Indulge in a wide array of American dishes at A&W Restaurant.
Good luck spotting a suit and tie at A&W Restaurant — casually-dressed diners are the norm here.
A&W Restaurant is located in a prime location surrounded by various parking options.
A&W Restaurant provides morning, afternoon, and evening service, so you can easily find time to dine.
The best American dishes are cooked up by the great crew at A&W Restaurant, and they're waiting to serve you!
For a quick slice of mouthwatering pizza, visit Old Chicago.
If you're looking for a mean slice or a piping plate of pasta, the pizzeria is home to a generous number of offerings.
Don't go thirsty during dinner! This pizzeria also offers a splendid drink list featuring wine, beer, and more.
Bring the whole family to this pizzeria, where kiddos are welcomed with open arms.
Home to one of the happiest happy hours, pop in after work for great drinks and good company.
Check email, shop online, or get the latest game scores on Old Chicago's free wifi.
At Old Chicago, you won't have to wait for your large or small group to be seated.
The pizzeria's noise level can be somewhat straining on the vocal cords, so intimate get-togethers may be best enjoyed elsewhere.
Reserve your table ahead of time if you're heading over to the pizzeria on a Friday and Saturday — it can get quite crowded during the weekend.
Relaxed attire is perfectly fine at Old Chicago, known for its laid-back ambience.
Catering makes it easier to organize any event, and Old Chicago will ensure that it is delicious.
You can call it in, then carry it out.
Tired of driving in circles? Head to Old Chicago for a bite to eat and find quick parking in the lot next door.
Bikers can store their bikes safely while they enjoy a meal at Old Chicago.
No matter what you choose off the menu at Old Chicago, you won't completely break the bank with prices averaging around $30.
If you're short on cash, take care of business with one of many major credit cards.
Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are all available at Old Chicago.
So head on over to Old Chicago, where the pizza is hot and the atmosphere's cool.
After learning about Old Chicago, you definitely just found your new pizza place.
Start with the calamari and save room for the fresh catch at Okemos' Gilbert and Blakes — this Okemos seafood spot has quite the selection.
Take a peek at the drink menu here, and make sure to sample something off the list.
Whether you have a large or small group, Gilbert and Blakes can accommodate both.
Outdoor seating is ready for diners on those warm summer days.
For no extra charge, utilize Gilbert and Blakes' free wifi.
This restaurant's most sought after items include Seared Ahi Tuna, Shrimp Cocktail, Crab Cakes, Cajun Steak Bites, and Spinach and Artichoke Dip.
Put the suit away when heading to Gilbert and Blakes — dress is casual, as are the vibes.
Catering is also available if you'd like to serve Gilbert and Blakes' tasty dishes at your next party.
No time to sit down? No worries! This restaurant offers a take out option so you can grab your food on the go.
Drivers can make use of the parking lots near Gilbert and Blakes.
A night out here can be a bit pricey, so prepare to shell out a bit more.
If you're looking to rack up your frequent flyer miles, feel free to pay by major credit card.
Featuring breakfast, lunch, and dinner, the restaurant's evening menu is rated top-of-the-line.
Gilbert and Blakes has all the right seafood dishes to keep you and your family satisfied when paying them a visit.
Whether you're in the mood for a New York Strip or a juicy tenderloin, you'll find plenty to like at Okemos' Outback Steakhouse.
Being gluten-free and turning down tasty food are not the same things, and the cooks at Outback Steakhouse will prove to you why not.
This restaurant also operates a bar, so a round of drinks with dinner is not out of the question.
Open air seating is ready for diners at Outback Steakhouse when the weather is warm.
Outback Steakhouse is a great location to host a group dinner.
Outback Steakhouse's guests are no strangers to casual clothing, and sneakers are spotted around every corner.
The restaurant also offers catering if you want to bring the flavors of Outback Steakhouse to your next party or event.
Takeout and delivery are also available, so you can just do you.
Parking can be a pain in the neck, but it's as available as ever near the restaurant.
If you don't want a night that will cost you an arm and a leg but you do want a delicious meal, come to Outback Steakhouse.
Outback Steakhouse has menus for breakfast, lunch, and dinner — just pick your favorite meal and head over.
In addition to great service, Outback Steakhouse serves up juicy and flavorful steaks. Make your way over to the restaurant today and indulge in a good meal.
Load up on carbs at Spagnuolo's Restaurant — this Italian joint serves tasty grub in Meridian Charter Township's Okemos community.
Can't eat gluten? Avoiding fatty foods? Vegan? No problem — Spagnuolo's Restaurant offers plenty of options for you.
Toast your evening out at this restaurant with a glass of beer or wine from their lengthy drink list.
If you're in need of a booster seat, this restaurant's got you covered. This is a great spot for the whole family.
Gather up your group of friends and head to Spagnuolo's Restaurant, a local restaurant that has room for large groups.
You'll find most people wearing their favorite T-shirt and pair of jeans, as casual dining is Spagnuolo's Restaurant's style.
A catering menu is also available if you're looking to dazzle the guests at your next shindig.
Want to enjoy this restaurant without the wait? Get it to go.
At Spagnuolo's Restaurant, drivers can settle for safe parking in the lot next door.
Going out for dinner doesn't mean overspending. Enjoy a delicious meal at Spagnuolo's Restaurant for a fair price.
Convenience is essential at Spagnuolo's Restaurant, and food is served from morning until night.
Take a culinary tour of Italy when you sample the many deliciously unique dishes at Spagnuolo's Restaurant.
For fresh maki, Okemos' Akagi Japanese Restaurant has got you covered.
Enjoy a drink with your dinner — this restaurant has a full bar to serve up a glass of wine, beer, or more.
With its kid-friendly vibe, this restaurant is a great spot for families to chow down.
Forget the stuffy formal wear! Akagi Japanese Restaurant's business casual dress code sets the tone for ease and enjoyment.
Want to enjoy this restaurant without the wait? Get it to go.
Through their catering service, Akagi Japanese Restaurant can also set out a delicious spread for your next party.
Pull into one of the many parking spaces nearby if you choose to drive to the restaurant.
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.
Akagi Japanese Restaurant's mid-priced fare will typically cost you about $30 per person or less.
Akagi Japanese Restaurant offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner, so stop by whenever is most convenient for you.
You'll definitely be impressed by the exotic Japanese cuisine served up by the traditional chefs at Akagi Japanese 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