When your food needs a little more flavor, pick up some seasonings or spices from here and enjoy a tasty meal.
When you have a hunger craving in between meals, these snacks will come in handy.
For dairy lovers out there, this store does dairy right, so make sure to pick up some on your next trip.
When you're looking for a caffeine fix, Backyard Restaurant and Store has the best coffee and tea to get you going.
Add a little bit of sweet goodness to all your baked goods for top-notch flavor and form. Pick up your staples at Backyard Restaurant and Store.
When you're trying to upgrade your cooking, adding flavor is essential. Create supple and tarter flavors by exploring the wonders vinegar and oil can add to your cuisine by shopping for them here.
Bread is a kitchen must-have, so pick up some fresh goodness today.
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.
For an upgrade to your meals, you'll definitely want to test the fine meats for purchase here.
Feeling hungry? Heat up a tasty and affordable TV dinner from here and enjoy the convenience of a quick meal.
Stay healthy on the regular with the produce available here. It's super fresh and can be used with any meal.
Not only is fish great for your heart, but it also packs a punch in the flavor department, so get to grilling!
Cereal doesn't have to be boring! A breakfast box is a great addition to your morning, packed full of flavor and crunchy delight.
Bring out your Italian side in the kitchen and create a yummy pasta dish with some noodles from Backyard Restaurant and Store.
For cool, refreshing H20, Backyard Restaurant and Store's got you covered.
If you have a hankering for a tasty sandwich, swing on by Backyard Restaurant and Store and satisfy your craving.
Have you heard about the amazing frozen food offered here? Conveniently priced and designed to save you time where it counts, you'll be amazed you didn't try these dishes sooner.
Health nuts will go crazy for the refreshing beverages available here, a great way to stay happy and hydrated.
Backyard Restaurant and Store is located near a variety of parking options, making your selection a quick and easy one.
Legacies serves tasty American-style cuisine.
Guess what? Legacies serves food that's free of gluten and low in fat, so everyone can find something that tastes and feels great.
Beer, wine, and more are also available from this restaurant's extensive drink list.
Celebrate the start of a great weekend at Legacies' great happy hour.
Need to catch up on some work or the latest news? Get online at Legacies with their complimentary wifi.
If you're ready for a show, Legacies often books live musical groups or a DJ.
Legacies visitors enjoy a taste of live music with their food as well.
Music lovers will appreciate Legacies' freshly mixed tunes spun by live DJs.
The restaurant's background buzz is a bit loud, so those seeking low-key conversation are advised to dine elsewhere.
People tend to swarm the restaurant on Fridays and Saturdays, so be sure to reserve space for your party ahead of time.
Need to get out of the house? Order and pick up from this restaurant.
Drivers can find parking right by the restaurant, so don't forget your car keys.
If cycling is more your speed, you'll find plenty of space to stash your bike outside the restaurant.
Dining at Legacies will set you back about $30 per person on average.
Don't look any further, head to Legacies for your next American meal.
Indulge in a wide array of American dishes at Hamptons.
What can you eat at Hamptons if you're gluten-free? Plenty. Come on in for some tasty meals.
Pick your poison and toast your evening — drinks are also served here.
Book a private room at Hamptons and get ready to enjoy a night of fun, feasting, and celebrating.
Be sure to check out Hamptons' outdoor seating when the climate is right.
Hamptons offers a free wifi hot spot — perfect for surfing the web or getting a little work done.
Hamptons' business casual policy makes it the perfect place for a number of occasions.
Want to enjoy this restaurant without the wait? Get it to go.
Through their catering service, Hamptons can also set out a delicious spread for your next party.
Drivers will embrace the number of street and lot parking choices close to Hamptons.
Fancy snacks do come at a higher price, but wow are they delicious.
At Hamptons, you can pay with Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express or any other major credit card.
Hamptons has three square meals a day on the menu, so swing by for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
Rediscover your favorite American meals at Hamptons.
If you're seeking a highly-rated American restaurant in the area, look no further than Hamptons.
Indulge in a juicy steak from Sumter's Outback Steakhouse, home of the freshest meats in town.
Eat healthy and feel better with Outback Steakhouse's low-fat and gluten-free plates.
Find time to peruse the wine list here — this restaurant offers a variety of drink options.
This restaurant is great for families with kids.
Gather up your friends, coworkers or family members and head to Outback Steakhouse for a group meal.
Good luck spotting a suit and tie at Outback Steakhouse — casually-dressed diners are the norm here.
Impress the guests at your next gathering by calling in Outback Steakhouse for catering.
What's that you hear? It's carryout at this restaurant.
At Outback Steakhouse, diners can score a guaranteed parking spot close to the restaurant.
Outback Steakhouse's diners can store their bikes safely at the rack around the corner.
A typical meal at Outback Steakhouse will set you back less than $30.
Conveniently serving three main meals a day, the restaurant is a great place to eat at any time of day, but is best known for its evening menu.
For juicy steaks you just can't find anywhere else, be sure to check out Outback Steakhouse.
Mill Pond Steakhouse offers juicy cuts of meat, making it one of the best steakhouses in Rembert.
Low-fat, gluten-free and anything else you've been looking for waits here.
Drinks all around! Pair your dinner with a beverage from this restaurant's full bar.
Grab all of your VIP pals, book a room at Mill Pond Steakhouse and prepare to enjoy a delicious meal.
Bask in the sun (or moon!) light when you dine on Mill Pond Steakhouse's outdoor patio.
The dress code at Mill Pond Steakhouse is as relaxed as the ambience, so wear whatever suits you.
Dining out isn't your only option here — pickup is available, too.
Catering makes it easier to organize any event, and Mill Pond Steakhouse will ensure that it is delicious.
Mill Pond Steakhouse is just steps away from a parking lot.
Store your bike safely at one of the main bike racks near Mill Pond Steakhouse.
Taste the greatness Mill Pond Steakhouse is serving up with meals around $30.
No cash? Use any major credit card and work on reeling in those rewards.
For a tender, flavorful steak that is sure to satisfy, be sure to check out Mill Pond Steakhouse.
Find just the right amount of sweet and sour on the menu at Twin Dragon Restaurant, a highly-acclaimed Chinese joint that has foodies talking nonstop.
It serves everything including gluten-free and low-fat options.
Spruce up your look...but not too much! Twin Dragon Restaurant's style is business casual, so formal wear should be left on the hanger.
Feed the gang at your next get-together with catering from Twin Dragon Restaurant as well.
If you're strapped for time, take out food from this restaurant.
At Twin Dragon Restaurant, you can safely park just around the corner.
Twin Dragon Restaurant may cost you a little bit more than some spots, but this deliciousness is fairly-priced (and well worth the few extra bucks).
What's your favorite meal of the day? Chow down on breakfast, lunch, and dinner at Twin Dragon Restaurant and taste test your way through the menu.
So take your next meal to the next level and treat yourself to an upscale Chinese meal from Twin Dragon Restaurant.
Twin Dragon Restaurant is definitely your one stop shop for the best Chinese food in town!
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