Satisfy your hunger with your purchases from Big Creek Market in Mount Vernon.
Add some produce to your next dinner plate for a delicious meal jam-packed with vitamins and nutrients.
Whether you prefer coffee or tea, Big Creek Market offers options for both the coffee enthusiast and the tea lover.
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.
When you're looking to eat something delicious but have literally no time, you'll want to try the delicious frozen food here. It's a shortcut to perfectly scrumptious food.
For dairy lovers out there, this store does dairy right, so make sure to pick up some on your next trip.
These tasty and nutritious snacks will help you push through your long workday.
Just a touch of these key baking ingredients will make your baked goods pop, so make sure your kitchen is always well-stocked.
Make your own salad dressing or secret sauce with some flavorful and healthy oil and vinegar from here.
The cuts of meat here are tender and fresh. Pick up a selection of meats today and start your weekend off with a barbecue.
Go under the sea with a few fresh catches, and enjoy a meal rich in protein and flavor.
When all you need is an incredibly quick dinner, this place offers some of the best TV dinners around to satisfy your needs.
It's always wise to keep a little extra food around the house, just because. Big Creek Market encourages you to check out its amazing canned foods for just that very purpose.
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 Big Creek Market.
Don't settle for bland food. Pick up some spices and seasonings from here and make your next meal a hit.
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.
Discover a new flavor of bread at Big Creek Market and get creative with your sandwiches.
Big Creek Market offers an unparalleled selection of both liquors and spirits, all of which are available at an affordable price.
Bring out your Italian side in the kitchen and create a yummy pasta dish with some noodles from Big Creek Market.
Big Creek Market is located in a prime location where street parking is always readily available.
Big Creek Market provides ample space for bikers to store their bikes.
Big Creek Market in Mount Vernon offers both fresh and affordable items so stop by today and get all of your grocery shopping done in one fell swoop.
Dairy is packed with the essential nutrients your body craves, so help yourself out. Dairy products have everything you need.
When your food needs a little more flavor, pick up some seasonings or spices from here and enjoy a tasty meal.
Choose from meaty and veggie favorites at Gary's Foods-Deli and munch your way through a tasty sandwich.
Why spend time cooking from scratch when you can have a great meal in minutes? Frozen food is simple to make and even easier to eat.
Pick up super fresh fish (and a heck of a lot of nutrients) for your next meal.
When you only have time for a quick lunch during your busy workday, heat up a TV dinner from here and enjoy a quick and yummy meal.
Enjoy a small, bite-sized snack from Gary's Foods-Deli and cure your hunger pains.
A little here, a little there, you can never have enough vinegar and oil. Used in almost every recipe, these liquids will come in handy.
If your hydration habits could use some work, pick up some delicious beverages to drink with a meal or on the go.
This fixing adds that little something extra to any baked good, so include it in all of your favorite recipes.
From sandwiches to salads, Gary's Foods-Deli serves up a wide array of healthy and tasty deli options.
Water junkies can get their gulp on with a swig from Gary's Foods-Deli.
Both sugary and high-fiber cereals are delicious and this store carries them all.
Running low on your beverage of choice? Stock up on your favorite liquors and spirits at Gary's Foods-Deli.
If you need that extra push to get you through your workday, a coffee or tea from Gary's Foods-Deli will do the trick.
If you're seeking high quality meats, look no further than here. From chicken to beef, you can find everything you need in one location.
Skip the hassle of baking your own bread and pick up a freshly-baked loaf from Gary's Foods-Deli.
In case of emergency, you should always have some canned food on hand. Browse the selection of items at Gary's Foods-Deli and stock up today.
Get your noodle on! Gary's Foods-Deli has some of the best and affordable noodle and pasta options in the area.
Health-conscious eaters will love cooking with the fresh produce available here.
With all of the parking options close by, you can keep an eye on your car during your visit.
Who doesn't love a warm tortilla? Fans of El Perico Mexican Restaurant say that the best Mexican fare is found right here, where top-notch ratings rule the menu.
This restaurant guests can also take advantage of the many drink options offered here.
Save money on a sitter — kids are welcome to join the table at this restaurant.
Don't go off the grid! With the free wifi at El Perico Mexican Restaurant, you can surf the web and get some work done.
At El Perico Mexican Restaurant, you won't have to wait for your large or small group to be seated.
Through their catering service, El Perico Mexican Restaurant can also set out a delicious spread for your next party.
If you're in a hurry, place an order for pickup instead.
Park in the open lot next to El Perico Mexican Restaurant and score easy and free parking.
At El Perico Mexican Restaurant, bikers can lock their bikes safely outside.
If breakfast isn't your thing, El Perico Mexican Restaurant also serves lunch and dinner, so you can be sure to swing by at some point during the day.
Taste why El Perico Mexican Restaurant's Mexican food is highly-rated by all who dine there.
When you're looking to indulge in a bit of Mexican fare, there's no better place than El Perico Mexican Restaurant.
When you're ready for a delicious meal, pay El Perico Mexican Restaurant a visit and taste the many flavors of Mexico.
Get your fill of first-class tacos, tamales, enchiladas, and more at Carlos O'Kelly's Mexican Cafe, an excellent Mexican spot in Marion revered by fans as one of the best.
Carlos O'Kelly's Mexican Cafe serves food that not only tastes great, but is low in fat and gluten-free.
Round out your meal with a little tipple — this restaurant has a terrific drink list, including beer, wine, and more.
Comfort is prioritized at Carlos O'Kelly's Mexican Cafe, where business casual is the name of the (dress code) game.
You can call it in, then carry it out.
A catering menu is also available if you're looking to dazzle the visitors at your next shindig.
This dining establishment is located near hassle-free parking options.
Carlos O'Kelly's Mexican Cafe is a prime location for cyclists to park their bikes and enjoy a bite to eat.
You'll like your bill almost as much as your meal at Carlos O'Kelly's Mexican Cafe, with meals usually costing less than $15.
Spend your morning, afternoon, or evening at Carlos O'Kelly's Mexican Cafe, where guests can enjoy breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Experience the best flavors of Mexico when you try the highly-rated cuisine at Carlos O'Kelly's Mexican Cafe.
So break out of your normal dining routine and head over to Carlos O'Kelly's Mexican Cafe for some flavorful Mexican fare.
Hot cheesy goodness awaits your appetite at Zoey's Pizzeria — this pizza joint is the place to go for a serious five-star slice.
Take a peek at the drink menu here, and make sure to sample something off the list.
With its kid-friendly vibe, this pizzeria is a great spot for families to chow down.
Keep it casual at Zoey's Pizzeria, and save that little black dress for a different occasion.
No time to sit down? No worries! This pizzeria offers a take out option so you can grab your food on the go.
Avoid parallel parking and slide into a spot free of charge — the restaurant offers free parking next door.
You'll also find plenty of safe spaces to lock up your bike if you prefer to cycle to the pizzeria.
Prices tend towards the moderate side, with the average tab at Zoey's Pizzeria running under $30 per person.
Some people say that if you've had one pizza, you've had them all. Diners who've tried Zoey's Pizzeria's pizza say it is the absolute best.
So bring your appetite to Zoey's Pizzeria. This no-muss, no-fuss pizza joint comes with rave reviews.
So grab a group of friends and head to Zoey's Pizzeria, where you can relax in a casual setting while enjoying a delicious, handmade pizza.
When you are in the mood for a delicious, mouthwatering pizza, pay Zoey's Pizzeria a visit.
Buon appetito! Eat your heart out at Zio Johno's Spaghetti House, where the freshest, five-star fare will fill any Italian appetite.
The bar at this restaurant is fully stocked, so pair your meal with a glass of wine or beer.
Whether you have a group of five or a group of 20, Zio Johno's Spaghetti House can seat both large and small groups.
Get connected at lightning fast speeds with Zio Johno's Spaghetti House's complimentary wifi.
Take your meal to the next level on the patio at Zio Johno's Spaghetti House.
No need to dress to the nines here — Zio Johno's Spaghetti House's policy is business casual, so guests can dine in comfort.
Call Zio Johno's Spaghetti House for catering if you have a big event coming up.
Enjoy mind-blowing dishes in the peace and quiet of your own home with delivery or takeout from Zio Johno's Spaghetti House.
Free parking is offered every day of the week at the lot near Zio Johno's Spaghetti House.
No matter what you choose off the menu at Zio Johno's Spaghetti House, you won't completely break the bank with prices averaging around $30.
Zio Johno's Spaghetti House is the place to go if you're looking for quality and highly-rated Italian food.
The best flavors of Italy await you at Zio Johno's Spaghetti House, so try them out today.
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