweet goodness to all your baked goods for top-notch flavor and form. Pick up your staples at A Taste of Italy.
Stop eating out when you can eat in with any of the frozen food meals offered here.
A Taste of Italy serves up a variety of pizza options for everyone, including both meat and veggie lovers.
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!
Discover a new flavor of bread at A Taste of Italy and get creative with your sandwiches.
Dial down your thirst with some delicious drinks that are both refreshing and cool.
A Taste of Italy serves up great food items, such as sandwiches and salads, at an affordable price.
Just a pinch of one of the seasonings and spices available here will help take your meal to greatness.
Whether you prefer your sandwich hot or cold, A Taste of Italy serves up both tasty options.
For drivers, a nearby lot is available for use.
If you have a recipe you have been dying to try, pick up the ingredients at A Taste of Italy in Clive and start cooking.
Mexican-food cravings are easily satisfied at Mi Mexico Restaurant — this popular spot puts a fresh, five-star spin on run-of-the-mill beans and cheese.
The menu at Mi Mexico Restaurant is loaded with gluten-free and low-fat options.
The drink list at this restaurant has everything you need to complete your meal (and your night out).
Got kids? No problem at Mi Mexico Restaurant! This restaurant is a fantastic spot for families to dine together.
Take your meal to the next level on the patio at Mi Mexico Restaurant.
Mi Mexico Restaurant has a large dining room, making it easy to seat large parties.
You'll want to save quiet conversations for another spot, though — the restaurant can get noisy.
Leave the fancy duds at home — patrons at the restaurant dress informally.
At this restaurant, you can work your arms a little. Pick up the food yourself and carry it out.
It's time to gather up the party people. Serve them great food from Mi Mexico Restaurant.
Complimentary parking is provided in the lot next to Mi Mexico Restaurant.
No cash? Use any major credit card and work on reeling in those rewards.
Critics award the most brownie points to the restaurant's dinner offerings, but breakfast and lunch are also available.
Come experience an amazing array of Mexican dishes when you try the highly-rated Mi Mexico Restaurant.
If you're looking for a delicious taco or burrito, you'd definitely be wise to head to Mi Mexico Restaurant.
Mi Mexico Restaurant serves up some of the best Mexican fare in town, so head on over today and treat yourself to some authentic eats.
When George Rivera-Davis first tasted coffee from beans grown on his uncle’s farm in Panama, he was amazed—it tasted nothing like the brown liquid he’d been taught to call coffee in Des Moines. Inspired by the delicious brew, he ventured into the coffee business. Now, George and his wife, Jan—herself a certified tea blender—grow their own coffee in Panama with the aid of their family, bringing gourmet brews to Des Moines through their award-winning coffee shop and café, Grounds for Celebration. Grounds for Celebration’s coffee connoisseurs roast beans onsite before brewing fresh cups of java, blending espresso creations, and flavoring lattes with Monin syrup and Ghirardelli chocolate. Thirsty patrons can also opt for yerba mate, chai, and smoothies, or venture into Jan’s area of expertise and gulp tea in varieties that range from gunpowder green to ginger peach.
While sipping from steaming mugs, patrons can also munch croissants and cinnamon rolls baked fresh each day. At midday, they fortify themselves for afternoon paperclip jousts with lunch sandwiches, salads, and wraps. Some take their time to savor natural, from-scratch gelato while sitting amid the café’s local art and connecting devices to free WiFi.
Fans of Red Rossa Napoli Pizza make every night "pizza night" — reviews prove that this hub sells steaming slices of five-star bliss.
The restaurant offers an extensive list of mouthwatering pizzas and hearty pastas.
G-free and low-fat are just a couple of examples, come here for a quick bite that will leave you feeling healthy.
Be sure to complete your meal at this pizzeria with a drink from the pizzeria's full bar.
Having trouble finding that family-friendly restaurant everyone will love? This pizzeria serves all ages, so little ones are welcome to come along, too.
Wifi here is on the house.
Open air seating is ready for diners at Red Rossa Napoli Pizza when the weather is warm.
With food this good, you'll be running into this pizzeria to pick it up yourself.
Ample parking is located near Red Rossa Napoli Pizza.
Cyclists will love the spacious bike racks outside of Red Rossa Napoli Pizza.
Convenience is essential at Red Rossa Napoli Pizza, and food is served from morning until night.
So who's hungry? The highly-acclaimed pizza at Red Rossa Napoli Pizza is ready and waiting to be served.
Find out how many slices you can eat! Red Rossa Napoli Pizza's pizza comes with high ratings and a low-key vibe, so take your time enjoying your pie.
For hot pizza and a cool atmosphere, be sure to stop in at Red Rossa Napoli Pizza.
Select your toppings and create a delicious pizza made from scratch by visiting Red Rossa Napoli Pizza.
Good luck finding better beef elsewhere — Outback Steakhouse grills their sirloin with just the right amount of sizzle, and fans often hand out five-star reviews to this top-rated steakhouse.
Outback Steakhouse offers a wide variety of gluten-free menu items.
With this restaurant's wide selection of refreshments available, you can tap into the drink menu early in the evening.
Got kids? No problem at Outback Steakhouse! This restaurant is a fantastic spot for families to dine together.
Outback Steakhouse is a suitable restaurant for both large and small groups.
Those searching for a quiet dinner scene may have better luck elsewhere, as the restaurant tends to get rather noisy.
No need to gussy up for a trip to Outback Steakhouse, where patrons dress for comfort and fun.
Some say walking is the greatest thing in life. This restaurant knows it's carryout.
Hosting a swanky shindig? Call up Outback Steakhouse for their catering services.
Outback Steakhouse has easy parking nearby for diners who wish to drive.
Want top-notch taste for less than top-dollar prices? Outback Steakhouse s mid-range cuisine is sure to satisfy on both fronts, where pennies stretch into perfectly seasoned platters.
So get your steak on at Outback Steakhouse and treat yourself to a delicious menu loaded with the very best ratings.
For a great steak at a great price, look no further than the highly-rated Outback Steakhouse.
Enjoy traditional American cuisine at Granite City Food and Brewery, home of American comfort food.
Granite City Food and Brewery serves up a wide variety of menu items, including tasty gluten-free eats.
Take your pick of beer, wine, or other beverages offered on this restaurant's menu.
Little guys and gals will also love dining at this restaurant, which offers a family-friendly environment (and menu).
Free wireless Internet is also available at Granite City Food and Brewery, so bring your tablet or laptop along.
Sunny day plus appetite equals the perfect time to head to Granite City Food and Brewery.
Always five minutes behind schedule? Pick up your food to go instead.
Aside from the delicious, mouth-watering food and drinks, what's the best thing about us? Our free parking. Plain and simple.
If cycling is more your speed, you'll find plenty of space to stash your bike outside the restaurant.
Granite City Food and Brewery is serving up five-star food at a reasonable price.
Head on over to Granite City Food and Brewery first thing in the morning or last thing in the evening — Granite City Food and Brewery is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
The friendly staff at Granite City Food and Brewery are ready and waiting to cook and serve your favorite American meal.
If you're looking for classic American fare, try Granite City Food and Brewery for your next meal.
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