Find grocery deals and steals at Cafe International in Rolling Meadows and save money on your overall purchase.
Cafe International's selection of bread goes great with any meal you were planning on making.
You can't beat the health benefits of fresh fish, so find a few you like and get to cooking!
Dairy is packed with the essential nutrients your body craves, so help yourself out. Dairy products have everything you need.
If you need a quick and affordable lunch or dinner option, browse the selection of tasty TV dinners here.
If you're worried about your protein intake, you'll rest assured that great, delicious meats are available here.
Cereal doesn't have to be just for kids. If you are looking for a quick, easy, and tasty breakfast to get out the door, pick some up today.
Eating healthy isn't always easy, but with produce on hand like this it just got easier.
Pick up all of your favorite snacks and enjoy a relaxing night in while you veg out.
For breads, cookies, cakes, and pies that will blow your mind, are couple extra sweet ingredients are kitchen must-haves.
With a bottle of water in hand, it's easy to refresh and refuel. Grab a couple drinks from Cafe International and stay on the go all the time.
Frozen food will fill you up, so you can eat some now and save the rest for later.
When you need to prepare a quick and healthy meal, some canned goods from Cafe International will do the trick.
Start cooking like a professional with the spices and seasonings at Cafe International.
Get your noodle on! Cafe International has some of the best and affordable noodle and pasta options in the area.
When you are running low on kitchen staples, such as oil and vinegar, pick some up at Cafe International.
People can't get enough of the drinks here that take refreshment to the max.
Sip on the caffeinated treats offered by Cafe International's impressive coffee and tea connection.
Park your car in one of their many available spaces.
So break out the cookbook, grab your recipe ingredients at Cafe International in Rolling Meadows and get down in the kitchen tonight.
Enjoy bottomless chips and salsa and a casual ambiance at Pepe's Mexican Restaurant.
The gluten-free and low-fat fare at Pepe's Mexican Restaurant will leave you happy and full.
Round out your meal with a little tipple — this restaurant has a terrific drink list, including beer, wine, and more.
Don't leave the kids at home — youngsters will love the family-friendly cuisine at this restaurant just as much as mom and dad.
Raise your glass at Pepe's Mexican Restaurant's happy hour.
The patio seating at Pepe's Mexican Restaurant is perfect for those warm summer days.
If you're hitting Pepe's Mexican Restaurant on a weeknight, it's best to make a reservation since the place can really fill up.
Pepe's Mexican Restaurant goes easy on the dress code — business casual is expected, so no need to squeeze into your finest attire.
If you're hoping to make a smashing impression at your next soiree, you can also have Pepe's Mexican Restaurant cater for you.
For those in a hurry, the restaurant lets you take your grub to go.
The parking lot next to the restaurant offers quick and free parking, allowing drivers to park with ease.
Pepe's Mexican Restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, so stop by whenever is most convenient for you.
Pepe's Mexican Restaurant is an easy choice for anyone looking for a casual meal and great Mexican food.
For delicious Mexico-inspired cuisine, make your way over to the highly-rated Pepe's Mexican Restaurant.
Although Spice Grill offers traditional Indian cuisine, chefs honor the myriad culinary influences that helped shape modern-day South Asian cooking. The menu showcases dishes from three distinct subsets of the Indian subcontinent, each with its own distinctive character. The unifying characteristic across all meals is the precise use of freshly ground spices to add layers of flavor.
A Menu Inspired by Three Regions
Tandoori lamb chops marinate in more than a dozen spices, including ginger and garlic, before being roasted inside a traditional clay oven.
The dal makhani's black lentils simmer in a fragrant melange of tomato, onion, and spices.
India's Western Coast
Coconut, tamarind, garlic, and red chilies lend bold flavors to the Goan curry's fish, shrimp, or lobster.
Lamb vindaloo's vinegar sauce draws heat from a fiery blend of dry red chilies and black pepper.
Manchurian chicken cooks in a sauce made with chopped garlic, ginger, onion, and cilantro.
Spicy sichuan oil and red chilies add a distinctive kick to creamy, housemade paneer cheese.
Pop over to Buona Beef for some hop (and highly-acclaimed) 'za, and find out what everyone's been raving about.
Let the kids come too! Little ones love the food and atmosphere at this pizzeria just as much as their parents do.
Wifi is on the house at Buona Beef, so bring along your tablet or laptop.
Buona Beef is first-come, first-served, so plan accordingly.
Business casual dress, tasty food, and a classic atmosphere make this a great place for any occasion.
Call Buona Beef for catering if you have a big event coming up.
This pizzeria also offers delivery and carryout if you're in the mood for the pizzeria's cooking but prefer to provide your own ambience.
At Buona Beef you can save some cash on parking when you park in the free lot down the street.
Some people say that if you've had one pizza, you've had them all. Diners who've tried Buona Beef's pizza say it is the absolute best.
Find out how many slices you can eat! Buona Beef's pizza comes with high ratings and a low-key vibe, so take your time enjoying your pie.
So head on over to Buona Beef, where the pizzas are always hot and the ambiance is always cool.
There's no doubt about it. Buona Beef out-serves its competitors for the best slice of pizza around.
Hot cheesy goodness awaits your appetite at Stadium — this pizza joint is the place to go for a serious five-star slice.
For food the whole family can enjoy, check out the pizzeria's pizza options and pasta choices.
Pick your poison and toast your evening — drinks are also served here.
The happy hour at Stadium offers deals you won't want to miss.
Access the Internet free of charge via Stadium's complimentary wifi.
Weekends are busy at the pizzeria, so be prepared for longer wait times.
You might have thought your order was a tough decision, but you still have one more. Delivery or carryout?
A nearby parking lot is readily available for Stadium's diners.
Stadium's diners can store their bikes safely at the rack around the corner.
Meals at Stadium are moderately priced — most diners spend about $30 per person.
So who's hungry? The highly-acclaimed pizza at Stadium is ready and waiting to be served.
So when you are in the mood for a tasty pizza pie, make your way over to the highly-rated Stadium.
Get your Chinese food with a five-star rating at Chef Ping.
Enjoy a drink with your dinner — this restaurant has a full bar to serve up a glass of wine, beer, or more.
Tots and tykes will be right at home at this restaurant with its kid-approved food and ambience.
Chef Ping is a prime location to dine with a group.
Reservations are offered, so call ahead to lock down your table.
Casual dining at its best, Chef Ping customers are free to enjoy themselves in jeans and a T-shirt.
Just through the door at this restaurant, you can claim your food. No delivery required.
Catering services are also available.
Drivers can make use of the parking lots near Chef Ping.
Dining at Chef Ping will set you back about $30 per person on average.
Major credit cards are accepted, so you can save yourself a trip to the ATM.
When you're craving Chinese fare, head on over to Chef Ping and treat yourself to an upscale meal.
So if you dream of egg rolls and sweet and sour chicken, Chef Ping is your go-to Chinese spot.
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.