Chef Timothy Dean, a former contestant on Bravo's Top Chef Season 7, builds gourmet burgers with certified grass-fed Angus beef free from hormones and antibiotics. Even though Dean honed his culinary skills under chef Jean-Louis Palladin at the Watergate Hotel and later at Paladin in New York City, he chose to focus on more casual cuisine for his own restaurant. According to a 2012 article in the Washington Post, Dean says, "I've always been in fine dining but I realized that people are just not spending that kind of money anymore." So he decided to pair his gourmet finesse with food that is accessible to everyone.
That decision paid off because his burgers earned him a rave review in the Baltimore Sun, which proclaimed, "The vibe is fast food, but the food – burgers, fries and gourmet pizzas – is worthy of white tablecloths." His burgers come crowned with classic toppings such as american cheese, vine ripe tomatoes, and bibb lettuce as well as inventive combinations such as The Baker burger with housemade jalapeño aioli and fried onions.
Along with signature burgers, Dean also features hand-tossed pizzas topped with jerk chicken and thai basil and sides of sweet potato fries with honey. For dessert, patrons may sip thick, handcrafted milk shakes in flavors including dark chocolate, vanilla bean, or strawberry. Sweets include red velvet cupcakes, Belgium chocolate-chip cookies, and Kahlua chocolate-chip brownies.
Come to Jasper's to grab an American classic with a side of fries.
At Jasper's, you can enjoy healthy and flavorful menu items.
Find the perfect vintage to complement your meal — this restaurant offers a fine selection of wines, beers, and beyond.
This restaurant is a terrific spot for families to gather with its kid-friendly ambience and menu.
Host your next party at Jasper's for a meal your guests will remember.
Get connected at lightning fast speeds with Jasper's' complimentary wifi.
You'll find most people wearing their favorite T-shirt and pair of jeans, as casual dining is Jasper's' style.
Dining out isn't your only option here — pickup is available, too.
Catering from Jasper's will take your party to the next level.
Parking is always free and easy when you dine at Jasper's.
A meal at Jasper's will typically set you back about $30.
Jasper's accepts all major credit cards, such as Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express.
Early risers and night owls alike can enjoy Jasper's since it offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Rediscover your favorite American meals at Jasper's.
When you come to Jasper's, you'll be beyond satisfied with a casual American meal.
So take your next meal to the next level and indulge in some great American eats at the highly-rated Jasper's.
Outback Steakhouse takes their beef seriously, earning them a multi-star rating from their many loyal customers.
Cautious diners will appreciate the low-fat and gluten-free fare at Outback Steakhouse.
Find the perfect vintage to complement your meal — this restaurant offers a fine selection of wines, beers, and beyond.
Tots are more than welcome to dine with their parents at this restaurant.
Outback Steakhouse will be able to accommodate your large party.
A relatively loud restaurant, this is not the place for a quiet night out.
Whether you're coming from work or a ballgame, the dress code at laid-back Outback Steakhouse is come-as-you-are.
Outback Steakhouse is known for serving great food, and they are able to serve it at your next event with their excellent catering.
For those in a rush, the restaurant lets you take your food to go.
Outback Steakhouse offers free parking just steps away from the door.
A typical meal at Outback Steakhouse will set you back less than $30.
For an all-star steakhouse too good to pass up, pay a visit to Outback Steakhouse.
For juicy steaks you just can't find anywhere else, be sure to check out Outback Steakhouse.
Fill up on fries and other comfort food at Applebee's, a savory spot for American cuisine.
Toast your evening out at this restaurant with a glass of beer or wine from their lengthy drink list.
This restaurant welcomes kids, too, so you can feel good about bringing the whole family.
Head to Applebee's for a happy hour that aims to please.
Wifi access is totally free at Applebee's, perfect for catching up on the news, hopping on social media, or even working.
Drift away from stuffy dress-code conventions and dine in comfort at Applebee's.
Through their catering service, Applebee's can also set out a delicious spread for your next party.
No time to sit down? No worries! This restaurant offers a take out option so you can grab your food on the go.
Save some cash on parking when you park in the lot adjacent to the restaurant.
Travel by bike to Applebee's and store your bike at a nearby rack.
Your tab at Applebee's will generally run you about $30 per person.
Lunch and dinner are easy as pie (and you might as well get a slice) at the delicious Applebee's.
For a casual American classic, Applebee's will serve you up a delicious meal in Upper Marlboro.
At Ruby Tuesday, you can enjoy a classic American burger or sandwich.
This place will leave you feeling satisfied no matter what kind of dietary needs you have.
Pair your entree with a glass of wine or draft beer — this restaurant has a fully-stocked bar to complement your meal.
Don't leave the kids at home — youngsters will love the family-friendly cuisine at this restaurant just as much as mom and dad.
The dress code is strictly casual at Ruby Tuesday, so come as you are (and as you are comfortable).
The food is prepared and packaged, just waiting for your pickup.
Catering services are also available.
Restaurant customers can take advantage of the nearby parking options.
The menu at Ruby Tuesday is reasonably priced, with most items costing less than $30.
Stop by for three square meals a day — Ruby Tuesday serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Isn't it time you indulged in the old classics of American food? Stop by Ruby Tuesday to have a bite of deliciousness.
At Ruby Tuesday you can find great American food at any time of the day.
Whether you prefer grilled or fried chicken, Upper Marlboro's Chick-Fil-A has it ready.
Enjoy a low-fat or gluten-free meal at Chick-Fil-A, a local favorite.
At this restaurant, kids of all ages are welcome.
Stay connected at no cost thanks to Chick-Fil-A's wifi.
Sit back, relax, and enjoy the beautiful weather during your meal at Chick-Fil-A.
Jeans are just right for a meal at Chick-Fil-A, which embraces a casual vibe.
You can also grab your food to go.
You can also have Chick-Fil-A cater your next event.
Diners at Chick-Fil-A will be happy to know that free parking is always available.
Payment is simple and all major credit cards are accepted.
You can stop by at practically any time, since Chick-Fil-A serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
So when you're pressed for time but still want a fantastic meal, remember to swing by Chick-Fil-A for some ever-so-tasty chicken.
When your stomach starts growling, make your way over to Chick-Fil-A and grab some food in a flash.
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.