Enjoy some casual diner fun at Brews Cafe Deli.
Cautious diners will appreciate the low-fat and gluten-free fare at Brews Cafe Deli.
Pair your entree with a glass of wine or draft beer — this restaurant has a fully-stocked bar to complement your meal.
Bring your whole brood to this restaurant, where families can dig in to tasty and kid-friendly fare together.
Happy hour at Brews Cafe Deli is filled with deals and steals.
Sit outside at Brews Cafe Deli and soak up the sun on those nice summer days.
Skip long waits and head to Brews Cafe Deli with your large group for easy seating.
For an eclectic twist on traditional dining, live music is often featured at Brews Cafe Deli as well.
If your weekend plans include a trip to the restaurant, avoid the packs of people by securing a reservation ahead of time.
Perfect for an after-work outing, Brews Cafe Deli won't require you to change outfits before dining as the dress here is super casual.
Impress the patrons at your next gathering by calling in Brews Cafe Deli for catering.
Or, take your grub to go.
At Brews Cafe Deli, diners can easily find street parking or parking in a nearby lot.
Brews Cafe Deli offers parking for all diners, including those who travel by bike.
Major credit cards are accepted, so you can save yourself a trip to the ATM.
Brews Cafe Deli serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, so stop by whenever is most convenient for you.
So next time you're in the mood for tasty diner fare, keep it casual at Brews Cafe Deli.
When you want a great meal in a diner atmosphere, head to Brews Cafe Deli.
So if you're looking for a deli to get some delicious eats, Brews Cafe Deli is exactly the place you want to go.
If cooking isn't on the agenda, the perfect pie awaits you at Buckeye Lake's Pizza Cottage, where customers praise the pizza like no other.
Life is all about choices, and they are not limited here with plenty of gluten-free and low-fat dishes.
This pizzeria also provides alcohol, so diners don't have to worry about bringing their own bottle.
Save money on a sitter — kids are welcome to join the table at this pizzeria.
Seating is readily available at Pizza Cottage for those with large parties.
Shake off the stiff workday duds at Pizza Cottage — attire is casual.
Place an order for pickup or schedule a delivery — the pizzeria makes it easy to enjoy your meal from anywhere.
Pizza Cottage is located near a parking lot, which many diners take advantage of.
If cycling is more your speed, you'll find plenty of space to stash your bike outside the pizzeria.
Pizza Cottage may cost you a little bit more than some spots, but this deliciousness is fairly-priced (and well worth the few extra bucks).
All major credit cards are accepted.
When melted cheese and quality crust is all you can think about, it may be time for a hot slice or two. Experience pizza at its best when you order a pie from top-rated Pizza Cottage.
High-quality pizza is waiting for you at Pizza Cottage, so find out what all the fuss is about and get your hands on a cheesy slice of deliciousness.
There's nothing tastier than a casual pie on a Friday night, so make plans to go to Pizza Cottage this weekend.
Whether you're in the mood for a slice of pizza or a whole pizza pie, Pizza Cottage has you covered.
Sizzling steaks served hot off the grill are prepared just the way you like them at LongHorn Steakhouse — come see what all the five-star hype is about and see if this steakhouse is right for you.
LongHorn Steakhouse combines great flavors with healthy ingredients for dishes that not just taste good but make you feel good too.
The drink list at this restaurant has everything you need to complete your meal (and your night out).
You won't need to get a sitter before heading to this restaurant — kids are more than welcome at this family-friendly establishment.
LongHorn Steakhouse wants guests to dine in comfort, so save that stuffy suit for another date.
At this restaurant, you can work your arms a little. Pick up the food yourself and carry it out.
If you prefer to drive to the restaurant, go right ahead. Parking is abundant in the area.
Want top-notch taste for less than top-dollar prices? LongHorn Steakhouse s mid-range cuisine is sure to satisfy on both fronts, where pennies stretch into perfectly seasoned platters.
When you want prime beef that will make your mouth water, come to LongHorn Steakhouse where the flavor (and the ratings) are out of this world.
In addition to great service, LongHorn Steakhouse serves up juicy and flavorful steaks. Make your way over to the restaurant today and indulge in a good meal.
Whether you love them dunked in ranch dressing or smothered in barbecue sauce, the wings at Heath's Buffalo Wild Wings will fit any taste.
Pick your poison and toast your evening — drinks are also served here.
Perfect for after-work outings, Buffalo Wild Wings' happy hour is hard to beat.
Score quick and easy seating for your large group at Buffalo Wild Wings.
The patio tables outside of Buffalo Wild Wings are the perfect spot for a summer meal.
Need to catch up on some work or the latest news? Get online at Buffalo Wild Wings with their complimentary wifi.
The restaurant's noise level can be somewhat straining on the vocal cords, so intimate get-togethers may be best enjoyed elsewhere.
Weeknights are busy for Buffalo Wild Wings, so call ahead and make a reservation if you can.
For those in a rush, the restaurant lets you take your food to go.
Buffalo Wild Wings will even bring the amazing food from their kitchen to yours.
Score a close parking spot at Buffalo Wild Wings.
Buffalo Wild Wings offers outdoor bike racks for cyclists.
Buffalo Wild Wings' wings will keep you happy and coming back for more!
For a juicy burger in no time flat, swing by local favorite White Castle.
Guess what? White Castle serves food that's free of gluten and low in fat, so everyone can find something that tastes and feels great.
Can't find your khakis? No problem! Throw on a pair of your most comfortable jeans and you'll blend right in at White Castle.
No time to sit down? No worries! This restaurant offers a take out option so you can grab your food on the go.
Can't get enough of White Castle's tasty dishes? They also offer a catering service for parties and events.
Parking is accessible and not far from the restaurant.
Commute by bike to White Castle and find easy bike parking.
Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are all available at White Castle — swing by for your favorite meal.
No need to sweat your schedule — the restaurant is open 24 hours a day.
When you need a quick bite, make your way over to White Castle and pick up a juicy burger.
When your stomach starts growling, make your way over to White Castle and grab some food in a flash.
Island House is a relaxed restaurant with an elegant decor and classic American dishes.
Gluten-free and low-fat eaters will enjoy the menu at Island House.
Find the perfect vintage to complement your meal — this restaurant offers a fine selection of wines, beers, and beyond.
Outdoor seating is ready for diners on those warm summer days.
Large groups will appreciate Island House for its ability to seat them quickly.
Whether you're coming from work or a ballgame, the dress code at laid-back Island House is come-as-you-are.
Leaving the couch is half the battle. Your foods awaits your pickup at this restaurant.
Many diners choose to drive to Island House, as there are numerous parking options nearby.
Cyclists will love the spacious bike racks outside of Island House.
Prices tend towards the moderate side, with the average tab at Island House running under $30 per person.
You'll definitely want to reconsider going anywhere else when the food at Island House tastes like pure heaven!
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