Flavor Palette Chef Tommy McDonough got his start working in Philly's iconic Italian-style sandwich shops nearly two decades ago. Today, McDonough draws on that experience by crafting internationally inspired gourmet sandwiches that are made from scratch with fresh ingredients. Check out a few of Flavor Palette's signature eats:
Boss Hog: Marinated pork with cucumber-avocado salsa, black-bean hummus, and pickled red onions served on a hoagie roll from Amoroso's, a famed Philadelphia bakery.
Falafel Burger: Spiced, fried-to-perfection falafel decorated with olive tapenade, tomato bruschetta, sautéed spinach, and tzatziki, then sandwiched between rosemary-onion focaccia.
The Samurai: This wrap features miso-marinated fish, grilled scallions, cucumber-cabbage slaw, and sesame-pickled ginger aioli.
Moroccan Chicken: Marinated with authentic preserved lemons, the chicken is garnished with olives, almonds, tomatoes, raisins, and harissa yogurt sauce. It's all nestled in a pita.
The menu is supplemented by daily specials, healthy salads, and sinfully indulgent poutine, topped with bacon and caramelized onions. Flavor Palette also offers a weekly rotation of housemade Italian gelato, including such flavors as salted caramel, chocolate amaretto, and strawberry.
With tons of hearty Italian options, patrons of Cafe Andiamo can enjoy delicious dishes in the heart of Ponte Vedra Beach's Palm Valley district.
Cafe Andiamo's low-fat and healthy menu items are filled with flavor.
The bar at this restaurant is fully stocked, so pair your meal with a glass of wine or beer.
Youngsters are more than welcome to join mom and dad at this restaurant.
Surf the web from your tablet or laptop on Cafe Andiamo's complimentary wifi.
The patio seating at Cafe Andiamo is perfect for those warm summer days.
Cafe Andiamo is a great location to host a group dinner.
No need to put on airs for a trip to Cafe Andiamo — the dress code and ambience at this restaurant are totally laid-back.
If you need to get somewhere fast, the restaurant also serves up grub to go.
Dine at Cafe Andiamo and keep your car safely parked in a nearby lot.
Bike parking is quick and easy at Cafe Andiamo.
Thrifty eaters will also love Cafe Andiamo's prices, which are generally below $15.
Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are all served at the restaurant, but the dinner menu is the real standout.
If you are looking for a new lunch or dinner spot, make your way over to Cafe Andiamo and fill up on Italian fare.
Load up a pizza with all of your favorite toppings at Ponte Vedra's Joni's Pizza and Italian Restaurant.
Your group can sit comfortably at Joni's Pizza and Italian Restaurant, a local restaurant.
Joni's Pizza and Italian Restaurant is completely informal — dress as you see fit (and are most comfortable).
Joni's Pizza and Italian Restaurant will even bring the amazing food from their kitchen to yours.
With a parking lot adjacent to Joni's Pizza and Italian Restaurant, you won't get stuck circling the block.
For great dishes that fall smack dab in the middle when it comes to price, Joni's Pizza and Italian Restaurant is a reasonable option for diners of different budgets.
When you need a good meal in a flash, grab a pizza from the highly-rated Joni's Pizza and Italian Restaurant.
For fast (and tasty) food, check out the burger menu at McDonald's.
Cautious diners will appreciate the low-fat and gluten-free fare at McDonald's.
Warm weather, delectable dishes, and an awesome atmosphere make for a dream night out at McDonald's.
Skip long waits and head to McDonald's with your large group for easy seating.
Want to enjoy this restaurant without the wait? Get it to go.
If you're driving, that's no problem. Parking available onsite.
McDonald's offers safe bike parking outside.
If you can't make it in the morning, try McDonald's for lunch or dinner.
So pay McDonald's a visit today and treat yourself to one of the delicious and juicy burgers.
For food that's both fast and top quality, make the right choice with McDonald's.
With a stay at Sawgrass Marriott Resort & Spa in Ponte Vedra Beach (Beach Cities), you'll be convenient to TPC at Sawgrass. This 4-star resort is within the vicinity of Adventure Landing and Windsor Parke Golf Club.
Make yourself at home in one of the 506 air-conditioned rooms featuring iPod docking stations and flat-screen televisions. Rooms have private balconies. Satellite programming and CD players are provided for your entertainment, with wired and wireless Internet access available for a surcharge. Private bathrooms with shower/tub combinations feature makeup/shaving mirrors and designer toiletries.
Rec, Spa, Premium Amenities
Take time to pamper yourself with a visit to the full-service spa. After practicing your swing on the golf course, you can enjoy other recreational amenities including a golf course and a nightclub. Additional amenities include wireless Internet access (surcharge), a concierge desk, and gift shops/newsstands. The complimentary beach shuttle makes getting to the surf and sand a breeze.
Enjoy a meal at one of the resort's dining establishments, which include 9 restaurants and a coffee shop/café. From your room, you can also access room service (during limited hours). Relax with your favorite drink at a bar/lounge or a poolside bar.
Business, Other Amenities
Featured amenities include a business center, an Internet point, and a computer station. Event facilities at this resort consist of a conference center, conference/meeting rooms, and small meeting rooms. Parking (subject to charges) is available onsite.
Pop over to Al's Pizza for some hop (and highly-acclaimed) 'za, and find out what everyone's been raving about.
Gluten-free and low-fat eaters will enjoy the menu at Al's Pizza.
This pizzeria visitors can also take advantage of the many drink options offered here.
Got kids? No problem at Al's Pizza! This pizzeria is a fantastic spot for families to dine together.
The patio tables outside of Al's Pizza are the perfect spot for a summer meal.
The pizzeria is on the noisier end, which is something to keep in mind when planning intimate get-togethers.
This pizzeria offers you the ultimate convenience — in-store seating, carryout, or delivery.
If you prefer to drive to the pizzeria, go right ahead. Parking is abundant in the area.
Al's Pizza's diners can store their bikes safely at the rack around the corner.
Who s hungry for great grub at a reasonable rate? Al's Pizza s yummy creations will leave a mark in your memory but not a dent in your pocketbook.
Whether you're in the mood for AM eggs, a midday salad, or an evening entree, Al's Pizza provides service throughout the day.
So who's hungry? The highly-acclaimed pizza at Al's Pizza is ready and waiting to be served.
Don't feel like dressing up for dinner? No problem. Al's Pizza's pizza is baked with top-notch ratings, so you can be sure to love your meal.
If you've had a long and hard week, come visit Al's Pizza and enjoy a pizza in a casual atmosphere.
Select your toppings and create a delicious pizza made from scratch by visiting Al's Pizza.
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