Hot cheesy goodness awaits your appetite at Ocean Front Pizza — this pizza joint is the place to go for a serious five-star slice.
This pizzeria is great for families with kids.
The patio tables outside of Ocean Front Pizza are the perfect spot for a summer meal.
Wifi is on the house at Ocean Front Pizza, so bring along your tablet or laptop.
Canines of all kinds are also welcome at dog-friendly Ocean Front Pizza.
Casual clothing is the name of the game at Ocean Front Pizza, where suits and ties won't be spotted for miles.
Takeout and delivery are also available, so you can just do you.
At Ocean Front Pizza, you can easily find street parking just steps away from the door.
Cyclists are in luck. Ocean Front Pizza provides bike parking.
At Ocean Front Pizza, you will want to bring cash for your meal since it's a cash-only restaurant.
Ocean Front Pizza accepts Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express, and all major credit cards.
Ocean Front Pizza provides morning, afternoon, and evening service, so you can easily find time to dine.
For the cheesiest, most delicious pie in town, pizza lovers claim that Ocean Front Pizza is at the top of the list.
For a casual meal that is highly-rated, look no further than Ocean Front Pizza's pizza.
There's nothing tastier than a casual pie on a Friday night, so make plans to go to Ocean Front Pizza this weekend.
After learning about Ocean Front Pizza, you definitely just found your new pizza place.
Who doesn't love a warm tortilla? Fans of Lolo's Mexican Food say that the best Mexican fare is found right here, where top-notch ratings rule the menu.
Round out your meal with a little tipple — this restaurant has a terrific drink list, including beer, wine, and more.
Bring the whole family to this restaurant, where kiddos are welcomed with open arms.
Lolo's Mexican Food can provide comfortable seating options for parties of any size.
The patio seating at Lolo's Mexican Food is perfect for those warm summer days.
Whether you're coming from work or a ballgame, the dress code at laid-back Lolo's Mexican Food is come-as-you-are.
This restaurant offers carryout for your convenience.
Looking for something delicious to serve at your next party? Lolo's Mexican Food also offers catering.
Parallel-parking experts can find room on the street, though patrons also have access to the restaurant's adjoining lot.
The average check at Lolo's Mexican Food will stay below $30 per person, so it's a relatively affordable option.
Catering to diners throughout the day (and night), Lolo's Mexican Food serves AM, PM, and midday meals.
Taste why Lolo's Mexican Food's Mexican food is highly-rated by all who dine there.
If you're looking for a delicious taco or burrito, you'd definitely be wise to head to Lolo's Mexican Food.
So pay Lolo's Mexican Food a visit and get introduced to the many flavors and spices of Mexican cuisine.
At Robin's Restaurant, you can enjoy a classic American burger or sandwich.
Robin's Restaurant is also a good option for those with special dietary needs, offering both low-fat and gluten-free items on the menu.
Toast your evening out at this restaurant with a glass of beer or wine from their lengthy drink list.
Bring your whole brood to this restaurant, where families can dig in to tasty and kid-friendly fare together.
Robin's Restaurant is the perfect spot to enjoy a great meal outside (weather permitting).
Robin's Restaurant offers an informal dining experience for those who are allergic to jackets and ties.
Meeting the gang for a movie? Pick up some food from this restaurant.
Feed the gang at your next get-together with catering from Robin's Restaurant as well.
Parking is easy at Robin's Restaurant, especially those looking to park on the street or in a lot close by.
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.
Robin's Restaurant's mid-priced fare will typically cost you about $30 per person or less.
The dinner menu is a crowd pleaser at the restaurant, though breakfast and lunch are also served.
Lunch and dinner are easy as pie (and you might as well get a slice) at the delicious Robin's Restaurant.
See what great American fare is cooking up next at Robin's Restaurant.
For true American comfort food, head to Indigo Moon for a sandwich or side of fries.
If gluten is something you try to avoid, check out the G-free menu at Indigo Moon. Low-fat fare is also available for those keeping an eye on their diet.
Find the perfect vintage to complement your meal — this restaurant offers a fine selection of wines, beers, and beyond.
Both the young and the young-at-heart will dig the family-oriented menu and ambience at this restaurant.
Sit back, relax, and enjoy the beautiful weather during your meal at Indigo Moon.
Everyone will feel comfortable dining at Indigo Moon, where business casual attire is standard.
Always five minutes behind schedule? Pick up your food to go instead.
A nearby parking lot is readily available for Indigo Moon's diners.
At Indigo Moon, bikers can lock their bikes safely outside.
At Indigo Moon, you can ease your appetite and please your pocketbook
the menu offers a selection of mid-priced, budget-friendly meals.
Convenience is essential at Indigo Moon, and food is served from morning until night.
There's a classic American dish waiting to be made for you at Indigo Moon.
Pay Indigo Moon a visit today and fill up on some classic American dishes in a casual environment.
You deserve an excellent meal, so head on over to Indigo Moon and enjoy some of the highly-rated American fare.
For an entree that scores high on the taste test, try one of the many options available at Blue Skye Deli Cafe in Morro Bay.
Cautious diners will appreciate the low-fat and gluten-free fare at Blue Skye Deli Cafe.
Be sure to complete your meal at this restaurant with a drink from the restaurant's full bar.
With its kid-friendly vibe, this restaurant is a great spot for families to chow down.
Don't go off the grid! With the free wifi at Blue Skye Deli Cafe, you can surf the web and get some work done.
Blue Skye Deli Cafe has a large dining room, making it easy to seat large parties.
Bask in the sun (or moon!) light when you dine on Blue Skye Deli Cafe's outdoor patio.
Friendly pooches can come on in at Blue Skye Deli Cafe, which welcomes dogs as well as their owners.
Show up in sneakers or a suit at Blue Skye Deli Cafe, where dining in comfort is of utmost importance.
Impress the diners at your next gathering by calling in Blue Skye Deli Cafe for catering.
If you're in a hurry, place an order for pickup instead.
Parking is made simple at Blue Skye Deli Cafe, a local restaurant with nearby street and lot parking options.
Store your bike safely at one of the main bike racks near Blue Skye Deli Cafe.
Early risers and night owls alike can enjoy Blue Skye Deli Cafe since it offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Schooners Wharf in Cayucos is known for its tasty eats.
The chefs at Schooners Wharf know how to prepare tasty, gluten-free and low-fat meals.
Be sure to complete your meal at this restaurant with a drink from the restaurant's full bar.
Little ones are just as welcome as their parents at this restaurant.
Up for grabs (and free of charge) is Schooners Wharf's wifi.
At Schooners Wharf, you can dine with your immediate family and your extended family due to the easy seating for large parties.
Don't stay cooped up on a beautiful summer day! At Schooners Wharf, you can dine outdoors on their lovely patio.
Those searching for a quiet dinner scene may have better luck elsewhere, as the restaurant tends to get rather noisy.
Pups of all sorts are also welcome at the restaurant.
The dress code is strictly casual at Schooners Wharf, so come as you are (and as you are comfortable).
Call Schooners Wharf for catering if you have a big event coming up.
You can also grab your grub to go.
At Schooners Wharf, you can score nearby street parking or treat yourself to the luxury of valet parking.
Schooners Wharf s moderately-priced platters and top-notch taste bring foodies back to Schooners Wharf time and time again.
Early risers and night owls alike can enjoy Schooners Wharf since it offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
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