Cafe Gaston can be described in two separate words -- Fresh & Homemade. All dishes are fresh and everything is homemade. From the ingredients to the fish. At Cafe Gaston you can either dine in, carry out, or cater these fabulous dishes. Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner.
WE ARE NOW BYOB...
Hankering for a side of fries? Try the grub at Granite City Food and Brewery, a tasty restaurant serving American-style fare.
G-free and low-fat are just a couple of examples, come here for a quick bite that will leave you feeling healthy.
Take a peek at the drink menu here, and make sure to sample something off the list.
Let the kids come too! Little ones love the food and atmosphere at this restaurant just as much as their parents do.
Granite City Food and Brewery is a suitable restaurant for both large and small groups.
Warm weather brings out Granite City Food and Brewery's highly coveted patio seating.
Don't go off the grid! With the free wifi at Granite City Food and Brewery, you can surf the web and get some work done.
Reserve a table in advance and get seated when you're ready.
At Granite City Food and Brewery, "dress to impress" is a thing of the past, and jeans are the new norm.
Hosting a swanky shindig? Call up Granite City Food and Brewery for their catering services.
If time is of the essence, this restaurant's take-out option may be a better fit.
Parking can often cost 25% of your own meal and tab. With us, it'll be 0% every time. We provide free parking to our patrons.
Granite City Food and Brewery is a prime location for cyclists to park their bikes and enjoy a bite to eat.
No matter what you choose off the menu at Granite City Food and Brewery, you won't completely break the bank with prices averaging around $30.
The restaurant's got you covered whether you're hungry for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, but die-hard fans always opt for an evening meal.
The friendly staff at Granite City Food and Brewery are ready and waiting to cook and serve your favorite American meal.
Swing by Granite City Food and Brewery today and enjoy a delicious American meal in a casual setting.
If you're seeking a highly-rated American restaurant in the area, look no further than Granite City Food and Brewery.
Enjoy a selection of white and red vintage wines at Cooper's Hawk Winery and Restaurant.
Cooper's Hawk Winery and Restaurant's low-fat and G-free items make it easy to eat right.
Enjoy a glass of fine wine and some television entertainment in the restaurant bar area.
This restaurant is more than willing to accommodate families, so kids are welcome to tag along.
Perfect for parties on the larger side, Cooper's Hawk Winery and Restaurant also has a private area available for use.
Free wifi is available as well.
Enjoy the beautiful weather while you chow down — with outdoor seating, Cooper's Hawk Winery and Restaurant is a great summer destination.
Weeknights are often swamped, so plan ahead and make a reservation to avoid the restaurant's rush.
At Cooper's Hawk Winery and Restaurant, business casual is the norm, so save your suit and tie for another day.
Cooper's Hawk Winery and Restaurant can also cater your next party; call today for details.
Just through the door at this restaurant, you can claim your food. No delivery required.
Looking for a deal on parking? Free parking is easily accessible in the parking lot next door.
Cooper's Hawk Winery and Restaurant offers a nice selection of mid-range cuisine, so you can expect a meal there to cost about $30 or less per person.
Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are all served at the restaurant, but reviewers rate the dinner menu the highest.
There's no better way to celebrate Wino Wednesdays than with a glass of wine or two from Cooper's Hawk Winery and Restaurant.
When you're craving a true American classic, such as a burger and fries, make your way over to Cooper's Hawk Winery and Restaurant.
So when you just need a place to go, Cooper's Hawk Winery and Restaurant is the perfect restaurant serving up American classics in Orland Park.
If you're seeking a highly-rated American restaurant in the area, look no further than Cooper's Hawk Winery and Restaurant.
Hot cheesy goodness awaits your appetite at Traverso's Restaurant — this pizza joint is the place to go for a serious five-star slice.
Enjoy a drink with your dinner — this pizzeria has a full bar to serve up a glass of wine, beer, or more.
Little guys and gals will also love dining at this pizzeria, which offers a family-friendly environment (and menu).
At Traverso's Restaurant, you won't have to wait for your large or small group to be seated.
The patio seating at Traverso's Restaurant is perfect for those warm summer days.
On busy nights, it's best to book a table ahead of time.
Drift away from stuffy dress-code conventions and dine in comfort at Traverso's Restaurant.
Bring the Traverso's Restaurant's great food to your place.
Delivery and carryout are easy options for those interested in staying home.
We're nicer than our competitors. We have free parking in our own lot at no charge to you.
Menu items at Traverso's Restaurant tend to be mid-priced, so expect to plop down about $30 per person to dine here.
Treat yourself to breakfast, lunch, and dinner all in one place
the pizzeria offers three main meals a day, though dinner is the real winner.
Roni, sausage, and veggie are just a few of the delicious options at Traverso's Restaurant. Taste the shining reviews for yourself when you head to Traverso's Restaurant for a tasty pizza pie.
High-quality pizza is waiting for you at Traverso's Restaurant, so find out what all the fuss is about and get your hands on a cheesy slice of deliciousness.
If you're in the mood for a casual night out, pay Traverso's Restaurant a visit and munch on some delicious pizza.
Switch up your normal pizza routine and head on over to Traverso's Restaurant for a new take on pizza.
Find all of your favorite traditional American dishes in one place at Rock Bottom Brewery.
The drink list at this restaurant has everything you need to complete your meal (and your night out).
Youngsters are more than welcome to join mom and dad at this restaurant.
Sit outside at Rock Bottom Brewery and soak up the sun on those nice summer days.
Rock Bottom Brewery is a great location to host a group dinner.
Bring your laptop here and tap into the complimentary wifi.
Cut out wait times and book a table ahead of time.
Dress is typically casual at Rock Bottom Brewery, so leave the fancy duds behind for the evening.
Want to enjoy this restaurant without the wait? Get it to go.
Complimentary parking is provided in the lot next to Rock Bottom Brewery.
Store your bike at a nearby rack and enjoy a bite to eat at Rock Bottom Brewery.
Prices are affordable, with a typical meal running under $30.
Treat yourself to breakfast, lunch, and dinner all in one place
the restaurant offers three main meals a day, though dinner is the real winner.
Indulge in all of your favorite American classics with a trip to the definitive standard in town at Rock Bottom Brewery.
There's no doubt about it. A satisfying meal can always be found at Rock Bottom Brewery.
For highly-rated American cuisine, look no further than Rock Bottom Brewery.
Rock Bottom Brewery is just the place you want to go for an outstanding selection of beer for your whole party.
Ginger-infused entrees and chili-based sauces flood the menu at Mo's Chinese Kitchen, where the Chinese fare is applauded as top-of-the-line and diners dish out star reviews.
Easily avoid animal products, gluten and high-fat items when you dine at Mo's Chinese Kitchen, where dietary needs are always considered.
Complete your meal with the perfect glass of wine or beer from this restaurant's drink list.
Having trouble finding that family-friendly restaurant everyone will love? This restaurant serves all ages, so little ones are welcome to come along, too.
Stay in the loop (and online!) by tapping into Mo's Chinese Kitchen's free wifi hotspot.
Get to dinner early — Mo's Chinese Kitchen does not accept reservations.
The dress code is strictly casual at Mo's Chinese Kitchen, so come as you are (and as you are comfortable).
This restaurant will deliver their delicious dishes right to your door, or you can stop in and pick up some great takeout.
A catering menu is also available if you're looking to dazzle the patrons at your next shindig.
Free parking is available in a lot near Mo's Chinese Kitchen.
The menu at Mo's Chinese Kitchen is reasonably priced, with most items costing less than $30.
For an upscale take on traditional Chinese cuisine, look no further than Mo's Chinese Kitchen.
Make your way over to Mo's Chinese Kitchen today and enjoy a flavorful and colorful Chinese meal for lunch or dinner.
Cindy Espinosa has cooked almost every dish on the menu at Nellie’s (2458 W. Division St.), the Humboldt Park luncheonette she co-owns with her husband, Pablo. Yet she’s never attempted mofongo, a dish of mashed fried plantains that’s a Puerto Rican tradition.
“I see it being made,” she said. “I know how it’s made, but I’ve never tried it.”
It’s easy to see why. The cooking process, which I watched unfold in Nellie’s kitchen, is pretty involved, with a lot of hand-mashing and frying. “It’s more of a Friday-night dinner type of thing,” Pablo said. “You might eat it once a month at home.”
Yet the final result—a dome of fried plantain that diners can moisten with a dip into housemade chicken broth—is worth the work. Here’s how Cindy and Pablo’s cook, Carmen, makes it.
Carmen first peels and chops green plantains, the same fruits used in the restaurant’s jibaritos and tostones. According to Pablo, the restaurant goes through a crate of about 50 green plantains every week.
Then Carmen tosses them into a deep-fryer with some chopped tocino, or pork lard. When the lard has cooked down to a salty, crispy crunch, she dumps it and the plantains into a type of mortar and pestle called a pilon. “Every Puerto Rican household should have one,” Cindy said. The pilon’s concave bottom is what gives a serving of mofongo its distinctive dome-like shape.
In Puerto Rico, you see “all types of sizes” of pilon, Pablo said. That includes some as large as a butter churn, which sit on the floor. Nellie’s is a tabletop model, about 6 inches tall, wooden, and covered in carvings. It makes only one portion of mofongo at a time, which can make things hectic for Carmen on a busy weekend day. (All that mashing “takes an arm,” Cindy said.)
Making mofongo to order gives the staff flexibility to tailor each serving. For instance, Carmen can leave out the tocino to make a vegetarian version of the dish. (Both Espinozas have been vegetarian for a year and a half.) Other versions on the menu include iterations with shrimp in place of tocino or with a mound of chicken, shrimp, or steak nestled inside the dome. Mofongo can also be a side order to fried chicken (chicharron de pollo) or fried pork.
I get to sample the classic, main-course version.
The mofongo dome appears next to a small silver tureen filled with housemade chicken broth for dipping. There is still a big chunk of meat and bone floating in it, as well as a big, soft carrot that I devour, savoring its umami flavors. Moistened with a little broth, the green plantains lose their fibrous dryness to become melt-in-your-mouth comfort food; the bits of tocino provide an occasional kick of salt.
I send a mental thank-you to Carmen’s arm for providing this food. I hope it was worth the work.
Photo credit: Andrew Nawrocki, Groupon
To many Chicagoans, the neighborhoods south of Roosevelt Road seem to be a culinary wasteland. To Jimalita Tillman, Chicago native and executive director of the Harold Washington Cultural Center and Performing Arts Theatre (4701 S. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr.), fine-dining opportunities definitely exist on the South Side—if you give them a chance.
Because many of these restaurants depend on word of mouth, Tillman said, the advertising budgets of their more northern competitors often trump their oral marketing, and so she often spends “all day” giving South Side restaurant recommendations to area visitors and theater-goers.
“There are many great places [to eat] throughout these areas,” she said. “It really depends on what you’re in the mood for.”
And if you're in the mood for a little musical and cultural Chicago history to pair with your meal, you don't have to travel far from the landmark arts center. The Harold Washington Cultural Center, in the former location of the historical Regal Theater where the likes of Ella Fitzgerald once performed, is right in the heart of the Black Metropolis—a region marked by the culture and Southern-inspired music scene that developed during the Great Migration. Today, Bronzeville is still flavored with leftovers from its swinging past.
To savor alongside your meal, we paired each of Tillman’s restaurant recommendations with a few musical, historical, and cultural tidbits.
4655 S. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr., Chicago, IL 60653
It’s the quick and personable service that makes this gourmet hot-dog eatery a standout, Tillman said. Of course, Chef Cliff Rome serves the usual Chicago-style hot dog, but it’s the varied wiener and burger options he creates that color H-Dogs’ menu with the fine-dining flair he perfected while studying in Paris. The Healthy Hound—a grilled veggie dog with sprouts, roasted peppers, red onions, and cucumbers—sits alongside salmon burgers, turducken sausages, and portobello-mushroom sandwiches without the least bit of tattletaling or fighting over who had the mustard first. Sweet-potato or truffle fries complete the gourmet-on-the-go experience.
Bite of History: The gourmet hot-dog diner sits in a historical building that was once known as 47th Street Marketplace. Before a 2010 fire destroyed the building, it was considered a symbol of the revitalization of Bronzeville and housed Tillman’s Spoken Word Cafe—one of the original hosts of HBO’s Def Poetry series hosted by hip-hop artist and actor Mos Def.
2. Pearl’s Place
3901 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60653
“I’m a breakfast head,” said Tillman—as are many in the crowd of diners waiting to get inside for brunch on any given Sunday. The kitchen cooks up a mix of Southern and soul food—yes, there’s a difference—but Pearl’s Place sprinkles it with the right amount of creole flavor. After sampling Pearl’s juicy yet crispy fried chicken, sautéed salmon croquettes, or all-day breakfasts of vegetable omelets or homestyle pancakes, it seems only right to finish with a bite or two of peach cobbler or sweet-potato pie.
Bite of History: The interior decor, with album jackets and vinyl records lining the walls, features a photo story of the neighborhood’s jazz and blues history with jazz legends Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, and Lena Horne—all of whom graced the stage at the Regal Theater during Bronzeville’s musical heyday.
3. Norman’s Bistro
1001 E. 43rd St., Chicago, IL, 60653
The bistro’s entrees—including vegetable confetti ravioli, smoked cranberry salmon, and the Great Duck burger—offer an upscale taste-bud experience at “South Side prices,” Tillman said. From the food to the decor, presentation is an art in this sleek and classy spot featuring creole-inspired American food with a Brazilian flair. In the exposed-brick, art-filled wine bar, sommeliers pour from an extensive list of wines. Separate from the dining room, the intimate setting of the bar creates an ideal spot for the happy-hour crowd.
Bite of Culture: On Sundays at 9 p.m., the bistro hosts a live jazz jam session. Or make an appointment and walk over to Gallery Guichard—housed in a turn-of-the-20th-century Italiante row house—to peruse its African-diaspora art and blown glass, sculptures, and photography by local as well as international artists.
Photography by Andrew Nawrocki.
Clockwise from top: Birria in action—rich, briny consommé and tender goat meat, stewed for hours with bay leaves, cinnamon, and other spices. // Ceramic bowls absorb the birria's heat, keeping the broth warm throughout meals. // When Rick Bayless recommended Birrieria Reyes de Ocotlan to "Esquire" magazine, he described the eatery’s birria as "full of flavor, incredibly homey and satisfying."
In Ocotlán in Jalisco, Mexico, the temperature rarely dips below 40 degrees. That's mild by Chicago standards; however, when the Reyes family immigrated 2,000 miles from Ocotlán to Chicago, they brought with them a recipe that would prove thoroughly compatible with the colder weather. That recipe is birria—a savory stew made by simmering goat meat for hours with herbs and spices. On a cold day in mid-March, I made a trek across town to the family's Pilsen restaurant, Birrieria Reyes de Ocotlan, to taste it myself.
As soon as I entered the eatery, I smelled the warm, rich aroma of simmering goat meat. Goats were also present in the decor: miniature replicas decorated shelves and cupboards, and a mounted goat head kept watch over the booths, a toothpick dangling humorously from its lips.
After I ordered birria at the counter, a server presented me with three dishes. The smallest held pickled onions and lime wedges, which are traditional birria condiments, and an oblong basket cradled warm, fresh tortillas. The largest bowl brimmed with rich, briny consommé, chopped onions and cilantro, and hunks of tender goat meat.
The first spoonful of broth tasted bright and smoky with hints of ancho peppers and cinnamon. I separated a piece of goat meat with light pressure from my spoon. Leaner than beef, the meat still had pieces of bone inside, which infused the meat with the flavor of their marrow. The crisp onions and fragrant cilantro stood out against the birria's savory elements to create a harmony of flavors that was especially comforting on a cold day.