Sunday, March 29, 2009

How to make fried rice

--Tailgatin' and how to make mofos start playa hatin' (Recipes)

Sometimes the celeb chefs on the big food shows are just too damn annoying to read and watch. I was just watching a show with one of these annoying hag's ex. Rachel Ray, Martha Stewart, Paula Dean and a handful of others and in it they were doing a Chinese fried rice dish and they made the rice for the dish on the spot as they were preparing to make the fried rice?!?!

Have you ever tried to make fried rice and it came out to damn sticky or not brown enough or just plain bad and nothing like the stuff from the Chinese shack down the street? maybe I can help. I too love fried rice and over the years have figured out how to do it perfectly. The first key is to make sure you use leftover white rice from the previous night. It helps the rice to not stick together and it is how fried rice has always been made, its a leftover dish. To go along with your rice your going to need a meat of some sort and some vegetables along with eggs and vegetable or sesame oil and oyster sauce. My standard is bean sprouts, green onions, peas and carrots along with some leftover Chinese BBQ roast pork, usually when I'm eating out in Chinatown or along Argyle I will grab some of the stuff hanging in the window from the butcher.

My standard selection for adding to my fried rice

crispy sauteed BBQ pork and green onions

I like to cut up my pork into little cubes and sautee them with the onions until crispy and then cook the egg on as wide of a flat surface you can spread it on and when the egg is done pour more oil and some of the oyster sauce and throw in the rice. When the rice has browned and is nice and separated from sauteeing add the pork and the rest of the condiments and top with the scrambled eggs and green tops from the scallions. To kick up your dish you can add whatever else sounds good and of course salt and pepper. Sounds pretty easy huh? It is. So why do so many places continue to serve garbage fried rice?

a great meal for leftover from a Chinese BBQ pork dinner

To all my loyal readers: I am rounding down my 3-week trip to Jamaica and I will get back to the states and regularly updated posts during the month of April. Expect one hell of an article on my favorite place on earth very soon: Negril, Jamaica.

Connect with me on twitter and facebook.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Drunken Hoagies

-The Sammy's of Chi

The address of 2580 N. Lincoln ave on the island at Lincoln and Sheffield has been the home to 3 places in the past 25 years. Back when I was a young lad it was the original home of Slat & Pepper or as the neighborhood kids called it S&P. Then when S&P moved across the street it became the Taco Bandito and I remember even as a 10-12 year old that they had great tamales and breakfasts. Then in and around the late 90's opened up the Chicago suburb of Highwood's late-nite institution the Chicago Hoagie Hut.

A LP late-nite favorite

During my glory years of LP bar hopping my go to spot late-nite was the one and only TBP so I hadn't even been to the Hoagie Hut since they first opened a long time until this past year. The building has always housed a grease pit but the Hoagie Hut is the far and away winner for producing the most. Its small and a locals late-nite favorite so it can get pretty loud and greasy in there after midnight. I actually haven't been there when it was a madhouse and never will because its much to deal with without getting in an altercation but one day when I was really hungover and didn't want to travel far I gave it a try for the first time in years. Besides the fact that its a late-nite spot for young drunk kids in the area I'm not really sure what they are. They have hoagies and cheesesteaks and Italian Beef. The term Hoagie originated in Philly and so its kind of like a mixed Chicago/Philly sandwich place.

a Chicago style cheesesteak

My go to sandwich when I don't want to travel more than a few blocks is the Hoagie Huts "Chicago Style Cheesesteak" which is a piece of ribeye thrown on the grill and chopped down put on a toasted bun and covered with lettuce, tomato, onions, mayo, cheese and oil with a special seasoning that I think makes the sandwich. Its become very fiendish, when I want one I just need that and nothing else. It gets the job done in LP when I'm sober and hungover so I can see why the drunk yuppies love it late at night.

gets the job done where I'm from

Chicago Hoagie Hut
2580 N Lincoln Ave
Chicago, IL 60614
(773) 248-0900

Monday, March 23, 2009

Danny's Pizza & Beef

--Got Beef? Italian Beef
as seen on 'What's Your Beef?'

Ever since I decided that I was going to start my own Italian Beef rating site I have found that there are quite a places that I hadn't/haven't been to yet. On a trip this past winter to Katy's Dumpling House in Westmont I drove by Danny's Italian Beef, pasta and pizza in Brookfield. I'm sure that I passed it before but it didn't really hit my radar until I realized I had to stop in and document a beef. If there are going to be any really good beef spots that I haven't been to than they will be in the far suburbs somewhere so if you have any suggestions let me here them. I'm always excited to try a spot that I haven't been to yet hoping it could become an all first team type beef.

First time beefer here

Danny's is a little pizza/beef shack that has a few tables for dining in but seems to do a pretty good business in take-out and delivery. Quite a few people coming in and out when I went in to try the beef. The pizza slices didn't look half bad but those NY style slices aren't really my thing not to say that what they had was real NY pizza. It was just what most people would consider thin crust cut in slices. I was tempted to get a chicken parm sandwich because I felt that this place could do a nice version due to the fact that most of the Italian stuff on the menu is homemade including the beef. I settled on just the beef with hot and was pleasantly surprised when I opened it up despite the fact it was wrapped in tin foil-a big no no. The places that wrap the beefs in tin-foil tend to have very soggy beefs if they aren't opened up within 15 seconds of eating it. Luckily for me I was dining in on the beef and so I dug into a Danny's beef for the first time.

I said it before and I'll say it again-8 out of 10 places that do a homemade beef do it right. Danny's was a pretty good beef and much better than I was expecting otherwise I would of been there a hell of alot sooner. The beef was a little thicker than your most thin sliced beef but still had no rubbery effect whatsoever and decent beef. I thought the best part of the sandwich was the bread which was above average and I liked the highly seasoned gravy. Unfortunately the worst part was real bad and that was the hot peppers. This giardinara clearly came from a bottle that came from the fridge. It wasn't good to begin with but the fact that it was freezing cold made for a beef that would of been much better plain. If Danny's is going to take the time to do everything else right and make most of their dishes in house they might want to start making homemade hot peppers. Otherwise I suggest getting a beef no hot or with long as they don't come cold from the fridge.

beef with hot from Danny's in Brookfield, IL

Rating Scale 5/5

beef: 3
bread: 4
gravy: 4
hot peppers: 1

Score: 12/20

Danny's Pizza, Beef & Pasta
9123 Ogden Ave
Brookfield, IL 60513
(708) 387-7730‎

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Best Sports Bar Burger in Chi

-Got beef?
The Burgers of Chi

Its that time of year people-March Madness is coming. The time when everyone becomes an expert in D-1 mens college basketball and claims to have majored in bracketology. Work offices see a steady decline in productivity as employees spend hours and hours filling out as many sheets as they can and changing the picks on those sheets up to 15 times a day leading up to the opening tip on day 1. While work firms see a decline in numbers the bars see a major rise throughout the month of March with the help of the tourney and warm weather for the first time in months. Not to mention the Sportsbooks, March is the biggest month of the year for them and people need a place to get a bite to eat, drink and watch the teams they picked bring them one of two things: joy or sorrow. Is there a better time of year in the sports world than the opening round followed by round 2 in a four day span? I don't think so. Its non stop basketball from Thursday to Sunday and the time when we see most buzzer beaters. I told you where to go if you want the best chicken wings at the bars and now I will share with you a little secret on where to get the best bar burger in the city. Except the bar you eat it at doesn't serve any food and its an Irish Pub not a sports bar and where the burger comes from they don't have any TV's or drinks. Huh?

Glascott's on a summer day (Photo: Planet99)

The combination of Glascott's Groggery and Athenian Room is one of the most successful marriages in the city. Glascott's is one of Lincoln Park's oldest drinking establishments and first started quenching the thirst of working Irish immigrants in 1937 and its been all in the family since. It is one of the few spots in Lincoln Park that caters to locals, regulars and the younger crowd. You wont find a better bar in one of Chicago's most storied neighborhoods. For a small time during the late 60's and 1970s the kitchen that today is used by the Athenian Room was the kitchen for Glascott's. The bar kept a very limited menu and the people who ate there usually did so as more of a convenience since they had been drinking. The kitchen was more of a headache than a money maker and after a couple of small grease fires the Glascott's decided to stick strictly with booze.

Since 1937 (website)

About 1971 enter Alex, the owner of the Athenian Room started serving his classic Greek fare as a small counter top operation by renting out the kitchen and what today is the waiting area. Alex then blew out a couple of walls and made the Athenian Room the sitdown joint that it is today. The bar then rents out the building to Athenian Room with a stipulation in the lease that the AR cant have a liquor license and Glascott's wont start serving food. It works out perfectly as Glascott's has a fully stocked bar with a great tap selection as well as mixed drinks and a couple wines and Athenian room offers up Greek food that works perfect as bar food. Even better is the fact that both the bar and restaurant have prices that make them the best in the neighborhood. Technically Glascott's or the combination of the two makes for the best bar food in the city. The bartenders are fully capable of pouring a pint of Guinness properly stored at the right temp and the other beer is always cold and mixed drinks contain more than a shot. Meanwhile the cooks manning the grill over at Athenian Room can pump out some amazing items like skirt Steak Alexander, char grilled burgers, gyros, pork and chicken kebabs, Athenian chicken and those legendary steak fries covered in the secret sauce. There isn't a bad item on the menu but the burger is the best bar burger in the city. The fries are the best fries in the city that don't come from a fast food type place.

Glascott's does Guinness right

If your looking for a place to get a good bite to eat that isn't $15+ and drink some cold brews that aren't $5+ and watch the team you just layed your savings account on play then Glascott's is the spot for you this tournament season or any televised sporting event for that matter. Since Glascott's is a great spot to watch a game on one of the 6+ flatscreen TVs and the fact that they cater to the sports fan it would be alright if the food at AR was just ok. But the fact of the matter is you wont find a better burger and game viewing beer drinking combo in any other bar in Chicago. Its one of my favorite burgers in the city no matter what the category. You get a nice half pound patty that's char grilled and comes with either cheddar or feta. I always go feta and the combo of the char grilled beef, cheese, fresh onions and tomatoes and tsatziki on a sesame seed bun is perfection.

Char Grilled Feta Burger from Athenian Room

Other bars wont have the games on or could care less about them and the special will be $6 Coronas and $8 Long Islands while the ones that do have the games on and a menu will be packed to the brim with recent grads eating crap drinking big cups of cheap beer that's getting spilled everywhere including on you. Since everyone is drunk and young the bars could care less about the food quality and most in the area pump out straight garbage while the ones that are good will cost you $20+ for food alone. That's why its best to let the bars handle the spirits and the restaurants handle the food.

Glascott's Groggery
2158 N Halsted St # 1
Chicago, IL 60614
(773) 281-1205

Athenian Room on Urbanspoon

Friday, March 13, 2009

Corned Beef Hashburger

--Tailgatin' and how to make mofos start playa hatin' (Recipes)

I bet alot of people around the world wake up with their worst hangover of the year on March 18th or the day after your local St. Patrick's day parade. In Chicago its always a week long celebration because we got the downtown parade one week and the southside parade the next weekend and not to mention the actual day of March 17th so its a busy week of drinking for all. Its also spring break time and every now and then the weather warms up and makes you want to go outside and hop from bar to bar doing shots of Jameson. Its a fun time but there's always consequences like a hangover that can only be beat a few ways including drinking more, partaking in other vices or eating. What's better than a greasy sandwich for breakfast to soak up all those car bombs, Jameson shots and pints of Guinness?

This is a recipe that I made by mistake. If your doing any type of corned beef dinner for St. Patrick's day and plan on having leftovers then this recipe is for you. Over the winter I had some leftover corned beef from a dinner and was hungry and also happened to have potato's, onions and peppers so I made some CBH according to my recipe. I wanted to try something different so I put the cooked, chopped potatoes, sauteed onions, peppers and diced corned beef in the Cuisinart and blended it for maybe 5 seconds and it turned out looking great for the griddle.

Looks like the perfect consistency for hash

Only problem was I forgot to add the cream so that it would stick together. I decided I would add 1/2 stick of butter chopped down instead of the usual cream. When I blended the mixture the second time it came out looking like corned beef hash from a can. So I formed a patty and decided to create a corned beef hashburger. Trust me, this did not taste like it came from a can.



KingT's Corned Beef Hashburger

at least a pound of leftover corned beef or cooked corned beef (1/4-1/2 lb per patty)
Potato's diced somewhat small and cooked in boiling water for 3 minutes until cooked thru
1 green/red bell pepper diced
1 Jalapeno diced
1 onion diced
1/2 stick of butter
toasted bread or hamburger buns/rolls
fried egg or sunnyside up egg for on top

~Sautee onions and peppers in olive oil with salt and pepper until translucent

~Add corned beef, potatoes, onion and peppers and butter into a blender and blend until its consistent with ground beef

~form the mixture into patty's and cook the patty's on a buttered pan until each side is nice and brown and crispy (10-15 minutes turning it now and then)

~place patty on toasted bread and top with an egg done your way and another slice of toast


More chibbqking Recipes...

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Love these Tenders

-Grubbing in Chicago
Where locals eat in a spot where there are few

I think that it's been pretty well documented on here that the food in around downtown Chicago is eh-eh at best. If you want to experience the real tastes of Chicago then your going to have to venture off Michigan ave and State St to find them. Go any direction but East and you'll find gem after gem of real Chicago classics. Sorry but locals don't consider Pizzeria Uno and Big Bowl to be anything but tourist traps. I do however understand that some visitors don't have the time or means to travel to the places that make Chicago one of the best eating cities in the world and believe it or not some people that are local and native to the city even hang out downtown in and around the Viagra triangle. In case you were wondering the Viagra triangle is the name for the geographical triangle that makes up State St. Rush St. and Chicago ave in Chicago's Gold Coast neighborhood and some would consider the bars on Division ave to be part of the triangle atmosphere as well.

be scene in the triangle

Whats the atmosphere you ask? It's an area abundant with mostly wealthy older men who frequent the local bars by pulling up to valet in sick vehicles, and the "triangle" where State and Rush Streets come together with East Bellevue Street being the base of the triangle, anchored by Gibson's restaurant, the unofficial headquarters. As my good buddy pointed out in entry over at Urban Dictionary "The gentle ecosystem of the Viagra Triangle could not exist without a fully-stocked pond of anxious, and artificially infertile females. Seven years prior she may have been called a "Trixie" in and around Lincoln Park, but with an East Bank membership, a Platinum card of her own, and several upgrades to the base Lexus, she is looking for more while her looks and latest Botox treatment hold out" So guys if your going to the triangle looking to hook up and have a good time, sorry but the chicks in the triangle all require a personal financial statement and proof of an American Express Black card before you can even sit down and talk to them. They're all game if you do so come and get them.

...and lots of Levitra

Its quite a scene in the triangle on a hot summer day with shoppers and tourists everywhere, people dining along the sidewalk cafes and those just walking around wanting to be seen. It turns into a whole different scene after midnight and I tend to stay away from the area but every now and then I will make a trek down for some drinks and socializing with friends and visitors and engage in chat with the lovely bartenders at every bar. I wont go to half the spots because I wont be that fool who pays $9 for a Guinness and $18 for a sandwich and then before you know it the bill is over $400. Its not that I have a problem spending its just not going to be given to the tourist traps but when in Rome...Dublin's Pub is the Viagra Triangles version of a "dive" bar. I put the quotations because its really anything but a dive bar but its alot less "scene" than the other options in the area. Dublin's is at the corner of State and Maple and is open til 4am 365 days a year. The crowd is a mixed variety as far age and its the bar of choice for industry people in Chicago on Mondays and Tuesdays.

Dublins on a quiet winter night

Dublin's has been a popular hangout for people in the area for a couple of generations now. Its a small cozy place that serves up some of Chicago's best bar food and is a great place in the Gold Coast to get some food and drink and watch a sporting event. However to call it bar food isn't really fair because aside from a few regular bar menu items like burgers and nachos they have quite a menu for a pub. Some of the favorites of regulars are the corned beef and cabbage, the daily homemade soups, burgers are always good, crab cakes, grilled portabella appetizer, lamb kebabs, any and all of the chicken dishes, grilled salmon over salad, pasta dishes such as the house special "Bita's pasta" and so the ladies tell me...the best salads in Chicago. I was introduced to Dublin's by Chicago resident and fellow friend B.W Stalworth who happens to be Chicago's foremost expert on the chicken tender. He also happens to name Dublin's the home of the "best tenders in the world"

B.W describes the perfect most loving tenders as "a real chicken tender, the most tender part at the end of the chicken breast that feels like a babies butt, not a dry tough breast cut into strips, but the actual tender at the end that is then hand battered and fried and tossed in buffalo sauce with love and care" He then goes onto explain that "you see there is only one strip of tender per breast and these days every place will list chicken tenders on the menu but instead serve regular old pre-breaded frozen chicken fingers that might be tossed in sauce or maybe not and served with food industry ranch dressing" Not at Dublin's where B.W "love me tenders" Stalworth has found a home he insists will always be the spot for tenders in the country that made them famous. I have to wholeheartedly agree with B.W and while I hate chicken breast and how boring it is I will always go with tenders those days when I'm watching sports and having a brew at Dublin's with B.W and the crew. The fries are great too and they switch it up by serving waffle fries on some days and thin crispy shoe strings on the others. If your in the area looking for a meal that wont set you back too much then check this place out. I'll give it credit as a great spot to eat and watch the upcoming Madness that is March NCAA basketball. In the end though it still sits in the heart of the triangle and that means that there are no street prices and if you decide to eat and drink and aren't careful your bill could be over $250 real quick.

The best chicken tenders money can buy and they aren't cheap ($12)

Dublin's Bar & Grille
1030 N State St
Chicago, IL 60610
(312) 266-6340

Dublin's Bar & Grill on Urbanspoon

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Rosangela's Pizzeria

-The other Chicago-style pizza: Tavern Style

Rosangela's Pizza in Evergreen park has been a south side institution since 1955. Its been mentioned elsewhere on this site how 95th St. has quite a few chow worthy destinations and this is the spot for pizza in the neighborhood. There was a time when this spot was in my regular rotation back when I was kid and hung out on the south side with my cousins. One day over time since I started this site I had driven by and decided it was time for a return visit...a much overdue visit. It was like stepping back in time as far as the flavors go but they done a little redecorating since I had last been. While the sign and flavors had remained the same it wasn't quite as old school looking on the inside but that's not a big deal as long as the pizza pie stayed in its classic design. One thing that I hadn't remembered but I'm sure glad its etched into my memory now is how good the sauce on the pizza at this place is. One thing that most of these old school Chicago pizza taverns have in common other than the pizza style and atmosphere is that almost all of them were started in the '50's.

Since 1955

Rosangela's has been around since 1955 and I'm going to imagine that the pizza hasn't changed since then because its the same pie as 15 years ago and I don't think they would just up and change it like that. I remembered Rosangela's for a few things among them were the large pieces of Italian sausage loaded on the pie, another one was their distinct crust and dough that's very light and flaky and a great sauce. When the pizza arrived all of those things remained a constant as far as looks go. The pizza was the same as I remember and it has become my favorite thin crust that isn't exactly cracker crisp. I love the big chunks of sausage that are suffocated with a heavy amount of cheese while the sauce is outstanding. Its kind of like a tavern style deep dish in some ways. The crust is unlike any other I have had and I am by no means a pizza expert but I do know a good Chicago style thin and this is right up there with the best in my book. I love the fact that is hasn't changed and the service is still as friendly as ever. This here is a great example of an old school Chicago pizza tavern joint that generations of family's have been going to and will continue to go to until its no more. I don't think that will be anytime soon. Since 1955 for a reason.

Pie as it arrives

The pizza crust isn't thick but its loaded with giant pieces of sausage and layered with cheese

Get familiar

Rating Scale 5/5

crust: 3
sauce: 4
toppings: 5
Crispness: 3

Score: 15/20

Rosangela's Pizzeria
2807 1/2 W 95th St
Evergreen Park, IL 60805
(708) 422-2041

Rosangela Pizzeria on Urbanspoon

I also had a very a good memory that the Italian beef was better than good and one of my favorites growing up. Wanna learn more? check out the sister site devoted to just the Italian Beef.

What's your beef?

Friday, March 6, 2009

Irish-Mexican Nachos

--Tailgatin' and how to make mofos start playa hatin' (Recipes)

If you need a nice little alcohol soaker upper appetizer for your St. Patty's Day party or post parade celebration later this month then you need to check out this creation that I came up with late one night some years ago. Chicago is a damn diverse town and the Mexican and Irish populations play a major part in that role and this recipe. If your on a diet or looking to stay away from junk food this lentil season than you better stop reading now because this is going to give you the munchies regardless of if you smoke. Introducing South Style Irish-Mexican Nachos. Great for St. Patty's day, Cinco de Mayo or anytime of the year.

South Side Irish-Mexican Nachos (Serves 8)

1 bag of frozen ore-ida cottage fries potatoes
1 package of Mexican hot chorizo (2 tubes)
batch of green onions (chopped and green tops saved)
1 bag of shredded Mexican cheese
Mexican crema
salt & pepper

~Cook the potatoes according to the bags instructions. In the meantime cook up your tubes of chorizo in a skillet until its nice and browned. Set chorizo aside when ready and start to slice the onions all the way thru including the green parts.

~When the potatoes are ready salt and pepper them and leave them on the baking tray and cover the tatos with chorizo and then cheese. Broil the platter until the cheese melts and take it out and decorate the platter with the sour cream, onions and sliced green onion tops. Feel free to add whatever else you think will taste good. I would of added sliced banana peppers if I had them.



potato nacho

Gets the job done at 3am

Happy St. Pat's Day, Cinco de Mayo, Pulaski Day or whatever holiday you use an excuse to eat, drink and be merry.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Lunch & Groceries from El Mercado

-Lunch under $6 so you don't gotta eat at Subway

Oh my God! guess what? The Subway $5 for any footlong promotion is back...and so are the annoying commercials that come with it. Don't waste your time and be sucked in and settle for debris when you can get way better for the same price with a little bit of knowing where to go. At the corner of Southport and Grace is El Mercado food Mart, a little corner grocery store specializing in South American goods. Its great that the little corner shop has withstood the redevelopment of the Lakeview neighborhood and the 4 or 5 Subways that are scattered about it.

Lakeviews best kept secret

I imagine that this is what alot of local grocery stores are like in neighborhoods around towns and cities in Argentina. They have a fully stocked meat case tended by a real butcher with great cuts of beef and homemade sausage. If you need any type South American ingredients you will likely find them here. One of the most popular items is the homemade chimichurri sauce available at the butcher counter for a ridiculously low price. Here's a little secret, its the same sauce that the popular Argentine steakhouse Tango Sur next door uses. They offer fresh baked empanadas and other South American bakery treats. The pop selection alone is enough to make you think of all the pop, soda, cola whatever you wanna call it out there in the world that you haven't tried. Even better is the fact that there is a Jewel right down the street and although they don't carry as much as Jewel, seeing as it's much smaller, what they do carry is better than Jewel's selection in both quality and price by a longshot. I am told that they carry the largest selection of Yerba mate in the city if that's your thing. I bet whatever mass produced chimichurri marinade Jewel sells is triple the price of the homemade authentic jars at El Mercado. Seriously if your making lunch at home get a jar of this stuff at $2-$3 and make some pasta or grill a piece of beef or chicken and a side and it will still be cheaper than going to Subway.

The empanada case upon entering

Peruvian Chix empanada (L) Argentinian Beef (R)

I have been a frequent visitor to El Mercado grocery and meat market in Wrigleyville for a few years now. Its a great little neighborhood corner grocery that has withstood the local development of every franchise out there and its one of a kind in the area and these are the places I love. When you first walk in the smell of the fresh baked empanada's that sit on the counter hit you in the face in a oh so good way. These little guys are a steal at a little over a dollar each. I'm partial to the Argentinian beef one's that come with ground beef mixed with onions, raisins, green olives and a slice of hard boiled egg, try finding anything this good on the McDollar menu. When you walk out the door you got three empanadas of choice and a can of pop for under six dollars. El Mercado has the largest selection of bottled pop's and drinks from all sorts of Latin American country's that I have ever seen. One of my favorites is a canned pop simply called "watermelon" I have no idea about it because the label tells you nothing. Great snack to bring in with you to a Cub's game if they still allow food from outside, I cant remember. This is one of my frequent stops during summertime for grilling material and a quick cheap bite that tastes good.

Two of my three 'nadas and Watermelon pop that were under $5 on a visit

Chicken (L) Beef (R)

El Mercado Grocery
3767 N Southport
Chicago, IL 60613
(773) 477-5020

Sunday, March 1, 2009

McBob's in Milwaukee

Eating like a local:
Regional food specialties

-Pub grub in Milwaukee

Baseball season and summer is around the corner and that means a few trips to Milwaukee are in store for us Cubs fans. I've made no attempt at hiding my hatred for the Packers but that's about where it ends in my hate for the great state of Wisconsin. During the summertime it's a foodies paradise and I'm not sure there's a state out there that has as many unique regional dishes famous to the state. Although Wisco is rich in food and beer from top to bottom and left to right it all centers around Milwaukee. The little city to the north of Chicago that shares Lake Michigan with us is one of the best places to take a short trip to eat and drink during summer. Its so close people sometimes forget just how fast you can get there shooting down 94. I'm not one of those people that forget and neither are most Cubs fans who flock to Wrigley Field North for every Cubs/Brewers game over summer. Not to mention Milwaukee is home to the world's largest outdoor music fest. Milwaukee Summerfest is always a prime location for girls and fun, and when paired with beer I've never been and not had an absolute blast. Even though Summerfest is a two week event, drinking is a year long thing and the pub's around the city are always packed with people during summer.

McBob's Pub on North ave. in Milwaukee, WI

Next time you take a trip north check out McBob's Pub located on the West Side not to far a drive from the ballpark. McBob's looks like your average Milwaukee Irish Pub from the outside and when you first enter it looks the same. There are loads of regulars drinking, smoke is in the air and everyone seems to know each other and has a shot in their left hand and a beer in their right. Its an Irish pub so most of the people are there to get hammered and they include people of all sorts. Like alot of bars that haven't outlawed smoking there's an unusual smell in the air and you might ask yourself what it is. Its the combination of beer, smoke and corned beef and if its a Wednesday or Friday its even more pungent when the fish fry is going on. You wouldn't know it unless you were told or are a local but McBob's has some of the best pub food in the state of Wisconsin and that's high honor.

McBob's like many Chicago bars is attached to a house

The highlight in the month of March is St. Patty's day which means pints of Guinness poured right, shots of Jameson, parades and corned beef. In Milwaukee there's actually quite a few legendary places to get a great corned beef sandwich and it is often left out when people talk about the great food finds in the city. It's right there with the fish frys, butter burgers, brats, cheese curds, custard, mustard, Kringle, fruit pie's, bloody Mary's and beer. Over at McBob's where the customer base is as diverse as the neighborhood everyone is there for one of two things but most are there to do both. Eat and drink.

The corned beef sandwich at McBob's is the star of the show that has many stars. It's pretty much unlike any other corned beef you have had or at least that is the case for me. McBob's doesn't machine slice their corned beef but rather hand cuts it into much thicker pieces than one is used to. The result is some of the most tender and rich in flavor corned beef I have ever tasted. The meat starts falling apart as soon as you pick it up. Its kicked up another level with the horseradish mustard but then is brought down a level with the bread that they claim to be Rye but looks and tastes much more like plain old white bread. It's a shame because if this corned beef had some real Rye then it might take best in country because the flavor is the best piece of cured beef I have had the pleasure of inhaling. McBob's is open for breakfast and drinks in the early morning and is said to have a great corned beef hash in the same style as the sandwich. Big hunks of corned beef with chunks of American potatoes and some onions all thrown on a plate.

Sandwich as it arrives

Gives you an idea of how they the cut the corned beef

Happy St. Pat's Day later this month

One of the more famous foods of Wisconsin is the Friday fish fry. It's damn near impossible to find a restaurant/tavern in the state that isn't a chain that doesn't do a Friday night fish fry. What started out as a way of not eating meat on Friday's during lent season for Wisconsin's Roman-Catholic population has turned into a Friday night ritual that is a year long thing enjoyed by everyone. McBob's not only offers it's Fish Fry on the traditional day of Friday but it's also available on Wednesday's. They get the fish fresh every Wednesday and Friday mornings and its the real deal. McBob's offers up three different types of fish for their fry. The Lake Perch, Walleye and Grouper are all available as combos or you can do what I do and order the super combo (all three). McBob's does a wonderful job of pan frying the fish in a highly seasoned but very light coating.

Another classic Wisconsin stamp on the Friday fish fry is potato pancakes. Usually places will offer their fish fry with some homemade potato pancakes and McBobs is no exception. The pancakes on the fish fry over there are homemade pieces of super thin pancakes with bits of onion that are served beneath the fish. The combination of the two is pure heaven. Another very popular food item I have yet to try on McBob's menu are their Irish Celtic tacos. Basically a white trash taco of a large flour tortilla covered in ground beef, lettuce, tomatoes, onion, sour cream and salsa. Don't bother asking for a fork to eat them with. Served Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday.

Traditional Wisconsin Friday fish fry with potato pancakes underneath

What can I say? Cubs fans like to drink, yes even the real ones who know the game, history and players of the past and present. They serve the best summertime beer in the world at Miller Park. If you think I'm talking about that best beer being Miller Lite or any Miller product for that matter than stop reading, you don't belong on this site. Spotted Cow as I have mentioned before is a great beer and along with Guinness makes up my favorite brews on earth. I'll drive to Milwaukee to eat dinner and that's just what I did to document my favorite local pub/eatery in the city. Now you should have no problems making a weekend trip and taking a scenic cruise down the lake or just take 94 if you want to get there and start eating ASAP and see a game or two. Its easier to get tickets for a Cubs game there than it is Wrigley and to be quite honest there aren't nearly as many stupid people that are there to drink, tan and be seen as opposed to watch the official game of summer and enjoy a beer on a nice beautiful day.

McBob's Pub and Grill
4919 W North Ave
Milwaukee, WI 53208
(414) 871-5050

McBob's Pub & Grill on Urbanspoon


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