Whether you love them dunked in ranch dressing or smothered in barbecue sauce, the wings at Round Lake Beach's Buffalo Wild Wings will fit any taste.
Don't go thirsty during dinner! This restaurant also offers a splendid drink list featuring wine, beer, and more.
Bring your whole brood to this restaurant, where families can dig in to tasty and kid-friendly fare together.
Stay connected at no cost thanks to Buffalo Wild Wings' wifi.
Buffalo Wild Wings is a prime location to dine with a group.
This restaurant is very loud, so prepare for a wall of sound.
Don't sacrifice comfort for style — Buffalo Wild Wings' dress code is business casual, so guests can look and feel great.
Looking for something delicious to serve at your next party? Buffalo Wild Wings also offers catering.
For those in a rush, the restaurant lets you take your food to go.
At Buffalo Wild Wings, drivers can settle for safe parking in the lot next door.
Travel by bike to Buffalo Wild Wings and store your bike at a nearby rack.
We know how expensive life can be. That's why we give you the benefit of high quality food priced reasonably.
No cash? Use any major credit card and work on reeling in those rewards.
Make your meal more fun with wings at Buffalo Wild Wings.
Featuring fresh and flavorful American food, Chili's is a local favorite.
Enjoy a drink with your dinner — this restaurant has a full bar to serve up a glass of wine, beer, or more.
Eat out with the little ones at this restaurant, and don't waste time scurrying for a sitter.
Head to Chili's for a happy hour that aims to please.
Tap into the free wireless Internet at Chili's.
At Chili's, you can dine with your immediate family and your extended family due to the easy seating for large parties.
A tad noisy, the restaurant is well-suited for those who don't mind a little extra hustle and bustle.
Keep it casual at Chili's — the restaurant is laid-back and patrons dress accordingly.
Getting your food to go is also an option.
If you need to feed a big crowd, Chili's also offers catering services for parties and get-togethers.
Parking can always be a hassle. That's why we've done half the work for you. Parking available onsite for our guests.
Meals at Chili's are affordable, with the average tab amounting to about $30 per person.
So when you're in the mood for some delicious American dishes, don't look further than Chili's.
There's no doubt about it. A satisfying meal can always be found at Chili's.
The tacos are top-tier and the burritos are nothing short of amazing at Taco's El Norte — sift through five-star reviews or just head on over to find out more about this Mexican menu.
Find the perfect vintage to complement your meal — this restaurant offers a fine selection of wines, beers, and beyond.
Grab the kids when you head to this restaurant — its family-oriented menu and ambience are perfect for the whole clan.
No need for a wardrobe change when you hit Taco's El Norte — it's strictly casual.
Getting your food to go is also an option.
With a parking lot adjacent to Taco's El Norte, you won't get stuck circling the block.
So come to Taco's El Norte, where you can expect nothing less than the highest rated Mexican fare.
Pay Taco's El Norte a visit and enjoy a relaxing night filled with flavorful Mexican cuisine.
So treat yourself to a variety of tasty Mexican dishes at Taco's El Norte and cure your hunger cravings.
Chipotle Mexican Grill is perfect for grabbing a quick (and tasty) taco or two.
Chipotle Mexican Grill is a local restaurant with a focus on gluten-free and vegan dining.
Eat out with the little ones at this restaurant, and don't waste time scurrying for a sitter.
On warmer days, take advantage of Chipotle Mexican Grill's outdoor seating.
Just through the door at this restaurant, you can claim your food. No delivery required.
Chipotle Mexican Grill prides itself in its delicious catering.
Parking is accessible and not far from the restaurant.
At Chipotle Mexican Grill, diners can make use of the safe bike rack.
If you're looking for a delicious taco or burrito, you'd definitely be wise to head to Chipotle Mexican Grill.
So when you're seeking a new Mexican restaurant to enjoy a tasty lunch or dinner, make your way over to the highly-rated Chipotle Mexican Grill.
Whether you need help waking up in the morning or a mid-afternoon pick-me-up, the coffee at Starbucks will do the trick.
Starbucks' chefs have carefully created a menu filled with flavorful and healthy eats.
Free wireless Internet is also available at Starbucks, so bring your tablet or laptop along.
Patio tables and chairs are ready for Starbucks diners who prefer their meals al fresco.
For the tastes of Starbucks from the comfort of your next party, the coffee shop also offers catering services.
The parking options near Starbucks are quick and painless.
Starbucks offers parking for all diners, including those who travel by bike.
With food so tasty, you'll want to have breakfast, lunch, and dinner here...and you can go right ahead as Starbucks serves three meals a day.
When you need that little extra push to get you moving, grab a cup of coffee from Starbucks.
Listen up, sugar-lovers! Celebrated as one of the best bakeries in town, Panera Bread is a must-try for those in the Round Lake Beach area.
Sticking to your diet has never been easier
Panera Bread's low-fat culinary creations will excite your inner-foodie like never before.
You can tote your laptop here to take advantage of the free wifi.
Panera Bread can provide comfortable seating options for parties of any size.
Leave the suit and tie at home — Panera Bread is business casual all the way.
Feeling a little shy? Carryout is available.
The restaurant offers free parking in the lot next door.
Locals flock to Panera Bread for a meal they know will be high-quality and low-price.
When your sweet tooth is calling, make your way over to Panera Bread and treat yourself to some bakery goodies.
So don't go to any bakery. Panera Bread is highly-rated for a reason.
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
A dainty sweet-potato bourbon cake (seen above). A deconstructed cheesecake topped with a sphere of fruit purée. A crème brûlée decorated with delicate, edible flowers. Ceviche plated to look more like a frothy cocktail than a bite of raw fish. These are just a few of the dishes that Chef Roque Heidler has conceptualized, plated, and posted to Instagram over the years.
Jump to his five tips for food photography.
This Tulsa chef is a bit of a Renaissance man. First and foremost, he works at The Chalkboard, an elegant New American restaurant where he does triple-duty as chef de cuisine, pastry chef, and resident plating expert. There, he quickly earned a reputation for his immaculate desserts, which helped him win the Sweets category in the first annual Taste of Groupon Awards. But that’s just his day job.
Over the years, Chef Heidler’s explored all sorts of facets of the art world. He experimented with street art in his youth, and, early on in his career, he took a two-year hiatus from the food industry to work as a tattoo artist. Today, he’s using those art skills to create the stunning desserts that first caught our attention.
We had the chance to chat with Chef Heidler after he won his award recently. Here are some of the highlights from our conversation.
Turning dining into an adventure
A video posted by Keepin Tha Block Fed (@purpstagram) on Dec 28, 2015 at 4:00pm PST
For Chef Heidler, cooking is all about balancing the familiar and the surprising. “I generally like to do a take on my childhood favorites,” he explained. He starts with these classic dishes and infuses them with “some sort of whimsy” while maintaining their approachability.
Frequently, that whimsy he talks about comes in the form of some sort of sneaky molecular-gastronomy trick, be it dessert gels made with agar or fruit purées transformed into delicate spheres that crack open with the whack of a spoon. Or, consider his take on chocolate pie:
“I got ahold of some methylcellulose and I did this crazy, crazy mad-scientist chocolate pie … that had this strawberry-buttermilk foam and this methylcellulose chocolate filling. [The filling] would be liquid at 70 degrees, but once you heated it up to 140, it would turn into that custard state.” The resulting dessert balanced different temperatures, textures, and flavors—subverting the diners’ expectations about what a classic chocolate pie could be.
How his unique background inspires his food
A photo posted by Keepin Tha Block Fed (@purpstagram) on Apr 10, 2016 at 8:22pm PDT
An artistic eye pervades everything Roque Heidler does. Though it’s been years since he did any street art or worked in a tattoo parlor, those experiences still give him a unique outlook on food: “I’ll look at flavors sometimes as colors, if that makes any sense. And I plate them out like that. Sometimes I’ll base a whole dish on a color and search for those flavors that go with it,” he said.
But over the years, he’s learned to let the flavors shine as much as the aesthetics. “Like, I mean, if you dig back a little deeper in [my career] ... you’ll see more of that really, really modernistic art on the plate, and I’ve dialed back from that a lot. I kind of learned, you know, you’ve gotta plate to the crowd.”
Working under the constraints of a traditional Lebanese restaurant helped him strike the right balance even more. “I just would take their classic flavors and would try to just distribute it out in that street-art form, like, layers and different takes and elevating it with different textures. But working under that [chef] taught me a lot about not detracting from the flavors so much that you couldn’t tell where it was from.”
Plating food like a pro
A photo posted by Keepin Tha Block Fed (@purpstagram) on Apr 8, 2016 at 9:26pm PDT
Now that he’s traded in no-frills Lebanese cuisine for fine dining at The Chalkboard, Chef Heidler has a lot more room to experiment with his food’s presentation. But even though he knows that many of his diners will rush to snap and post photos of these beautiful plates, he tries not to let that Instagram culture shape what he does too much.
“I don’t think about 6 o’clock. I don’t think about any sort of clockwise on a plate. I more or less look for that overall balance from a bird’s eye view,” he said. That’s because when a plate is placed in front of a diner, that’s the first perspective they get. And this first impression is important—even if the guest immediately drops down to plate level to snap that perfect piece of food-porn photography.
They say that you eat with your eyes first, so moments like these are vital to a restaurant’s success. But last impressions are just as important as first ones at The Chalkboard. “I love doing the plate ups on desserts because it’s gonna be the last thing that sticks in your mind when you leave,” Chef Heidler said.
Five tips for improving your food photography
When his knack for plating, arts background, and love of Instagram, Chef Heidler is a force to be reckoned with when it comes to food photography. That’s why we took the opportunity to ask him for some of his best tips.
1. Find the best lighting.
Natural light is your friend.
2. Shoot on neutral backgrounds.
Chef Heidler works on gray tables at The Chalkboard, but he recommends photographing your own food on “anything black or white—that’s always going to give another element to your photo.”
3. Combine different textures.
Varying textures form the most interesting compositions. “Try to provide three different textures, be it a purée, be it a frozen element, be it something crunchy. ... That’s what’s going to give you that depth in your dish.”
4. Add some acid to boost the colors.
This is especially true if you’re photographing a dish you cooked yourself. “[Acid] will give you those bright, vibrant colors everybody tries to achieve,” he suggests. This usually means adding lemon juice or white vinegar to a dish to bring out its natural green, purples, or reds.
5. Try different angles.
He explains, “Take a step around, even if it’s like, I don’t know, 6 inches from where you were just at. You might capture a cooler way.”
Don’t roll up to the bar trying to stump Brandon Phillips. Brandon knows his cocktails. And he likes a challenge. As the bar director at Chicago’s The Duck Inn, he’s had more than a few. As he told us:
A neighborhood guest was positive I couldn’t make him an old-fashioned that tasted like a prime-rib dinner. A little beef bouillon, horseradish, Worcestershire sauce, rum, and voilà, the Prime Rib Old-Fashioned was born.
In the video below, hear more on craft, cocktail culture, and good old-fashioned hospitality directly from Brandon, the winner in our inaugural Taste of Groupon Awards for the The Drink Award for the Advancement of Potent Potables.