Monday, July 20, 2015

Haywood Tavern

-Grubbing in Chicago
New to the 'Scene'

Is this the golden era for restaurant openings in Chicago? It sure seems that way. I've lost track of all the different spots I've heard about that sounded appealing to the eater in me. I've still managed to remember a few that I've actually made it into including the Haywood Tavern which opened this summer at the hot intersection of California and Augusta. Despite being opened by Chicago restaurant vets this place has gone under the radar by my estimation. 

A modern take on a neighborhood tavern in Humboldt Park 

Haywood Tavern is supposed to be a lowkey type place for neighbors to wander over too and enjoy some drinks and food and thats what it felt like. We sat at the bar and talked to a neighbor of the tavern that couldn't have been any happier that they were his new go-to spot in the 'hood. The beer list was looking good as were the pinxtos so I started off with them. Pinxtos are what the people of the Basque region of Spain call tapas and Haywood Tavern offers a handful of options to snack on. I thought both the stuffed pepper and crispy pork belly confit were excellent drinking bites.

Pinxtos to Start 

One of the things that I really like about Haywood is the fact they have a standard menu as well as a weekly menu featuring dishes the chef wants to feature that week. She decided to try something off the weekly featured menu as I pointed out that she loves everything in the dish. It was basically a bacon salad with a poached egg and some blue cheese. She enjoyed it just fine.

 The Weekly Menu allows for the constant trying of something new for regulars

I was torn between a steak sandwich on the weekly menu and their take on a classic tavern style cheeseburger on the standard menu. The burger would win out. The temptation of two smashed patties of Hoosier Farms beef prepared simply in a classic way was too much to resist. Plus it comes with fresh cut fries. The fries were served room temp but I didn't bother to ask for a new batch, I was hungry. They were a filler as the burger was the one worth consuming the calories for. It's just a classic take on a burger you'll find at many Midwest taverns. Two patties, melted cheese with pickles, lettuce and a dijon aioli. You know the old saying by now, sometimes simple is better. In this case great ingredients and simplicity make for a worthy burger. I look fwd to further exploring the menu.

Cheeseburger and Fries 

Haywood Tavern
2759 W Augusta Blvd
Chicago, IL 60622
(773) 661-1084

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