For good times and great food, head on over to Pappy & Harriets Palace in Pioneertown.
Take your pick of beer, wine, or other beverages offered on this restaurant's menu.
Let the kids come too! Little ones love the food and atmosphere at this restaurant just as much as their parents do.
Wanna soak up the sun? Come grab a bite at Pappy & Harriets Palace and sit out on their gorgeous patio.
Tap into the free wireless Internet at Pappy & Harriets Palace.
At Pappy & Harriets Palace, you can dine with your immediate family and your extended family due to the easy seating for large parties.
The live music and dance floor at Pappy & Harriets Palace are perfect for party goers ready to boogie the night away.
You'll want to save quiet conversations for another spot, though — the restaurant can get noisy.
No need to ditch your furry friend when visiting Pappy & Harriets Palace — dogs are welcome there.
Be sure to call for a reservation if the restaurant is part of your weekend plans — it can get crowded on Fridays and Saturdays.
Perfect for an after-work outing, Pappy & Harriets Palace won't require you to change outfits before dining as the dress here is super casual.
Feeling a little shy? Carryout is available.
Score parking in the lot adjacent to Pappy & Harriets Palace, a local restaurant.
Pappy & Harriets Palace offers parking for all diners, including those who travel by bike.
Pappy & Harriets Palace's fare is so good, you'll want to sample everything on the menu (and with its middle-of-the-road prices, you can!).
Thai food is always tasty, but Royal Siam Cuisine Thai Restaurant makes it especially delicious as its multi-star ratings show.
Find all of your favorite eats in one place at Royal Siam Cuisine Thai Restaurant, including low-fat, vegan and gluten-free options.
Beer, wine, and more are also available from this restaurant's extensive drink list.
Having trouble finding that family-friendly restaurant everyone will love? This restaurant serves all ages, so little ones are welcome to come along, too.
Royal Siam Cuisine Thai Restaurant will even bring the amazing food from their kitchen to yours.
Leaving the couch is half the battle. Your foods awaits your pickup at this restaurant.
Drivers will find parking not far from the restaurant.
Store your bike at one of the many racks outside of Royal Siam Cuisine Thai Restaurant.
Meals at Royal Siam Cuisine Thai Restaurant are moderately priced — most diners spend about $30 per person.
Swing by the restaurant at literally any hour — it's open 24 hours a day.
When only the best will do, treat yourself to the highly-rated Thai dishes at Royal Siam Cuisine Thai Restaurant.
Your hunt for the best Thai in town is over. A no-frills vibe and sky-high ratings make Royal Siam Cuisine Thai Restaurant the spot to try.
Flavorful Thai food makes eating out a breeze at Royal Siam Cuisine Thai Restaurant.
When you're tired of the same old lunch options, head on over to Royal Siam Cuisine Thai Restaurant for a yummy Thai dish.
Tucked away in the heart of Yucca Valley's Yucca Valley neighborhood, Las Palmas Restaurant serves a laid-back Mexican feast.
It serves everything including gluten-free and low-fat options.
Whether you have something to celebrate or just need something to take the edge off, the drink menu at this restaurant won't disappoint.
Eat out with the little ones at this restaurant, and don't waste time scurrying for a sitter.
Bask in the sun (or moon!) light when you dine on Las Palmas Restaurant's outdoor patio.
Comfort is prioritized at Las Palmas Restaurant, where business casual is the name of the (dress code) game.
Or, take your grub to go.
If you need to feed a big crowd, Las Palmas Restaurant also offers catering services for parties and get-togethers.
Parking is easily accessible.
Commute by bike to Las Palmas Restaurant and find easy bike parking.
Las Palmas Restaurant may cost you a little bit more than some spots, but this deliciousness is fairly-priced (and well worth the few extra bucks).
Serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner, Las Palmas Restaurant is a great dining option for any time of day.
When you just want to relax and indulge in some Mexican fare, Las Palmas Restaurant has you covered.
With all the spices and flavors you love, Las Palmas Restaurant is ready to be your Mexican restaurant of choice tonight!
Yucca Valley's Applebee's has tasty eats and creative beverages.
Applebee's is serving up delicious dishes that are, as an added bonus, also healthy.
Enjoy a drink with your dinner — this restaurant has a full bar to serve up a glass of wine, beer, or more.
This restaurant is great for families with kids.
Home to one of the happiest happy hours, pop in after work for great drinks and good company.
Free wireless Internet is also available at Applebee's, so bring your tablet or laptop along.
At Applebee's, there's no need to confine your meal to a traditional dining room — outdoor seating is available when the weather is warm.
Score quick and easy seating for your large group at Applebee's.
Casual clothing is the name of the game at Applebee's, where suits and ties won't be spotted for miles.
If you need to get somewhere fast, the restaurant also serves up grub to go.
Feed the gang at your next get-together with catering from Applebee's as well.
Parking is provided in a nearby lot, so diners can easily walk to and from their cars.
Bicyclists will also find lots of space to safely lock up their bikes.
Meals at Applebee's are incredibly tasty and reasonably priced around $30.
The menu at Applebee's includes breakfast, lunch, and dinner — stop by for your favorite meal.
BLT, club, veggie, and more...Park Rock Cafe serves sandwiches in Joshua Tree's Joshua Tree neighborhood.
For fresh and healthy meal choices, dine at Park Rock Cafe.
Little guys and gals will also love dining at this restaurant, which offers a family-friendly environment (and menu).
Warm weather brings out Park Rock Cafe's highly coveted patio seating.
Check email, shop online, or get the latest game scores on Park Rock Cafe's free wifi.
If you're strapped for time, take out food from this restaurant.
It's time to gather up the party people. Serve them great food from Park Rock Cafe.
Park Rock Cafe patrons can pull into a space on the street when searching for parking at the Park Boulevard location.
Travel by bike to Park Rock Cafe and store your bike at a nearby rack.
A visit to Park Rock Cafe will set you back less than $30 per person, so you can make it a regular part of your schedule.
Spend your morning, afternoon, or evening at Park Rock Cafe, where guests can enjoy breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Whether you're a party animal or an early riser, the restaurant will be open to serve you 24 hours a day.
So if you're looking for a quick meal on the go, just pick up a delicious sandwich from Park Rock Cafe.
Pie for the People in Joshua Tree does not just make pizza. They serve decadent slices of heaven that anyone who sinks their teeth into rate high on their list.
Load up the mini-van and bring the kids to this pizzeria — they'll love the menu and scene here as much as mom and dad.
Outdoor dining doesn't get much better than the beautiful patio at Pie for the People.
Wifi here is on the house.
Four-legged friends are welcome at the pizzeria.
Want to enjoy this pizzeria without the wait? Get it to go.
Score a close parking spot at Pie for the People.
At Pie for the People, diners can make use of the safe bike rack.
Taste the greatness Pie for the People is serving up with meals around $30.
So who's hungry? The highly-acclaimed pizza at Pie for the People is ready and waiting to be served.
If you can't get enough pizza, be sure to try the pies at Pie for the People, which earn ratings too hot to handle.
If you're looking for a relaxed space to enjoy a pizza with friends, be sure to stop in at Pie for the People.
So if you're craving a delicious, hot slice of pizza, be sure to stop by Pie for the People.
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