Get the next round at Irish Channel Pub, an Irish bar in Gambrills' Crofton district perfect for after-work drinks.
Tired of the same healthy meals? Come to Irish Channel Pub for healthy, innovative eats.
Round out your meal with a little tipple — this restaurant has a terrific drink list, including beer, wine, and more.
Tots and tykes will be right at home at this restaurant with its kid-approved food and ambience.
For weekday specials that hit the spot, head to Irish Channel Pub's happy hour.
Irish Channel Pub is a suitable restaurant for both large and small groups.
If dining outdoors is your idea of a good time, you'll love the gorgeous patio seating at Irish Channel Pub.
Those that prefer some music with their meal will find live tunes at Irish Channel Pub.
It tends to get especially busy on weekends, so be sure to call ahead and make a reservation.
No need to put on airs for a trip to Irish Channel Pub — the dress code and ambience at this restaurant are totally laid-back.
Eating on the go? Order some tasty take out from this restaurant.
Parking is available at an adjacent lot.
Irish Channel Pub s moderately-priced platters and top-notch taste bring foodies back to Irish Channel Pub time and time again.
If you're more of an evening diner, you're in luck. Though all three meals are served, the restaurant's dinner menu will blow you away.
Grab a friend and head to Irish Channel Pub where you can enjoy some good food and a nice beer.
Fresh fare can be found at Odenton's Blue Dolphin Seafood Bar and Grill, where visitors seek to sample every seafood dish on the menu.
Those looking to shed a few extra pounds are advised to put their diet on hold, as Blue Dolphin Seafood Bar and Grill serves anything but a low-fat menu.
Blue Dolphin Seafood Bar and Grill patrons can also take advantage of the many drink options offered here.
Gather the whole family for a trip to Blue Dolphin Seafood Bar and Grill — everyone will find something to like (even the pickiest little eater) on the menu here.
Reserve the private room at Blue Dolphin Seafood Bar and Grill for your next party — it's perfect for large groups looking to dine and celebrate together.
Blue Dolphin Seafood Bar and Grill tosses the jacket-and-tie dress code convention in favor of a more casual dining experience.
You can also serve food from Blue Dolphin Seafood Bar and Grill at your next party — the restaurant offers catering.
Carry-out is also available for those who prefer to enjoy Blue Dolphin Seafood Bar and Grill's cooking from the comfort of their own home.
Free parking is available right next door.
Make use of the safe and efficient bike parking at Blue Dolphin Seafood Bar and Grill.
A night out here can be a bit pricey, so prepare to shell out a bit more.
Come taste what Christopher's Restaurant is doing to transform classic American cuisine.
Healthy food is in, as it should be, so come here for a tasty, low-fat and gluten-free bite.
Find time to peruse the wine list here — this restaurant offers a variety of drink options.
Families will feel right at home at this restaurant with its kid-friendly menu and atmosphere.
Christopher's Restaurant is well-known for being able to seat large parties.
A catering menu is also available if you're looking to dazzle the patrons at your next shindig.
If you're strapped for time, take out food from this restaurant.
Just come to us and park. No tickets, no fees, just a free convenient parking lot from us to you.
Christopher's Restaurant is creating dishes any foodie will love at around $30.
The restaurant's dinner menu receives the most attention, but diners have the option of grabbing breakfast or lunch here, too.
So when you need to cure your hunger craving, visit Christopher's Restaurant and treat yourself to a tasty American dish.
Swing by Christopher's Restaurant today and enjoy a delicious American meal in a casual setting.
Christopher's Restaurant has been highly-rated by restaurant-goers, so stop by today and see what the hype is about.
At Allison's Restaurant, you can enjoy a classic American burger or sandwich.
Gluten-free and low-fat are not one in the same, but this place serves them both.
Be sure to complete your meal at this restaurant with a drink from the restaurant's full bar.
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.
Score quick and easy seating for your large group at Allison's Restaurant.
Casual clothing is the name of the game at Allison's Restaurant, where suits and ties won't be spotted for miles.
You can also have Allison's Restaurant cater your next event.
For those in a hurry, the restaurant lets you take your grub to go.
Just come to us and park. No tickets, no fees, just a free convenient parking lot from us to you.
Taste the greatness Allison's Restaurant is serving up with meals around $30.
Allison's Restaurant offers a wide variety of payment options, including payment by major credit card.
Stop what you're doing and pay a visit to Allison's Restaurant's restaurant today.
Make your way over to Allison's Restaurant and enjoy a delicious American meal in a laid back setting.
You can't beat the classics. Stop in at Applebee's for some good home American cooking.
Applebee's is serving up delicious dishes that are, as an added bonus, also healthy.
Ready for a drink to unwind? At this restaurant, you can pair your meal with something from their full bar.
Cheers to the weekend! Applebee's is serving up the fun!
The large dining space at Applebee's provides quick and easy seating options for large groups.
Wireless Internet access is just a click away at Applebee's.
Applebee's tosses the jacket-and-tie dress code convention in favor of a more casual dining experience.
With food this good, you'll be running into this restaurant to pick it up yourself.
Love the food so much you want to serve it at your next soiree? No problem — Applebee's offers catering.
There is parking close to the restaurant.
Treating yourself doesn't mean breaking the bank, come taste the great dishes Applebee's has to offer.
Patrons can choose to charge their bill, as Applebee's welcomes the use of most major credit cards.
So when you need a tasty and satisfying meal, visit Applebee's and munch on some American eats.
Ease your appetite with delicious bites from Houlihan's in Gambrills.
This restaurant's fully stocked bar is a perk for patrons who enjoy a fine wine (or more) with their meal.
You won't need to get a sitter before heading to this restaurant — kids are more than welcome at this family-friendly establishment.
Houlihan's puts the happy in happy hour.
Wifi is on the house at Houlihan's, so bring along your tablet or laptop.
Whether you have a group of five or a group of 20, Houlihan's can seat both large and small groups.
Warm weather, delectable dishes, and an awesome atmosphere make for a dream night out at Houlihan's.
If you plan to hit the restaurant on a Friday or Saturday, it's best to fend off the crowds by calling ahead for a reservation.
It doesn't get much more laid-back than Houlihan's, so dress for comfort when you come.
You can also grab your food to go.
Houlihan's is surrounded by a number of street parking options for patrons.
Travel by bike to Houlihan's and store your bike at a nearby rack.
Prices are a bit on the higher side, so this might be a good pick for a special night out.
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