It's not every day that a dinner with friends risks a murder accusation. That's a good possibility for the guests of The Murder Mystery Company, who find themselves in the middle of a investigation for which any one of them could stand accused by a hapless detective. During each interactive dinner, the company's troupe of professional improv actors ignites the dining room with entertaining outbursts and hilarious one-liners in an effort to divulge clues and redirect guilt. Meanwhile, guests work together to sniff out the real culprit, which is definitely not the school janitor in a mask. Birthday parties, bachelorette celebrations, and corporate events can also get in on the interactive action by scheduling a private murder-mystery dinner.
What to Expect at a Murder-Mystery Show
Learn how to play along and how to look for clues. Lesson one: everyone's a suspect.
Sushi enthusiasts flock to Holland's Spicy Tuna Sushi Bar & Grill Holland when they have a hankering for top-rated rolls.
A night out deserves a drink to celebrate, and this sushi spot has the perfect selection of beer and wine to go with your meal.
Little ones are free to make a mess at this sushi spot, where the whole family is invited to dine.
Come order a flavorful feast at Spicy Tuna Sushi Bar & Grill Holland, and sit outside if it's nice!
Spicy Tuna Sushi Bar & Grill Holland will be able to accommodate your large party.
Wifi here is on the house.
Jeans are just right for a meal at Spicy Tuna Sushi Bar & Grill Holland, which embraces a casual vibe.
Love the food so much you want to serve it at your next soiree? No problem — Spicy Tuna Sushi Bar & Grill Holland offers catering.
If you're in a hurry, place an order for pickup instead.
Spicy Tuna Sushi Bar & Grill Holland is centrally located near many parking lot options.
Menu items at Spicy Tuna Sushi Bar & Grill Holland tend to be mid-priced, so expect to plop down about $30 per person to dine here.
Spicy Tuna Sushi Bar & Grill Holland is serving up some of the most highly-rated sushi in all of Holland.
Check out the innovative sushi menu at Spicy Tuna Sushi Bar & Grill Holland and enjoy a selection of great eats for lunch or dinner.
Just-right juicy steaks are the norm at Longhorn Steakhouse, a five-star worthy, fan-favorite steakhouse.
If you prefer to keep it light, Longhorn Steakhouse has a number of low-fat and healthy options.
Don't go thirsty during dinner! This restaurant also offers a splendid drink list featuring wine, beer, and more.
Having trouble finding that family-friendly restaurant everyone will love? This restaurant serves all ages, so little ones are welcome to come along, too.
At Longhorn Steakhouse, you won't have to wait for your large or small group to be seated.
Longhorn Steakhouse wants guests to dine in comfort, so save that stuffy suit for another date.
Leaving the couch is half the battle. Your foods awaits your pickup at this restaurant.
Longhorn Steakhouse is close to multiple parking options.
The average check at Longhorn Steakhouse will stay below $30 per person, so it's a relatively affordable option.
What's your favorite meal of the day? Chow down on breakfast, lunch, and dinner at Longhorn Steakhouse and taste test your way through the menu.
So whether you enjoy steak or just come for the sides, people can't get enough of Longhorn Steakhouse.
If you are seeking the juiciest and most affordable steaks in town, look no further than Longhorn Steakhouse.
Everything from the apps to the entrees is infused with five-star Thai goodness at Bangkok Kitchen.
This restaurant also operates a bar, so a round of drinks with dinner is not out of the question.
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.
Your large group can all sit together at Bangkok Kitchen.
Shake off the stiff workday duds at Bangkok Kitchen — attire is casual.
For those in a rush, the restaurant lets you take your food to go.
Drivers can take advantage of the parking lot near Bangkok Kitchen and save time on hunting for a parking spot.
Bangkok Kitchen happily accepts all major credit cards as a form of payment.
Spend your morning, afternoon, or evening at Bangkok Kitchen, where guests can enjoy breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Come see what all the hype is about and head to Bangkok Kitchen for star-studded Thai cuisine.
For Thai that steps up to the plate in an oh-so-casual setting, Bangkok Kitchen is where you want to be.
The flavorful and delicious Thai food at Bangkok Kitchen will make for a unique option for dinner.
So when you're craving the tastes and trends of Thailand, head on over to Bangkok Kitchen.
Find great food in a comfortable setting at Waterville's Chowders' and Moor — pizza lovers flock to this Waterville joint.
Low-fat, gluten-free and anything else you've been looking for waits here.
This pizzeria also provides alcohol, so diners don't have to worry about bringing their own bottle.
Grab the kids when you head to this pizzeria — its family-oriented menu and ambience are perfect for the whole clan.
You'll want to save quiet conversations for another spot, though — the pizzeria can get noisy.
If you're in a hurry, place an order for pickup instead.
At Chowders' and Moor, service is a priority. That why we provide parking spaces on site.
For those who prefer to travel by bike, Chowders' and Moor is a great option due to its generous bike parking options.
Deep pockets not required! Chowders' and Moor takes pride in its over-the-top flavor and just-right prices.
Whether you're in the mood for AM eggs, a midday salad, or an evening entree, Chowders' and Moor provides service throughout the day.
Come spend a casual night out over a delicious pizza at Chowders' and Moor.
You won't want to go anywhere else for a superlative piece of pizza than to Chowders' and Moor's great restaurant.
You can taste the love Carrabba's Italian Grill puts in their Italian food in each item on their menu.
Gluten-free and low-fat is the name of the game at Carrabba's Italian Grill, where eating healthy, flavorful dishes is of utmost importance.
This restaurant also operates a bar, so a round of drinks with dinner is not out of the question.
This restaurant is kid-friendly, so little ones are welcome to tag along.
Carrabba's Italian Grill is a local restaurant that accommodates both large and small groups.
Take your meal to the next level on the patio at Carrabba's Italian Grill.
Carrabba's Italian Grill offers an informal dining experience for those who are allergic to jackets and ties.
Want to enjoy this restaurant without the wait? Get it to go.
If you need to feed a big crowd, Carrabba's Italian Grill also offers catering services for parties and get-togethers.
At Carrabba's Italian Grill, we supply free parking. No fees, just your car and our lot.
It's not the cheapest, it's not the most expensive, but it is the most delicious. Come to Carrabba's Italian Grill for a great bite.
For authentic and delicious Italian cuisine, look no further than the highly-rated Carrabba's Italian Grill.
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.