Your taste buds are calling for some down home American cooking from Industrial Revolution Eatery and Grille.
A night out deserves a drink to celebrate, and this restaurant has the perfect selection of beer and wine to go with your meal.
Little guys and gals will also love dining at this restaurant, which offers a family-friendly environment (and menu).
Wireless Internet access is just a click away at Industrial Revolution Eatery and Grille.
Outdoor dining doesn't get much better than the beautiful patio at Industrial Revolution Eatery and Grille.
At Industrial Revolution Eatery and Grille, you can dine with your immediate family and your extended family due to the easy seating for large parties.
Make a reservation to ensure your night goes according to schedule.
Casual dining at its best, Industrial Revolution Eatery and Grille customers are free to enjoy themselves in jeans and a T-shirt.
If you're in a hurry, place an order for pickup instead.
Drivers will embrace the parking lot located next door to Industrial Revolution Eatery and Grille.
Industrial Revolution Eatery and Grille is home to many cyclists who appreciate the parking racks outside.
Take a break from the kitchen without breaking the bank! Industrial Revolution Eatery and Grille will fill you up with top-notch fare that s modestly priced.
When you're looking for a bite of the classics, you know there's no better place than Industrial Revolution Eatery and Grille.
When you're in need of a casual night out, head to Industrial Revolution Eatery and Grille and enjoy some great American classics.
So head on over to the highly-rated Industrial Revolution Eatery and Grille for some American eats and see what the buzz is all about.
A new take on trendy, El Salto Mexican Restaurant offers A+ Mexican fare in a stylish setting, and visitors can't stop talking about it.
Score low-fat and gluten-free eats at El Salto Mexican Restaurant.
Take your pick of beer, wine, or other beverages offered on this restaurant's menu.
This restaurant is great for families with kids.
Hop online in no time using El Salto Mexican Restaurant's free wifi.
Enjoy the cool summer breezes on El Salto Mexican Restaurant's seasonally available outdoor seating.
Reservations are recommended for those on a strict schedule.
Good luck spotting a suit and tie at El Salto Mexican Restaurant — casually-dressed diners are the norm here.
Ordering food? You can pick it up yourself!
El Salto Mexican Restaurant is known for serving great food, and they are able to serve it at your next event with their excellent catering.
Fed up with difficult parking? At El Salto Mexican Restaurant, you will find easy nearby parking and good eats.
Hitting the mid-range mark, El Salto Mexican Restaurant s prices are perfectly reasonable for food that goes above and beyond.
El Salto Mexican Restaurant's twist on Mexican food isn't just fun, it comes highly-recommended.
Whether you prefer your beans black or refried, the delicious options at El Salto Mexican Restaurant put Mexican food at the top of its game.
Experience the flavorful traditions of Mexican cooking at the highly-rated El Salto Mexican Restaurant.
El Salto Mexican Restaurant features traditional and innovative Mexican eats, so visit the restaurant today and give your taste buds a fiesta.
Featuring fresh and flavorful American food, Pikk's Tavern is a local favorite.
Don't be alone on gameday, come have a great drink and great fun.
Little ones are free to make a mess at this restaurant, where the whole family is invited to dine.
A good time will be had by all if you book your next event at Pikk's Tavern.
Open air seating is ready for diners at Pikk's Tavern when the weather is warm.
Don't be the last one waiting! Reserve a seat so you can eat when you're ready.
No need to gussy up for a trip to Pikk's Tavern, where patrons dress for comfort and fun.
Feeling a little shy? Carryout is available.
Catering is also available if you'd like to serve Pikk's Tavern's tasty dishes at your next party.
At Pikk's Tavern, you can count on quick and easy street parking close by.
Pikk's Tavern offers parking for all diners, including those who travel by bike.
Pikk's Tavern's mid-priced fare will typically cost you about $30 per person or less.
Pikk's Tavern provides morning, afternoon, and evening service, so you can easily find time to dine.
Indulge in all of your favorite American classics with a trip to the definitive standard in town at Pikk's Tavern.
Pikk's Tavern has something for everyone with great American fare for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Pikk's Tavern has everything you could want from a British pub in Valparaiso.
Gelsosomo's Pizzeria does not just make pizza. They serve decadent slices of heaven that anyone who sinks their teeth into rate high on their list.
Complement your meal with a beer or wine from this pizzeria's delightful drink menu.
Little guys and gals will also love dining at this pizzeria, which offers a family-friendly environment (and menu).
No need to dress to the nines here — Gelsosomo's Pizzeria's policy is business casual, so guests can dine in comfort.
For the tastes of Gelsosomo's Pizzeria from the comfort of your next party, the pizzeria also offers catering services.
You've heard correctly. This pizzeria offers both delivery or carryout.
Gelsosomo's Pizzeria is located near endless parking options, allowing diners to find quick and easy parking.
Roni, sausage, and veggie are just a few of the delicious options at Gelsosomo's Pizzeria. Taste the shining reviews for yourself when you head to Gelsosomo's Pizzeria for a tasty pizza pie.
Pizza doesn't have to be fancy to be great. Delicious pies await you at Gelsosomo's Pizzeria (along with star-studded reviews and sky-high ratings), so grab a seat and dig in.
So kick back, relax, and indulge in one of the tasty signature pizzas that Gelsosomo's Pizzeria has to offer.
Switch up your normal pizza routine and head on over to Gelsosomo's Pizzeria for a new take on pizza.
Bon Femme Cafe serves up delicious, authentic Italian cuisine the whole family will love.
Bon Femme Cafe knows how to make gluten-free and low-fat fare taste great, so stop by for a healthy (and flavorful) bite.
The bar at this restaurant is fully stocked, so pair your meal with a glass of wine or beer.
Outdoor dining doesn't get much better than the beautiful patio at Bon Femme Cafe.
The restaurant accepts reservations, so you can get around the busy crowd.
Perfect for an after-work outing, Bon Femme Cafe won't require you to change outfits before dining as the dress here is super casual.
Bon Femme Cafe is known for serving great food, and they are able to serve it at your next event with their excellent catering.
Always five minutes behind schedule? Pick up your food to go instead.
Drivers will be surprised by the number of street parking spots available near Bon Femme Cafe.
Bike parking is quick and easy at Bon Femme Cafe.
Bon Femme Cafe s mid-range cuisine will please your pockets as well as your palate.
Chow down on breakfast, lunch, or dinner fare at Bon Femme Cafe — they're open for all three meals.
Do you hear your stomach growling? Answer the call with a tasty Italian meal from Bon Femme Cafe.
By visiting Bon Femme Cafe, you'll have a great place with amazing food to bring your friends for lunch!
A feast of Spanish delicacies awaits you at Don Quijote Restaurant.
This restaurant's fully stocked bar is a perk for patrons who enjoy a fine wine (or more) with their meal.
You won't need to get a sitter before heading to this restaurant — kids are more than welcome at this family-friendly establishment.
For no extra charge, utilize Don Quijote Restaurant's free wifi.
Outdoor seating is ready for diners on those warm summer days.
It's best to call ahead for a table as the restaurant can get packed.
Diners who appreciate a no-frills environment come to Don Quijote Restaurant in jeans and a hoodie.
Take the comfort of your own home and add great grub from Don Quijote Restaurant to create the perfect night.
Dining out isn't your only option here — pickup is available, too.
We understand parking is expensive. That's why we've got a parking lot for you. Spend your money on our delicious food and drink.
Bicyclists will also find lots of space to safely lock up their bikes.
Treat yourself to breakfast, lunch, and dinner all in one place
the restaurant offers three main meals a day, though dinner is the real winner.
So get your fix of authentic croquetas and fresh paella when you take a trip to Don Quijote Restaurant for a Spanish culinary adventure.
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.