Ale House Pub and Eatery
After saying goodbye to my grandma, we headed back to my parents house for the night. We were sort of talking about heading to J’s parents, but my mom asked if she could have a sleepover with L and my brother’s two girls. We both thought it would be good for my mom to spend some time laughing with a 2,3, and 5 year old.
Since my brother and sister-in-law were now free for the evening as well, we asked if they wanted to go out for dinner. When they get nights out without the kids, they usually go to Texas Roadhouse or TGIFriday’s. J and I like to be a little more adventurous and my brother knows that so he brought up a new craft beer bar that opened about 20 miles away.
The Ale House Pub and Eatery is on Kinzie Avenue (also known as Illinois 50) just north of Broadway Avenue in Bradley, Illinois. My parents and brother all referred to it as something else that I should have known when they were trying to explain where it was at, but I still have no idea what they were talking about. Kinzie and Broadway is a pretty busy intersection, so it really wasn’t that hard to find.
The parking lot was packed when we pulled in just before 7:00 on a Saturday night. We both sort of made up parking spots in available spaces around the building. When we walked in, we were told there would be about a 45 minute wait. We all figured what the hell and just told the hostess we’d head to the bar which was pretty empty to wait.
The space is surprisingly huge. There’s a large bar area with tables when you walk in plus another dining room farther to the back and a second large bar area with a stage for live shows beyond that. That space was being used for a bachelerotte party and they were setting up the band for the night so that area wasn’t being used for general seating at the time.
We all took seats at the bar and started looking over the drink list when, five minutes later, the hostess came up and told us they had a table ready. We were just about ready to put drink orders in, but decided just to wait until we got to the table.
The hostess took us back through a pretty tightly crowded area to a pub table that overlooks the stage area. There wasn’t a beer list on the table, so I had to ask for one when the waitress came over. My sister-in-law and J knew they both wanted to order B. Nektar’s Zombie Killer. They both tasted this cherry flavored cyser while we were sitting at the bar and loved it.
I was looking for stuff I couldn’t get in Michigan, so I ordered Hopalicious from Ale Asylum in Madison, WI. The beer has the citrus-y flavor I love in this type of beer (and American Pale Ale) and it’s not really bitter yet it still has that hoppy flavor.
I was really looking forward to this place because of the beer list, but the burger list wasn’t far behind. They have a number of specialty burgers which all sounded good, but the real draw for me was the different types of meat. You get to choose what kind of meat the burger is made with and the choices include Angus beef, Bison, Kobe beef, turkey, a veggie patty, and a chicken breast.
I was going to order anything with a Kobe beef burger, but then realized the deliciousness of the Kobe would get lost in everything that came on top of it.
My choice ended up being the Angus beef prepared as The Tennessean. The sandwich is topped with BBQ pulled pork, applewood smoked bacon, fried whiskey mac ‘n cheese, and smoked gouda cheese. The bun is also a choice of either brioche or pretzel and I chose brioche. If your mouth is watering just from reading that description, you know how I felt when I read it. When the burger was delivered to the table, that watering turned in to full on drooling. I’m pretty sure everyone reached on to my plate and tore off a little of the fried mac ‘n cheese just because they couldn’t believe that was even possible to put on a burger. The whole combination of the layers can only be described as awesome. The meat, both the pork and the burger, were juicy and delicious. The bacon was crispy and smokey. The mac ‘n cheese was crispy and cheesy. The sandwich was incredible. On the side was a huge stack of fresh cut, skin-on greasy fries. They needed a bit more salt, but once that was accomplished, they were just as delicious as the burger
J ordered the Porky Pig Sliders. The three pretzel bun sliders came with pulled pork topped with Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce, pepperjack cheese and onion straws. These sliders were w little bigger than the typical slider and came loaded with pulled pork. J said they were delicious and prepared like she likes them. The BBQ sauce was sweet and plentiful and the meat wasn’t too tough or meaty. Her sandwich also came with a huge mound of fries that were too much for her to finish.
Due to some extenuating circumstances, I’m actually writing this blog post about a week and a half after we ate at the Ale House which is something I don’t like to do. Because of the large gap in time, I’ve actually forgotten exactly what my brother and sister-in-law ordered. I know they both ordered burgers and they both really enjoyed them, but I can’t tell you exactly what sandwich either of them ordered. Just take away that these two, who usually eat at chain restaurants, were really impressed with their meals and will probably end up at the Ale House on their own one of these days.
Before leaving, I wanted to check out one more beer. My brother thought I was nuts because it was the 10% abv Judgement Day Belgian Quad from The Lost Abbey out of San Marcos, CA. It’s a very good dessert beer and served me well in that capacity.
The bill for J and I was a little over $40 before tip. The Ale House Pub and Eatery is like nothing else in the Kankakee metro area. Craft beer is just starting to penetrate the area and The Ale House is right on the front lines. The food is great and the beer is second to none.