Fresh from the oven every time, the insanely-cheesy slices at Pepino's Restaurant have visitors hooked on five-star reviews.
Little ones are free to make a mess at this pizzeria, where the whole family is invited to dine.
At Pepino's Restaurant, your large or small group can be seated quickly and comfortably.
Take advantage of the pizzeria's reservation system, and book a table for your party.
Jeans are just right for a meal at Pepino's Restaurant, which embraces a casual vibe.
You might have thought your order was a tough decision, but you still have one more. Delivery or carryout?
A catering menu is also available if you're looking to dazzle the diners at your next shindig.
The parking lot near Pepino's Restaurant will have you in and out in a jiffy.
Customers should be prepared to spend around $30, but more importantly, they should be prepared to enjoy a great meal.
Smothered in piping hot cheese and toppings of your choice, the pies at Pepino's Restaurant come highly recommended by pizza connoisseurs.
Pizza doesn't have to be fancy to be great. Delicious pies await you at Pepino's Restaurant (along with star-studded reviews and sky-high ratings), so grab a seat and dig in.
Come spend a casual night out over a delicious pizza at Pepino's Restaurant.
The pizza at Pepino's Restaurant is filled with endless flavors, so head on over today and enjoy a slice or two of yummy goodness.
For prime Italian fare, Pepino's Restaurant is one of the highest-rated restaurants around.
So pay the highly-rated Pepino's Restaurant a visit today and enjoy some tasty and classic Italian dishes.
Tyler's Tender Railroad Restaurant serves American-style cuisine in the middle of Schererville's Schererville district.
For healthy meals with a twist, head to Tyler's Tender Railroad Restaurant.
Tots and tykes will be right at home at this restaurant with its kid-approved food and ambience.
A good time will be had by all if you book your next event at Tyler's Tender Railroad Restaurant.
Bring your laptop here and tap into the complimentary wifi.
Everyone will feel comfortable dining at Tyler's Tender Railroad Restaurant, where business casual attire is standard.
Take the comfort of your own home and add great grub from Tyler's Tender Railroad Restaurant to create the perfect night.
Meeting the gang for a movie? Pick up some food from this restaurant.
A nearby parking lot is readily available for Tyler's Tender Railroad Restaurant's diners.
There's no need to bust your budget at Tyler's Tender Railroad Restaurant, with affordable prices that almost always stay under $15.
Conveniently charge by major credit card when cash isn't an option.
When you're feeling hungry, head on over to Tyler's Tender Railroad Restaurant and indulge in a tasty and innovative American dish.
So enjoy a casual dining experience at Tyler's Tender Railroad Restaurant and load up on some classic American dishes.
When you need an American restaurant that is sure to impress, come to the highly-rated Tyler's Tender Railroad Restaurant.
Giuseppe "Joe" Scalzo had to turn down his first opportunity to manage a restaurant, a small trattoria in Calabria he'd been working in as he attended school. He had spent his entire professional career working in Tuscan eateries and wanted the job, but his educational path led him to Chicago's Loyola University in pursuit of a business degree. It didn't take him long to realize that the thing he missed most about home was working in a restaurant. With his newly acquired business acumen, he began his foray into opening Italian restaurants: first Piazza Bella, then Via Carducci, and finally his most recent labor of love, Ciao Bella Ristorante.
The kitchen is nestled behind a black-and-white photographic mural, which hints at the sunshine that sparkles along the Mediterranean coastline. Greenery flanks the piece, providing contrast along with the warm, saturated red walls painted with real marinara sauce. As guests revel under dim lighting amid the elegant atmosphere, plates of carefully crafted Italian cuisine arrive at tables alongside traditional thin-crust pizza. The restaurant recently expanded its bar and lounge areas and added a new banquet area for private parties that can seat up to 70. Joe's personal favorite pie is the quattro stagioni, for its savory blend of prosciutto, artichokes, and black olives.
Visit Bullpen Luxury Bar and Grill and indulge in some good old-fashioned American cuisine.
Find time to peruse the wine list here — this restaurant offers a variety of drink options.
Having trouble finding that family-friendly restaurant everyone will love? This restaurant serves all ages, so little ones are welcome to come along, too.
At Bullpen Luxury Bar and Grill, your large or small group can be seated quickly and comfortably.
On warmer days, you can take advantage of Bullpen Luxury Bar and Grill's al fresco patio seating.
Call ahead for reservations to ensure your table is waiting for you when you arrive.
The dress code at Bullpen Luxury Bar and Grill is as relaxed as the ambience, so wear whatever suits you.
Enjoy mind-blowing dishes in the peace and quiet of your own home with delivery or takeout from Bullpen Luxury Bar and Grill.
We're not like any other place. We've prepared parking onsite for you.
Prices are affordable, with a typical meal running under $30.
You'll definitely want to reconsider going anywhere else when the food at Bullpen Luxury Bar and Grill tastes like pure heaven!
Bullpen Luxury Bar and Grill serves up a variety of American eats in a casual setting. Swing by today and munch on some of your favorite dishes.
Hankering for a side of fries? Try the grub at Schererville Lounge, a tasty restaurant serving American-style fare.
Schererville Lounge's chefs have carefully created a menu filled with flavorful and healthy eats.
Round out your meal with a little tipple — this restaurant has a terrific drink list, including beer, wine, and more.
Reserve a table ahead of time and avoid the lines.
The food is prepared and packaged, just waiting for your pickup.
Schererville Lounge is known for serving great food, and they are able to serve it at your next event with their excellent catering.
Street parking is always accessible for those dining at Schererville Lounge.
Schererville Lounge is home to many cyclists who appreciate the parking racks outside.
Supper is exceptional, though the restaurant also offers breakfast and lunch.
Schererville Lounge is a great place to go for lunch or dinner, so make your way over to the restaurant today and munch on an American classic.
See what great American fare is cooking up next at Schererville Lounge.
So what are you waiting for? Come see what the highly-rated American food at Schererville Lounge is all about.
Hooters is a relaxed restaurant with an elegant decor and classic American dishes.
Guests can migrate to the bar section to catch the game on the TV.
Little ones are just as welcome as their parents at this restaurant.
Outdoor seating is ready for diners on those warm summer days.
Get online for free courtesy of Hooters' wifi.
Groups of all sizes can easily be seated at Hooters.
Between the music and the crowds, Hooters' noise levels can be intense.
You may be better off finding a table during the week, as weekends at the restaurant tend to be packed.
For those in a rush, the restaurant lets you take your food to go.
We're not like any other place. We've prepared parking onsite for you.
At Hooters, diners can make use of the safe bike rack.
Treating yourself doesn't mean breaking the bank, come taste the great dishes Hooters has to offer.
Don't look any further, head to Hooters for your next American meal.
Hooters serves up a variety of American eats in a casual setting. Swing by today and munch on some of your favorite dishes.
When you need an American restaurant that is sure to impress, come to the highly-rated Hooters.
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.