Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Goose Island Chicago

While we’re on the pub thing, I have to tell you about my favorite place. Goose Island in Wrigleyville, Chicago. This place is so close to Wrigley field you can spit out the door and hit the sign. Well, not quite. Its a few hundred feet away. One of my favorite memories of Goose Island is watching a Cubs game on TV there after walking around the stadium where all the excitements was going on. Location is big with this restaurant. They have two other great things going for them too.

First, the beer. Goose Island is a growing craft beer that is now distributed by Anheuser Busch and can be bought outside of Chicago. Honkers Ale is their flagship beer, and my personal favorite is the India Pale Ale. Don’t limit yourself; they have a few on tap that aren’t in bottles so try a few, like the RyePA. The 312 Urban Wheat beer is great.

Second, the food. Try the Stilton Burger sometime. It is a half-pound of hamburger, covered in pepper, with Düsseldorf mustard, Stilton cheese, and roasted garlic on a pumpernickel bun. This is a burger that will satisfy you and remind you that you ate it for hours and is the best $10.50 you can spend in the city. There are quite a few other choices, including fried pickles.

If you are in Chicago, definitely check out the Goose Island Brew Pub, and for more info check out their web site at,

Sweeney's Walden

Okay, let’s start with a nice easy review of one of my favorite places, Sweeny’s in Walden. Sweeney’s burnt to the ground a few years ago, was rebuilt from the ground up, and is nice and warm in décor. One of the best things is that the rebuild was done after the clean air act and the place has no stale smell of smoke. In fact, it is spotlessly clean both inside and out.

The food is simple and the menu isn’t long, but there are some nice choices to be had, especially in the burgers. My favorite burger is the Spicy Buffalo Burger. It has hot sauce, bacon, and a blue cheese dressing. Order it with the onion rings, the best I’ve had, and you have a winning meal for only $8.95. For sandwiches, I like the Reuben as it is a real sandwich you can pick up with your hands. Nice lean meat. The Shepherd’s Pie is good too.

The beer selection is good, Guinness, Smithwicks, Harp, and a few others on tap, as well as a bottled selection. The service is good too, and friendly. I’ve never had a bad meal here and always feel welcome. During the day, Veronica will wait on you with her pleasant smile and Irish accent.

Check out their website at