Archive for the ‘Wellington’ Category

S and G Sign

The S&G Resturant or Sam & George’s Resturant is on North Lincoln in Lakeview on the corner of Wellington and has been on the corner serving up breakfast and diner fare for over 50 years since 1957. They are open 7 days a week, which is great for us, but must be tiring for them. The tagline on their website is simple and says ‘Just Good Food’ well that was enough to draw me into a little trip over to the area via the El to Wellington and then a 10 minute walk or so across to North Lincoln, just to get some breakfast.

Inside Sam and Georges

Inside Sam and George’s it is pretty much everything that I look for and that I hope for from a neighbourhood mom and pop type of place. You have quite a few booths that you can slip into (although be warned they are kind of quite a tight squeeze), you can sit up at the counter on a stool for some solo, or sociable eating action, or you you can sit in the back room area on a proper table. It has it all. The waitresses are friendly and accommodating and most importantly it feels homely and relaxed, juts the sort of place to pop into when you need something simple and wholesome.

Breakfast Specials

Now I came in here specifically looking for some sort of breakfast action and that is what I found on their basic Breakfast Specials Menu. I have to be totally honest, I really don’t know how some of these places manage to survive at these prices? It can be such great value!

Breakfast Menu More

OK so maybe you could ‘splash the cash’ a little towards the foot of the menu by ordering a plate of ‘country fried steak’ for $8.95, but one would not have to, there is plenty for around $5. Who needs Denny’s or ihop?

Breakfast Plate

I went for the option of “Two eggs, Two Sausage, Two Bacon and Hash Browns and Two pieces of Toast” for $6.55. I know I could have scored a really good cheaper deal, but I just wanted a bit of everything on the plate and I knew I needed to keep my strength up for some serious strolling around the city looking for other places for future food hunting visits. Well that is my excuse and I am sticking to it. It was all good on the plate, decent not spectacular, but just what I was needing at that very moment. You could have your eggs anyway that you wanted them (as always) and I chose to have mine fried so that I had a nice runny yolk to mix into my hash browns. The sausage links were fine, solid and meaty,  and the bacon was nice and crispy (just as I like). Did I mention that I also got a glass of orange juice as well? Most excellent!

Todays Specials

They have a lot more on the menu as well as just the breakfast plates. There are daily specials which seemed to be fair priced, the day I was there they were offering up Fried Ocean Perch for $9.95. You can check out their menu online, and there is a fair amount to browse through as well, including some pretty tempting stuff.

There is so much, but I have to pick out just a couple of things that I must return to try out! The first one of those is from the section that they call ‘The Melt Shop’ and that is the ‘Patty Melt’ which they describe as “1/3lb Burger Melts Between Two Slices of Cheese that Melts Between Slices of Onions, that Melts Between Two Slices of Rye for a Truly Melting Treat” did I mention that was from the ‘Melt Shop section? (not sure I needed to). The price for that is $10.95 and it comes served with ‘Lettuce, Tomato, Pickle, French Fries or Tater Tots, Coleslaw and a Bowl of Soup’.

The second item is from their ‘S&G Super Sandwiches’ Section which all come with a Bowl of Soup and the same ‘Lettuce, Tomato, Pickle, Coleslaw, French Fries or Tater Tots’. The Choice from this section is going to have to be the ‘Francheezie Deluxe’ which is a ‘Kosher Hot Dog Stuffed with Cheese and Wrapped with Bacon’ for $9.95…sounds yummy. It was the bacon wrapping that did it for me. Gosh and now I am thinking about it, I am getting peckish again!

I could go on and on and drool through the ‘Egg Skillets’ section, or the ‘Steak and Eggs’, the ‘Waffles’ and the ‘Pancake’ but I will be restrained and instead just encourage you to check it out for yourselves.

Sign

Sam and Georges Restaurant or S&G as the sign says is on the Corner of North Lincoln (3000 North Lincoln to be exact) and Wellington at a great big multi-way cross roads, so be careful of traffic. You can get there from the Brown Line at Wellington, or just take the bus up (or down) Lincoln Avenue which will probably get you closer and with less of a walk.

The last word is from S&G who say on their website that

‘Our Neighbors Often Copy Us – But Never Equal Us!

If you have the time, why don’t you check them out and see for yourselves? Enjoy!

S&G Restaurant on Urbanspoon

 

 

 

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Duke of Perth

There are so many Irish bars in Chicago that sometimes it gets a bit boring, so was nice to find The Duke of Perth which is a Decent Scottish pub over in Lakeview on Clark Street. I am sure that for its regular punters it is a great neighbourhood bar, but for many of us I think it is the pub we go too when we fancy stuffing our faces with ‘All you can eat Fish and Chips’ for $10.25

They are not messing around when they made that offer, the last time I took advantage I started with a big plate with two large bits of battered fish, and I was only half way through when the chef came out of the kitchen with a pan of more fish walking around the Fish and Chip eating tables offering more and more. I have to be honest the plate that you start with it pretty much enough for me it is a quite generous offering.

Duke of Perth Specials Board

They just have that offer on Wednesdays and Fridays, but there are plenty of other things on the menu that can tempt your fancy. I believe that they probably boast the side with the longest name in the city The “Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch Leek Sticks” That is fresh leeks, lightly battered and flash fried with a dip. I am not sure how the name fits into the Scottish theme as it is named after a Welsh village but there are gaelic ties I suppose. Other menu items I have my eye on are the Scotch Egg burger, essentially a burger and fried egg combo, and the Lochinver Fish Po-Boy, just because I like poboys.

As you would expect they have a really good selection of whiskies and malts here, but I am always drawn to drinking the beers which are really good especially the Belhaven Scottish Lager, and the Belhaven Scottish Ale. In fact I haven’t seen the Lager anywhere else in the city, but I am sure its out there somewhere.

The closest el stops are probably on the Brown Line at Wellington, but you could walk down here from the Red and Brown Belmont stop. The easiest way here is to ride the Clark Street bus, which stops more or less outside.

Duke of Perth on Urbanspoon

Clark Street Dogs was one of the first places that I ever went to in Chicago, and on that occasion I had my first italian sausage. I did not have anything to compare that with so at the time I thought it was quite good. I went back a second time and tried one of their Philly Cheesesteaks, that time I had plenty to have compared it with having eaten at many of the best cheesesteak outlets in Philidelphia the home of the cheesteak. My verdict on that? It was dreadful, nothing like a cheesesteak that I had ever eaten.

All of this was before I started writing this blog, so when I walked by last week I thought I should go back in and give them just one more try. Up at the counter I was curious as to what they thought their speciality was. “Philly Cheesesteak”was the answer, against or rather with my better judgement I manged to choke back my disbelief. “Oh really? I have tried that before, what else is good? “. Surprsingly the answer was not some sort of hot dog or sausage, but rather it was an “original style gyros”. I suppose the term ‘original’ means that it does not have to be anywhere near traditional or authentic. Somewhat apprehensively I opted for one of those for $6.29. But then I thought I really should try a Clark St Dog as well, so I stumped up the $3.29 for one of those as well.

So this was the “Original style gyros” served with their homemade tzatziki sauce, tomatoes, and onions on a grilled pita. My honest verdict was that I didn’t really like any of the components. The sauce was some strange interpretation of tzatziki, more just like white paste, the meat was dry and the rest just unappetizing. Shame really.

The other item I sampled was the “Clark Street Hot Dog” this was served with mustard, onion, relish, tomato, pickle and sport peppers. I took mine without the pickle or peppers as I knew that I would just be pulling them off anyway. To be frank this was not much better either. All in all quite a sad interpretation of the Chicago Dog.

I don’t know if this was just a bad day at the office, but given my previous experience I think that there are many better places to head to for your really unhealthy snacks. Located at 3040 N Clark Street. It is pretty easily accessible from both the Wellington Brown line stop, and from the Belmont (Brown/Red) stop as well.

The Clark St. Dog on Urbanspoon

For sometime now I have been walking along Clark St to various other eateries and keep on passing by the “Sandwich me In” sandwich shop. Each time I think ‘dang it’ I could have eaten there, but then another week passed by and I had forgotten to try them out. So this weekend I was determined to finally ‘sandwich them in’

 

Both inside and outside your eyes are embattled with a selection of tasty sounding sandwiches, specials, and sides. The ‘sandwich’ board outside listed the specials, daily soups and homemade drinks. In the window is a picture montage of all the sandwiches that they have on offer, while inside there is a huge chalk board giving the breakdown of each sandwich. There are a lot of really great sounding combinations and initially I was considering one of their pork loin or pulled pork sandwiches. But no, I was sucked into having a Fried Egg BLT, well when I say that it sucked me in, to be honest it just shouted out to me from the menu board and became the only option I wanted to consider.

All of the sandwiches came with a choice of salad, shoestring potato chips (with BBQ dipping sauce) or the soup of the day, but I suppose I didn’t really have to tell you that as it is on the picture of the sandwich board I already showed you and the savvy of you will have noted two soups, maybe I should just post pics. It’ll be worse further down the page when I basically repeat the ingredients of the chosen sandwich expanding each item description with words such as ‘tasty’, ‘crunchy’, ‘crisp’, and even a rather lame ‘nice’. So anyhow I chose the homemade tomato soup and I also had one of their homemade watermelon sodas too.

 

They gave me a large wooden brick with pictures of pigs on it as my ‘ticket’ and I settled down to wait while watching them cook my treats on the flat top. I was hoping that the pig brick was a reminder tool for the ‘bacon’ sandwich and not a comment on my good self. I am sure it was just a coincidence they were too nice in there 🙂

 

Ok so this is the part of the post where I promised to basically plagiarise the menu inserting occasional descriptive words here and there. So now the pressure is on to be more original. So starting with the Tomato soup, this was basically tomato flavoured and orange, and in a bowl, you see it is not as easy as it seems to be to write this stuff. OK try again, the soup was thin, but not watery, you could tell it was homemade from fresh tomatoes as there was none of that tinny flavour from canned tomato or tomato pastes, also no acidic bite either. It also had a nice peppery finish to the back of the throat. I really liked it and could have eaten a whole lot more. Now for the sandwich, it was not all quite as I had expected, the bacon was chopped up into small pieces and was crispy almost to burnt but just a few moments before burnt so that it was almost caramalised and crunchy. The fried egg could have been done a little less as I like it with the egg yolk still runny so that it makes a creamy sauce to my sandwich, but then again maybe it kept cooking in the sandwich while I was eating (or is it drinking?) my soup. The best bit about the lettuce and the tomato was that they did not get in the way of the bacon and the egg. The mayo was a really sweet little sauce that elevated the sandwich beyond your basic BLT. I did have to read the menu to find out that it was a roasted red pepper mayo, but I may have eventually worked that out for myself after several minutes spent mopping it up of the plate with the rest of my bread and later sponging the spillages off my sweater.

They did promise on the menu board that this was their take on the classic BLT and to be honest I think I like their take better than the classic. I would eat it again  and I do recommend it, but probably I would recommend taking note of their description and just glossing over my attempt to describe it, could have been worse I could have used my usual ‘tasty and nice’ .

The menu has a pretty enticing selection that is encouraging a return, in particular the breakfast option – “Scramble Eggs – with three picks of smoked bacon, fresh sausage, country ham, diced tomatoes or ricotta cheese’ is floating my taste boat, I expect that I would be leaving the tomato and cheese out of that one, or maybe I will just slip a little bit of ‘outside’ cheddar into my napsack (as if  would).

So “Sandwich Me In” is located at 3037 N. Clark Street, reasonably close to both the Belmont and the Wellington El stops.

website: http://sandwichmeinchicago.com/ you can also follow them on twitter @SandwichMeIn and on Facebook.

Not only is the sandwich menu well thought out and wide ranging, but they are trying to operate on a sustainable basis, more detail of which can be found on their site and on the walls of their shop. Give them a try, well worth the efforts.

Sandwich Me In on Urbanspoon

I am easily sold on places to eat, and when Stella’s Diner in Lakeview followed me on Twitter this week, I felt I would repay the compliment by stopping off for a bite to eat. I have to say that it really is a quite a quirky place inside, nice art work on the walls and a real bright homely feel and welcome inside.

The menu gave me the opportunity for my best tagline of the month with a sandwich named ‘Weird Harold’, not sure why it is named thus, but I had to try one after I had read the name and also once I read what was in it.

The Weird Harold is a grilled marbled rye sandwich filled with roast beef, muenster cheese and grilled onions. You could get it with number of side options including fries but I took the opportunity to get my hands on some comforting macaroni cheese.

I often say that I have had a truly great sandwich and I am aways telling the truth even if I seem to be lucky enough to get some really good sandwiches nearly all the time. I think that either I am really good chooser, the sandwich gods are smiling on me, or maybe I am really easy to please.

This ‘Weird Harold’ is up there on my list. Where shall I start? Firstly the bread, I am starting to really get into marble rye, I think that it is the caraway seeds that I like the best, every so often you get a hint of anise flavour as you bite into the bread and get a seed. Next the beef, it is tender, moist and plentiful, really hits the spot. Then the Muenster cheese provides a juicy layer between the upper layer of bread where it melts into the toasted rye. Finally on the base of the sandwich is a layer of grilled onions, which are a little tasty sweet delight.

This sandwich was almost too big and it did defeat me as I left just a small piece of it and the mac and cheese. I like to think that was out of politeness as opposed to a failure on my behalf.

I chuckled when the check arrived with a simple yet apt description “Weird/Mac” I hope that was a reference to the food and not a description of the customer, I wasn’t wearing a coat so I think it was the food.

Stella’s Diner is at 3042 North Broadway in Lakeview, pretty much equal distance between the Belmont El station and the Wellington Station on the Brown line. You can view their menu at http://stellasdiner.com/ and you can find them on Twitter @stellasdiner.

It is well worth popping over there, I might pop back for some breakfast at some point, but there are so many places and so little time. But try them out it is a good diner and has a really huge selection.

Stella's on Urbanspoon

 

OK so my blog title for this store maybe a bit out there, but really it is a tribute to the story of how this truck and shop are named. The Argentinian inspired Empanada shop is named after the dialing codes for Argentina and Buenos Aries which is 54 and 11 respectively. This was my first visit to their new store although I have encountered their truck before. Actually it was my second visit, the first time was on opening day and it was too busy to get into the Store front, but this was my first visit to munch.

 

Inside the 5411 Storefront you are greeted by a nice big chalkboard listing all of their different empanadas. They even have some that are not listed on the website. I don’t know if these are regular options or just daily specials. I think they must be regulars as they are also on their table menus which are a really helpful pictorial guide that lets you work out which of the empanada’s on your plate are which. An empanada’s spotter’s guide.

I like the way that they present the different empanadas on the tray if you eat in. Even if the tray of four we got to sample was a little bit bare. I felt that we should have tried more, but this was only intended to be a short interlude and a brief snack while walking through Lakeview.

The first sample was a Mushroom Thyme and Blue Cheese empanada – There was really a lot of  Thyme in this one, you could smell it and taste it quite distinctly. I liked the juicy mushrooms and I did not even mind the Blue Cheese even though it was not my first choice for a filling. It looked quite neat when cut in half and maintained it’s form without collapsing on the plate

The Malbec Beef empanada was quite a delight.  I was assuming that this was some beef, nicely stewed in a red Malbec wine, it certainly had the consistency of a decent stew and a lovely rich taste. It was a bit messy to chop in half. The beef did not want to be separated at all. I grabbed the extra bit of stew that fell out though so that was my bonus.

Named simply as ‘Beef’ – This was an interesting Empanada – 5411’s website described it as “Premium, lean ground beef slow cooked with the fines ingredients and the right amount of juiciness makes this the ultimate Argentine empanada. You would marry this empanada if you could, trust us.”.  I was not quite sure what I was expecting after the Stew like Malbec Beef effort. This one was more chunky meat and seemed to have some stranger ingredients.  I could have sworn that there was some egg in there, so we went to check with the young lady at the counter. Apparantly it had beef, egg, olives, jalopeno, and green onions. It was a bit spicy and also texturally quite a chunky monkey. I was quite keen on this one, but to be honest I would not marry it, but I might marry its slightly more robust cousin the Malbec Beef which was more like an English Pasty to my taste.

The Caramalized Onion empanada was a total mess after I cut it into two, the onion just oozed out everywhere. The 5411 website describes it as thus – “If you have a sweet tooth, this is your lucky day. This Napoleon of the empanadas is filled with sautée caramelized onions and parmesan cheese and is ready to conquer your mouth”. I have had this one before off the truck and it was my favourite at the time. I think it is a little better when cold as you get to taste the parmesan a bit better, and the inside gets a bit solid. I agree that it is quite a sweet one. I did not remember it being so sweet off the truck. But then again that was on a cold night down at Ethyls so memories faded by now.

I am a big fan of this shop and truck, it is almost on one of my beaten path’s when out on a weekend stroll, and if it was not quite on it before, well it is now

They have a good website at : http://www.5411empanadas.com/

and you can follow the truck on Twitter: @5411empanadas.

Located at 2850 N. Clark and easily accessible from the Brown Line or the Clark Bus

5411: Gourmet Empanadas on Urbanspoon

Kluck U

Posted: March 31, 2012 in Wellington

I love roasted chicken and I am a total sucker for a well named resturant, so Kluck U on N Broadway Ave in Lakeview succeeded on attracting me though both counts. While we are at names, others I would like to see are French fast food outlets selling frogs legs and snails, maybe called “Just Croaked” and “Too Slow”.

So anyhow Kluck U is a small little place advertising itself simply as selling  “All Natural Roasted Chicken”.

 

The main options are 1/4 dark or 1/4 white,  a half chicken which was a bit of both, or a whole chicken. Everytime I get chicken in Chicago I think of that scene in Blues Brothers when Jake and Elwood go looking for Matt ‘Guitar’ Murphy  

Mrs. Murphy: May I help you boys?
Elwood: You got any white bread?
Mrs. Murphy: Yes.
Elwood: I’ll have some toasted white bread please.
Mrs. Murphy: You want butter or jam on that toast, honey?
Elwood: No ma’am, dry.
[Mrs. Murphy gives him a look, then turns to Jake]
Jake: Got any fried chicken?
Mrs. Murphy: Best damn chicken in the state.
Jake: Bring me four fried chickens and a Coke.
Mrs. Murphy: You want chicken wings or chicken legs?
Jake: Four fried chickens and a Coke.
Elwood: And some dry white toast please.
Mrs. Murphy: Y’all want anything to drink with that?
Elwood: No ma’am.
Jake: A Coke.
Mrs. Murphy: Be up in a minute

Anyhow, I just got the half chicken which came with Texas Toast and a choice of Kluck-N Sauces of which I chose a Garlic Parmesan, and a coke for just about $8

It was a pretty big portion and it was piping hot. I really wanted to rip chunks of chicken off the bones and dip them into the sauce, but it was almost too hot to pick up so I had to use a knife and fork. Still one good thing that it slowed me down and meant that I could not greedily gobble it down too quickly. The parmesan garlic dipping sauce was really good, ‘it was money’ as Guy Fieri might say. The skin was nice and crispy and the meat itself especially the dark meat was moist and juicy falling off the bone.

Overall I liked it, it was too much for one to eat (I did though) and I am torn as to whether I liked it more than Chicken Hut, having said that this was roasted and Chicken Hut is grilled over coals, so I dont really have to choose between them as that is like choosing between apples and oranges in the chicken world.

Best of all I didn’t upset Mrs Murphy

“…this is my restaurant, and you two are just gonna walk right out that door without your dry white toast, without your four fried chickens, and without Matt ‘Guitar’ Murphy!”

Kluck U is located at 2931 N Broadway Ave (between Oakdale Ave & Wellington Ave) and the closest el stop transit is the Wellington (Brown Line, Purple Line)