Sizzling steaks served hot off the grill are prepared just the way you like them at Outback Steak House — come see what all the five-star hype is about and see if this steakhouse is right for you.
Outback Steak House's low-fat and G-free items make it easy to eat right.
Be sure to complete your meal at this restaurant with a drink from the restaurant's full bar.
Outback Steak House is a good restaurant to dine with a small or large group.
Take note that the restaurant can get a bit loud, so vocal cords and eardrums should be in tip-top shape.
Whether you're coming from work or a ballgame, the dress code at laid-back Outback Steak House is come-as-you-are.
Or, take your food to go.
Drivers can find parking right by the restaurant, so don't forget your car keys.
Treating yourself doesn't mean breaking the bank, come taste the great dishes Outback Steak House has to offer.
So why not find out for yourself why everyone is talking about Outback Steak House? Your very own steak is right around the corner.
When's the last time you had an exceptional steak? Sample some of the best cuts in town at Outback Steak House.
Fill up on fare from Firebirds Wood Fired Grill and get a taste of the Niles neighborhood.
At Firebirds Wood Fired Grill, the cooks create additional gluten-free dishes that taste great.
Round out your meal with a little tipple — this restaurant has a terrific drink list, including beer, wine, and more.
Youngsters don't need to sit out a trip to this restaurant — it's super family-friendly and perfect for little diners and their folks.
Patio tables and chairs are ready for Firebirds Wood Fired Grill diners who prefer their meals al fresco.
Wifi access is totally free at Firebirds Wood Fired Grill, perfect for catching up on the news, hopping on social media, or even working.
Wear what you like when you dine at Firebirds Wood Fired Grill — the restaurant has a chill vibe just right for casual dining.
You can also grab your grub to go.
At Firebirds Wood Fired Grill, you can safely park just around the corner.
Make use of the safe and efficient bike parking at Firebirds Wood Fired Grill.
Prices are a bit on the higher side, so this might be a good pick for a special night out.
Load up on toppings or opt for a simple slice of cheese at Pizza Joe's, Girard's classic pizza venue.
Calling all gluten-free and low-fat diners! Pizza Joe's has a multitude of dishes right up your alley that are freshly-prepared and taste amazing.
Pizza Joe's has a large dining room, making it easy to seat large parties.
Don't ditch your four-legged pal outside — dogs are more than welcome at Pizza Joe's.
Whether you're coming from work or a ballgame, the dress code at laid-back Pizza Joe's is come-as-you-are.
Through their catering service, Pizza Joe's can also set out a delicious spread for your next party.
Your car or ours? You'll get the food either way via pickup or delivery.
With a parking lot adjacent to Pizza Joe's, you won't get stuck circling the block.
Typical diners should plan to spend about $30 per person on Pizza Joe's' moderately priced fare.
All major credit cards are accepted.
The pizza at Pizza Joe's is filled with endless flavors, so head on over today and enjoy a slice or two of yummy goodness.
Whether you love them dunked in ranch dressing or smothered in barbecue sauce, the wings at Niles' Buffalo Wild Wings will fit any taste.
Find time to peruse the wine list here — this restaurant offers a variety of drink options.
Buffalo Wild Wings is known for its happy hour deals and steals.
Access the Internet free of charge via Buffalo Wild Wings' complimentary wifi.
Buffalo Wild Wings is a great location to host a group dinner.
Dine out in the open during Buffalo Wild Wings' summer season when patio tables are available for use.
With the booming music and energetic crowds, this restaurant can get downright loud.
If you're hoping to make a smashing impression at your next soiree, you can also have Buffalo Wild Wings cater for you.
Feeling a little shy? Carryout is available.
Parking can always be a hassle. That's why we've done half the work for you. Parking available onsite for our guests.
If you're looking for a place to throw down on some wings this weekend, Buffalo Wild Wings is the stop for you.
Salvatore's Italian Grill offers the finest Italian cuisine in town, plus it has a large variety of pasta dishes.
Guess what? Salvatore's Italian Grill serves food that's free of gluten and low in fat, so everyone can find something that tastes and feels great.
Wireless Internet access is just a click away at Salvatore's Italian Grill.
Be prepared to raise your voice, though — the restaurant can get noisy.
This restaurant offers carryout for your convenience.
You can also serve food from Salvatore's Italian Grill at your next party — the restaurant offers catering.
The restaurant is within walking distance to a number of parking options.
Cyclists will love the spacious bike racks outside of Salvatore's Italian Grill.
For great dishes that fall smack dab in the middle when it comes to price, Salvatore's Italian Grill is a reasonable option for diners of different budgets.
You don't need a plane ticket to experience all the best flavors of Italy. They're all under one roof at Salvatore's Italian Grill.
Start with the calamari and save room for the fresh catch at Niles' Red Lobster — this Niles seafood spot has quite the selection.
Red Lobster serves up well-crafted, gluten-free and healthy menu items.
Complete your meal with the perfect glass of wine or beer from this restaurant's drink list.
Red Lobster is a good restaurant to dine with a small or large group.
Put the suit away when heading to Red Lobster — dress is casual, as are the vibes.
Meeting the gang for a movie? Pick up some food from this restaurant.
Driving to Red Lobster? Check out the nearby parking selections and park with ease.
Red Lobster offers parking for all diners, including those who travel by bike.
Red Lobster is serving up five-star food at a reasonable price.
Early risers and night owls alike can enjoy Red Lobster since it offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
So the next time you want to upgrade your dinner experience, catch some seafood at Red Lobster's amazing restaurant.
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