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Sunday, April 21, 2013

Filini Bar & Restaurant (Chicago)

Filini Bar and Restaurant, 221 North Columbus Drive, Chicago, USA  Ph# 312-477-0234  Located in the beautiful Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel Chicago, which is 18 stories of hotel then the rest to the top which is 82 stories are private residences.  The restaurant is on the floor above the bar and is an Italian restaurant.  I am only dealing with the bar.  It is a very modern looking bar, with these angle shopped booths that are quite big. The tables in the booths have glass tops with little electric candles underneath the glass, looks cool.  The sit up bar can easily seat 20 and is quite long with the cooks area to one end.  You may have not noticed, but I didn't say sat comfortably.  That is because at the bar and the two long tables have these bar stools that kinda look like chunks of dinosaur eggs.  These have to be the worst seats I have ever sat in, and I am not alone making that comment.  Everyone that I was with who were in this bar said the same thing. When you sit in them you start sliding forward and down and if not careful right out of the chair on to the floor.  All that and you haven't had a drink yet.  We had to move out of these chairs and sit at one of the round tables with normal chairs.  Crazy stools I say!  Filini has a couple of flat screens tv's at one end.  We found the food in the bar sub-par.  The Capri salad, with Buffalo milk mozzarella cheest, marinated tomatoes, the tomatoes in it that weren't ripe.  The waitress even commented on it at the end of our meal.  We also had the brushetta, and it was just OK.  The prices for what you got were high as well. They had 2 or 3 different types of beer on tap. There you go.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Pippin's Tavern (Chicago)

Pippin's Tavern, at Rush and Division, Chicago USA.  This is a small bar that really packs a punch! It's capacity is 62, and I bet all 62 were there when we were.  They have a rounded rectangle bar in the center. This sit up bar probably seats 30, and when you get a seat you keep it! Seating is at a premium and lots of the University crowd was here as well as a more mature set, LOL!  They have, get this 29 different beer on tap, and the bartender said it is always changing! This place looks like it has been around for quite a while, the bare wood floors are worn by time.  They have a sidewalk patio but not in use when we were there as it was cool out.  There are stool situated around the outside walls and windows of the bar.  A cool feature is you can play the juke box using your smart phone.  What will they think of next....sliced bread?  They had all sorts of music playing spanning all generations.....OK not all generations but 1960's to the present.  There was a guy having a beer reading a book with everything going on, I don't know how he did it.  If it was me, I would have to read the book again after I left, A really cool little bar.  Well worth going to!!

The Kerryman (Chicago)

The Kerryman, at the corner of  West Kinzie Street and North Clark Street, Chicago USA.  An Irish bar and at first I was not sure, but it grew on me. It is a two level bar with a situp bar on the main floor seats about 10 and the bigger more party bar up on the second floor seats 15.  The stairs going up had the name The Kerryman light up on each step as is was fairly dark in there, this was a nice touch.  The bar is done in nice dark wood through out.  They have 10 different beer on tap.  The second level wraps around so you can look down at the main bar.  The food was OK.. I had the three crab cakes and they were just OK.  My wife had the chili and found it rather salty.  It was very dark where we sat making it very difficult to see.  I asked for a flashlight and the waitress brought some crappy little fake candle that if it was any dimmer it wouldn't give off any light! All in all the decor was very nice and it had a good feel to it.

Harry Caray's Bar (Harry Caray's Italian Steakhouse) (Chicago)

Harry Caray's Bar in the Harry Caray's Italian Steakhouse, 33 West Kinzie Street, Chicago USA.  Now this place is beautiful and full of history.   Harry was the famous Chicago Cubs broadcaster, who passed away a few years ago.  Upon the 4th floor, Frank NITTI lived.  NITTI was the enforcer for Al CAPONE, his in laws owned the building.  In 1998 during renovations the discovered secret tunnels, safe and room used by NITTI and CAPONE.  You can go down stairs and see if for free.  Back to the bar....the situp bar is long and seats about 20 people.  There are 10 tables along the window and they each sit 4 people per table.  There are all  kinds of sports and celebrity memorabilia through out the bar and steakhouse.  This place is beautiful, I just can't say enough about it!  We got to sit and watch the Chicago Cubs vs San Francisco Giants there as well.  For lunch I had the grilled corned beef sandwich which was about 2 inches thick, topped off with coleslaw and cheese.  It came with home made french fries.  My wife had the chicken pesto sandwich with Swiss cheese and fresh spinach and that was also very good.  I must say that was one of the best corned beef sandwiches ever!!  They also serve every one deep fried potato slices.  They have 14 different types of beer on tap.  Great place, I give it 2 thumbs up and highly recommend it if you are in Chicago!!

Captain Morgan Club (Wrigley Field)

Captain Morgan Club, Wrigley Field, home of the Chicago Cubs.  This is a great place to go.  It is attached to Wrigley Field, so on game day it is open, and you don't need a ticket to the game to go to it.  But once in side it you need a ticket to go in to Wrigley field.  It was a cool day when I was there for the Chicago Cubs vs the San Francisco Giants (Cubs lost 7-6).  40 degrees F at 120 pm game time with drizzle and a slight breeze.   So going to the Captain Morgan Club was great!  They had a DJ pumping out tunes.  The girls were working hard keeping everyone happy!  A bunch of tv's in side.  There is a much larger outside patio area, but on this day inside was just great.  You can get a very healthy drink (Whiskey, rum vodka etc.) in a plastic mug (that you can keep) for $12.00. As for food, there are so many places near by and in the ball park.....fooget about it!  There is a giant statue of Capotain Morgan in the patio area with his classic foot up pose.  I can only imagine what this place is like on a nice sunny day or a nice warm evening!  I enjoyed it here and to top it off going to the Cubs game at Wrigley Field, WOW!

Tilted Kilt Pub and Eatery (Chicago)

Tilted Kilt Pub and Eatery, 17 North Wabash, 2nd floor, Chicago, USA. Ph#312-269-5580.  Located on the Jewelery Row and on the second floor.  Yes there is an escalator and elevator to get you up there.  They have a large rectangular bar that sits 40 people easily!  There are a lot of TV's all over and a huge projection screen to boot.  This is a very large place and no shortage of places to sit.  Now as for the waitresses, they are dressed in very mini kilts, tiny crop top blouses undone in the front with a built in plaid bra look, and a sporran to top it off.  Way better than Hooters for sure!  They have 15 different types of beer on tap.  The food is the standard pub fare, burgers, pizza, salad etc.  I never ate there so can't tell you about the food.  They have specials and various events going on.   Lots of waitresses and good service!  The window seats look out at Wabash Street and you look directly at the "L" which is the elevated train system.

M-Bar (Chicago)

M-Bar located in the Pedaway (underground walking tunnel system) near the Millennium Station.  Doesn't look like much from the out side as it is all glass, but very nice on the inside. Beautiful curved bar, with pennies inlaid in it and sits 25 comfortably.  They have 12 flat screen tv's, with sports on all of them.  As for beer on tap, they have 8 different types.  I didn't eat here, but others were and they were telling the bartender how good the food was.  Numerous people sitting and waiting for a train.  You can catch a train to South Bend, Indiana.  I went as far as Gary Indiana.....not a place I recommend you go.  That is a different story in its self.  They also have 12 tables seating from 2 to 4 and 3 of the tables are bar height.  The Bartender said that they are really busy when the Chicago Cubs are playing.  Pretty handy bar and nice too!!

Billy Goat Tavern (Chicago)

Billy Goat Tavern North Michigan Avenue (lower level) Chicago, USA.  Ph# 312-222-1525.  This place was established in 1934 and made famous on on tv, Saturday Night Live, in the skit, "Cheezborger, Cheezborger, Cheezborger, No Pepsi...Coke!" It is under ground kind of, as Chicago has two levels of streets down town and this place is on the lower level.  They have 7 other locations but this is the Original one and the one to go too!!  You walk in and the place smells of fried food.  No fancy wine glasses here.  Wine comes in a regular glass, at least the price is decent.  The sit up bar is a reversed L shape and holds 15 people.  They have a staggering 3 or 4 beer on tap.  Lots of people were there and all having a good  time, most were also eating but I did not sample the food while I was there.  They have 2 or 3 tv's.  Nothing fancy but lost of atmosphere.  A must do if you are in Chicago!!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Jake Melnick's Corner Tap (Chicago)

Jake Melnick's Corner Tap, 41 East Superior Street, Chicago, USA.  Ph 312-266-0400   They have a nice long dark wood bar that seats 25 people, on nice comfortable bar stools. chairs.  One thing they have is the Monster burger which is 8 pounds.  The bartender said it is 8 inches across and 10 inches high.  He said they sell about 1-2 per week at $49.95, but has never seen anyone finish it!! They have a sidewalk patio.  Lots of people came in for lunch.  They have two big tables in the middle that are bar height and each table seats 20 people.  BBQ is their specialty, and chicken wings. For lunch I went with the Trio of Pork Sliders, which came with three sliders, Carolina, Kansas and Georgia style and came with home made fries.  Wow where they ever good.  The washrooms were also very clean and neat!  I would come back for sure!!!

Lodge Tavern (Chicago)

The Lodge Tavern, 21 West Division Street, Chicago USA.  Ph# 312-642-4406.  Established in 1957, this small little cozy bar oozes with character!  Lots of wood and old pictures adorn the walls.  In talking to the bartender she said, the Chicago Blackhawks of the National Hockey League, came in just after they won the Stanley Cup in 2010!  She also said that they were very polite!   Every day they served free chili for lunch! Woohoo!  In the back, they have a little area that is like a speakeasy and is only open on Friday and Saturday nights, how cool is that!?  They have peanuts and you are encouraged to throw the shells on the floor.  I really like this place, it has a great feel to it and everyone is so friendly!  As for the food, no idea, never had a chance to try it.  This placce is a classic and I give it 2 thumbs up, go there for sure if you have a chance!!

Rudy's Bar and Grille (Chicago)

Rudy's Bar and Grille, 69 East Madison Street, Chicago USA.  Located right Millennium Park.  It also has a very nice long sit up bar that can easily seat 22-24 people.  There are signed, framed, sports jerseys all over the walls.  They have4 flat screen tv's.  There is a regular seating area just past the bar in the back, This back area has lots of pictures of old Chicago.  10 different beer on  tap.The service was very good and very efficient.  Lots of local professional workers were in for lunch and the food looked good.  I did not have a chance to try it out.  I say try it out, I enjoyed it!

Murphy's Bleachers (Chicago)

Murphy's Bleachers, right across form the famous Wrigley Field, Second oldest baseball park in USA. Home of the Chicago Cubs baseball club.  I don't need to give you the address or directions as once in Chicago it is easy to find and nestled in the middle of a residential neighbourhood.  They have sit up bars as you can see from the photos. Tons of sports memorabilia on the walls.  I can only imagine what it is like the few hours leading up to a cubs game!!  When I was there the Cubs were not playing so it was pretty quites.  I did manage to go to a Cubs game later.....but that is another story!!  They have over 20 different types of beer on tap. For lunch I had to go with the hot dog, it came Chicago style which means no ketchup, it has diced tomatoes, dill pickle spear, mustard a few spices and very good!!  I would love to go here before a Cubs game on a nice warm sunny day...aaahhh!  Two thumbs up for sure!!
The following is what they say on their menu:
I has been a fixture for over 80 years and a haven for Cubs fans. ( the name has changed a few times over the years)  It  became the legend when Chicago Police Detective Jim Murphy took over.   He had a vision and transformed an entire neighbourhood.  Beside expanding the tavern inside and out, Jim was one of the first to display sports memorabilia! He also in 1984 opened the first roof top n 1984 sparking a movement that would define Wrigleville.  It is still a family owner and run business, and serving locally brewed craft beer.

Lizzie McNeill's Irish Pub (Chicago)

Lizzie McNeill's Irish Pub, 400 North McClurg Court, Chicago, USA Ph 312-467-1992.  Located on the Chicago River in downtown Chicago.  Long sit up bar that can seat 15 people.  9 flat screen tv's.  18 different types of of beer on tap.  The have a huge out side patio area but not open when I was due to the face it was a little cool out! They did have a very good Irish Whiskey selection I must say.  Hey! They even have a shuffleboard, any place with a shuffleboard has to  be good!   The seats along the window are old church pews.  I was there when it was very quiet, but I can imagine on a nice day this would be a good place, the location alone!

O'Callaghans Pub (Chicago)

O'CallaghansPub (Chicago), 26 Wes Hubbard Street, Chicago, USA. ph 312-527-1180.  I pretty good Irish Pub and listening to the bartender talking, lots of the employees past and present are from Ireland. Beautiful sit up bar that seats 25-30 people.  The bar its self is long and narrow with pub high seats and tables along the wall parallel to the bar that you can squeeze 4 people per table.  14 different beer on tap. The area behind the bar is beautiful, all in dark wood, with lots of detail.  It has 4 semi nude statues in the pillars with mirrors behind.  There were 4 flat screen TVs in the bar.  I did not have a chance to try the food. 
There was a good atmosphere in this place, and I wish I could have spent more time there.  I would say give it a try, I am sure you will enjoy it!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Dick's Last Resort (Chicago)

Dick's Last Resort (Chicago) 315 North Dearborn Street, Chicago, USA at the base of the Marina City Towers over looking the Chicago River.  I found this place while on a river boat tour and had to go!  This is the place to go for fun, they insult you and please take it in stride!  They will make goofy hats for you.  there is the main bar area where I was.  There is also the family area to the other side of it.  One feature over the bar area is the over 70 different bras that various patrons have signed and donated to hang in the bar with pride!  When I was there there were 13 different types of beer on tap, but they are in the transition period switching from their winter beer to the spring/ summer beer and they usually have 20 different types of beer on tap.  there are 6 tv's n the bar area to watch.  The sit up bar can seat about 15 people.  this is the place to go for a good time, all set in a nautical theme.  They have live bands from 730 pm to 1000 pm.  The waitress said that the staff gets meaner and nastier as the day goes on, sounds like fun to me!!  The menu had burgers, catfish,  steak, crab cakes and a lot more.  There is an out door patio right over the river!  The staff was very friendly and looked after everyone very well. They also have a nice gift shop. I gotta say, a two thumbs up to this place for sure!!

Shamrock Club (Chicago)

Shamrock Club, 210 West Kinzie Street, Chicago, USA,  phone 312-321-9314They claim it is the River north's neighborhood bar and grill.  The bar is long and narrow and seats about 10 people.  They have 11 different types of beer on tap.  In the back there is a very small pool table, I am guessing about 3 feet by 5 feet. There are 6 tables along the wall seating 4 people and there are 6 bar height tables as well.   It has an attempt at an Irish theme through out.  The Menu consists of burgers, pizza Italian beef sandwiches and appys.  This is more just a watering hole. 4 flat screen tv's adorn the walls with sports on them.  There are many far better places in the near by area and you don't have far to go to them.  In my opinion, I would try many other places before this one.  Hey, but who am I to say!!

Gene & Georgetti (Chicago)

Gene and Georgetti, 500 North Franklin, Chicago, USA.  Known as a great steak house since 1941, this place has a beautiful sit up bar, that can seat 14 people.  Rich dark wood bar, well looked after.  The area behind the bar is also very beautiful with nice columns, great detail.  Very classic old style look! Numerous photos on the walls of celebrities that have visited this place. There are about 7 tables that each seat 4 people.  The food looked awesome, lots of locals coming in.  The bartender and waiters all word dark dress pants, white dress shirts, long white aprons and all wore ties.  As I sat up at the bar and ordered my glass of wine, they also served you a glass of ice water and kept it full.  The food that kept coming out to the tables looked very good, unfortunately I did not get to try it.  The service was impeccable, I wish I could have eaten here!  Lots of class here. I give this place two thumbs up for sure, I wish that I could have spent more time here!!

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Varsity Inn (Burlington, Washington)

Varsity Inn, 112 N. Cherry Street, Burlington Washington, U.S.A.  Ph 360-755-0165.  Located a block away from the Train Wreck Bar.  Upon entering the Varsity Inn, we were made to feel very welcome.  The Manager, Kerry, took care of us and filled us in on the Varsity Inn.  Half of this tavern allows people under 21 to enter.  They are not allowed at the bar or the seating directly behind the bar stools (area).  The sit up bar as you can see in the picture sits 14 people on these cool old bar stools that are mounted to the raised area of the floor.  They have 10 different types of beer on tap and a full bar with liquor wine and canned/ bottled beer.  They have a nice selection of wines, I had the 14 Hands Chardonnay which was quite nice and priced at $5.00 for a glass.  The happy hour is Monday to Friday from 2-6pm.  For lunch, I had the 3 sliders, which are 3 mini hamburgers, with their own slider sauce, bacon strip and a big hunk of blue cheese on top.  It was very good.  My wife had the fish tacos, which was also 3 tacos.  They had a little zing to them.  They were quite good and a lot there!!  They have all kinds of specials all week which include 1/2 price pizzas on Wednesdays.  They are cooked in their pizza oven.  No frozen pizza here!  Out back is a nice patio area and lots of parking to boot!  The owner of this bar also owns the Longhorn Saloon in Edison Washington about an hour away ( haven't tried it yet).  The Varsity Inn was a very clean place as were the washrooms.  The cook was dressed in proper chef attire which maintains a good image.  I can definitely say that I give this place two thumbs up and will be back for sure!!  This was a very nice surprise to find such a good place!

2013 July, went there again and awesome again.  I tried the pizza this time and was very pleased.  I had the "Mafia Pizza", great crust, which by the way they get their bread and dough from an artisan bakery in Edison, Washington!  It had Mozzarella and Provolone cheese, olives, spiced Italian sausage, mushrooms,  roasted garlic and salami (I held back the grilled red onions).  It was amazingly good!!  My wife had the  "Steak Tri Tip Salad"  again a great salad, fresh lettuce and lots of great steak!  Enough that she took half of it home for a snack!  I am coming aback here again!!!

Late June 2014, I was there for lunch and had the pleasure of Veronica the new bartender of 3 1/2 weeks looking after me.  She is very friendly and looks after all of her customers like they are family! The.... and I couldn't resist "The Mafia" pizza was still very very good! It is so good I can't try anything else!  I will be back for sure!

February 2015, took some friends there and once again the food was amazing, the Mafia pizza still one of the best around and that crust!!  Also one of the specials was a prime Rib dip with fries or salad.  It was sooooo good and my buddy said, it is now the new bench mark for beef dips and it will be hard to beat!!  Look forward to going there again, and yes kids are welcome on one side only.