Come to Applebee's for a sandwich and side — this eatery serves American cuisine everyone will love.
Going gluten-free? Dig a low-fat diet? Applebee's has you covered on both fronts.
Ready for a drink to unwind? At this restaurant, you can pair your meal with something from their full bar.
Applebee's offers discounted prices on food and drinks during happy hour.
Applebee's is a fine restaurant for those with large and small parties.
Leave the fancy duds at home — patrons at the restaurant dress informally.
Applebee's prides itself in its delicious catering.
Dining out isn't your only option here — pickup is available, too.
Parking is provided in a nearby lot, so diners can easily walk to and from their cars.
At Applebee's, you can ease your appetite and please your pocketbook
the menu offers a selection of mid-priced, budget-friendly meals.
Easily charge your payment using one of many major credit card options.
Whether you're in the mood for AM eggs, a midday salad, or an evening entree, Applebee's provides service throughout the day.
No matter what type of American dish you're in the mood for, Applebee's has a great selection of dishes to choose from.
Roma Pizza and Pasta does not just make pizza. They serve decadent slices of heaven that anyone who sinks their teeth into rate high on their list.
Low-fat and gluten-free options are featured on the menu.
Whether it's just you and a date or you're bringing the whole gang, it's best to call ahead and make a reservation.
Everyone will feel comfortable dining at Roma Pizza and Pasta, where business casual attire is standard.
A catering menu is also available if you're looking to dazzle the guests at your next shindig.
Grab your meal to go at this pizzeria if you're in a hurry — or better yet, have them bring it to you through their delivery service!
Parking by the pizzeria is a breeze, so feel free to bring your own set of wheels.
The pizzeria's dinner menu receives the most attention, though breakfast and lunch are also options.
Who doesn't love pizza? And who doesn't love pizza with great ratings? Roma Pizza and Pasta is home to some of the best slices in the neighborhood, so order a hot one today.
There's no doubt about it. Roma Pizza and Pasta out-serves its competitors for the best slice of pizza around.
Fill up on fries and other comfort food at N and T's Restaurant, a savory spot for American cuisine.
A relatively loud restaurant, this is not the place for a quiet night out.
On busy nights, it's best to book a table ahead of time.
N and T's Restaurant prides itself in its delicious catering.
Don't be afraid to enjoy your food on the go — this restaurant offers takeout for your busy schedule.
At N and T's Restaurant, you won't have to worry about circling the block multiple times to find parking.
Commute by bike to N and T's Restaurant and find easy bike parking.
N and T's Restaurant's mid-priced fare will typically cost you about $30 per person or less.
No cash? Use any major credit card and work on reeling in those rewards.
N and T's Restaurant 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.
Make your way over to the highly-rated N and T's Restaurant and taste your way through some great American dishes.
Visit El Lago for some true American comfort food smack dab in the middle of Zion's Zion.
Quit fat and gluten at El Lago, where low-fat fare and G-free offerings are the norm.
Let the kids come too! Little ones love the food and atmosphere at this restaurant just as much as their parents do.
Make a reservation to ensure your table is ready when you are.
Getting your food to go is also an option.
Throwing a big party? Count on El Lago to provide top-notch catering with the same great dishes you love.
At El Lago, you won't have to worry about circling the block multiple times to find parking.
Your bill at El Lago will typically run less than $30 per person, so bring the whole gang!
Isn't it time you indulged in the old classics of American food? Stop by El Lago to have a bite of deliciousness.
Find something for anyone at any time with American food from El Lago.
So head on over to the highly-rated El Lago for some American eats and see what the buzz is all about.
Find just the right amount of sweet and sour on the menu at Whey Chai Chinese Restaurant, a highly-acclaimed Chinese joint that has foodies talking nonstop.
If gluten is something you try to avoid, check out the G-free menu at Whey Chai Chinese Restaurant. Low-fat fare is also available for those keeping an eye on their diet.
For the tastes of Whey Chai Chinese Restaurant from the comfort of your next party, the restaurant also offers catering services.
Whether you have a large or small vehicle, parking is easy near Whey Chai Chinese Restaurant.
Meals at Whey Chai Chinese Restaurant are affordable, with the average tab amounting to about $30 per person.
What are you waiting for? Pay Whey Chai Chinese Restaurant a visit today and treat yourself to some upscale Chinese fare.
There's a fortune of flavor waiting for you at Whey Chai Chinese Restaurant, home of the best Chinese cuisine in town.
If cooking isn't on the agenda, the perfect pie awaits you at Beach Park's Domino's Pizza, where customers praise the pizza like no other.
Gluten-free and low-fat is the name of the game at Domino's Pizza, where eating healthy, flavorful dishes is of utmost importance.
Throw on your favorite T-shirt and head out the door — dining at Domino's Pizza is all about comfort.
Catering makes it easier to organize any event, and Domino's Pizza will ensure that it is delicious.
Domino's Pizza is close to multiple parking options.
Don't take out a second mortgage for food so delicious it's life changing. We've got you covered with our meals priced under $15.
So come taste the pizza at Domino's Pizza for yourself and see what all the ratings buzz is about.
When you are craving a little taste of Italy, make your way over to Domino's Pizza and indulge in a fresh and flavorful pizza.
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.