Mexican-food cravings are easily satisfied at Don Pedro Restaurant — this popular Schererville spot puts a fresh, five-star spin on run-of-the-mill beans and cheese.
This restaurant also operates a bar, so a round of drinks with dinner is not out of the question.
Let the kids come too! Little ones love the food and atmosphere at this restaurant just as much as their parents do.
Gather up your group of friends and head to Don Pedro Restaurant, a local restaurant that has room for large groups.
Need to catch up on some work or the latest news? Get online at Don Pedro Restaurant with their complimentary wifi.
Find yourself the best seat in the house by calling ahead to reserve a table.
Good luck spotting a suit and tie at Don Pedro Restaurant — casually-dressed diners are the norm here.
Catering from Don Pedro Restaurant will take your party to the next level.
What's that you hear? It's carryout at this restaurant.
Drivers can park in the neighboring lot.
There's no need to bust your budget at Don Pedro Restaurant, with most meals costing under $15.
Breakfast bites, light lunches, and delicious dinners are all offered at Don Pedro Restaurant.
Experience the best flavors of Mexico when you try the highly-rated cuisine at Don Pedro Restaurant.
Come on over to Don Pedro Restaurant and enjoy a casual night out and some great Mexican cuisine.
When you need a quick and tasty lunch or dinner, make your way over to the highly-rated Don Pedro Restaurant for a tasty Mexican meal.
What time is it? Time to grab one of American's favorite dishes at Dick's Restaurant and Bar.
With this restaurant's wide selection of refreshments available, you can tap into the drink menu early in the evening.
Bring the whole family to this restaurant, where kiddos are welcomed with open arms.
Call ahead for reservations to ensure your table is waiting for you when you arrive.
The restaurant also offers catering if you want to bring the flavors of Dick's Restaurant and Bar to your next party or event.
The food is prepared and packaged, just waiting for your pickup.
Parking can always be a hassle. That's why we've done half the work for you. Parking available onsite for our guests.
If you go out for a nice meal, it doesn't need to cost $100, come treat yourself at Dick's Restaurant and Bar.
No matter what type of American dish you're in the mood for, Dick's Restaurant and Bar has a great selection of dishes to choose from.
So enjoy a casual dining experience at Dick's Restaurant and Bar and load up on some classic American dishes.
Craving pizza? Head on over to Saint John's Pascale's Pizza and Pasta for a tasty slice with a crust you can't resist.
Pascale's Pizza and Pasta is one of the rare restaurants that serve both healthy and gluten-free menu options.
Ready for a drink to unwind? At this pizzeria, you can pair your meal with something from their full bar.
At Pascale's Pizza and Pasta, your large or small group can be seated quickly and comfortably.
Make a reservation to ensure your table is ready when you are.
If you're hoping to make a smashing impression at your next soiree, you can also have Pascale's Pizza and Pasta cater for you.
You want food. You can take it or we'll leave it — just as simple as that. Let us know your preference.
With a parking lot adjacent to Pascale's Pizza and Pasta, you won't get stuck circling the block.
Your bill at Pascale's Pizza and Pasta will typically run less than $30 per person, so bring the whole gang!
So what are you waiting for? Head on over to Pascale's Pizza and Pasta and enjoy a slice of yummy pizza pie.
All of your favorite grocery items are waiting for you at Strack and Van Til in Saint John so head on over and pick them up.
Low-fat choices are not featured on the menu
this place serves the real deal.
When you need a quick meal after a long and hard workday, a canned good item from here makes for an easy and tasty dish.
Strack and Van Til serves up great food items, such as sandwiches and salads, at an affordable price.
At Strack and Van Til, you can stock up on all of your favorite sandwiches for your work week.
Eating healthy isn't always easy, but with produce on hand like this it just got easier.
Don't get enough dairy in your diet? Dairy products from this store are sure to deliver all the nutrients you need.
There is ample parking located within the area, making your parking spot hunting quick and stress-free.
Stock up your kitchen with only the best quality groceries from Strack and Van Til in Saint John.
Stroll over to Aspen Cafe for your daily cup of coffee.
Aspen Cafe is serving up delicious dishes that are, as an added bonus, also healthy.
Take a peek at the drink menu here, and make sure to sample something off the list.
Surf the web from your tablet or laptop on Aspen Cafe's complimentary wifi.
Your large group can all sit together at Aspen Cafe.
The coffee shop is on the noisier end, which is something to keep in mind when planning intimate get-togethers.
This coffee shop will deliver their delicious dishes right to your door, or you can stop in and pick up some great takeout.
There is parking close to the coffee shop.
Aspen Cafe is home to many cyclists who appreciate the parking racks outside.
The coffee shop is known for its showstopper brunch, but they also offer lunch and dinner.
So when you need a morning boost, treat yourself to a cup of Joe from Aspen Cafe.
Swing by Olive Cafe for a quick sandwich and side of chips.
The whole family can enjoy a meal at this restaurant with its kid-friendly fare.
Large groups will appreciate Olive Cafe for its ability to seat them quickly.
Access the Internet free of charge via Olive Cafe's complimentary wifi.
Find yourself the best seat in the house by calling ahead to reserve a table.
Can't stay at this restaurant long? Pick up and go home.
Olive Cafe can also cater your next party; call today for details.
Forget the hassle of street parking and head to Olive Cafe for easy access to parking lots.
Olive Cafe's diners can store their bikes safely at the rack around the corner.
Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are all served at Olive Cafe, so come by whenever it fits your schedule.
Stop making your own measly sandwiches at home and taste the succulent masterpieces at Olive Cafe.
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.