06 September 2012

Food Crawl: West Loop edition

By: Jessica B.
Tagged: Chicago, Food

So now that I’ve told you about my DIY food crawls, I thought I’d give you a little example of my most recent one in Chicago’s West Loop.

Located on the west side of Chicago (shocking), this industrial, lofty, warehouse district has grown exponentially over the last 1-2 years. The unused space is now housing a lot of new restaurants, entertainment and living spaces.

And with this boom of development, a crawl was definitely in order, but I quickly found that one was not enough.

I’ve been to the West Loop and “restaurant row,” known as Randolph Street a few times for other restaurants there (along with indulging in some insane donuts at Glazed & Infused), but this time, I was there to do some damage, and I did.

Here’s where we visited:

  • Haymarket Pub & Brewery
  • Au Cheval
  • Grange Hall Burger Bar
  • City Winery

It was a solid crawl with lots of high alcohol-content beer and food. We managed to go from starving to buzzed to drunk to full and sober and then ready for bed. That is a solid crawl right there

Notes about each:

Haymarket – To be honest, we just stopped here to have a few beers, but I would go back and drink more and even try some stuff on the menu. It was a little loud but the beers they brew weren’t bad (skip the Pilsner).

Au Cheval – Last time I was here, my Marc Jacobs purse got destroyed (long story) but the purse survived and I decided to give it another try. It doesn’t take reservations and seating is sparse so get there early. We strolled in when they opened and weren’t the only ones with that idea. We had two beers and a plate of fries with an egg on top and aioli. It was incredible. I would absolutely go back and focus just on that menu. For beer, I recommend the Urthel Saisonniere and Caracole Saxo. Tip, it gets more difficult to say both post consumption

Grange Hall Burger Bar – I love this place. Dad and I went here once and had a great meal and yet again, it didn’t disappoint. Well the only slide downside was the basket of fried veggies w/horseradish dipping sauce. It was over fried and stuck together and still tasty but just not as wow as I hoped. I got a burger with fried egg, white sharp Cheddar cheese and then we split a piece of Michigan Blueberry pie. Tip: always save room for pie. Always.

City Winery – By now, we were hitting the food/beer wall, but made it to one more place. What’s cool about this place is that it is a full winery and concert hall with reserved table seating. We got a tour of the patio, indoor and private dining areas and then got down to some wine. We sampled a ton of stuff from the tap, Cab, Syrah, Petite Syrah, Sav Blanc, sweet wine and even a Malbec rose. And got to sample a trio desserts that included a pretty amazing chocolate lava cake.

And after all of this, I was ready for bed :)

I’m already planning another trip to the West Loop for a crawl of a few more places I have my eye on. If you haven’t been, I also recommend: Publican, Publican Quality Meats, Aviary, De Cero and Girl & The Goat. Really, there hasn’t been anything I don’t dislike over there so far.

So tomorrow is Friday, big weekend plans anyone?

4 Comments

  1. jaime says:

    I SO wanted to try Grange but not right for this client dinner I had.

  2. katelin says:

    I mean, YUM. all of this, SO YUM.

  3. caryn says:

    Can I do this food crawl with you next time?!! It looks like so much fun! and so tasty!

  4. The food at Haymarket is really good! But, yeah, it gets loud in there.

    I’ve only had a burger from Grange Hall at the Taste of Randolph so I’d love to go back and try it the way it’s meant to be eaten. I’ve heard their ice cream is pretty good, too.

    How was the service at City Winery? My parents went there a few weeks ago for a concert and it was kind of hit or miss.

 

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