-Grubbing in Chicago
British Pub Food in Logan Square
December is here and 2023 is near. It will mark the 16th year of this blogs existence (hint). That’s a ton of Chicago restaurants covered. There’s places I really like but only get to visit every so often and that’s because I always have to think about which spot I’m going to write about next, which means I’m always trying new places so I can have new content to share. That said I only go to spots I actually want to try so it’s not like I’m visiting places against my will or bc I have to. I’m visiting them to see what’s up and sharing it with you so you can know too. But today's post will focus on a place I thought I wrote about years ago but I guess not bc I went searching for an old Owen & Engine post but could not find one. But I ate here recently as part of a project with the city’s tourism board. That project focuses on Logan Square which is where I live and also where Owen & Engine resides.
Locals Favorite in Logan Square
I’m guessing most regular readers know about the elevated British pub food to be found here but if not let me give you a quick rundown. It opened in 2010 and is ran by chef and restaurateur Bo Fowler who also owned Fat Willy’s which was pretty much next door to Owen & Engine at the corner of Western and Schubert. There was an extended period of time where they closed and weren’t sure if they would reopen. When they did reopen it was with a new business plan that kept the well being of everyone in mind. This includes the now commonly implemented tip being included in your bill. They’re also closed a couple days a week to allow everyone to reset. Now let’s get to the food. You can expect many of the British pub classics. If you like thick and juicy pub style burgers then this is your spot. Many call it the best in town. It’s very good but for me it’s the type of burger I enjoy once in a while as opposed to regularly. Bonus points for the excellent fresh cut fries that come with it.
Owner / Chef Bo Fowler is an excellent cook that likes to take advantage of the seasons and what comes with them. This is evident in a seasonal vegetable korma that’s made in layers instead of throwing it all together. Korma is a type of South Asian curry made with meat or vegetables braised with yogurt (dahi), stock, and spices producing a thick sauce or gravy. It’s a popular dish in British pubs which will often serve up British - Indian fare. Chef Fowler’s Korma came rec’d on social media by local food writer Michael Nagrant who knows what's up. So I decided to try it on his rec and a good one it was. One of my favorite dishes of the year (vegetarian or otherwise) and further proof that when it comes to cooking with vegtables, South Asian dishes are the gold standard.
The fish n chips were the first thing I tried at Owen & Engine way back when they first opened more than a decade ago. Although I don’t eat fish and chips that often it’s one of my favorite dishes when done properly (hand beaded etc). One of my oldest memories of food and travel takes me back to a family trip we took to Ireland with my moms side back in 1996. I was already a big fan of fried seafood coming from Chicago where there was lots of fried shrimp shacks and stuff. But eating fish and chips right by the ocean in Galway is something I’m always reminded of whenever I get fish and chips. I doubt anything ever surpasses that but this is where I go if I'm looking to re-live that meal.
Owen & Engine
2700 N Western Ave
Chicago, IL 60647
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