Pop over to Aurelio's Pizza for some hop (and highly-acclaimed) 'za, and find out what everyone's been raving about.
Aurelio's Pizza features a wide variety of low-fat and healthy fare.
Whether you have a group of five or a group of 20, Aurelio's Pizza can seat both large and small groups.
Everyone will feel comfortable dining at Aurelio's Pizza, where business casual attire is standard.
Takeout and delivery are also available, so you can just do you.
Take the comfort of your own home and add great grub from Aurelio's Pizza to create the perfect night.
Aurelio's Pizza is located in a prime location surrounded by various parking options.
If pizza is your all-time favorite, it's important to find a pie that's worth your while. With star-studded reviews and sky-high ratings, there's no better way to spend your time than eating some 'za at Aurelio's Pizza.
So grab a slice of pizza or two from Aurelio's Pizza and enjoy a great lunch or dinner.
Enjoy a freshly tossed pizza loaded with toppings at Pizza Hut in South Haven.
Both low-fat and gluten-free menu items are offered at Pizza Hut.
At Pizza Hut, your large or small group can be seated quickly and comfortably.
No need to gussy up for a trip to Pizza Hut, where patrons dress for comfort and fun.
Catering makes it easier to organize any event, and Pizza Hut will ensure that it is delicious.
Choose wisely. Wait at home for delivery or come into this pizzeria for carryout.
Tired of driving in circles? Head to Pizza Hut for a bite to eat and find quick parking in the lot next door.
You'll also find plenty of safe spaces to lock up your bike if you prefer to cycle to the pizzeria.
Pizza Hut happily accepts all major credit cards as a form of payment.
When you need a good meal in a flash, grab a pizza from the highly-rated Pizza Hut.
For a hearty burrito or tasty taco, Taco Bell serves quick Mexican cuisine without the cost.
Gluten-free, dairy-free, fat-free, no matter what free you are, Taco Bell has great dishes ready for you.
Need to catch up on some work or the latest news? Get online at Taco Bell with their complimentary wifi.
Don't be afraid to enjoy your food on the go — this restaurant offers takeout for your busy schedule.
Make use of the ample parking near Taco Bell.
Early risers and night owls alike can enjoy Taco Bell since it offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
You don't have to slow down your fast-paced lifestyle for quality food. Stop on by Taco Bell for excellent Mexican food with little to no wait!
If you need a easy dinner solution for the whole family, look no further than Taco Bell.
Grab a homemade soup and sandwich for lunch or dinner at Submarine Port.
This place will leave you feeling satisfied no matter what kind of dietary needs you have.
Call ahead for reservations to ensure your table is waiting for you when you arrive.
Always five minutes behind schedule? Pick up your food to go instead.
Love the food so much you want to serve it at your next soiree? No problem — Submarine Port offers catering.
This dining establishment is located near hassle-free parking options.
Submarine Port provides ample space for bikers to store their bikes.
Serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner, Submarine Port is a great dining option for any time of day.
So if you're looking for a quick meal on the go, just pick up a delicious sandwich from Submarine Port.
Looking for a quick bite to eat? Head on over to South Holland's Maxwell Street Grill.
Maxwell Street Grill caters to all party sizes, both large and small.
Perfect for an after-work outing, Maxwell Street Grill won't require you to change outfits before dining as the dress here is super casual.
You can also have Maxwell Street Grill cater your next event.
Eating on the go? Order some tasty take out from this restaurant.
For easy dining, Maxwell Street Grill provides convenient parking in a connecting lot.
Bike parking is quick and easy at Maxwell Street Grill.
All major credit cards are accepted, including Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express.
You can stop by at almost any time, since Maxwell Street Grill offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Come taste what Blueberry Field Restaurant is doing to transform classic American cuisine.
Blueberry Field Restaurant's low-fat and G-free items make it easy to eat right.
At this restaurant, kids of all ages are welcome.
Blueberry Field Restaurant will even bring the amazing food from their kitchen to yours.
Can't stay at this restaurant long? Pick up and go home.
There is parking close to the restaurant.
You'll also find plenty of safe spaces to lock up your bike if you prefer to cycle to the restaurant.
When you have a hunger craving, head over to Blueberry Field Restaurant and treat yourself to an American classic.
So next time you're hungry and want a casual meal, Blueberry Field Restaurant is the perfect destination for some good old fashioned food.
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.