Houlihan's is a relaxed restaurant with an elegant decor and classic American dishes.
The chefs at Houlihan's know how to prepare tasty, gluten-free and low-fat meals.
Enjoy a drink with your dinner — this restaurant has a full bar to serve up a glass of wine, beer, or more.
The perfect place to take the kids, dining out at this restaurant won't cost you a sitter.
The happy hour at Houlihan's offers deals you won't want to miss.
Gather up your friends, coworkers or family members and head to Houlihan's for a group meal.
Free wireless Internet is also available at Houlihan's, so bring your tablet or laptop along.
If you plan to hit the restaurant on a Friday or Saturday, it's best to fend off the crowds by calling ahead for a reservation.
Can't find your khakis? No problem! Throw on a pair of your most comfortable jeans and you'll blend right in at Houlihan's.
At this restaurant, you can work your arms a little. Pick up the food yourself and carry it out.
Dine at Houlihan's and keep your car safely parked in a nearby lot.
At Houlihan's, diners can make use of the safe bike rack.
Typical diners should plan to spend about $30 per person on Houlihan's' moderately priced fare.
Night owls will be happy to hear that the restaurant is best known for their evening menu, though breakfast and lunch are also served.
A hearty salad, juicy burger, or classic chicken — all of your favorite American dishes will be made fresh when you head to Houlihan's.
At Houlihan's you can find great American food at any time of the day.
Make your way over to the highly-rated Houlihan's and taste your way through some great American dishes.
Fresh from the oven every time, the insanely-cheesy slices at Malek's Pizza Palace have visitors hooked on five-star reviews.
For healthy meals with a twist, head to Malek's Pizza Palace.
This pizzeria also operates a bar, so a round of drinks with dinner is not out of the question.
Both the young and the young-at-heart will dig the family-oriented menu and ambience at this pizzeria.
It's party time! Head to Malek's Pizza Palace to share great food with a large group of friends.
Whether you're coming from work or a ballgame, the dress code at laid-back Malek's Pizza Palace is come-as-you-are.
Malek's Pizza Palace can also cater your next party; call today for details.
Enjoy this pizzeria's cooking from your own home with their carryout and delivery options.
Tired of driving in circles? Head to Malek's Pizza Palace for a bite to eat and find quick parking in the lot next door.
Malek's Pizza Palace offers safe bike parking outside.
An average meal at Malek's Pizza Palace will set you back about $30.
No cash? Use any major credit card and work on reeling in those rewards.
So come taste the pizza at Malek's Pizza Palace for yourself and see what all the ratings buzz is about.
When pizza's on the mind, there's no going back. For quick pies that no one can stop talking about, get the best of the best at Malek's Pizza Palace.
So if you're looking for a casual hangout spot in town, be sure to stop in for a hot pizza at Malek's Pizza Palace.
A tasty pizza form Malek's Pizza Palace is perfect for any of your upcoming casual gatherings.
Visit Kilroy's for some true American comfort food.
The chefs at Kilroy's know how to prepare tasty, gluten-free and low-fat meals.
Pair your entree with a glass of wine or draft beer — this restaurant has a fully-stocked bar to complement your meal.
This restaurant is a terrific spot for families to gather with its kid-friendly ambience and menu.
Just around the workday bend are Kilroy's' happy hour food and drink bargains.
Warm weather brings out Kilroy's' highly coveted patio seating.
Patrons are often seen swaying in their seats thanks to performances from Kilroy's' live musical groups or DJs.
Enjoy live music with your food and drinks at Kilroy's as well.
Kilroy's draws a crowd with performances from live DJs.
Heading over after work? Make sure to call ahead to reserve your table since crowds tend to pack Kilroy's on weeknights.
If you need to get somewhere fast, the restaurant also serves up grub to go.
Brush up on your parallel parking skills — the restaurant's Port Royal Rd location offers nearby street parking.
Kilroy's offers various parking options, including bike parking.
It will typically cost you about $30 to enjoy a meal at Kilroy's.
Kilroy's has menus for breakfast, lunch, and dinner — just pick your favorite meal and head over.
So when you need a tasty and satisfying meal, visit Kilroy's and munch on some American eats.
When you're in need of a casual night out, head to Kilroy's and enjoy some great American classics.
Your taste buds are calling for some down home American cooking from TGI Friday's.
Find the perfect vintage to complement your meal — this restaurant offers a fine selection of wines, beers, and beyond.
Go ahead and bring your rug rats with you — this restaurant has kid-friendly food and seating.
Looking for a good happy hour? Head to TGI Friday's and treat yourself to a bite or a drink for a discounted price.
Wifi is on the house at TGI Friday's, so bring along your tablet or laptop.
If you're heading to the restaurant on a Friday or Saturday, don't get stuck in line with the rest of the crowds — reservations are accepted.
Relaxed attire is perfectly fine at TGI Friday's, known for its laid-back ambience.
It's time to gather up the party people. Serve them great food from TGI Friday's.
Want to enjoy this restaurant without the wait? Get it to go.
TGI Friday's has easy parking nearby for diners who wish to drive.
TGI Friday's provides ample space for bikers to store their bikes.
TGI Friday's may cost you a little bit more than some spots, but this deliciousness is fairly-priced (and well worth the few extra bucks).
Morning, noon, or night, you can head on over to TGI Friday's since they serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Stop what you're doing and pay a visit to TGI Friday's' restaurant today.
When you're in need of a casual night out, head to TGI Friday's and enjoy some great American classics.
Don't forget the chips and salsa at this delicious gem! El Paso Mexican Restaurant is a spot serving tasty Mexican fare.
Feel satisfied but not stuffed with El Paso Mexican Restaurant's gluten-free and low-fat alternatives.
Take a peek at the drink menu here, and make sure to sample something off the list.
This restaurant is a terrific spot for families to gather with its kid-friendly ambience and menu.
Outdoor dining doesn't get much better than the beautiful patio at El Paso Mexican Restaurant.
No suit, no problem! The dress code at laid-back El Paso Mexican Restaurant is ultra casual.
No time to sit down? No worries! This restaurant offers a take out option so you can grab your food on the go.
For easy dining, El Paso Mexican Restaurant provides convenient parking in a connecting lot.
Cyclists are in luck. El Paso Mexican Restaurant provides bike parking.
Prices tend towards the moderate side, with the average tab at El Paso Mexican Restaurant running under $30 per person.
Whether you're hungry first thing in the morning or prefer to eat a little later, El Paso Mexican Restaurant is conveniently open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
So amp up your lunch hour and head over to El Paso Mexican Restaurant for a casual Mexican meal.
When you have a craving for some ethnic Mexican fare, make your way over to El Paso Mexican Restaurant and indulge in an array of eats.
Great in the AM or as an after-dinner treat, The Swiss Bakery and Pastry Shop sells scrumptious baked goods in Burke's Burke district.
All sweet cravings can be fulfilled with the decadent cakes and pastries here.
Take your pick of beer, wine, or other beverages offered on this bakery's menu.
Having trouble finding that family-friendly restaurant everyone will love? This bakery serves all ages, so little ones are welcome to come along, too.
Access the Internet free of charge via The Swiss Bakery and Pastry Shop's complimentary wifi.
At The Swiss Bakery and Pastry Shop, there's no need to confine your meal to a traditional dining room — outdoor seating is available when the weather is warm.
If you're in a hurry, place an order for pickup instead.
The Swiss Bakery and Pastry Shop can also cater your next party; call today for details.
The Swiss Bakery and Pastry Shop offers free parking just steps away from the door.
At The Swiss Bakery and Pastry Shop, bikers can lock their bikes safely outside.
The Swiss Bakery and Pastry Shop serves up meals for the prices you deserve. All under $15.
Whether you need a cake for a party or a treat for yourself, there's always a reason to try The Swiss Bakery and Pastry Shop.
Siu mai: small pork dumplings. Each has a thin wrapper that needs to be delicately pleated by hand. Easily, they’re one of the most labor-intensive items at Phoenix Restaurant in Chicago, where each weekend this Chinese restaurant serves 80 different varieties of classic dim sum snacks.
This little fact about the siu mai is one of many surprising stories I learn from Eddy, the chef at Phoenix, where he also handles a million other tasks to keep the restaurant running smoothly. When I first came in, he was waving at a group of regulars while on the phone haggling with a seafood vendor.
“What we are serving in this restaurant is what we are eating in Hong Kong. ... It’s very typical,” Eddy says.
In 1996, Phoenix was one of the first restaurants to introduce dim sum to Chicago. Its customer base has grown over the years, and today, even with other dim sum restaurants up and down the block, you’ll find long lines winding out the door on any given Sunday.
Sound intimidating? It doesn't have to be.
Here's our guide to dim-sum dining, with a few tips from Eddy.
On the weekend: order dim sum off a cart
On weekends and special holidays, the wait staff winds traditional dim sum carts around tables, lifting lids off stacked steamer baskets to reveal the enticing contents. Should you see something you like, they leave the basket on your table and put a checkmark on your bill (it’s tallied at the end).
Phoenix is one of the only dim-sum restaurants in Chicago that still uses these carts. When I ask Eddy why they keep them, he says “tradition.” Not only to impress the tourists who come in, but also to let Chinese-American customers share this bit of culture with their kids.
Hot tip: if you want to experience the pushcarts without the crowds, head over on a Saturday, which tends to be less busy than Sundays, Eddy says.
On a weekday: order dim sum off the menu
Cartless weekdays offer a quiet, more peaceful atmosphere for ordering off the paper menu, which you can find near the hostess stand. Don't be intimidated—the menu has pictures; it has numbers; it has names written in both Chinese and English. And best of all, you need only point to what you want to have it brought out from the kitchen.
So what should you get?
“Everyone has their favorites,” Eddy says. The most popular dishes with Westerners are ha gao (shrimp dumplings) and siu mai (pork dumplings mentioned above). Kids gravitate toward the crunchy, easy-to-grip shrimp rolls and sweeter fare, from mango pudding (pictured above) to custard rolls.
Foreign travelers, especially those from Latin America, and adventurous eaters alike seem to love the chicken feet (pictured at bottom-right of top photo), a more exotic dish consisting of skin and tendons. While all these dishes are traditional, the chefs can tweak the recipes to accommodate for special diets or food allergies.
When diners are new to dim sum, Eddy encourages them to experiment. He’ll point out a few of the more popular dishes; if there’s something they don’t end up liking, it can easily be swapped out for something else. This way, by the second or third visit, diners will have a better idea of what they like.
And don't forget the tea
At dim sum, the tea is equally important to the food. Phoenix serves three different types: green tea, white tea, and brown tea. “Each one has its own usage,” Eddy says. While we talk, we drink jasmine tea, which is good for getting rid of toxins.
You can show your dim sum know-how by obeying proper tea etiquette. When your teapot is out of water, prop the lid off to the side. This signals to the wait staff that you need more hot water.
Eddy pours more tea and tells me to tap my fingers lightly against the table when the cup is nearly full. “When your friend or host fills your tea, this means ‘thank you’,” he says. “It’s part of the custom.”
Photos by Andrew Nawrocki, Groupon
I had no idea what to expect upon arriving at Elizabeth, the Michelin Star winner from Chef Iliana Regan. But an unmarked, unremarkable storefront between a tire shop and a sporting-goods store certainly wasn’t it. With few exceptions (Schwa, most notably), Chicago’s upper-echelon restaurants boast exteriors that match their illustrious River North and Restaurant Row addresses.
But as it turns out, Regan has no taste for that sort of superficial flash. She dons no chef’s whites. She displays no awards. She does not raise her voice to the Gordon Ramsay–level roar or even the Rachael Ray-ish rollick that TV cameras eat up.
Instead, this northwest Indiana native quietly built her reputation as someone who hunts for frogs and spears them herself. Someone who has suffered tick bites and poison-ivy rashes foraging for wild flora. Someone who has penned an essay on intensity for Lucky Peach and once themed an Elizabeth tasting menu after those violent and visceral A Song of Ice and Fire novels.
So yeah, I was kinda terrified to eat her food.
I’d never done a tasting menu before. And I wouldn’t necessarily classify myself as a picky eater, but I’m not a particularly adventurous one either, particularly when it comes to meat. (I can barely look at plated octopus without shivering.) I’d heard that Regan once served edible ants. Which are, like, bugs.
My nerves were calmed upon walking into Elizabeth, though. Austere yet charming, the whitewashed space was accented by light fixtures made from bare tree branches; dining chairs draped with faux-fur slipcovers; a chef’s counter armed with Elder Scrolls and Vikings Funko Pop! dolls. It was all in support of the season’s menu theme: vikings.
There were two options: land or sea. Or, as the first in a delightful succession of servers explained it, “Imagine a viking ship has reached the shore. One group goes on land to look for food, the other into the sea.” My friend Erin and I opted to order one of each to share and, despite my trepidation of certain meats, placed no restrictions on what we would eat. (You can arrange for some allergies and dietary needs in advance.) We wanted to go all in.
After the amuse-bouche—a surprisingly complex roasted whey carrot dressed with goat’s-milk cheese and edible flowers—came our first courses. The land dish was … a bowl of rocks. The server assured me the top “rock” was actually a baked potato coated in edible clay. But it was very convincing as a rock, so I bit in with trepidation. As Erin ate the rest, dipping it into the cheese and butter puddings it was served with, I forked into her langoustine with lingonberries. (Pro tip: don’t try to tear off the claw without looking. You will stab your finger on a spine.) So far, so very good.
As the servers continued to weave their culinary narrative, I realized there was an unmentioned character in their tale—Elizabeth itself. The restaurant is small, seating about 16 or so, and the kitchen is wide open. It was impossible not to get caught up in what was happening back there, particularly when sous chefs were wielding brûlée torches and “plating” on gorgeous pieces of handmade pottery. And the line between front and back of house was practically nonexistent. One moment, you’d see someone in the kitchen stirring and slicing; the next they’d be presenting your next course or clearing your table. (Chef Regan included.)
This created an unexpected intimacy, one that removed any hesitation when asking about a particular dish. It’s clear the teammates take a deep yet quiet pride in their collective work. They spoke warmly about where ingredients came from, excitedly about the preparation techniques used. They always used “we” or “our,” never “me” or “Chef Regan.” (Again, Chef Regan included.)
Over the next few courses, there were so many charms. An herb-rolled, soft-boiled quail egg served in an actual nest; impossibly chewy seaweed bread darkened by squid ink; a cauliflower-mushroom soup that Erin about died over. I was particularly fond of a course called Barnyard: headcheese dusted with beet powder, paired with a collage of root vegetables and flavored puddings reminiscent of something out of the Art Institute of Chicago’s Modern Wing.
And that’s the thing. Never in my life would I have thought that I’d be fond of headcheese. I would have probably never eaten it if it weren’t for this meal. But it was fun to break out of my culinary comfort zone.
The other surprising thing? How full we were, considering it was a tasting menu. By the time we were served the entree courses—rare lamb medallions wrapped in swiss chard and pickled fish in a sauce of its own bones—we were taking deep breaths between bites. I’m pretty sure they were the only two plates we didn’t completely clean.
We managed to buck up for our “one-and-a-half” dessert courses, as the server put it. (The “half” was a palate-cleansing sorbet.) Our favorite was Under the Sea, a spongy coral-seaweed cake so realistic looking it prompted me to ask the server just how much of it we could eat. “All of it,” she said. We complied.
Maybe, as a writer, I’m just a sucker for a good story. But I was enchanted by Elizabeth, both in backstory and in not knowing what was coming next throughout the culinary adventure. And while I probably won’t be buying headcheese any time soon, I’m excited to see what Chef Regan has up her non-chef’s-whites sleeves next season.
Shop Chef Iliana Regan's tasting-menu experience at Elizabeth Restaurant:
Watch her explain her approach to fine dining:
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