California Pizza Kitchen's piping pizza is just as hot as its ratings, and customers call this tasty spot one of the best around.
For a hot slice or a steaming bowl of pasta, the menu is chock-full of your favorite carbs.
If you prefer to eat healthy, you'll find tons of fresh selections on California Pizza Kitchen's menu.
The bar at this pizzeria is fully stocked, so pair your meal with a glass of wine or beer.
Little ones are just as welcome as their parents at this pizzeria.
Patio tables and chairs are ready for California Pizza Kitchen diners who prefer their meals al fresco.
Surf the web from your tablet or laptop on California Pizza Kitchen's complimentary wifi.
Casual dining at its best, California Pizza Kitchen customers are free to enjoy themselves in jeans and a T-shirt.
Impress the diners at your next gathering by calling in California Pizza Kitchen for catering.
Need to get out of the house? Order and pick up from this pizzeria.
Drivers can take advantage of the parking lot near California Pizza Kitchen and save time on hunting for a parking spot.
Cyclists are in luck. California Pizza Kitchen provides bike parking.
The menu at California Pizza Kitchen is reasonably priced, with most items costing less than $30.
Early risers and night owls alike can enjoy California Pizza Kitchen since it serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Everyone's talking about California Pizza Kitchen. Find out why when you treat yourself to a delicious pizza pie.
Find out how many slices you can eat! California Pizza Kitchen'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 California Pizza Kitchen.
When you are in the mood for a delicious, mouthwatering pizza, pay California Pizza Kitchen a visit.
For familiar food you're sure to love, head to Corner Stable for American-style cuisine.
Whether you are looking for food low in fat or gluten-free, this restaurant is the place you want to eat.
Ready for a drink to unwind? At this restaurant, you can pair your meal with something from their full bar.
Little ones are free to make a mess at this restaurant, where the whole family is invited to dine.
Corner Stable will be able to accommodate your large party.
Access the Internet free of charge via Corner Stable's complimentary wifi.
Be prepared to raise your voice, though — the restaurant can get noisy.
No need for a wardrobe change when you hit Corner Stable — it's strictly casual.
Carry-out is also available for those who prefer to enjoy this restaurant's cooking from the comfort of their own home.
You can also serve food from Corner Stable at your next party — the restaurant offers catering.
Free parking is offered every day in the lot next door, allowing guests to relax and enjoy their meal.
Corner Stable is home to many cyclists who appreciate the parking racks outside.
All major credit cards are accepted, including Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express.
Eat your way through the day at Corner Stable — diners can enjoy breakfast, lunch, and dinner here.
Stop putting off the best meal of your year and come into Corner Stable's restaurant for some good old American favorites!
Find something for anyone at any time with American food from Corner Stable.
So take your next meal to the next level and indulge in some great American eats at the highly-rated Corner Stable.
At Silver Spring Mining Company, you can enjoy a classic American burger or sandwich.
It serves everything including gluten-free and low-fat options.
Pair your entree with a glass of wine or draft beer — this restaurant has a fully-stocked bar to complement your meal.
Bring the whole family to this restaurant, where kiddos are welcomed with open arms.
Hop online in no time using Silver Spring Mining Company's free wifi.
Don't stay inside on a beautiful day! Come sit on the patio at Silver Spring Mining Company and order great food.
The restaurant's background buzz is a bit loud, so those seeking low-key conversation are advised to dine elsewhere.
Not a popular place for dress-up dining, most Silver Spring Mining Company patrons come in casual attire.
Impress the visitors at your next gathering by calling in Silver Spring Mining Company for catering.
No delivery needed. In and out for carryout.
Save some cash on parking when you park in the lot adjacent to the restaurant.
At Silver Spring Mining Company, diners can make use of the safe bike rack.
Fancy-schmancy price tags don t always bring the best results, and Silver Spring Mining Company s super yummy, mid-range menu is taste-test approved.
Silver Spring Mining Company offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner, so stop by whenever is most convenient for you.
The friendly staff at Silver Spring Mining Company are ready and waiting to cook and serve your favorite American meal.
If you're looking for classic American fare, try Silver Spring Mining Company for your next meal.
A perfectly marbled cut of beef is no farther away than Hunt Valley's The Oregon Grille.
Low-fat, gluten-free and anything else you've been looking for waits here.
With this restaurant's wide selection of refreshments available, you can tap into the drink menu early in the evening.
Load up the mini-van and bring the kids to this restaurant — they'll love the menu and scene here as much as mom and dad.
Big family? No problem. Bring the whole gang to The Oregon Grille.
Be sure to check out The Oregon Grille's outdoor seating when the climate is right.
A departure from casual dining, The Oregon Grille is the perfect place to wear your best dress or newly pressed suit.
Men must dine in jackets, as The Oregon Grille's dress code is on the stricter side of the style spectrum.
That's right! The Oregon Grille will bring their delicious food to your house for any occasion.
Don't leave the car at home when you come in. We'll give you one of the great spaces in our parking lot. And for free.
At The Oregon Grille, diners can make use of the safe bike rack.
Although The Oregon Grille is a bit of a splurge, it certainly is worth it.
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.
So head on over to The Oregon Grille for a juicy cut served right to perfection.
Green Leaf Restaurant in Cockeysville brings culinary creativity to a new level with its unique Asian-fusion menu.
It's always the right time to eat a delicious, healthy meal. Find one that won't disappoint at Green Leaf Restaurant.
Don't leave the kids at home — youngsters will love the family-friendly cuisine at this restaurant just as much as mom and dad.
Take it nice and easy at Green Leaf Restaurant, where casual dress is the rule of the day.
It's been too long since you've had a great meal at home. Order takeout or delivery from this restaurant and enjoy!
Green Leaf Restaurant will even bring the amazing food from their kitchen to yours.
At Green Leaf Restaurant, free parking is offered on the whole block.
Bike parking is also available outside the restaurant.
Prices are a bit on the higher side, so this might be a good pick for a special night out.
Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express are all accepted.
Feel free to swing by the restaurant for breakfast or lunch, but fans recommend holding out for dinner.
So grab a fork or some chopsticks and dive into the fare at Green Leaf Restaurant for a true fusion of Asian cultures.
Don't feel like dressing up for dinner? Remember to grab a table at Green Leaf Restaurant and enjoy a blend of Asian-style cooking in a lovably low-key environment.
Enjoy classic barbecue dishes at Andy Nelsons Barbecue in Cockeysville and embrace the mess.
Going gluten-free? Dig a low-fat diet? Andy Nelsons Barbecue has you covered on both fronts.
This restaurant welcomes kids, too, so you can feel good about bringing the whole family.
With plenty of room to go around, Andy Nelsons Barbecue also offers a private area perfect for large groups.
Don't stay inside on a beautiful day! Come sit on the patio at Andy Nelsons Barbecue and order great food.
Folks tend to dress down at Andy Nelsons Barbecue, so keep comfort in mind when heading to the restaurant.
Meeting the gang for a movie? Pick up some food from this restaurant.
The restaurant also offers catering if you want to bring the flavors of Andy Nelsons Barbecue to your next party or event.
Andy Nelsons Barbecue's diners will appreciate the free parking in a lot next door.
Commute by bike to Andy Nelsons Barbecue and find easy bike parking.
Andy Nelsons Barbecue offers a wide variety of payment options, including payment by major credit card.
If you want finger-licking good barbecue, it's clear you'll want to head straight to Andy Nelsons Barbecue.
If you relish flavorful marinades, spicy rubs, and oh-so-tender meat, make sure to check out Andy Nelsons Barbecue for the best in casual barbecue.
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