The last couple of times we went home, J and I had planned to leave the baby with Grandma and go out for dinner. Before L, J and I went out to eat all the time. It was a way for us to relax and do something we enjoy. Since L, we’ve still gone out to eat, but it’s much more stressful now so we avoid the fancier pubs we used to love.
When we made a trip home in the beginning of December, we tried two nights to go out, but J wasn’t feeling great, so we passed. I still decided to make a trip downtown and tried to make a stop at Revolution Brewing. The place was so packed that night that even getting a seat at the bar would have taken over an hour, so I went for Italian beef instead.
We were back in Chicago for L’s first birthday. We spent Saturday at Gymboree Play & Music in Orland Hills with friends and family, but we still planned on staying in the Chicago area for a few more days.
On Sunday, J and L took a late morning nap then J asked if I wanted to go in to the city for lunch. I didn’t want to push a brewery on her since she isn’t really a fan of beer, but she suggested one…and how could I say no to that?
Revolution Brewing is on Milwaukee Avenue near California Avenue in the Logan Square neighborhood. Like most places in the city, parking is whatever you can find on the street and even on a Sunday afternoon, that can be a challenge. After driving around the block a couple of times, we finally noticed several open spots on California Avenue.
The brewpub was still pretty busy, but nothing like it was the last time I tried to stop in for a drink. My guess is there isn’t a time where they really are packed.
J found the hostess just to the left of the door and put our name in. We were told there would be a 30-40 minute wait. J looked at me and I told her it was up to her. She said it was fine so we headed over to a small space behind a row of bar seating to wait for our table. Turns out it took less than 15 before a table opened up near the front windows.
The pub has an amazing feel to it. The bi-level dining room is situated around a huge 360 degree bar right in the middle. A lot of the decor is the rustic industrial look with some walls being accented with charred wood. Right above the entrance is a really cool chandelier fixture made of blown beer bottles.
The hostess set down the brunch menu and a drink menu while a bus boy brought over a couple glasses of water. I wasn’t expecting brunch and that threw a wrench in to what I thought was a simple meal decision.
First off, though, we both started with drinks. My first beer was the Anti-Hero IPA. It’s an American IPA with a someone citrus-y flavor. It’s a got a pretty decent hop bite which is subdued with some sweetness from the citrus. I really enjoyed this beer, but I wanted to give something else a try, so for beer #2, I ordered the Cross of Gold. This golden ale is very smooth and crisp. If J was going to order a beer, this is the one I was pushing her towards. It’s not very hoppy, but has a very clean, crisp citrus-y taste. This beer also took home a Gold medal in the English-Style Summer Ale category at the Great American Beer Festival in Boulder, CO back in October.
J’s drink was interesting. It still involved beer, but also included some yummy liquor. The Pullman Strike starts with Revolution’s Eugene Porter then is mixed with vanilla vodka and Chambord which is a Black Raspberry Liquor. The drink was incredibly delicious. The choclateness from the Porter with the vanilla vodka is a pretty no-duh combination. The Chambord provided just a little bit of sweetness to the drink. J was hesitant at first, but was really happy with the choice after the first drink.
When planning the trip, I was looking more at the lunch menu, but being a Sunday. they were actually serving brunch. I was pretty set on a burger, but choices like Eggs Benedict, Steak and Eggs, and Chicken and Waffles which all someone involved one of their beers made the decision nearly impossible.
To start the meal, we went with the Bacon Fat Popcorn. It’s as good as it sounds. Popcorn drizzled with bacon fat, crispy, fried sage, and of course, more bacon. We both reached in to the small bowl greedily and scarfed down the popcorn. It was a small, but delectable treat to start out this meal while we were getting acquainted with our drinks.
Even with all of those brunch choices, I stuck with the burger. My choice was the Smokehouse Burger. The thick, juicy burger is topped with Pepperjack cheese and Carolina-Style pulled pork. It’s served on a soft, flaky house made bun. This perfect pub burger had a slightly pink center. The cheese was sandwiched between the two meats and the pulled pork had that sweet, tangy Carolina style sauce. For my side, I, of course, chose the fries. The thinly sliced, skin on fries were cooked to a deep golden brown and sprinkled with sea salt. I made sure to pick up every little piece off my plate not wanting any of it to go to waste.
J also stuck to what she knows best. Her choice was the Smoked Pulled Pork. The Carolina-Style pulled pork is topped with a mustard sauce and honey-jalapeno slaw also served on a house made bun. J said the slaw was very spicy, but she really liked this sandwich. I guess I did have pulled pork on my burger, but she didn’t even offer me a taste of the pork or the slaw..something that is a little unusual for her. She also ordered the fries for her side and loved them as well. She came close to licking the plate clean just to get all the goodness that was left over from her meal.
Our bill was a little over $50 for the three drinks and two incredible sandwiches. I always have high expectations when I walk in to a brew pub and Revolution blew those expectations out of the water. You have no idea how happy I am J and I were able to get away on this Sunday afternoon date. Delicious food, great beer. It’s no wonder why Revolution is always packed. It deserves to be.