Panther in the Den wrote:
I have passed by a few times this weekend and will stop in for a visit sometime soon.
I traditionally do not eat ribs in Chicago but am eagerly looking forward to the other porky products.
As promised I did finally stop by. I have a daughter in The Hood and we try to stay local when we can. After a quick driveby at Great Lake to see if there was no line (Hah!
) this was on the top of our list.
My first impression walking in the door was 'Is this a restaurant?' as we started to grab a table in the spacious and well filled bar area and the hostess came up and asked if we would like a table in the quieter back room.
Much better but it was difficult to shake the thought that it was first and foremost a bar with the much smaller dining area in the back. Comfortable though.
We had made the decision, given the theme and name, that this would be 'All About the Pork' and it dominated everything we ordered.First
I should mention that we were not expecting BBQ but rather roasted. The Greeks in Chicago have been turning out great ribs in the oven and a well roasted meat can be very good!Drinks
A few ciders and I ordered The Smoked Pig Bloody Mary (bacon vodka and a half slice of bacon adding to the garnish). A good homemade mix and a nice, but not overpowering bacon flavor. Worked well!Second
I should mention that some of the standouts of the evening was the bacon! The lighter flavor of the Bloody Mary slice to the strong smoke and bacon flavor on the side of bacon. I was wondering how the bacon side would work and it stood well on it's own with it's rich and full flavor. Nicely cooked, not too crispy or limp with a good thickness.Appetizers
BBQ Pig on a Stick - Nice plate. About 6 on the plate. Good bar food!
Cooked firm with the sauce nicely caramelized and a strong rib flavor.
Pork Nachos - Wow! What a plate of food. Piled high with enough pulled pork to get a bit with every bite. Had to hold off though as we did also have a meal coming.
Ham and Split Pea Soup - Nice and thick with some nice chunks of ham. I would of liked to see some 'over the top' application of the ham. Croutons good with me ordering an additional cup.Thirdly
- I should also mention that the pork flavor really stood out in all of the items ordered. Just as it should be. Well done!Entrees
Grilled BBQ Pork Tenderloin - My Bride. Well (almost too well) rubbed with their signature Memphis Rub. A small portion and a touch dry (not too dry as it is a lean cut). The rub made it too spicy for My Bride.
Pulled BBQ Pork Sandwich - My Daughter. Good flavor to the meat but I expected a mountain of meat rather than the 1/2 inch layer.
Pork Pot Roast - Me. Tender with a good pork flavor. Vegetables well cooked down and a very flavorful gravy. Nice portion.The Sides
Baked Mac & Cheese - Baked? Couldn't tell. No crust on top, creamy and could of used a stronger cheese note.
Green Beans - Very good! Nice and crisp with a good flavor and greasiness from the bacon.
Acorn Squash - Another standout. A good butter and brown sugar flavor. Perhaps a touch overdone.
Bacon Side - Wow! What a flavor. To be remembered.Pricing
- We all thought the portion size vs price was a bit skewed. After all it is a meat and potatoes type of place and at least the pulled pork sandwich should of been well filled. Especially with such a strong bar presence.
All in all a good visit with enough things good to make the trip worthwhile. The strong pork flavors, the good roasting techniques and great bacon.Side Note
- The Diner Grill across the street did look interesting with the traditional counter with stools and 'right out of a Rockwell' counterman.
Maybe our next foray in the area?
"Make Lunch, Not War" ~ Anon