Fresh and flavorful Chinese favorites flood the menu at Palos Hills' Hong Min Restaurant.
It serves everything including gluten-free and low-fat options.
Take a peek at the drink menu here, and make sure to sample something off the list.
Bring your whole brood to this restaurant, where families can dig in to tasty and kid-friendly fare together.
On busy nights, it's best to book a table ahead of time.
Delivery and takeout are also available. You'll be knocking down our door to pick up your food, or we'll be knocking down yours.
It's time to gather up the party people. Serve them great food from Hong Min Restaurant.
Free parking is available in the adjacent lot.
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.
Meals at Hong Min Restaurant usually set you back about $30 per diner.
Reviewers rave about the dinner menu at the restaurant, though breakfast and lunch are also served.
Chinese food doesn't get much better than Hong Min Restaurant. Grab a seat and find out what you're missing.
The tastiest pub grub is no further away than Zante Lounge and Eatery in the heart of Palos Hills.
Televisions are strewn throughout the bar, so fans can stay up to date on the latest sports happenings.
Seating is readily available at Zante Lounge and Eatery for those with large parties.
Weather permitting, come enjoy a wonderful meal outside at Zante Lounge and Eatery.
The bar frequently features a DJ, so visitors can treat their ears to some of the best beats around town. Those who enjoy dancing can make their mark on the open floor.
Those in a rush are better off dining here during the week, as the bar draws a crowd during the weekend.
If you're in a hurry, place an order for pickup instead.
At Zante Lounge and Eatery, free parking is offered on the whole block.
Cyclists are in luck. Zante Lounge and Eatery provides bike parking.
Meals at Zante Lounge and Eatery are incredibly tasty and reasonably priced around $30.
So when you're in the mood for some tasty pub food, make your way over to Zante Lounge and Eatery.
Ginger-infused entrees and chili-based sauces flood the menu at Palos Hills' China House, where the Chinese fare is applauded as top-of-the-line and diners dish out star reviews.
If you're hoping to make a smashing impression at your next soiree, you can also have China House cater for you.
Delivery and takeout are also available. You'll be knocking down our door to pick up your food, or we'll be knocking down yours.
We understand parking is expensive. That's why we've got a parking lot for you. Spend your money on our delicious food and drink.
Cut out the sky-high price tags, add incredible flavor and an awesome menu and what do you get? China House is the answer to finding great food at even better prices!
Stop by for breakfast, lunch, or dinner — China House serves up all three meals.
So pay China House a visit today and treat yourself to come upscale Chinese fare.
If you are seeking some great Chinese food in the area, look no further than the highly-rated China House.
A lunchtime staple, find fresh sandwiches at Peppo's Great Sub Sandwiches.
Load up the mini-van and bring the kids to this restaurant — they'll love the menu and scene here as much as mom and dad.
Peppo's Great Sub Sandwiches is a good restaurant to dine with a small or large group.
Get online for free courtesy of Peppo's Great Sub Sandwiches' wifi.
Bring your favorite furball along to Peppo's Great Sub Sandwiches — it has a dog-friendly policy and keeps its doors open to pooches.
Business casual attire is acceptable, so guests can let go of the "dress to impress" standard.
Peppo's Great Sub Sandwiches can also cater your next party; call today for details.
Don't want to go out tonight but still want great food? Order takeout or delivery from this restaurant.
Free parking is offered every day of the week at the lot near Peppo's Great Sub Sandwiches.
Stop making your own measly sandwiches at home and taste the succulent masterpieces at Peppo's Great Sub Sandwiches.
Don't rush your way through the lunch hour! Stop by McDonald's for a fast and tasty burger.
Whether you are looking for food low in fat or gluten-free, this restaurant is the place you want to eat.
You can tote your laptop here to take advantage of the free wifi.
Score quick and easy seating for groups of any size at McDonald's.
You can call it in, then carry it out.
Don't leave the car at home when you come in. We'll give you one of the great spaces in our parking lot. And for free.
Breakfast fare is rated highest at the restaurant, though you can also stop by for lunch or dinner.
Remember McDonald's next time you're craving a hearty burger in seconds flat. A quick delicious meal is right around the corner.
If you have had a long and hard day at work, treat yourself to a tasty and quick dinner from the highly-rated McDonald's.
Bertucci's Restaurant evokes a wilderness retreat with log-cabin-style walls, hardwood floors, and a central fireplace on a bed of stone. Exposed rafters teem with greenery and the rising steam of chicken and veal in authentic Italian preparations, in dynamic sauces such as lemon wine and marsala. The open space mingles cozy ambiance with more than enough space for catered banquets that serve up to 100 people. Seafood fillets such as salmon and halibut insulate pasta draped with garlic, olive oil, and marinara. Patrons can venture outside to sip wine or an espresso drink amid the sprawling verandas of Bertucci’s open-air patio, where a fountain stands in a pool of water and falcons swoop down to snag unattended cannoli.
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.