Get your fill of first-class tacos, tamales, enchiladas, and more at Mazatlan Mexican Restaurant, an excellent Mexican spot revered by fans as one of the best.
Parents appreciate this restaurant's kid-friendly attitude, and little ones are often seen dining out with the adults.
Getting your food to go is also an option.
Catering makes it easier to organize any event, and Mazatlan Mexican Restaurant will ensure that it is delicious.
Many diners choose to drive to Mazatlan Mexican Restaurant, as there are numerous parking options nearby.
Sample some of the highest rated Mexican dishes around when you stop in for a meal at Mazatlan Mexican Restaurant.
If you have had a long and hard day, swing by Mazatlan Mexican Restaurant and enjoy a Mexican meal in a laid back environment.
So break out of your normal dining routine and head over to Mazatlan Mexican Restaurant for some flavorful Mexican fare.
Wine and dine at Tequilas Mexican Grill in Cornelius.
At Tequilas Mexican Grill, you can enjoy healthy and flavorful menu items.
Nothing can beat sharing a meal with friends and family. Come to Tequilas Mexican Grill for great food for any size party.
Drift away from stuffy dress-code conventions and dine in comfort at Tequilas Mexican Grill.
You can also have Tequilas Mexican Grill cater your next event.
The food's ready when you are. Come on in or carry out.
Take advantage of the quick and easy parking near Tequilas Mexican Grill.
Tequilas Mexican Grill makes bikers feel at ease with the multiple storage racks outside.
Prices at Tequilas Mexican Grill are a bargain (usually less than $15 for a meal), so you'll have plenty of cash left over to treat a friend (or two).
BLT, club, veggie, and more...Subway serves sandwiches too tasty to pass up.
Subway is creating healthy dishes that are delicious AND wait for it....vegan!
Wireless Internet access is just a click away at Subway.
Pups of all sorts are also welcome at the restaurant.
Ordering food? You can pick it up yourself!
Save time and money with nearby parking options at Subway.
Bike parking is also available outside the restaurant.
Early risers and night owls alike can enjoy Subway since it serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Whether you're a party animal or an early riser, the restaurant will be open to serve you 24 hours a day.
Whether you sit down to eat or get a sandwich to go, Subway is a great place to stop by for a much-needed meal.
Find something on the menu for everyone at Sonic Drive-In in Corenlius.
Bring the whole clan to this restaurant — kids and parents will love the menu and ambience here.
Free wifi is available as well.
Weather permitting, come enjoy a wonderful meal outside at Sonic Drive-In.
Diners who appreciate a no-frills environment come to Sonic Drive-In in jeans and a hoodie.
At this restaurant, you can work your arms a little. Pick up the food yourself and carry it out.
This dining establishment is located near hassle-free parking options.
For those who travel by bike, Sonic Drive-In offers bike racks for diners.
Sonic Drive-In is known for its tasty eats and inexpensive food and beverage prices.
Fresh from the oven every time, the insanely-cheesy slices at Little Italy Pizza have visitors hooked on five-star reviews.
Score low-fat and gluten-free eats at Little Italy Pizza.
It's time to gather up the party people. Serve them great food from Little Italy Pizza.
Drivers will embrace the parking lot located next door to Little Italy Pizza.
If you can't make it in the morning, try Little Italy Pizza for lunch or dinner.
Everyone's talking about Little Italy Pizza. Find out why when you treat yourself to a delicious pizza pie.
Select your toppings and create a delicious pizza made from scratch by visiting Little Italy Pizza.
Treat yourself to good food and drink at Little Italy in Cornelius.
A relatively loud restaurant, this is not the place for a quiet night out.
Little Italy offers an informal dining experience for those who are allergic to jackets and ties.
Want to enjoy this restaurant without the wait? Get it to go.
Throwing a big party? Count on Little Italy to provide top-notch catering with the same great dishes you love.
If you're driving, be sure to take advantage of the nearby lot.
Delicious food doesn't have to be expensive, as shown by the delicious fare coming out of Little Italy's kitchen.
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
A dainty sweet-potato bourbon cake (seen above). A deconstructed cheesecake topped with a sphere of fruit purée. A crème brûlée decorated with delicate, edible flowers. Ceviche plated to look more like a frothy cocktail than a bite of raw fish. These are just a few of the dishes that Chef Roque Heidler has conceptualized, plated, and posted to Instagram over the years.
Jump to his five tips for food photography.
This Tulsa chef is a bit of a Renaissance man. First and foremost, he works at The Chalkboard, an elegant New American restaurant where he does triple-duty as chef de cuisine, pastry chef, and resident plating expert. There, he quickly earned a reputation for his immaculate desserts, which helped him win the Sweets category in the first annual Taste of Groupon Awards. But that’s just his day job.
Over the years, Chef Heidler’s explored all sorts of facets of the art world. He experimented with street art in his youth, and, early on in his career, he took a two-year hiatus from the food industry to work as a tattoo artist. Today, he’s using those art skills to create the stunning desserts that first caught our attention.
We had the chance to chat with Chef Heidler after he won his award recently. Here are some of the highlights from our conversation.
Turning dining into an adventure
A video posted by Keepin Tha Block Fed (@purpstagram) on Dec 28, 2015 at 4:00pm PST
For Chef Heidler, cooking is all about balancing the familiar and the surprising. “I generally like to do a take on my childhood favorites,” he explained. He starts with these classic dishes and infuses them with “some sort of whimsy” while maintaining their approachability.
Frequently, that whimsy he talks about comes in the form of some sort of sneaky molecular-gastronomy trick, be it dessert gels made with agar or fruit purées transformed into delicate spheres that crack open with the whack of a spoon. Or, consider his take on chocolate pie:
“I got ahold of some methylcellulose and I did this crazy, crazy mad-scientist chocolate pie … that had this strawberry-buttermilk foam and this methylcellulose chocolate filling. [The filling] would be liquid at 70 degrees, but once you heated it up to 140, it would turn into that custard state.” The resulting dessert balanced different temperatures, textures, and flavors—subverting the diners’ expectations about what a classic chocolate pie could be.
How his unique background inspires his food
A photo posted by Keepin Tha Block Fed (@purpstagram) on Apr 10, 2016 at 8:22pm PDT
An artistic eye pervades everything Roque Heidler does. Though it’s been years since he did any street art or worked in a tattoo parlor, those experiences still give him a unique outlook on food: “I’ll look at flavors sometimes as colors, if that makes any sense. And I plate them out like that. Sometimes I’ll base a whole dish on a color and search for those flavors that go with it,” he said.
But over the years, he’s learned to let the flavors shine as much as the aesthetics. “Like, I mean, if you dig back a little deeper in [my career] ... you’ll see more of that really, really modernistic art on the plate, and I’ve dialed back from that a lot. I kind of learned, you know, you’ve gotta plate to the crowd.”
Working under the constraints of a traditional Lebanese restaurant helped him strike the right balance even more. “I just would take their classic flavors and would try to just distribute it out in that street-art form, like, layers and different takes and elevating it with different textures. But working under that [chef] taught me a lot about not detracting from the flavors so much that you couldn’t tell where it was from.”
Plating food like a pro
A photo posted by Keepin Tha Block Fed (@purpstagram) on Apr 8, 2016 at 9:26pm PDT
Now that he’s traded in no-frills Lebanese cuisine for fine dining at The Chalkboard, Chef Heidler has a lot more room to experiment with his food’s presentation. But even though he knows that many of his diners will rush to snap and post photos of these beautiful plates, he tries not to let that Instagram culture shape what he does too much.
“I don’t think about 6 o’clock. I don’t think about any sort of clockwise on a plate. I more or less look for that overall balance from a bird’s eye view,” he said. That’s because when a plate is placed in front of a diner, that’s the first perspective they get. And this first impression is important—even if the guest immediately drops down to plate level to snap that perfect piece of food-porn photography.
They say that you eat with your eyes first, so moments like these are vital to a restaurant’s success. But last impressions are just as important as first ones at The Chalkboard. “I love doing the plate ups on desserts because it’s gonna be the last thing that sticks in your mind when you leave,” Chef Heidler said.
Five tips for improving your food photography
When his knack for plating, arts background, and love of Instagram, Chef Heidler is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to food photography. That’s why we took the opportunity to ask him for some of his best tips.
1. Find the best lighting.
Natural light is your friend.
2. Shoot on neutral backgrounds.
Chef Heidler works on gray tables at The Chalkboard, but he recommends photographing your own food on “anything black or white—that’s always going to give another element to your photo.”
3. Combine different textures.
Varying textures form the most interesting compositions. “Try to provide three different textures, be it a purée, be it a frozen element, be it something crunchy. ... That’s what’s going to give you that depth in your dish.”
4. Add some acid to boost the colors.
This is especially true if you’re photographing a dish you cooked yourself. “[Acid] will give you those bright, vibrant colors everybody tries to achieve,” he suggests. This usually means adding lemon juice or white vinegar to a dish to bring out its natural green, purples, or reds.
5. Try different angles.
He explains, “Take a step around, even if it’s like, I don’t know, 6 inches from where you were just at. You might capture a cooler way.”
Don’t roll up to the bar trying to stump Brandon Phillips. Brandon knows his cocktails. And he likes a challenge. As the bar director at Chicago’s The Duck Inn, he’s had more than a few. As he told us:
A neighborhood guest was positive I couldn’t make him an old-fashioned that tasted like a prime-rib dinner. A little beef bouillon, horseradish, Worcestershire sauce, rum, and voilà, the Prime Rib Old-Fashioned was born.
In the video below, hear more on craft, cocktail culture, and good old-fashioned hospitality directly from Brandon, the winner in our inaugural Taste of Groupon Awards for the The Drink Award for the Advancement of Potent Potables.