Pick up super fresh fish (and a heck of a lot of nutrients) for your next meal.
Uptown Cafe encourages purchasing canned foods because they offer such convenience. They let you decide what you want to eat when you want it, as the food doesn't spoil quickly.
Add some produce to your next dinner plate for a delicious meal jam-packed with vitamins and nutrients.
Who's hungry? A frozen entree will fool anyone's palate, so why waste time cooking up a storm?
Going on a road trip or heading to the office? Easy to take anywhere, this snack will hold you over between any meal.
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 Uptown Cafe for some hydration while you're on the move.
Ready for a change? Switch up your weekly meal selections with some bold spices and seasonings from here.
Stop eating out when you can eat in with any of the frozen food meals offered here.
Impromptu barbecues are welcome here due to the available and excellent A+ meats.
Dial down your thirst with some delicious drinks that are both refreshing and cool.
If pasta is what you're in the mood for, swing by Uptown Cafe and pick up some fresh noodles.
For dairy lovers out there, this store does dairy right, so make sure to pick up some on your next trip.
When you're trying to upgrade your cooking, adding flavor is essential. Create supple and tarter flavors by exploring the wonders vinegar and oil can add to your cuisine by shopping for them here.
Uptown Cafe offers a range of classic and signature breads, all of which are fresh and baked to perfection.
Just a touch of these key baking ingredients will make your baked goods pop, so make sure your kitchen is always well-stocked.
Cereal doesn't have to be just for kids. If you are looking for a quick, easy, and tasty breakfast to get out the door, pick some up today.
Balance out the taste of a midday dessert with one of the excellent coffees or teas at Uptown Cafe.
Take advantage of the quick and easy parking near Uptown Cafe.
Deemed "pizza of the year" every year by Flyin Buffalo's loyal fans, this deliciously-cheesy pizza will have you reaching for seconds, thirds, and even fourths.
This pizzeria is kid-friendly, so little ones are welcome to tag along.
Flyin Buffalo's business casual policy makes it the perfect place for a number of occasions.
This pizzeria offers you the ultimate convenience — in-store seating, carryout, or delivery.
Feed the gang at your next get-together with catering from Flyin Buffalo as well.
At Flyin Buffalo, you can easily find parking in the lot next door.
Flyin Buffalo s mid-range cuisine will please your pockets as well as your palate.
Stop by for three square meals a day — Flyin Buffalo serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Roni, sausage, and veggie are just a few of the delicious options at Flyin Buffalo. Taste the shining reviews for yourself when you head to Flyin Buffalo for a tasty pizza pie.
If you can't get enough pizza, be sure to try the pies at Flyin Buffalo, which earn ratings too hot to handle.
So kick back, relax, and indulge in one of the tasty signature pizzas that Flyin Buffalo has to offer.
Flyin Buffalo truly is the best pizza place for your dollar in the area.
For that can't-get-enough Mexican flavor, check out Los Arcos Mexican Restaurant, where five-star dishes are just over the counter.
Los Arcos Mexican Restaurant features a wide variety of flavorful low-fat and gluten-free eats.
Drinks are also on the menu here, so guests can start the night off right.
Los Arcos Mexican Restaurant is a great location to host a group dinner.
The patio seating at Los Arcos Mexican Restaurant is perfect for those warm summer days.
Shake off the stiff workday duds at Los Arcos Mexican Restaurant — attire is casual.
With food this good, you'll be running into this restaurant to pick it up yourself.
At Los Arcos Mexican Restaurant, drivers can settle for safe parking in the lot next door.
Dining at Los Arcos Mexican Restaurant will set you back about $30 per person on average.
Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are all on Los Arcos Mexican Restaurant's menu — you can stop by whenever the moment's right for you.
For the area's highest rated Mexican cuisine, be sure to check out Los Arcos Mexican Restaurant.
Los Arcos Mexican Restaurant certainly will have you begging for more Mexican cuisine, even after ordering your second plate!
For wings with a ton of zest, Kannapolis' East Coast Wings and Grill has got you covered.
The drink list at this restaurant has everything you need to complete your meal (and your night out).
Little ones are free to make a mess at this restaurant, where the whole family is invited to dine.
East Coast Wings and Grill is a fine restaurant for those with large and small parties.
Wireless Internet access is available for no charge at East Coast Wings and Grill.
Enjoy the luxury of eating a delicious meal outside at East Coast Wings and Grill.
Throw on your favorite T-shirt and head out the door — dining at East Coast Wings and Grill is all about comfort.
Meeting the gang for a movie? Pick up some food from this restaurant.
That's right! East Coast Wings and Grill will bring their delicious food to your house for any occasion.
The parking lot near East Coast Wings and Grill will have you in and out in a jiffy.
At East Coast Wings and Grill, you have the option of paying by major credit card.
For a really spicy evening, try the wings at East Coast Wings and Grill.
Deemed "pizza of the year" every year by Papa John's Pizza's loyal fans, this deliciously-cheesy pizza served in the heart of Kannapolis will have you reaching for seconds, thirds, and even fourths.
Going gluten-free? Dig a low-fat diet? Papa John's Pizza has you covered on both fronts.
Perfect for an after-work outing, Papa John's Pizza won't require you to change outfits before dining as the dress here is super casual.
Take the comfort of your own home and add great grub from Papa John's Pizza to create the perfect night.
Papa John's Pizza is located near endless parking options, allowing diners to find quick and easy parking.
Lost on where to eat for cheap? Look no further than Papa John's Pizza, a local hotspot with affordable prices.
If pizza is your all-time favorite, it's important to find a pie that's worth your while. With star-studded reviews and sky-high ratings, there's no better way to spend your time than eating some 'za at Papa John's Pizza.
If you need a quick and easy dinner option, head on over to Papa John's Pizza and pick up a pizza pie.
For tasty Mexican fare, Kannapolis' El Amigo Mexican Restaurant is hard to top.
Complement your meal with a beer or wine from this restaurant's delightful drink menu.
Stay connected at no cost thanks to El Amigo Mexican Restaurant's wifi.
At El Amigo Mexican Restaurant, your large or small party can easily enjoy a meal.
Bask in the sun (or moon!) light when you dine on El Amigo Mexican Restaurant's outdoor patio.
Always five minutes behind schedule? Pick up your food to go instead.
Call El Amigo Mexican Restaurant for catering if you have a big event coming up.
Drivers can find parking right by the restaurant, so don't forget your car keys.
Store your bike at a nearby rack and enjoy a bite to eat at El Amigo Mexican Restaurant.
Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express are all accepted.
Breakfast bites, light lunches, and delicious dinners are all offered at El Amigo Mexican Restaurant.
Why not make tonight's dinner a Mexican fiesta with a trip to El Amigo Mexican Restaurant!
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.