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Myron & Phils, everything changes

Myron & Phils, everything changes
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  • Myron & Phils, everything changes

    Post #1 - June 18th, 2009, 5:15 pm
    Post #1 - June 18th, 2009, 5:15 pm Post #1 - June 18th, 2009, 5:15 pm

    First of all let me say that Myron and Phils is one of my sacred restaurants. We all have them, they represent a memory of our youth like a snapshot in our minds eye, we think back to a particular occasion and the food we ate and the smells and the friends and family we shared with and it all comes together as a distinct moment in time that we will never forget.

    I can remember where I ate for just about every birthday I have ever had, and many of them were spent at Myron & Phils with great friends and chopped liver and fresh black bread and tons of food, but it would be a lie to say it was just as good on my visit last week, or that things haven't changed, because they have.

    That skirt steak I remember is now half the size, but did it really need to be so big? You have to ask for the chopped liver now, but is that such a big deal?
    I don't know the answer, but part of the Myron & Phil experience was that liver and a second helping and so much food that you could count on bringing some home, but those days are gone.

    The skirt is still good and the burnt onions are great, the salad which I loved with the old fashioned green goddess dressing, I mean does anyone else even have that , well it's much smaller now but really it's plenty to eat. The service is great, the prices are very reasonable for a steak house, the drinks are an extremely generous pour, the owner and his wife prowl the room like owners
    should, what more could you ask?

    Well I suppose you could ask for the old Myron & Phils, but really is that reasonable in this post 911 recessionary environment where the strong survive and the weak are tossed to the side and there exists such a fine line between old fashioned and passe?

    I for one am glad that they are still there because I loved this place and I love it still and it is not what is was, but then again, what is?
  • Post #2 - June 18th, 2009, 5:53 pm
    Post #2 - June 18th, 2009, 5:53 pm Post #2 - June 18th, 2009, 5:53 pm
    How long ago did you go? We went a couple months ago with my in-laws and they practically forced us to eat the chopped liver (FIL doesn't eat "weird ethnic stuff" - I didn't need forcing) Was it an off day, or is this a very recent policy? Can't speak to the entree size reduction, but I imagine it's true, because the prices are still pretty reasonable - but we made another (maybe two) meals out of that one.
  • Post #3 - June 18th, 2009, 6:04 pm
    Post #3 - June 18th, 2009, 6:04 pm Post #3 - June 18th, 2009, 6:04 pm
    The world turns, and the ambiance and sometimes the quality of a loved place changes . . . in a direction we're not pleased with. I believe the restaurant has continued to decline, across the board, the longer the son of the owners has managed the place. Neighbors of mine are very frequent patrons and they've told me recently the restaurant will soon be open only for dinner on weekdays. Enjoy the restaurant while you can, because I doubt it'll be open several years from now.
  • Post #4 - June 18th, 2009, 6:09 pm
    Post #4 - June 18th, 2009, 6:09 pm Post #4 - June 18th, 2009, 6:09 pm
    Mhays wrote:How long ago did you go?


    I was there last week. It was actually kinda funny cause the waitress, a raspy voiced veteran who I love, kept reminding us with everything we ordered with the refrain , "everything is different now", I think cause she was tired of people complaining and wanted to warn us that there has been some changes with portion size etc. but as you say portions are still plenty generous and the prices are still VERY reasonable.
  • Post #5 - June 18th, 2009, 6:14 pm
    Post #5 - June 18th, 2009, 6:14 pm Post #5 - June 18th, 2009, 6:14 pm
    Bill wrote:Neighbors of mine are very frequent patrons and they've told me recently the restaurant will soon be open only for dinner on weekdays. Enjoy the restaurant while you can, because I doubt it'll be open several years from now.



    I doubt that they will be closed on weekends, I think the place still does a very good business. One problem I see is that the bar business has dropped off, it was empty when I was there but it could have been an off night.

    They will be closing down the lunch service, a notice is on all the tables. I really hope you are wrong about it not being there several years from now, it seems to me the owner is doing the right things to survive, but it really is a hard time for everyone out there for sure.
  • Post #6 - June 18th, 2009, 6:26 pm
    Post #6 - June 18th, 2009, 6:26 pm Post #6 - June 18th, 2009, 6:26 pm
    Bill wrote:I believe the restaurant has continued to decline, across the board, the longer the son of the owners has managed the place.


    I'm with Bill. I don't know when the sons took over, but it seems like every meal I've had there over the past 10 years has been a step lower than the previous meal. It's a special place for me (I've been eating there since before I can remember), but it has long since fallen of my "recommended" list.
  • Post #7 - June 18th, 2009, 6:42 pm
    Post #7 - June 18th, 2009, 6:42 pm Post #7 - June 18th, 2009, 6:42 pm
    Bummer. The meal we had several months ago was very good.
  • Post #8 - June 18th, 2009, 6:50 pm
    Post #8 - June 18th, 2009, 6:50 pm Post #8 - June 18th, 2009, 6:50 pm
    "Myron & Phils, everything changes"

    "In a world of change, there remain certain constants."
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  • Post #9 - June 18th, 2009, 7:02 pm
    Post #9 - June 18th, 2009, 7:02 pm Post #9 - June 18th, 2009, 7:02 pm
    Mike G wrote:"Myron & Phils, everything changes"

    "In a world of change, there remain certain constants."


    A GNR nomination I supported on the basis of "best of breed" and uniqueness, but it's a far cry from what it used to be.
  • Post #10 - June 18th, 2009, 10:46 pm
    Post #10 - June 18th, 2009, 10:46 pm Post #10 - June 18th, 2009, 10:46 pm
    Seriously, I think a Myron & Phil's in which you have to ask for chopped liver is a Myron & Phil's intent on committing suicide. Commodifying themselves like that (jettisoning the things that make them special, so that they turn into just another restaurant among thousands) is a doomed strategy.

    That said, I was there about a month ago, and we didn't have to ask for chopped liver. So if it's a new policy, it's newer than that.
  • Post #11 - June 18th, 2009, 11:47 pm
    Post #11 - June 18th, 2009, 11:47 pm Post #11 - June 18th, 2009, 11:47 pm
    An example of what's happened to the management, and its relationship with long-time customers:

    A female neighbor of mine, a widow in her late-80s, is taken to lunch for her birthday by a group of 5 or 6 friends. At the end of the meal the waiter presents the check to the woman who organized the lunch. The woman, in a surprised tone, asks the waiter what happened to the complimentary birthday-girl ice cream desert the restaurant has traditionally offered the person celebraing the day. The waiter responds that the son running the restaurant specifically instructed the waiter not to bring the desert . . . because the woman had been celebrated three or four times in the previous two weeks and had received compliments enough from the restaurant. The group of women were shocked, and the birthday-girl was shamed in front of her friends.

    The woman being feted at the lunch is an original customer of the restaurant. She and her husband were loyal supporters/customers and she had continued eating in the restaurant at least once weekly for years since the husband passed away. The woman's son is a successful businessman who entertains clients at the restaurant a couple of times a week and hosts various parties at the restaurant. The number of guests who'd attended the prior birthday parties at which this woman had recently been feted and for whom dinners had been paid totalled about 100.

    The owner-son's insult resulted in the woman not returning to the restaurant, her constant bad mouthing about the treatment she received and the loss of various other business opportunities - including the decision of her son to entertain clients elsewhere.

    If the treatment my neighbor received reflects other management decisions of the ownership then I suspect such behavior is partially responsible for the decline in business and reduced hours of operation. I"ve been treated nicely at the restaurant, but my experinece there is limited to just several times now.
  • Post #12 - June 19th, 2009, 4:08 am
    Post #12 - June 19th, 2009, 4:08 am Post #12 - June 19th, 2009, 4:08 am
    The waiter responds that the son running the restaurant specifically instructed the waiter not to bring the desert . . . because the woman had been celebrated three or four times in the previous two weeks and had received compliments enough from the restaurant.


    I want my cake!

    Edited to add context
    Last edited by stevez on June 19th, 2009, 6:51 am, edited 1 time in total.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #13 - June 19th, 2009, 6:09 am
    Post #13 - June 19th, 2009, 6:09 am Post #13 - June 19th, 2009, 6:09 am
    Bill wrote:The owner-son's insult

    Bill,

    Just curious, did you witness this incident?

    I have not been to M & P for a few months, but chopped liver has always been set on the table without asking.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    Hold my beer . . .

    Low & Slow
  • Post #14 - June 19th, 2009, 6:33 am
    Post #14 - June 19th, 2009, 6:33 am Post #14 - June 19th, 2009, 6:33 am
    G Wiv wrote: I have not been to M & P for a few months, but chopped liver has always been set on the table without asking.




    Ok, lets solve the great chopped liver mystery and it is my fault for being unclear! It does not come automatically to the table anymore but the waitress will ask if you want it, at least our did. Now is that such a big friggin deal? NO it isn't. I would imagine half the time they automatically brought it in the past it went uneaten so they are trying to conserve...good for them. I was not being critical, I was pointing out that things change, portions, quality etc., and when a restaurant of our memories changes it can be jarring, at least it was for me. Not necessarily bad, just a bit jarring.

    Getting back on track here, the service at Myron & Phils is and always has been great and the value for the dollar almost unbeatable for a steak house. You get free valet parking, you get a great pour, which by the way is a rarity in the burbs or at most restaurants period, and you get a decent steak. I have never been mistreated here and that is not the point of my post, I was only reminiscing and pointing out that things change, that's all
    .



    edited to fix quote
  • Post #15 - June 19th, 2009, 7:50 am
    Post #15 - June 19th, 2009, 7:50 am Post #15 - June 19th, 2009, 7:50 am
    G Wiv wrote:
    Bill wrote:The owner-son's insult

    Bill,

    Just curious, did you witness this incident?


    Gary, I was not present during the incident I describe. I have, though, heard the "report" repeated, without a difference in substance, from three of the women who were part of that particular lunch group . . . and it was described to me at different times and in different places . . . not when the women were sitting together.
  • Post #16 - June 19th, 2009, 8:51 am
    Post #16 - June 19th, 2009, 8:51 am Post #16 - June 19th, 2009, 8:51 am
    I finally made it out to Myron and Phil's last weekend. After all the LTH buildup, I somehow expected more. I am not saying that I was unhappy, but just slightly underwhelmed by my experience.

    I found the highly touted chopped liver to be more like chicken flavored egg salad than one made from liver. We did have to ask for it.

    My calves liver and onions main course was prepared competently. Medium rare as requested. A four dollar add on of bacon yielded four slices of the thinnest possible layout pack institutional bacon (just like what you might find on a complimentary Comfort Inn breakfast buffet).

    I was very impressed with my black linen napkin!

    :twisted:
    "Bass Trombone is the Lead Trumpet of the Deep."
    Rick Hammett
  • Post #17 - June 19th, 2009, 3:40 pm
    Post #17 - June 19th, 2009, 3:40 pm Post #17 - June 19th, 2009, 3:40 pm
    JP1121 wrote:Ok, lets solve the great chopped liver mystery and it is my fault for being unclear! It does not come automatically to the table anymore but the waitress will ask if you want it, at least our did. Now is that such a big friggin deal? NO it isn't. I would imagine half the time they automatically brought it in the past it went uneaten so they are trying to conserve...good for them...

    Now that I think of it, that time about a month ago when we were there, and I reported just upthread that we were given the chopped liver automatically as always, the waitperson probably did ask first if we wanted it--but in such a rhetorical-question way that it was clear he knew our answer was a foregone conclusion. The offhand, rhetorical-question tone was such that I didn't even register it as a question--hence my memory that we weren't asked it. De facto, it amounted to exactly the same thing as being brought it automatically. Put another way, the new policy could be stated as, "Our default assumption at Myron & Phil's is that you are going to want the chopped liver, and it will be on your table in mere seconds, unless you should happen to knock us over with a feather by answering our question with a no." I would agree that this is so close to being brought it automatically as to make no difference.

    I suppose there are other ways the question could be asked in which it might sound as if there were more than one possible answer, but that isn't the way our waiter asked it. He was practically nodding yes for us as he spoke.
  • Post #18 - June 19th, 2009, 5:54 pm
    Post #18 - June 19th, 2009, 5:54 pm Post #18 - June 19th, 2009, 5:54 pm
    I can't recall ever being asked about chopped liver at M&P. The only secret, gotta-ask-for-it item that I know of is the auxiliary relish tray that complements the one that they automatically bring out with several additional items.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #19 - June 19th, 2009, 5:56 pm
    Post #19 - June 19th, 2009, 5:56 pm Post #19 - June 19th, 2009, 5:56 pm
    stevez wrote:I can't recall ever being asked about chopped liver at M&P. The only secret, gotta-ask-for-it item that I know of is the auxiliary relish tray that complements the one that they automatically bring out with several additional items.


    Don't forget the grilled cheese with tomato! Say it with me now.....It's an accommodation!
  • Post #20 - June 21st, 2009, 8:27 am
    Post #20 - June 21st, 2009, 8:27 am Post #20 - June 21st, 2009, 8:27 am
    stevez wrote:I can't recall ever being asked about chopped liver at M&P.



    That's because you are the famous stevez. They probably start cranking up a fresh batch the moment they see your car pull up :)
  • Post #21 - July 11th, 2009, 9:46 pm
    Post #21 - July 11th, 2009, 9:46 pm Post #21 - July 11th, 2009, 9:46 pm
    We had an enjoyable dinner at M & P's last night. Data point: waitress brought the chopped liver and relish tray to the table shortly after we sat down. When we said we thought we might have to ask for the chopped liver now, she said that she's supposed to ask if people want it, and gave us a look. I finished her sentence, "but everybody always wants it." She agreed.

    Still a good value there for what you get, and there are fewer and fewer places we go where we bring down the average age of the customers significantly! Apropos, we saw some friends in there (older than we are) who were entertaining his parents there. The parents are turning 100 this year, are mentally acute, and are regular customers of M & P. I leave you to draw your own conclusions about the food....
  • Post #22 - September 7th, 2010, 12:53 pm
    Post #22 - September 7th, 2010, 12:53 pm Post #22 - September 7th, 2010, 12:53 pm
    Not that they've been brought up directly here but there have been some rumors floating around lately about Myron & Phil's closing. I just heard from owner Mark Freedman, who says "THIS IS ABSOLUTELY UNTRUE." Anyway, even though it's been a while since I was last in, I wanted to pass the word along.

    =R=
    Same planet, different world
  • Post #23 - September 7th, 2010, 4:10 pm
    Post #23 - September 7th, 2010, 4:10 pm Post #23 - September 7th, 2010, 4:10 pm
    This particular thread is lacking the basic info, so to help LTHers show their support:

    Myron & Phil's
    3900 West Devon Avenue
    Lincolnwood, IL 60712-1099
    (847) 677-6663
    www.myronandphil.com
  • Post #24 - September 7th, 2010, 4:20 pm
    Post #24 - September 7th, 2010, 4:20 pm Post #24 - September 7th, 2010, 4:20 pm
    Still one of my favorite places for a steak (and this is coming from a guy who graduated from Quigley North). The food is always great and for the price, I think one of the best steak deals in the city. We ate there two weeks ago and had a great meal out on the patio. My wife was especially happy as she could smoke out there.

    Maybe they will do a GROUPON deal some time.
  • Post #25 - September 7th, 2010, 8:33 pm
    Post #25 - September 7th, 2010, 8:33 pm Post #25 - September 7th, 2010, 8:33 pm
    2146 north wrote:Still one of my favorite places for a steak (and this is coming from a guy who graduated from Quigley North).


    I don't get the reference between steak and being a catholic kid going to a seminarian high school.

    help me out!
  • Post #26 - September 8th, 2010, 12:41 pm
    Post #26 - September 8th, 2010, 12:41 pm Post #26 - September 8th, 2010, 12:41 pm
    We go there for drinks more than the food (which is fine)...but not nearly as often, as the ambiance in the bar has been ruined (at least for us) by that new door leading out to the patio...

    Liked our M and P bar DARK....just like Sabatinos.....
  • Post #27 - September 8th, 2010, 1:40 pm
    Post #27 - September 8th, 2010, 1:40 pm Post #27 - September 8th, 2010, 1:40 pm
    Sabiatinos is sooo weird now. Yeah it's dark. But now it's dark with NO SMOKE. Dark and smoke always went together for me.
  • Post #28 - January 9th, 2011, 6:32 pm
    Post #28 - January 9th, 2011, 6:32 pm Post #28 - January 9th, 2011, 6:32 pm
    sigh....

    it pains me to write a scathing report of a visit to anyplace(I dont live to do that as some seem to).

    Me and a buddy went to Myron & Phils last night after a day of eating and drinking in the city. Arivved @ M & P's around 8:00 and were seated immdedietly. Place looks old school, nice bar, comfortable, etc. Friendly service, cold beer, and nice pickles and bread. Thats where the praise stops, and the visit took a nose dive. Just for reference the liver spread was offered not brought wiht the relish. Looked good, but liver isnt my thing.

    We each oredered the 10 oz butt steak, and were told it is "prime"..... I got a "salad" with gree goddess dressing. Salad mix was disgusting, more yellow and core sections of the lettuce than green. The green goddess dressing was overwhelmingly fishy(i know it has anchovies in it , but this was over thee top, ive been enjoying properly made green goddess for decades). The steak, honestly the worst steak I believe I have ever been served/tried to eat. Nice looking cut, but a really odd texture, reminded me of a Omaha steak, flavorless, and like I said the texture was weird, mealy and not like a beef grain. Closer to medium rare than rare, I ate maybe 5 bites of the steak. I ordered potato skins as my potato, and was told as my steak arrived they were out. I went with the mashed wich tasted decent but had a glue like consistancy.

    Sure it was only one visit(the peanut gallery can have at me for making a decision based on that), but I cant see ever going back to M & P's. My $37 wasted last night still pisses me off a day later. We would have been better off going to Texas Roadhouse.
  • Post #29 - January 9th, 2011, 7:17 pm
    Post #29 - January 9th, 2011, 7:17 pm Post #29 - January 9th, 2011, 7:17 pm
    jimswside wrote:sigh....

    it pains me to write a scathing report of a visit to anyplace(I dont live to do that as some seem to).

    Me and a buddy went to Myron & Phils last night after a day of eating and drinking in the city. Arivved @ M & P's around 8:00 and were seated immdedietly. Place looks old school, nice bar, comfortable, etc. Friendly service, cold beer, and nice pickles and bread. Thats where the praise stops, and the visit took a nose dive. Just for reference the liver spread was offered not brought wiht the relish. Looked good, but liver isnt my thing.

    We each oredered the 10 oz butt steak, and were told it is "prime"..... I got a "salad" with gree goddess dressing. Salad mix was disgusting, more yellow and core sections of the lettuce than green. The green goddess dressing was overwhelmingly fishy(i know it has anchovies in it , but this was over thee top, ive been enjoying properly made green goddess for decades). The steak, honestly the worst steak I believe I have ever been served/tried to eat. Nice looking cut, but a really odd texture, reminded me of a Omaha steak, flavorless, and like I said the texture was weird, mealy and not like a beef grain. Closer to medium rare than rare, I ate maybe 5 bites of the steak. I ordered potato skins as my potato, and was told as my steak arrived they were out. I went with the mashed wich tasted decent but had a glue like consistancy.

    Sure it was only one visit(the peanut gallery can have at me for making a decision based on that), but I cant see ever going back to M & P's. My $37 wasted last night still pisses me off a day later. We would have been better off going to Texas Roadhouse.

    We do texas roadhouse on a semi regular basis for carryout [TOO LOUD]... they actually have a great prime rib that we share for less than 20 bucks!!! ps. no rare only med rare but really agood bang for the buck
  • Post #30 - June 17th, 2011, 11:58 pm
    Post #30 - June 17th, 2011, 11:58 pm Post #30 - June 17th, 2011, 11:58 pm
    A very nice piece about Myron & Phil by Christopher Borrelli, at the Trib's site this week . . .

    at ChicagoTribune.com, Christopher Borrelli wrote:Mark Freedman, son of Myron, nephew of Phil, slinger of chopped liver, inheritor of the flame, stood sentinel, watching over his dining room. In one corner, an elderly woman was telling her waitress that the music (Burt Bacharach) was too loud, and in another, a large family huddled around their matron, an elfin, white-haired soul who smiled and picked at creamed spinach as her relatives talked over her.

    Freedman is 50, with an earring, the big, affable air of a car salesman and traditions to uphold. It was Sunday night at Myron & Phil, the self-described Jewish steakhouse on Devon, in a nowhere stretch of Lincolnwood, and everything, as it has since opening in early July 1971, remained endearingly in place.

    For instance, they're still getting hammered on appetizers, "because of all the crap we put on the table before you order," Freedman said. On the other hand, he has to throw all that on the table — the silver relish dish with pickles, peppers and green tomatoes; the enormous bread basket with addicting raisin pumpernickel slices; and finally, that sweet mound of chopped chicken livers, accompanied by a ramekin full of raw onion.

    Classic eatery still delights

    =R=
    Same planet, different world

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