Visit Chicago Sams for some true American comfort food smack dab in the middle of Enfield's Sherwood Manor.
The menu at Chicago Sams is loaded with gluten-free and low-fat options.
Order a bottle for the table if you like — this restaurant has a full bar stocked with the best wine, beer, and more.
At this restaurant, everyone will find something they love — kids included!
Cheers to the weekend! Chicago Sams is serving up the fun!
Have a large group? No problem. Head to Chicago Sams for easy seating.
The noise at the restaurant can be positively thunderous, so save intimate conversations for another night.
If you're hoping to snag a table on a Friday or Saturday, it's best to ring the restaurant for a reservation first.
The restaurant has catering services as well.
You can call it in, then carry it out.
Whether you're heading to Chicago Sams for lunch or dinner, parking is always free in the adjacent lot.
Chicago Sams is home to many cyclists who appreciate the parking racks outside.
Shelling out big flavor at low prices is the name of the game at Chicago Sams, where dining out is an affordable everyday habit.
Payment is simple and all major credit cards are accepted.
Featuring breakfast, lunch, and dinner, the restaurant's evening menu is rated top-of-the-line.
So when you're on the market for some great American cuisine, check out Chicago Sams.
So enjoy a casual lunch or dinner at Chicago Sams and indulge in some America-inspired cuisine.
Rinaldi's Italian Restaurant does pasta right — this restaurant is known for its top-of-the-line Italian recipes.
Rinaldi's Italian Restaurant has a large variety of flavorful and healthy dishes.
At this restaurant, everyone will find something they love — kids included!
Enjoy wifi here free of cost.
The large dining space at Rinaldi's Italian Restaurant provides quick and easy seating options for large groups.
You can't reserve a table ahead of time at Rinaldi's Italian Restaurant, so you may need to plan for a wait at prime times.
Catering from Rinaldi's Italian Restaurant will take your party to the next level.
Homebodies can take advantage of this restaurant's delivery and take-out options.
Save time and money on parking when you take advantage of the open lot next door.
For those who travel by bike, Rinaldi's Italian Restaurant offers bike racks for diners.
Rinaldi's Italian Restaurant's mid-priced fare will typically cost you about $30 per person or less.
Patrons can choose to charge their bill, as Rinaldi's Italian Restaurant welcomes the use of most major credit cards.
Early risers and night owls alike can enjoy Rinaldi's Italian Restaurant since it serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
While high-priced, the Italian food at Rinaldi's Italian Restaurant is well worth every penny!
So treat yourself to a delicious Italian meal from Rinaldi's Italian Restaurant and satisfy your hunger.
Find all your favorite cuts of beef cooked to perfection at Outback Steakhouse — this steakhouse didn't earn rave reviews for nothing.
Those with gluten sensitivities can still enjoy Outback Steakhouse — the menu includes a number of gluten-free options.
This restaurant's fully stocked bar is a perk for patrons who enjoy a fine wine (or more) with their meal.
Outback Steakhouse is a fine restaurant for those with large and small parties.
Guests may have a hard time conversing, as the restaurant is rather noisy.
Jeans are just right for a meal at Outback Steakhouse, which embraces a casual vibe.
Catering is also available if you'd like to serve Outback Steakhouse's tasty dishes at your next party.
Dining out isn't your only option here — pickup is available, too.
Save some dough on parking at Outback Steakhouse.
Bike parking is quick and easy at Outback Steakhouse.
Your tab at Outback Steakhouse will usually run to about $30 per guest.
Morning, noon, or night, you can head on over to Outback Steakhouse since they serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
When you want prime beef that will make your mouth water, come to Outback Steakhouse where the flavor (and the ratings) are out of this world.
When you're in the mood for a savory steak dinner, be sure to visit Outback Steakhouse.
Load up on toppings or opt for a simple slice of cheese at Pizza Palace Restaurant, Enfield's classic pizza venue.
Calling all gluten-free and low-fat diners! Pizza Palace Restaurant has a multitude of dishes right up your alley that are freshly-prepared and taste amazing.
Don't go thirsty during dinner! This pizzeria also offers a splendid drink list featuring wine, beer, and more.
Got kids? No problem at Pizza Palace Restaurant! This pizzeria is a fantastic spot for families to dine together.
The dress code at Pizza Palace Restaurant is as relaxed as the ambience, so wear whatever suits you.
You want food. You can take it or we'll leave it — just as simple as that. Let us know your preference.
You can also serve food from Pizza Palace Restaurant at your next party — the pizzeria offers catering.
Save money and time when you drive and dine in. You can stay for free in our wonderful and spacious parking lot.
The menu at Pizza Palace Restaurant is reasonably priced, with most items costing less than $30.
You can stop by at almost any time, since Pizza Palace Restaurant offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
When you don't feel like cooking dinner, pay Pizza Palace Restaurant a visit and enjoy a hot and fresh pizza pie.
For casual cuisine that everyone will enjoy, stop by Acapulcos Mexican Restaurant for a Mexican-style menu.
The chefs at Acapulcos Mexican Restaurant know how to prepare tasty, gluten-free and low-fat meals.
Having trouble finding that family-friendly restaurant everyone will love? This restaurant serves all ages, so little ones are welcome to come along, too.
Reserve a table in advance and steer clear of long wait times.
Acapulcos Mexican Restaurant welcomes laid-back diners, so there's no pressure to throw on heels or a tie.
If you need to get somewhere fast, the restaurant also serves up grub to go.
Easily accessible parking options are located near this dining establishment.
You'll also find plenty of safe spaces to lock up your bike if you prefer to cycle to the restaurant.
Prepare to spend about $30 per person when dining at Acapulcos Mexican Restaurant.
Those with a healthy sweet tooth will love Acapulcos Mexican Restaurant's much praised dessert menu.
Pay Acapulcos Mexican Restaurant a visit and enjoy a relaxing night filled with flavorful Mexican cuisine.
So indulge in a tasty and authentic Mexican dish from Acapulcos Mexican Restaurant and savor each and every flavorful bite.
For fast food in Enfield's Enfield neighborhood, check out the burger menu at McDonald's.
Low-fat and gluten-free options are featured on the menu.
You can tote your laptop here to take advantage of the free wifi.
The patio tables outside of McDonald's are the perfect spot for a summer meal.
At McDonald's, you can dine with your immediate family and your extended family due to the easy seating for large parties.
Enjoy the vibe here with a business casual dress code.
The food's ready when you are. Come on in or carry out.
At McDonald's, diners will receive complimentary parking at the lot next door.
If your preferred mode of transit is of the two wheel variety, you're in luck — there's tons of bike parking outside the restaurant.
The super-affordable fare at McDonald's will definitely make your budget happy too — prices are almost always under $15.
McDonald's dishes up breakfast, lunch, and dinner, so stop by for your favorite meal.
Whether you layer on the works or prefer your burger plain, McDonald's is the spot to go for a delicious burger done in minutes.
For food that's both fast and fantastic, be sure to stop in at McDonald's.
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