Browse the selection of sandwiches at Caputo Cheese Market and munch your way to pure happiness.
For that late night at the office or a last-minute change of plans, this frozen food is both scrumptious and convenient for your schedule.
When the heat gets the best of you, water is more important than ever. Cool off no matter where you are with a bottle from Caputo Cheese Market.
Packed with plenty of "good" fat, fish of your choosing are on hand.
If no-muss, no-fuss is your kind of attitude, a delicious TV dinner may be right up your alley.
Feeling hungry? Treat your taste buds to one of the freshly baked sandwiches from Caputo Cheese Market.
Grab some canned food items from Caputo Cheese Market and keep quick and convenient meal options on hand.
For breads, cookies, cakes, and pies that will blow your mind, are couple extra sweet ingredients are kitchen must-haves.
Turn your kitchen into a gourmet chef's paradise with the great spices and seasonings.
Switch up your weekly pasta routine with a new and exciting pasta recipe. Grab some noodles from Caputo Cheese Market and get cooking.
Need a sandwich for lunch or toast to compliment your hearty breakfast? Grab a loaf of bread today.
A healthy and light snack from Caputo Cheese Market is a great way to keep your energy up throughout the day.
Eating healthy isn't always easy, but with produce on hand like this it just got easier.
Whether you prefer coffee or tea, Caputo Cheese Market offers options for both the coffee enthusiast and the tea lover.
If milk is your go-to beverage, you'll love the dairy products available here (great for strengthening your bones and teeth).
If you're just getting into cooking, pick up some oil and vinegar from here and learn the basics of cooking with these necessities.
Make sure you always have a variety of beverages on hand, especially during the warmer months. This drink is sure to take care of business.
If you always seem to have one foot out the door, breakfast can be tricky. For a quick and easy solution, a box of cereal is right up your alley.
More often than not, their patrons leave with the best, delicious meats the city has to offer.
With all of the parking options nearby, you won't have to worry about forgetting where you parked.
At Caputo Cheese Market, bikers can lock their bikes safely outside.
For familiar food you're sure to love, head to The Grille on Laurel for American-style cuisine.
Calling all gluten-free and low-fat diners! The Grille on Laurel has a multitude of dishes right up your alley that are freshly-prepared and taste amazing.
Complete your meal with the perfect glass of wine or beer from this restaurant's drink list.
Grab the kids when you head to this restaurant — its family-oriented menu and ambience are perfect for the whole clan.
Impress your friends and invite them to a party to remember at The Grille on Laurel.
Surf the web from your tablet or laptop on The Grille on Laurel's complimentary wifi.
Take your meal to the next level on the patio at The Grille on Laurel.
Reserve a table in advance and steer clear of long wait times.
The Grille on Laurel follows a strict formal dress code, so be sure to suit up before dining here.
Bring the The Grille on Laurel's great food to your place.
For those in a hurry, the restaurant lets you take your meal or snack to go.
Hand your keys to the valet driver, or pull into your own space in the neighboring lot. Street parking is also an option.
At The Grille on Laurel, bikers can lock their bikes safely outside.
If you don't want a night that will cost you an arm and a leg but you do want a delicious meal, come to The Grille on Laurel.
Guests can opt to pay by credit card, and most major names are accepted.
Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are all served at the restaurant, but reviewers rate the dinner menu the highest.
Stop what you're doing and pay a visit to The Grille on Laurel's restaurant today.
Italian eats can be found at Francesca's Intimo, and fans will argue it's the best fare in town (fantastic reviews are everywhere in sight).
Help yourself to a healthier lifestyle at Francesca's Intimo, where gluten-free and low-fat plates are the standard.
Find time to peruse the wine list here — this restaurant offers a variety of drink options.
Let the kids come too! Little ones love the food and atmosphere at this restaurant just as much as their parents do.
Reserve your own room at Francesca's Intimo so that you can create your own private party.
Eat outdoors Francesca's Intimo (weather permitting) with their beautiful patio seating.
It's best to call ahead for a table as the restaurant can get packed.
No need to gussy up for a trip to Francesca's Intimo, where patrons dress for comfort and fun.
The restaurant also offers catering if you want to bring the flavors of Francesca's Intimo to your next party or event.
For those in a rush, the restaurant lets you take your food to go.
Park in the open lot next to Francesca's Intimo and score easy and free parking.
Travel by bike to Francesca's Intimo and store your bike at a nearby rack.
Hitting the mid-range mark, Francesca's Intimo s prices are perfectly reasonable for food that goes above and beyond.
Francesca's Intimo provides morning, afternoon, and evening service, so you can easily find time to dine.
Come see why the Italian food at Francesca's Intimo is well worth the price.
So head on over to Francesca's Intimo and send your taste buds on a delicious trip to Italy.
Come taste what Inovasi is doing to transform classic American cuisine.
Inovasi's menu features a little something for everyone, even those who prefer vegan, low-fat and gluten-free options.
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.
Inovasi is great for big groups, and guests favor its private room for important events.
Don't stay inside on a beautiful day! Come sit on the patio at Inovasi and order great food.
Getting online is easy with Inovasi's free and convenient wifi.
Don't be the last one waiting! Reserve a seat so you can eat when you're ready.
No need to gussy up for a trip to Inovasi, where patrons dress for comfort and fun.
This restaurant offers carryout for your convenience.
Inovasi can also cater your next party; call today for details.
Drive up and park. No meters or machines required, just easy free parking.
Inovasi's diners can store their bikes safely at the rack around the corner.
For a decently-priced meal that s not too fancy, Inovasi hits the nail on the head.
Payment is simple and all major credit cards are accepted.
When you're looking for a bite of some great American dishes, you definitely won't need to look any further than Inovasi.
See what great American fare is cooking up next at Inovasi.
If you're seeking a highly-rated American restaurant in the area, look no further than Inovasi.
If you can't get enough spicy tuna, head to Sushi Kushi Toyo for quality rolls with exceptional ratings.
Give your stomach a break and try some of Sushi Kushi Toyo's gluten-free or low-fat items.
This sushi spot's fully stocked bar is a perk for patrons who enjoy a fine wine (or more) with their meal.
Tots and tykes will be right at home at this sushi spot with its kid-approved food and ambience.
Whether you have a large or small group, Sushi Kushi Toyo can accommodate both.
Planning a special night? Call ahead to reserve a table.
Diners who appreciate a no-frills environment come to Sushi Kushi Toyo in jeans and a hoodie.
Sushi Kushi Toyo is known for serving great food, and they are able to serve it at your next event with their excellent catering.
You can also grab your food to go.
Parking is always free and easy when you dine at Sushi Kushi Toyo.
At Sushi Kushi Toyo, bikers can lock their bikes safely outside.
Your tab at Sushi Kushi Toyo will generally run you about $30 per person.
Sushi Kushi Toyo accepts Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express, and all major credit cards.
Eat your way through the day at Sushi Kushi Toyo — diners can enjoy breakfast, lunch, and dinner here.
Sushi Kushi Toyo is serving up some of the most highly-rated sushi in all of Lake Forest.
Whether you're a sushi newbie or a connoisseur, you'll fall in love with the amazing rolls at Sushi Kushi Toyo.
For bar nibbles and pub food par excellence, Chief's Pub is a top pick.
Pick your poison and toast your evening — drinks are also served here.
Don't leave the kids at home — youngsters will love the family-friendly cuisine at this restaurant just as much as mom and dad.
Chief's Pub is a good restaurant to dine with a small or large group.
Guests may have a hard time conversing, as the restaurant is rather noisy.
Lines can get long with no reservations, so be sure to plan for an early arrival.
Whether you're coming from work or a ballgame, the dress code at laid-back Chief's Pub is come-as-you-are.
Can't stay at this restaurant long? Pick up and go home.
Call Chief's Pub for catering if you have a big event coming up.
Take the car and arrive promptly to dinner; parking is plentiful, so don't worry about setting aside time to search for a space.
You'll also find plenty of safe spaces to lock up your bike if you prefer to cycle to the restaurant.
Take a break from the kitchen without breaking the bank! Chief's Pub will fill you up with top-notch fare that s modestly priced.
Wake up early to catch a bite of Chief's Pub's breakfast, or swing by later for some tasty lunch or dinner.
So when you want some amazing food to complement your drinks, Chief's Pub will be there for you.
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.