Posts Tagged ‘Rock Bottom brewery’

Rock Bottom Brewery on West Grand Street was my first port of call on my latest trip back to my adopted home town of Chicago

I just hit town and I was looking for a bar to watch a bit of sport on TV and hopefully catch the Cubs game. I was staying up at the Felix Hotel which is a pretty good base in River North. It lies between Grand and Chicago el stops and has a very comfortable location pretty close to the action on Clark Street.

Anyway I was venturing out and just needed somewhere near, and somewhere easy and with beer.  I knew that Rock Bottom was near and right next to the Grand Stop on the Red Line, and I could walk there in about 5 mins, so I headed over 🙂

I got myself a pint (eventually several) of their Stadstrasse Kolsch beer, Kolsch is a beer that is very close to my heart as I first tasted it when I was working at the University of Cologne, or Koln as they say back in the days before the Euro took over. Then I learned to love this   and ever since I have enjoyed the US style version that takes advantage of that same or similar hop.

Anyway I digress, it was in the section called “Crisp & Refreshing”, which was well named,  as it was indeed both, and it was described as “A light and crisp ale brewed to be crushed by you”. I think that means supped quite vigorously, our perhaps ‘pounded’ as I have heard it said over here 🙂

Then I started to think about food, I had only been off the plane for a couple of hours, my brain was hurting and my stomach had no idea what was going on, so I was not that hungry.

I had eaten here before at Rock Bottom Brewery when I was Chicago native and had a really filling and great big sandwich, tonight though that was just not going to happen

It seemed like a good idea to just maybe get something from the appetizer section of the menu, perhaps a taco, maybe some wings or even a Quesadillas?

The Mini Street Tacos looked like a good choice, they were offering Two Fish taco’s for $5.79 or Two Steak taco’s for $6.49, sadly there was not one of each.

Mini Street Fish Tacos

I checked out the Rock Bottom Menu and ended up picking out Two Fish Taco’s which were (as all taco here) described as being “Tequila-lime marinated with avocado, shredded cabbage, salsa roja. Mexican crema, tomatillo salsa and Cotija cheese”.  I figure a couple of Tacos would go well with my beer, and I was right, to be fair I have practised this a lot over the last decade 🙂

I liked the freshness in the taste of the taco, now that might have just been the lime, and I liked the crema and the Cotija cheese which added saltiness just like a kind of feta?

Now these are not the most amazing haute cuisine taco’s that you are going to find, they are a little way above ‘pub taco’s’ and they are pretty decent bar appetizer taco. I would not add them to a list of places to go to eat taco, but I would suggest them as a great snack while watching a ball game and needing some food option 🙂

I had a great evening anyway, they have a lot of good beer, the bar staff are friendly but not intrusive, and the people at the bar on either side of me were happy to talk sport and beer for a few hours. Some days that is all a man needs!

Rock Bottom Brewery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


Rock Bottom Brewery in Chicago is located at

1 West Grand Avenue, Chicago, IL 60654

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Rock BottomWeber Grill

When you jump off the train at the Grand CTA station and come up above ground you will find yourself either right next to the Weber Grill or right next to the Rock Bottom brewery. These were the first two places that I ate at when I first arrived in Chicago hunting for a place to live. I was staying in the nearby Hampton Inn hotel and these were my first go to places. Over the next few years I was to return several times, but I had almost forgotten them until I alighted at the Grand Station recently looking for a snack

Rock Bottom Brewery Resturant

Rock Bottom isn’t the sort of place that you come to when you reach that place in your life, no it is the sort of place you come too when you want a good beer and a nice safe plate of bar food. I try not to just get a burger, even though they are quite decent, as that is just too safe and easy. Even though the 2am Burger which is a all day breakfast type variant topped with ‘hash-browns, American cheese, smoked bacon and a sunshiny fried egg’ is always very tempting.

I always seem to end up having one of their sandwiches either the Hickory Bacon Chicken sandwich which is basically “Grilled chicken topped with bacon, cheddar and bbq sauce, served on a soft burger bun.” or the Reuben Sandwich which is “Corned beef or turkey served on caraway rye with Swiss cheese, Russian dressing and sauerkraut.”, although to be honest I usually end up pulling most of the sauerkraut out.

I also love that they do more than one type of Mac n Cheese, apart from the Classic, you can also have a Bacon, Chicken Mac ‘n’ Cheese, and a Blackened Shrimp Mac ‘n’ Cheese. Too tempting by half!

The other bonus about this place, and probably the reason I first walked in, is the good beer selection especially some of their craft beers.  They do a type of kolsch, which is always a good choice. They describe it on the menu as being ‘golden, straw-colored ale is light in body with subtle fruit flavors and a crisp, floral hop finish.’ They also have the sport on the TV so you don’t have to worry about coming in on your own.

The one warning is that if you come in through the wrong door, then you end up being in the front restaurant which is a bit fancier, with white tablecloths etc. The first time I walked in, I nearly walked out again, until they directed me to the back room where the bar is.
Rock Bottom Brewery on Urbanspoon

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Weber Grill Resturant

On the other side of the road on the corner is the Weber Grill, this is a place I prefer to eat at on a free downtown lunchtime. It is better in the summer when you can sit comfortably out in the sidewalk covered seating area. I do like to sit inside where you can see the chefs grilling away especially for the smelt of charred meat, but it gets a bit warm in there.

They do a good special at lunchtime usually there is a variation of one of their house made burgers, the kettleburger. If they don’t have one that tickles my fancy then it would be the Wisconsin Burger which is topped with De Mill Cheddar Cheese, and Applewood Smokehouse Bacon, so basically a bacon cheese burger for $13.50. If it wasn’t a burger then the other good thing I ate here was off the $10 lunch menu which is The “Smokey Joe” a bun filled with Brisket Burnt Ends, and their own Hickory BBQ Sauce.

Weber Grill Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Both the Weber Grill and the Rock Bottom brewery are on the corners of Grand and State as you emerge from the underground red line Grand CTA station.