Birt's Bistro serves fresh, delicious food with imaginative daily specials for its wonderful customers. Birt's Bistro is also a nationally recognized Social Enterprise which means that it's heart is different than that of a "regular" business.
Every dollar in profit that Birt's Bistro makes goes into Benevilla, a 35 year old Social Services agency that started Birt's Bistro.Currently that means that .80 of every dollar goes back into Benevilla,and is used to provide social services for those in need.
Also- Birt's Bistro runs a Meals on Wheels program out of it's kitchen to provide fresh, low cost food for those who may be home bound. Deliveries are made by volunteers but Birt's makes all the food.
Finally, Birt's Bistro also provides a Groups Supported Employment opportunity allowing adults with Intellectual Developmental Disabilities the opportunity to work, earn a paycheck and gain new skills.
As you can tell, Birt's Bistro is much more than a great place to get a meal, listen to local music and see local art. It's a
way to make a difference in your community.
Put your money where your heart is...come to Birt's Bistro!
If you're in the mood for comfort food, enjoy a cheeseburger with a mound of golden fries at burger house Red Robin Gourmet Burgers.
Some may say it's rare to see healthy, gluten-free menu options, but Red Robin Gourmet Burgers says it's a necessity.
Order a bottle for the table if you like — this burger joint has a full bar stocked with the best wine, beer, and more.
Parents appreciate this burger joint's kid-friendly attitude, and little ones are often seen dining out with the adults.
Red Robin Gourmet Burgers' outdoor seating is available during the warmer months.
The burger joint is on the noisier end, which is something to keep in mind when planning intimate get-togethers.
Red Robin Gourmet Burgers welcomes laid-back diners, so there's no pressure to throw on heels or a tie.
Or, take your food to go.
You can also have Red Robin Gourmet Burgers cater your next event.
Take your vehicle to dinner
nearby parking is plentiful and will not pose a problem for drivers looking to dine.
Store your bike at a nearby rack and enjoy a bite to eat at Red Robin Gourmet Burgers.
Prices at Red Robin Gourmet Burgers are moderate — most diners plunk down about $30 per meal.
Don't just sit there with your mouth watering! Satisfy your burger cravings today at Red Robin Gourmet Burgers.
So pay Red Robin Gourmet Burgers a visit today and fill up on a juicy and flavorful burger.
For top-rated Mexican fare that customers rave about, head to Macayo's Mexican Kitchen for a meal packed with bold flavor.
Fill up on healthy eats at Macayo's Mexican Kitchen, a local restaurant.
Find time to peruse the wine list here — this restaurant offers a variety of drink options.
Bring the whole clan to this restaurant — kids and parents will love the menu and ambience here.
Outdoor seating is ready for diners on those warm summer days.
Large groups will appreciate Macayo's Mexican Kitchen for its ability to seat them quickly.
If you need to feed a big crowd, Macayo's Mexican Kitchen also offers catering services for parties and get-togethers.
Some say walking is the greatest thing in life. This restaurant knows it's carryout.
Heading to Macayo's Mexican Kitchen for a tasty meal? Drive on over and park in a matter of seconds.
A meal at Macayo's Mexican Kitchen will typically set you back about $30.
Whether you're hungry first thing in the morning or prefer to eat a little later, Macayo's Mexican Kitchen is conveniently open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
So head to Macayo's Mexican Kitchen, where you can expect nothing less than the highest rated Mexican cuisine.
So amp up your lunch hour and head over to Macayo's Mexican Kitchen for a casual Mexican meal.
Macayo's Mexican Kitchen cooks up Mexican food so great you'll be craving much, much more!
From signature rolls to fresh sake, Fresh Wasabi Sushi and Grill is a casual sushi restaurant with tasty fare.
Keep your health in check at Fresh Wasabi Sushi and Grill, a local restaurant with endless healthy menu items.
Take a peek at the drink menu here, and make sure to sample something off the list.
If you're in need of a booster seat, this sushi spot's got you covered. This is a great spot for the whole family.
Groups of all sizes can easily be seated at Fresh Wasabi Sushi and Grill.
Folks tend to dress down at Fresh Wasabi Sushi and Grill, so keep comfort in mind when heading to the sushi spot.
You can also serve food from Fresh Wasabi Sushi and Grill at your next party — the sushi spot offers catering.
Feeling a little shy? Carryout is available.
Fresh Wasabi Sushi and Grill is conveniently close to a parking lot.
If cycling is more your speed, you'll find plenty of space to stash your bike outside the sushi spot.
For food that tastes like a million bucks, Fresh Wasabi Sushi and Grill s got you covered for a fraction of the price.
Whether you're hungry first thing in the morning or prefer to eat a little later, Fresh Wasabi Sushi and Grill is conveniently open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Check out the innovative sushi menu at Fresh Wasabi Sushi and Grill and enjoy a selection of great eats for lunch or dinner.
Deemed "pizza of the year" every year by Lucky's Pizza's loyal fans, this deliciously-cheesy pizza will have you reaching for seconds, thirds, and even fourths.
Eating healthy is easy at Lucky's Pizza, a local restaurant with low-fat and healthy fare.
This pizzeria also operates a bar, so a round of drinks with dinner is not out of the question.
Eat out with the little ones at this pizzeria, and don't waste time scurrying for a sitter.
Or, take your grub to go.
Through their catering service, Lucky's Pizza can also set out a delicious spread for your next party.
We're happy to report we have parking available onsite. We'll meet you here.
Early risers and night owls alike can enjoy Lucky's Pizza since it offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
When melted cheese and quality crust is all you can think about, it may be time for a hot slice or two. Experience pizza at its best when you order a pie from top-rated Lucky's Pizza.
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 Lucky's Pizza.
Lucky's Pizza serves up fresh and tasty pizzas each and every time, so head on over today and enjoy some good pizza in a casual ambiance.
So for a piece of pizza that truly sings, you'll love taking a bite out of the pie from Lucky's Pizza.
Your taste buds are calling for some down home American cooking from Applebee's.
Order a bottle for the table if you like — this restaurant has a full bar stocked with the best wine, beer, and more.
Bring the whole clan to this restaurant — kids and parents will love the menu and ambience here.
Head on over to Applebee's for weekday and weekend happy hour.
You can tote your laptop here to take advantage of the free wifi.
Loud is an understatement when it comes to the decibel levels at this restaurant, so it's best to save conversation for another location.
Applebee's tosses the jacket-and-tie dress code convention in favor of a more casual dining experience.
Take the comfort of your own home and add great grub from Applebee's to create the perfect night.
Dining out isn't your only option here — pickup is available, too.
Take the car and arrive promptly to dinner; parking is plentiful, so don't worry about setting aside time to search for a space.
Applebee's' mid-priced fare will typically cost you about $30 per person or less.
There's a classic American dish waiting to be made for you at Applebee's.
If you're looking for classic American fare, try Applebee's for your next meal.
You deserve an excellent meal, so head on over to Applebee's and enjoy some of the highly-rated American fare.
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