What do you look for in a grocery store?
If fresh produce, clean floors, fair prices and great customer service top your list, you're not alone.
The folks at The Daily Meal asked people from around the country to weigh in on what makes a great grocery store, and then vote for their favorites.
The Daily Meal survey only chose regional grocery stores that were in more than one state (with the exception of Texas and California because, well, as two of the largest states they could be considered a "region" by themselves).
Trader Joe's and Whole Foods made the top 10. Aldi came in at 15 (I seriously love its garlic vinaigrette and Greek yogurt) ahead of Meijer at 20.
With the rapid expansion of grocery stores in the suburbs, I have no doubt this list will look much different in a few years.
Chefs onstage: Tickets are going fast for May 22's Taste of Home Cooking School onstage at the Arcada Theatre in St. Charles.
Master chef Guy Klinzing will showcase 10 of the magazine's new, seasonal reader-sumbitted recipes with live cooking demonstrations onstage beginning at 7:30 p.m. In addition he'll offer tips, tricks and techniques in the interactive and motivational learning event. Attendees will receive a gift bag with magazines, coupons, product samples and free digital subscriptions.
Joining Klinzing onstage will be Arcada Theatre president and CEO Ron Onesti, who will share one of his family's Tuscan recipes.
"I couldn't be more honored to take part in something I not only love, but admire so much," said Onesti, a former restaurateur who shared his Tuscan family recipes at his supper club, the Onesti Dinner Club in St. Charles, before selling it in 2011. "Sharing the kitchen, I mean the stage, with Guy Klinzing is going to be unlike anything I've ever done in front of an audience!"
Tickets are $12 for balcony and $15 for main floor. For an extra $35 you can get a VIP experience that includes a meet-and-greet with chef Klinzing and a cookbook. Get tickets at oshows.com or (888) 695-0888. The Arcada Theatre is at 105 E. Main St., St. Charles.
Grilling gear: Of course you want your grilled burger to be juicy, but that ideal burger comes with a risk -- a risk of grease dripping down on the hot coals and the subsequent flames sapping all the moisture out of the patty before you can run for the hose.
You shouldn't throw water on a grease fire -- we all learned that during our elementary school fire house tours, right? -- and tossing your shandy or gin and tonic onto the coals is not only another bad idea but a waste. So what's a griller to do?
Head to Lowe's and pick up a bottle of Grate Chef Flare Down ($5.99).
Flare Down is an all-natural, food safe spray that quickly and safely neutralizes grease flare ups that can burn food or (heaven forbid) injure people nearby. Flare Down contains no toxic chemicals and does not leave any taste or odor on the food. It's FDA-approved and made in the USA.
• Contact Food Editor Deborah Pankey at dpankey@dailyherald. com or (847) 427-4524. Be her friend at Facebook.com/DebPankey.DailyHerald or follow her on Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter @PankeysPlate.