Start with the calamari and save room for the fresh catch at Texarkana's Red Lobster — this Texarkana seafood spot has quite the selection.
Red Lobster's menu is packed with gluten-free and healthy items all foodies will enjoy.
Don't go thirsty during dinner! This restaurant also offers a splendid drink list featuring wine, beer, and more.
Bring your whole brood to this restaurant, where families can dig in to tasty and kid-friendly fare together.
Wireless Internet access is just a click away at Red Lobster.
Warm weather, delectable dishes, and an awesome atmosphere make for a dream night out at Red Lobster.
Don't spend time or money shopping for a new dinner outfit
Red Lobster's laid-back vibe accepts jeans, T-shirts, and everything in between.
Getting your food to go is also an option.
Looking for something delicious to serve at your next party? Red Lobster also offers catering.
Diners will appreciate the quick and easy parking options located near this dining establishment.
You'll also find plenty of safe spaces to lock up your bike if you prefer to cycle to the restaurant.
If you don't want a night that will cost you an arm and a leg but you do want a delicious meal, come to Red Lobster.
For the freshest catch in town, make your way over to the highly-rated Red Lobster.
For tasty American fare, head to Applebee's for a sandwich and side.
The chefs at Applebee's know how to prepare tasty, gluten-free and low-fat meals.
With this restaurant's wide selection of refreshments available, you can tap into the drink menu early in the evening.
Make those early evening hours happy ones and swing by for some discounted food and drink deals after work.
The noise level can sometimes reach near deafening levels, so save your conversations for another night.
Applebee's tosses the jacket-and-tie dress code convention in favor of a more casual dining experience.
For the tastes of Applebee's from the comfort of your next party, the restaurant also offers catering services.
If you need to get somewhere fast, the restaurant also serves up grub to go.
Take your vehicle to dinner
nearby parking is plentiful and will not pose a problem for drivers looking to dine.
Meals at Applebee's are moderately priced — most diners spend about $30 per person.
Save the cash for another day and pay by major credit card at Applebee's.
Three meals a day are served at Applebee's, so you can choose to start your day or end your evening here.
When you are ready to try a new restaurant for lunch or dinner, make your way over to Applebee's for tasty American fare.
Come to Chili's for a sandwich and side — this eatery serves American cuisine everyone will love.
Chili's is also a good option for those with special dietary needs, offering both low-fat and gluten-free items on the menu.
Don't go thirsty during dinner! This restaurant also offers a splendid drink list featuring wine, beer, and more.
At Chili's, you won't have to wait for your large or small group to be seated.
Loud crowds paired with a healthy sound system keep the volume level at this restaurant at the edge of ear-splitting.
Good luck spotting a suit and tie at Chili's — casually-dressed diners are the norm here.
What's that you hear? It's carryout at this restaurant.
Love the food so much you want to serve it at your next soiree? No problem — Chili's offers catering.
Drivers will find parking not far from the restaurant.
Take a break from the kitchen without breaking the bank! Chili's will fill you up with top-notch fare that s modestly priced.
Chili's 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.
If you're seeking a highly-rated American restaurant in the area, look no further than Chili's.
Your taste buds are calling for some down home American cooking from Bryce's Cafeteria.
Bryce's Cafeteria will keep those with dietary needs happy with a menu filled with gluten-free and low-fat items.
Bring the whole clan to this restaurant — kids and parents will love the menu and ambience here.
Wifi is on the house at Bryce's Cafeteria, so bring along your tablet or laptop.
The large dining space at Bryce's Cafeteria provides quick and easy seating options for large groups.
Bryce's Cafeteria honors a business casual dress code, so formal wear can be left behind.
Getting your food to go is also an option.
At Bryce's Cafeteria, you can park quickly and safely in a lot next door.
Bryce's Cafeteria is a prime location for cyclists to park their bikes and enjoy a bite to eat.
Bryce's Cafeteria dishes up breakfast, lunch, and dinner, so stop by for your favorite meal.
So when you need a tasty and satisfying meal, visit Bryce's Cafeteria and munch on some American eats.
So round up your friends and head over to Bryce's Cafeteria for a casual American meal.
If you're seeking a highly-rated American restaurant in the area, look no further than Bryce's Cafeteria.
The tacos are top-tier and the burritos are nothing short of amazing at Ta Molly's — sift through five-star reviews or just head on over to find out more about this Mexican menu.
Ta Molly's is a jackpot for those looking for low-fat and gluten-free meal options.
Youngsters are more than welcome to join mom and dad at this restaurant.
Keep it casual at Ta Molly's, and save that little black dress for a different occasion.
Ta Molly's will even bring the amazing food from their kitchen to yours.
No delivery needed. In and out for carryout.
Don't fuss with street parking. We've got some parking available.
Ta Molly's offers outdoor bike racks for cyclists.
Deep pockets not required! Ta Molly's takes pride in its over-the-top flavor and just-right prices.
Experience the best flavors of Mexico when you try the highly-rated cuisine at Ta Molly's.
Spice up your every day with delicious Mexican food at Ta Molly's.
Ta Molly's provides diners with a unique Mexican dining experience, so head on over today and enjoy some great eats.
Check out Texarkana's Ironwood Grill.
Gluten-free and low-fat is the name of the game at Ironwood Grill, where eating healthy, flavorful dishes is of utmost importance.
Be sure to complete your meal at this restaurant with a drink from the restaurant's full bar.
Load up the mini-van and bring the kids to this restaurant — they'll love the menu and scene here as much as mom and dad.
Enjoy the cool summer breezes on Ironwood Grill's seasonally available outdoor seating.
Stay in the loop (and online!) by tapping into Ironwood Grill's free wifi hotspot.
You won't find a suit in here! Business casual dress is the norm at Ironwood Grill.
If you're in a hurry, place an order for pickup instead.
With meters and potential tickets, you'll thank us for our onsite parking!
Ironwood Grill's diners can store their bikes safely at the rack around the corner.
For a quick and easy payment solution at Ironwood Grill, pay by major credit card.
Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are all available at Ironwood Grill.
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