People can't get enough of the drinks here that take refreshment to the max.
Do you meet your recommended calcium intake? If not, pick up some dairy products and put yourself on the path to a healthier lifestyle.
Packed with essential nutrients, be sure to try walk away with some delicious fish for dinner.
Everyone loves cereal in the morning. Stop in to get your family's favorites.
Whether you're hitting the gym or just running errands, water keeps your energy up and your body moving. Make sure to hit the shelves at Frullati Cafe for some hydration while you're on the move.
Skip the hassle of baking your own bread and pick up a freshly-baked loaf from Frullati Cafe.
Find a large array of bold and flavorful coffees and teas at Frullati Cafe and sip your way through tasty goodness.
Whether you like to bake or cook, oil and vinegar are essential items every kitchen needs.
Bring out your Italian side in the kitchen and create a yummy pasta dish with some noodles from Frullati Cafe.
If no-muss, no-fuss is your kind of attitude, a delicious TV dinner may be right up your alley.
When you're in the mood to bake, remember to add a dash of extra sweetness. It will make your creations come alive like never before.
Feeling bold and creative? Dress up your next meal with some unique and tasty seasonings and spices from here.
Produce like this is not just nutritious...it's delicious, too!
When you visit here, you'll be able to host a veritable barbecue with so many different meats for sale.
Soup and other canned items are important to have on hand when you're not feeling well. Stock up today.
Feeling hungry? Your favorite healthy and light snacks are waiting for you at Frullati Cafe.
Who has time to cook anymore? That's why there are frozen foods available here to help you keep pace with your career and family.
Drivers will appreciate the great parking options in the area.
Salutos Pizza and Pasta's piping pizza is just as hot as its ratings, and customers call this tasty spot one of the best around.
Score low-fat and gluten-free eats at Salutos Pizza and Pasta.
This pizzeria also operates a bar, so a round of drinks with dinner is not out of the question.
Have a few picky young eaters in the family? Not a problem at this pizzeria, where the food and ambience are perfect for family dining.
Salutos Pizza and Pasta is a fine restaurant for those with large and small parties.
Call ahead for reservations to ensure your table is waiting for you when you arrive.
Salutos Pizza and Pasta can also cater your next party; call today for details.
If you need to get somewhere fast, the pizzeria also serves up grub to go.
Salutos Pizza and Pasta's diners can park in a neighboring lot just seconds away.
Your bill at Salutos Pizza and Pasta will typically run less than $30 per person, so bring the whole gang!
Roni, sausage, and veggie are just a few of the delicious options at Salutos Pizza and Pasta. Taste the shining reviews for yourself when you head to Salutos Pizza and Pasta for a tasty pizza pie.
Pizza doesn't have to be fancy to be great. Delicious pies await you at Salutos Pizza and Pasta (along with star-studded reviews and sky-high ratings), so grab a seat and dig in.
If you've had a long and hard week, come visit Salutos Pizza and Pasta and enjoy a pizza in a casual atmosphere.
So what are you waiting for? Head on over to Salutos Pizza and Pasta and enjoy a slice of yummy pizza pie.
Salutos Pizza and Pasta is the place to go if you're looking for quality and highly-rated Italian food.
So treat yourself to a delicious Italian meal from Salutos Pizza and Pasta and satisfy your hunger.
If Thai cuisine is your not-so-guilty pleasure, sample some (or all) of the delicious dishes diners can't stop raving about at Royal Thai.
Watching your diet? Stay on track at Royal Thai, a local restaurant with gluten-free and low-fat options.
Complete your meal with the perfect glass of wine or beer from this restaurant's drink list.
Parents appreciate this restaurant's kid-friendly attitude, and little ones are often seen dining out with the adults.
Reservations are available for those who prefer to skip the waiting game.
This restaurant serves up innovative meals, so stop in, order takeout, or call for delivery. Whichever road you choose, happy eating!
Catering from Royal Thai will take your party to the next level.
Waiting can feel like forever, especially when you're hungry. Spare yourself time spent in the parking search and dine with us. We've got space available for you and your car.
Take a break from the kitchen without breaking the bank! Royal Thai will fill you up with top-notch fare that s modestly priced.
Royal Thai accepts all major credit cards, such as Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express.
Come see what all the hype is about and head to Royal Thai for star-studded Thai cuisine.
So swing by Royal Thai for some quick Thai flavor and find out what all the hype is about.
Everyone enjoys Thai food, and the food at Royal Thai will surely have you coming back for more.
When Thai food is calling your name, make your way over to Royal Thai for some classic dishes.
It's always a party at Gurnee's Tacos El Norte Gurnee, where the Mexican dishes are so incredibly tasty fans have a hard time containing their excitement (just read the chain of five-star reviews!).
Round out your meal with a little tipple — this restaurant has a terrific drink list, including beer, wine, and more.
Youngsters are more than welcome to join mom and dad at this restaurant.
Get connected at lightning fast speeds with Tacos El Norte Gurnee's complimentary wifi.
Tacos El Norte Gurnee caters to all party sizes, both large and small.
Whether it's just you and a date or you're bringing the whole gang, it's best to call ahead and make a reservation.
Or, take your food to go.
For easy dining, Tacos El Norte Gurnee provides convenient parking in a connecting lot.
With prices generally staying under $15, you can easily afford to treat a pal or a date at Tacos El Norte Gurnee.
Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are all available at Tacos El Norte Gurnee.
Experience the best flavors of Mexico when you try the highly-rated cuisine at Tacos El Norte Gurnee.
Tacos El Norte Gurnee is an easy choice for anyone looking for a casual meal and great Mexican food.
So treat yourself to a variety of tasty Mexican dishes at Tacos El Norte Gurnee and cure your hunger cravings.
Fans of Mama K's Pizza and Grille make every night "pizza night" — reviews prove that this Gurnee hub sells steaming slices of five-star bliss.
Looking for low-fat, gluten-free meal options? Look no further than Mama K's Pizza and Grille.
Little ones are free to make a mess at this pizzeria, where the whole family is invited to dine.
On warmer days, take advantage of Mama K's Pizza and Grille's outdoor seating.
Sometimes you need food fast, and this pizzeria totally gets it, offering both takeout and delivery.
In addition to its great location, Mama K's Pizza and Grille is also located near plenty of parking options.
Leave your piggy bank at home! With prices under $15, you can eat at Mama K's Pizza and Grille for next to nothing.
Smothered in piping hot cheese and toppings of your choice, the pies at Mama K's Pizza and Grille come highly recommended by pizza connoisseurs.
When pizza's on the mind, there's no going back. For quick pies that no one can stop talking about, get the best of the best at Mama K's Pizza and Grille.
Find your happy place as you relax in the casual atmosphere and munch on delicious pizza at Mama K's Pizza and Grille.
So when you need a quick solution for lunch or dinner, stop by Mama K's Pizza and Grille and enjoy a hot and tasty pizza.
Fresh from the oven every time, the insanely-cheesy slices at Kaiser's Pizza and Pub have visitors hooked on five-star reviews.
The gluten-free and low-fat fare at Kaiser's Pizza and Pub will leave you happy and full.
Drinks here are readily available, so you can enjoy a glass of red or try something new.
Parents, bring your kids along to this pizzeria, where you'll find a family-friendly menu and ambience.
Great place to bring the whole family with great food and a business casual dress code.
Sometimes you need food fast, and this pizzeria totally gets it, offering both takeout and delivery.
Looking for something delicious to serve at your next party? Kaiser's Pizza and Pub also offers catering.
Kaiser's Pizza and Pub is surrounded by endless parking options.
Bike parking is quick and easy at Kaiser's Pizza and Pub.
Some people say that if you've had one pizza, you've had them all. Diners who've tried Kaiser's Pizza and Pub's pizza say it is the absolute best.
For a casual meal that is highly-rated, look no further than Kaiser's Pizza and Pub's pizza.
If you're in the mood for a casual night out, pay Kaiser's Pizza and Pub a visit and munch on some delicious pizza.
With a pizza from Kaiser's Pizza and Pub, you'll truly maximize your night's amount of fun.
Cindy Espinosa has cooked almost every dish on the menu at Nellie’s (2458 W. Division St.), the Humboldt Park luncheonette she co-owns with her husband, Pablo. Yet she’s never attempted mofongo, a dish of mashed fried plantains that’s a Puerto Rican tradition.
“I see it being made,” she said. “I know how it’s made, but I’ve never tried it.”
It’s easy to see why. The cooking process, which I watched unfold in Nellie’s kitchen, is pretty involved, with a lot of hand-mashing and frying. “It’s more of a Friday-night dinner type of thing,” Pablo said. “You might eat it once a month at home.”
Yet the final result—a dome of fried plantain that diners can moisten with a dip into housemade chicken broth—is worth the work. Here’s how Cindy and Pablo’s cook, Carmen, makes it.
Carmen first peels and chops green plantains, the same fruits used in the restaurant’s jibaritos and tostones. According to Pablo, the restaurant goes through a crate of about 50 green plantains every week.
Then Carmen tosses them into a deep-fryer with some chopped tocino, or pork lard. When the lard has cooked down to a salty, crispy crunch, she dumps it and the plantains into a type of mortar and pestle called a pilon. “Every Puerto Rican household should have one,” Cindy said. The pilon’s concave bottom is what gives a serving of mofongo its distinctive dome-like shape.
In Puerto Rico, you see “all types of sizes” of pilon, Pablo said. That includes some as large as a butter churn, which sit on the floor. Nellie’s is a tabletop model, about 6 inches tall, wooden, and covered in carvings. It makes only one portion of mofongo at a time, which can make things hectic for Carmen on a busy weekend day. (All that mashing “takes an arm,” Cindy said.)
Making mofongo to order gives the staff flexibility to tailor each serving. For instance, Carmen can leave out the tocino to make a vegetarian version of the dish. (Both Espinozas have been vegetarian for a year and a half.) Other versions on the menu include iterations with shrimp in place of tocino or with a mound of chicken, shrimp, or steak nestled inside the dome. Mofongo can also be a side order to fried chicken (chicharron de pollo) or fried pork.
I get to sample the classic, main-course version.
The mofongo dome appears next to a small silver tureen filled with housemade chicken broth for dipping. There is still a big chunk of meat and bone floating in it, as well as a big, soft carrot that I devour, savoring its umami flavors. Moistened with a little broth, the green plantains lose their fibrous dryness to become melt-in-your-mouth comfort food; the bits of tocino provide an occasional kick of salt.
I send a mental thank-you to Carmen’s arm for providing this food. I hope it was worth the work.
Photo credit: Andrew Nawrocki, Groupon
To many Chicagoans, the neighborhoods south of Roosevelt Road seem to be a culinary wasteland. To Jimalita Tillman, Chicago native and executive director of the Harold Washington Cultural Center and Performing Arts Theatre (4701 S. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr.), fine-dining opportunities definitely exist on the South Side—if you give them a chance.
Because many of these restaurants depend on word of mouth, Tillman said, the advertising budgets of their more northern competitors often trump their oral marketing, and so she often spends “all day” giving South Side restaurant recommendations to area visitors and theater-goers.
“There are many great places [to eat] throughout these areas,” she said. “It really depends on what you’re in the mood for.”
And if you're in the mood for a little musical and cultural Chicago history to pair with your meal, you don't have to travel far from the landmark arts center. The Harold Washington Cultural Center, in the former location of the historical Regal Theater where the likes of Ella Fitzgerald once performed, is right in the heart of the Black Metropolis—a region marked by the culture and Southern-inspired music scene that developed during the Great Migration. Today, Bronzeville is still flavored with leftovers from its swinging past.
To savor alongside your meal, we paired each of Tillman’s restaurant recommendations with a few musical, historical, and cultural tidbits.
4655 S. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr., Chicago, IL 60653
It’s the quick and personable service that makes this gourmet hot-dog eatery a standout, Tillman said. Of course, Chef Cliff Rome serves the usual Chicago-style hot dog, but it’s the varied wiener and burger options he creates that color H-Dogs’ menu with the fine-dining flair he perfected while studying in Paris. The Healthy Hound—a grilled veggie dog with sprouts, roasted peppers, red onions, and cucumbers—sits alongside salmon burgers, turducken sausages, and portobello-mushroom sandwiches without the least bit of tattletaling or fighting over who had the mustard first. Sweet-potato or truffle fries complete the gourmet-on-the-go experience.
Bite of History: The gourmet hot-dog diner sits in a historical building that was once known as 47th Street Marketplace. Before a 2010 fire destroyed the building, it was considered a symbol of the revitalization of Bronzeville and housed Tillman’s Spoken Word Cafe—one of the original hosts of HBO’s Def Poetry series hosted by hip-hop artist and actor Mos Def.
2. Pearl’s Place
3901 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60653
“I’m a breakfast head,” said Tillman—as are many in the crowd of diners waiting to get inside for brunch on any given Sunday. The kitchen cooks up a mix of Southern and soul food—yes, there’s a difference—but Pearl’s Place sprinkles it with the right amount of creole flavor. After sampling Pearl’s juicy yet crispy fried chicken, sautéed salmon croquettes, or all-day breakfasts of vegetable omelets or homestyle pancakes, it seems only right to finish with a bite or two of peach cobbler or sweet-potato pie.
Bite of History: The interior decor, with album jackets and vinyl records lining the walls, features a photo story of the neighborhood’s jazz and blues history with jazz legends Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, and Lena Horne—all of whom graced the stage at the Regal Theater during Bronzeville’s musical heyday.
3. Norman’s Bistro
1001 E. 43rd St., Chicago, IL, 60653
The bistro’s entrees—including vegetable confetti ravioli, smoked cranberry salmon, and the Great Duck burger—offer an upscale taste-bud experience at “South Side prices,” Tillman said. From the food to the decor, presentation is an art in this sleek and classy spot featuring creole-inspired American food with a Brazilian flair. In the exposed-brick, art-filled wine bar, sommeliers pour from an extensive list of wines. Separate from the dining room, the intimate setting of the bar creates an ideal spot for the happy-hour crowd.
Bite of Culture: On Sundays at 9 p.m., the bistro hosts a live jazz jam session. Or make an appointment and walk over to Gallery Guichard—housed in a turn-of-the-20th-century Italiante row house—to peruse its African-diaspora art and blown glass, sculptures, and photography by local as well as international artists.
Photography by Andrew Nawrocki.
Clockwise from top: Birria in action—rich, briny consommé and tender goat meat, stewed for hours with bay leaves, cinnamon, and other spices. // Ceramic bowls absorb the birria's heat, keeping the broth warm throughout meals. // When Rick Bayless recommended Birrieria Reyes de Ocotlan to "Esquire" magazine, he described the eatery’s birria as "full of flavor, incredibly homey and satisfying."
In Ocotlán in Jalisco, Mexico, the temperature rarely dips below 40 degrees. That's mild by Chicago standards; however, when the Reyes family immigrated 2,000 miles from Ocotlán to Chicago, they brought with them a recipe that would prove thoroughly compatible with the colder weather. That recipe is birria—a savory stew made by simmering goat meat for hours with herbs and spices. On a cold day in mid-March, I made a trek across town to the family's Pilsen restaurant, Birrieria Reyes de Ocotlan, to taste it myself.
As soon as I entered the eatery, I smelled the warm, rich aroma of simmering goat meat. Goats were also present in the decor: miniature replicas decorated shelves and cupboards, and a mounted goat head kept watch over the booths, a toothpick dangling humorously from its lips.
After I ordered birria at the counter, a server presented me with three dishes. The smallest held pickled onions and lime wedges, which are traditional birria condiments, and an oblong basket cradled warm, fresh tortillas. The largest bowl brimmed with rich, briny consommé, chopped onions and cilantro, and hunks of tender goat meat.
The first spoonful of broth tasted bright and smoky with hints of ancho peppers and cinnamon. I separated a piece of goat meat with light pressure from my spoon. Leaner than beef, the meat still had pieces of bone inside, which infused the meat with the flavor of their marrow. The crisp onions and fragrant cilantro stood out against the birria's savory elements to create a harmony of flavors that was especially comforting on a cold day.