Ready, set, fish! For heart-healthy fare, super fresh seafood is readily available.
Enjoy a small, bite-sized snack from Tea Shop 168 and cure your hunger pains.
Keep some frozen food from here on hand and pop it in the microwave or oven when you need a quick and easy meal.
Tea Shop 168's selection of bread goes great with any meal you were planning on making.
Eating healthy isn't always easy, but with produce on hand like this it just got easier.
If you are starting to run low on oil and vinegar, head on over here and pick up your favorites.
When you're in the mood to bake, remember to add a dash of extra sweetness. It will make your creations come alive like never before.
Healthy eaters realize the importance of dairy in their diet. Make sure you're getting your fill of Vitamin D with dairy products from Tea Shop 168.
Your mouth will be watering from the fantastic meats available at this location.
Do you have a new pasta recipe that you've been dying to try? Pick up some noodles and treat yourself to a tasty dish.
Tea Shop 168 makes it easy to quench your thirst by stocking water for whenever you need it.
The drinks available here are a great way to restore your body's natural balance, so start sipping.
Next time you're in a rush, check out the amazing TV dinners available here to get you going out the door.
Soup, vegetables, fruit, these are just a few of the canned items available here.
Say goodbye to bland when you select one of their many spices or seasonings.
Keep your energy and mood up all day long with a tasty coffee or refreshing tea from Tea Shop 168.
Cereal tastes so good, you'll want to eat it around the clock (so go ahead!).
Tea Shop 168 is located near a variety of parking options, making your selection a quick and easy one.
Cuisine Type: Uncommon pizza, wings, and garlic bread
Most popular offering: Pizza and Wings
Delivery / Take-out Available: Yes
Outdoor Seating: No
Parking: Parking lot
Pro Tip: Call ahead to place your order.
Q&A with Mike Marfo, General Manager
In your own words, how would you describe your menu?
We only use the highest-quality ingredients such as black forest ham, real bacon strips, extra lean ground beef, and marinated chicken breast and steak. [Our] fresh vegetables are cut daily to guarantee you a fresh and tasty gourmet experience. We also offer delicious halal and vegetarian selections.
Are there any dishes on the menu you consider to be a hidden gem—not necessarily the most popular, but surprisingly delicious?
Yes: the chicken sandwich and our hand-crafted garlic bread.
Is there anything else you want to add that we didn't cover?
Because of the attention to detail and flavour, our food has a real, authentic, homemade feel. Our proprietary pizza sauce is slow cooked for more than two hours to ensure maximum flavours are locked in. We use a very high quality cheese and give good amounts of evenly spread toppings. You can really taste the difference with Mr. Mike's Pizza.
Smash Kitchen & Bar might just prove that fire is the most powerful of the elements. Its coal oven's sweltering temperatures can cook a pizza in a matter of minutes. Beyond the traditional pepperonis and mushrooms, the chefs use their dough as a canvas for seafood. They get creative with the seasonings, too: the Pride of Nova Scotia pie, for example, holds white sauce, mozzarella, lobster, roasted garlic, pico de gallo, and shaved parmesan.
The rest of the menu departs from the coal oven but sticks to a from-scratch ethos. Each day, chefs grind USDA beef and form it into patties—two for every burger. Regular ketchup won't cut it, either. The chefs make their own condiments for burgers and other meaty dishes, including barbecue ribs.
Of course, diners don't see this diligent preparation. They're too busy watching sports on flat-screen TVs, sharing house-made donuts by the fireplace, or sipping one of Smash's signature drinks out on the patio. The team mixes cocktails such as mojitos, pours draft beer, and blends signature milkshakes, with the option to childproof them by adding a liqueur for a few dollars more.
Sweet Spot Golf & 19th Hole Sports Bar's five golf simulators recreate 67 championship courses from around the world, including Pebble Beach, Oakmont, and St. Andrews. The simulation’s meticulous detail and realistic imagery means every tree, bunker, and patch of grass is included, show with multiple camera angles and real-time daylight.
In addition to competing online against players worldwide, the simulators' live-motion software and the facility's six practice-range simulators help guests hone their golfing skills. But to further refine your swing, take a lesson under the tutelage of a resident golf pro, who’ll customize programs to match each patron's individual needs while teaching golf-swing fundamentals.
Outside the five private simulator-equipped rooms, the 19th Hole Sports Bar offers a private dining area with a flat-screen TVs showing the latest sports. You’ll also find karaoke machines to sing a pop classic or a golf-inspired opera, as well as gaming areas outfitted with PS3, Nintendo Wii, and X-Box consoles.
In keeping with its name, the décor at Day & Night Angus Steak and Raw Bar strikes a graceful balance of light and dark. In the dining room, dark wood walls inset with geometric wine racks revolve around the centerpiece: a 30-foot tall chandelier made up of more than 1,600 glass bubbles. Below lies a 26-foot raw bar with blue accent lights that illuminate Bering Sea king crab legs and imported Japanese sashimi. The star of the bar is perhaps the more than 20 varieties of oysters, which are as pearl-free as a debutante who had to trade her pearls for helicopter fuel during the recession.
In addition to the chilled eats, Day & Night’s menu tempts with creamy lobster bisque and
fusion-onion soup, rack of lamb and moulard duck breast, and nordic seafood rice. The chef hand-picks only a few choice cuts of certified USDA Angus steaks to age for three to four weeks and kiss with flame on an in-house high temperature grill. These hearty representations of earth and sea pair with a range of drinks, including international wines, sake, house cocktails, and European coffees.
Street festivals are often held on the historic streets outside La Grotta on Main, mirroring the culinary festivities that take place daily inside the restaurant. In the kitchen, chefs deftly prepare house-made pastas and gourmet Mediterranean entrees suitable for both lunch and dinner. As meals unfold, waiters swing down from the dining room's white drapes to pour dozens of red and white wines, including a house sangiovese imported from Italy. La Grotta on Main's culinary wizards can also conjure up meals that accommodate special diets. A faux-stone finish wraps around the eatery's interior walls, where the flickering glow of a fireplace spills across decorative plants and white tablecloths. Outside, a pergola overhangs the outdoor patio as diners feast their hungry eyes on vibrant flora and gently poke nearby trees until they pass the salt.
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