People can't get enough of the drinks here that take refreshment to the max.
Sip on the caffeinated treats offered by Chihuahua Market's impressive coffee and tea connection.
Here you can find a wide selection of oil and vinegar for all of your cooking needs, such as sauces and dressings.
Luckily for you, this place has delicious meat in stock for your cooking.
Get your noodle on! Chihuahua Market has some of the best and affordable noodle and pasta options in the area.
For baked goods that are as delicious as they are fluffy, don't forget to pick up some fresh ingredients to make sure your creation hits it out-of-the-park.
For canned food, such as tasty soups and sides, check out the large selection of items at Chihuahua Market.
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.
Whether you are new to the world of cooking or consider yourself a home cook, you will love the selection of spices and seasonings that this store has to offer.
If no-muss, no-fuss is your kind of attitude, a delicious TV dinner may be right up your alley.
You can't beat the health benefits of fresh fish, so find a few you like and get to cooking!
You can never have too much water on hand, so grab a bottle or two from Chihuahua Market.
Health-conscious eaters will love cooking with the fresh produce available here.
Cereal tastes so good, you'll want to eat it around the clock (so go ahead!).
For that late night at the office or a last-minute change of plans, this frozen food is both scrumptious and convenient for your schedule.
When you have a hunger craving in between meals, these snacks will come in handy.
Bread is a kitchen must-have, so pick up some fresh goodness today.
You'll be relieved to know that there's nearby parking available to Chihuahua Market.
Classic Italian food and a great atmosphere makes Mario's Italian Cafe the perfect restaurant for any occasion.
For conscientious eaters, Mario's Italian Cafe has plenty fresh and healthy items on the menu.
Don't leave the kids at home — youngsters will love the family-friendly cuisine at this restaurant just as much as mom and dad.
Sit back, relax, and enjoy the beautiful weather during your meal at Mario's Italian Cafe.
Leave the suit and tie at home — Mario's Italian Cafe is business casual all the way.
Looking for something delicious to serve at your next party? Mario's Italian Cafe also offers catering.
Can't stay at this restaurant long? Pick up and go home.
Restaurant customers can take advantage of the nearby parking options.
Commute by bike to Mario's Italian Cafe and find easy bike parking.
Fancy snacks do come at a higher price, but wow are they delicious.
Mario's Italian Cafe knows how to serve up amazingly tasty dishes that keep you full for days, which is why you should head there straight away for the best meal this week!
For good eats and good times in Thermal, dine at Alamo Restaurant.
Gluten-free and low-fat eaters will enjoy the menu at Alamo Restaurant.
Complement your meal with a beer or wine from this restaurant's delightful drink menu.
The whole family can enjoy a meal at this restaurant with its kid-friendly fare.
At Alamo Restaurant, you can connect to wifi for a small surcharge.
At Alamo Restaurant, there's no need to confine your meal to a traditional dining room — outdoor seating is available when the weather is warm.
Alamo Restaurant has a large dining room, making it easy to seat large parties.
For those in a hurry, the restaurant lets you take your grub to go.
Pull up curbside and find simple street parking near Alamo Restaurant.
Alamo Restaurant makes bikers feel at ease with the multiple storage racks outside.
Meals at Alamo Restaurant are affordable, with the average tab amounting to about $30 per person.
The breakfast menu receives the most rave reviews from patrons, but you can also stop in for lunch and dinner later in the day.
Dressing up the traditional sandwich, Subway is a go-to lunch spot in Mecca's Mecca district.
Fill up on healthy and vegan fare at Subway.
Free wireless Internet is also available at Subway, so bring your tablet or laptop along.
Make the most of the warm summer months by dining outdoors in Subway's beautiful outdoor seating area.
A tad noisy, the restaurant is well-suited for those who don't mind a little extra hustle and bustle.
You can also grab your grub to go.
Take advantage of the quick and easy parking near Subway.
Subway's diners can store their bikes safely at the rack around the corner.
Dining out doesn t have to be an expensive luxury, and Subway serves deliciousness that everyone can afford.
Whether you're in the mood for AM eggs, a midday salad, or an evening entree, Subway provides service throughout the day.
There's no doubt about it: Subway fixes up thick sandwiches that hit all your cravings.
Whether you're in a hurry or want to linger with old friends, Taqueria Guerrero Mexican restaurant is quick and casual.
For fresh and healthy eats, head to Taqueria Guerrero.
Round out your meal with a little tipple — this restaurant has a terrific drink list, including beer, wine, and more.
Go ahead and bring your rug rats with you — this restaurant has kid-friendly food and seating.
Relaxed attire is perfectly fine at Taqueria Guerrero, known for its laid-back ambience.
With food this good, you'll be running into this restaurant to pick it up yourself.
Looking for something delicious to serve at your next party? Taqueria Guerrero also offers catering.
Taqueria Guerrero's diners can park in a neighboring lot just seconds away.
So swing by Taqueria Guerrero to get a bite out of your favorite Mexican dish.
When you are ready to taste the latest flavor trends of Mexico, make your way over to Taqueria Guerrero.
It's not uncommon to find quality Chinese dishes packed with rave reviews at renowned spot Ha Ha Chinese Restaurant.
Ha Ha Chinese Restaurant features a wide variety of flavorful low-fat and gluten-free eats.
Youngsters don't need to sit out a trip to this restaurant — it's super family-friendly and perfect for little diners and their folks.
Meeting the gang for a movie? Pick up some food from this restaurant.
Take the comfort of your own home and add great grub from Ha Ha Chinese Restaurant to create the perfect night.
At Ha Ha Chinese Restaurant, diners can score a guaranteed parking spot close to the restaurant.
Make use of the luxurious bike racks at Ha Ha Chinese Restaurant.
The upscale Chinese fare at Ha Ha Chinese Restaurant is sure to impress. Stop by today and check out the latest offerings.
All the sweet and spicy flavors of Chinese cuisine await you at Ha Ha Chinese Restaurant.
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