To get a sense of The Greene Turtle's commitment to the neighborhood, one need only sit at the bar and look up. Dozens of mugs hang above the counter, emblazoned with the pub's logo and a unique number—each one belongs to a recurring patron. The Mug Club awards its members with draft-beer discounts and other specials, but more importantly, it allows loyal patrons to feel as though they own small slices of the venue without tattooing their names on the bartender's arm. This sense of shared familiarity is what fuels the entire franchise, which refrains from calling its locations "restaurants" in favor of friendlier terms: gathering places, communities, havens.
Many of the locations contribute more than mugs to their districts. Staff members who participate in the annual Tips for Tots program donate the entirety of one day's tips to a nearby Toys for Tots initiative, and Tuesday Funds for Friends events benefit local organizations. These efforts have been chronicled by press sources such as Food and Drink magazine, with features that liken The Greene Turtles' philanthropic generosity to the generous portions of comfort food that leave the kitchens.
From cheeseburger sliders and flatbread pizzas to handmade lump-crab cakes, the offerings on the menu embrace barroom traditions along with ingenuity. The steak and chicken entrees arrive with classic sides of green beans and yukon gold mashed potatoes, whereas the eastern shore mac ‘n’ cheese updates a comfort staple with chopped bacon, lump crab, scallions, and Old Bay seasoning. Diners can enjoy their meals by the glow of private flat-screen TVs—there's one in every booth—or beneath one of many larger televisions broadcasting sports games throughout the venue.
The All American Steakhouse opened with the goal of providing a more intimate sports-watching and dining experience. That was back in 2003 in Edgewater, Maryland. Today, that idea has caught on at more than half a dozen locations in Maryland and Virginia. Although their sites vary, all of the restaurants have a few things in common, including taking part in their 3rd Annual Summer Sale.
All American is a sports bar, which means there are plenty of ways to watch games, including 6'x8' high-definition projection screens and smaller televisions throughout the space. As a steakhouse, All American prides itself on offering premium beef. The beef comes from corn-fed Midwestern cows and is aged 35 days or longer, then grilled over mesquite-wood flames. But those aren't the only reasons the steaks are top-notch.
“The biggest thing that separates us from all the other casual dining steakhouses … is that we have an in-house butcher [who] cuts all our steaks,” owner George Jones told Prince William Living. Read on to learn about a few of the menu's hand-cut steaks:
Bourbon Street Delmonico: This succulent 14-ounce rib-eye marinates in olive oil and Cajun spices before it's grilled and served up with creamy horseradish sauce (upon request).
Chopped steak: This combination of sirloin, beef brisket, and ground chuck comes topped with sautéed onions and mushrooms, jack and cheddar cheeses, and homemade brown gravy.
Country-fried steak: A tender, dry-aged sirloin gets smothered in house-seasoned flour, deep-fried, and finished with savory sausage gravy.
You won't be disappointed at Edgewater's Coconut Joe's, where well-prepared eats and delicious drinks rule the menu.
The drink list at this restaurant has everything you need to complete your meal (and your night out).
Little ones are just as welcome as their parents at this restaurant.
The happy hour at Coconut Joe's offers deals you won't want to miss.
Patio tables and chairs are ready for Coconut Joe's diners who prefer their meals al fresco.
Whether you have a large or small group, Coconut Joe's can accommodate both.
Musical groups often perform live and DJs are common here, too.
Live DJs often entertain the evening crowd while dining.
Musical diners frequently perform here, so patrons can enjoy live tunes with their food.
The restaurant is about as noisy as it gets — plan for booming speakers and chatty crowds everywhere.
Folks tend to dress down at Coconut Joe's, so keep comfort in mind when heading to the restaurant.
Can't get enough of Coconut Joe's' tasty dishes? They also offer a catering service for parties and events.
For those in a hurry, the restaurant lets you take your meal or snack to go.
Our customers come for our delicious food. They stay in our free parking.
Cyclists will love the spacious bike racks outside of Coconut Joe's.
Coconut Joe's offers a nice selection of mid-range cuisine, so you can expect a meal there to cost about $30 or less per person.
Coconut Joe's happily accepts all major credit cards as a form of payment.
Dressing up the traditional sandwich, Killarney House Restaurant is a go-to lunch spot.
Don't go thirsty during dinner! This restaurant also offers a splendid drink list featuring wine, beer, and more.
Little guys and gals will also love dining at this restaurant, which offers a family-friendly environment (and menu).
Killarney House Restaurant provides a fun vibe with a great happy hour atmosphere.
The patio seating at Killarney House Restaurant is perfect for those warm summer days.
Have a large group? No problem. Head to Killarney House Restaurant for easy seating.
The restaurant can get tied up on the weekends, so allow yourself time to wait for a table.
Enjoy the vibe here with a business casual dress code.
No delivery needed. In and out for carryout.
For the tastes of Killarney House Restaurant from the comfort of your next party, the restaurant also offers catering services.
At Killarney House Restaurant, free parking is offered on the whole block.
Killarney House Restaurant is a prime location for cyclists to park their bikes and enjoy a bite to eat.
Killarney House Restaurant s fare is so good, you ll want to sample everything on the menu (and with its middle-of-the-road prices, you can!).
Catering to diners throughout the day (and night), Killarney House Restaurant serves AM, PM, and midday meals.
When you need a quick and tasty lunch option, grab a sandwich from Killarney House Restaurant.
A perfectly marbled cut of beef is no farther away than Edgewater's Yellowfin Steak and Fish House.
Be sure to complete your meal at this restaurant with a drink from the restaurant's full bar.
No need to splurge on a babysitter — tots will be right at home chowing down at this restaurant.
Reserve your own room at Yellowfin Steak and Fish House so that you can create your own private party.
For those who prefer to dress down for dinner, Yellowfin Steak and Fish House's low-key style is the perfect match.
That's right! Yellowfin Steak and Fish House will bring their delicious food to your house for any occasion.
Eating on the go? Order some tasty take out from this restaurant.
Guests can park for free in the adjoining lot.
For food that tastes like a million bucks, Yellowfin Steak and Fish House s got you covered for a fraction of the price.
If you're looking to rack up your frequent flyer miles, feel free to pay by major credit card.
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.
All the best cuts in town await you at Yellowfin Steak and Fish House, your new favorite steakhouse.
Opt for a classic caprese sandwich or venture out of your comfort zone at Pines Restaurant — this delicious sandwich shop satisfies any stomach.
Nobody likes to diet, but Pines Restaurant's low-fat fare tastes so good you'll forget it's good for you, too!
This restaurant also operates a bar, so a round of drinks with dinner is not out of the question.
Families will feel right at home at this restaurant with its kid-friendly menu and atmosphere.
Pines Restaurant is a local restaurant that accommodates both large and small groups.
Leave the suit and tie at home — Pines Restaurant is business casual all the way.
Pines Restaurant prides itself in its delicious catering.
Or, take your food to go.
Our customers come for our delicious food. They stay in our free parking.
Meals at Pines Restaurant usually set you back about $30 per diner.
You can pay with Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express or any major credit card.
Stop by for breakfast, lunch, or dinner — Pines Restaurant serves up all three meals.
If a sandwich from Pines Restaurant is calling your name, head on over and browse the latest selection.
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