A staple lunchtime favorite, Wild Thyme Deli serves delicious deli fare.
Guess what? Wild Thyme Deli serves food that's free of gluten and low in fat, so everyone can find something that tastes and feels great.
Don't go thirsty during dinner! This restaurant also offers a splendid drink list featuring wine, beer, and more.
No need to splurge on a babysitter — tots will be right at home chowing down at this restaurant.
Come order a flavorful feast at Wild Thyme Deli, and sit outside if it's nice!
Wireless Internet access is just a click away at Wild Thyme Deli.
Who doesn't want to go out for a nice meal with buddies and your canine companion? Head over to Wild Thyme Deli for a good time!
Wild Thyme Deli goes easy on the dress code — business casual is expected, so no need to squeeze into your finest attire.
Enjoy this restaurant's cooking from your own home with their carryout and delivery options.
Looking for something delicious to serve at your next party? Wild Thyme Deli also offers catering.
For drivers, a nearby lot is available for use.
Wild Thyme Deli makes bikers feel at ease with the multiple storage racks outside.
It will typically cost you about $30 to enjoy a meal at Wild Thyme Deli.
Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are all served at Wild Thyme Deli, so come by whenever it fits your schedule.
So stop waiting for a delicious sandwich and order one from Wild Thyme Deli today!
For fresh maki, Marina's Michi Japanese Restaurant has got you covered.
Whether rocking a gluten-free lifestyle or looking for something low-fat, this place will serve you just what you need.
Ready for a drink to unwind? At this restaurant, you can pair your meal with something from their full bar.
Bring the whole family to this restaurant, where kiddos are welcomed with open arms.
No need to put on airs for a trip to Michi Japanese Restaurant — the dress code and ambience at this restaurant are totally laid-back.
For those in a hurry, the restaurant lets you take your grub to go.
Michi Japanese Restaurant is known for serving great food, and they are able to serve it at your next event with their excellent catering.
Drivers will find quick and easy parking just around the corner from Michi Japanese Restaurant.
Store your bike at one of the many racks outside of Michi Japanese Restaurant.
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 Michi Japanese Restaurant.
Try more of Japanese cuisine than just sushi with a trip to Michi Japanese Restaurant.
For good eats and good times, dine at Denny's in Marina.
Sometimes it seems like it's hard to find something healthy to eat when you go out. This is not the case at Denny's.
Don't leave the kids at home — youngsters will love the family-friendly cuisine at this restaurant just as much as mom and dad.
Denny's is a fine restaurant for those with large and small parties.
Keep it casual at Denny's, and save that little black dress for a different occasion.
For those in a hurry, the restaurant lets you take your meal or snack to go.
Forget circling the block, Denny's has plenty of nearby parking options.
For those who prefer to travel by bike, Denny's is a great option due to its generous bike parking options.
Cut out the sky-high price tags, add incredible flavor and an awesome menu and what do you get? Denny's is the answer to finding great food at even better prices!
The breakfast menu receives the most rave reviews from patrons, but you can also stop in for lunch and dinner later in the day.
Night owls and early risers alike will appreciate that the restaurant is open 24 hours a day.
Ginger-infused entrees and chili-based sauces flood the menu at Lee's Garden Restaurant, where the Chinese fare is applauded as top-of-the-line and diners dish out star reviews.
Score low-fat and gluten-free eats at Lee's Garden Restaurant.
Take your pick of beer, wine, or other beverages offered on this restaurant's menu.
Gather the whole family for a trip to this restaurant — everyone will find something to like (even the pickiest little eater) on the menu here.
You can also grab your food to go.
If parking is a concern, you'll be happy to hear that there are many convenient options in the area.
Cyclists are in luck. Lee's Garden Restaurant provides bike parking.
Menu items at Lee's Garden Restaurant tend to be mid-priced, so expect to plop down about $30 per person to dine here.
Stop by for breakfast, lunch, or dinner — Lee's Garden Restaurant serves up all three meals.
So pay Lee's Garden Restaurant a visit today and treat yourself to come upscale Chinese fare.
When it comes to traditional Chinese fare, Lee's Garden Restaurant serves up some of the best options in town.
Season your day with some Korean-style spice — go to Nak Won Korean BBQ House for dinner and save the leftovers for next day's lunch.
Going gluten-free? Dig a low-fat diet? Nak Won Korean BBQ House has you covered on both fronts.
This restaurant also operates a bar, so a round of drinks with dinner is not out of the question.
Tots are more than welcome to dine with their parents at this restaurant.
Whether it's just you and a date or you're bringing the whole gang, it's best to call ahead and make a reservation.
Eating on the go? Order some tasty take out from this restaurant.
At Nak Won Korean BBQ House, you won't have to worry about circling the block multiple times to find parking.
Nak Won Korean BBQ House offers safe bike parking outside.
No matter what you choose off the menu at Nak Won Korean BBQ House, you won't completely break the bank with prices averaging around $30.
Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are all served at the restaurant, but the dinner menu is the real standout.
Once you try Nak Won Korean BBQ House's Korean food, there's never going back.
All of your favorite grocery items are waiting for you at Pezzini Farms in Castroville so head on over and pick them up.
The fresh produce available here will work well in any recipe or stand alone as a snack.
Yogurt, cheese, milk? Do some or all of these sound great to you? Be a dairy fan and purchase some dairy products. They will keep you happy and healthy.
These fresh and flavorful canned food items will come in handy when you need a quick and convenient dinner option.
More often than not, their patrons leave with the best, delicious meats the city has to offer.
If you like to use the oven, you're going to want to pick up some sweet ingredients in your next masterpiece. They adds that extra bit of flavor that makes your food delicious!
Stay healthy on the regular with the produce available here. It's super fresh and can be used with any meal.
At Pezzini Farms, drivers can settle for safe parking in the lot next door.
With quality foods and friendly service you can depend on, Pezzini Farms in Castroville is your best choice for picking up groceries.
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.