The Tribes Alehouse & Grill – Tinley Park
Our baby is turning two! I know all parents say this, but it’s so hard to believe.
This past weekend, we had a party for L with family and friends back in the Chicago area. She got lots of great presents, had a lot of fun playing with her cousins and friends, and ate lots sweet, delicious food.
On Sunday, we hung out at J’s parents house and just kind of lounged around. While J and L were taking a nap, I pulled up a website for a pub that has been recommended to me several times….both by a co-worker in Grand Rapids and a craft beer loving friend in Chicago.
The Tribes Alehouse and Grill has two locations in the south suburbs of Chicago. The craft-beer centered pub has locations in both Tinley Park and Mokena. The one closest to J’s parents..and the one most recommended, is the location on 171st Street and South LaGrange Road in Tinley Park.
The deceivingly large restaurant is in a rather new strip mall on the corner. Tribes has been open since 2009 in Mokena, but only a little over a year in the Tinley Park location.
Around 6:00 on Sunday night, J and I pulled in to the ice covered parking lot and made our way inside to find a pretty full bar watching the NFL play off games on the many TV’s hanging around the bar.
We were taken to an open pub table not too far from the large bar in the center of the space. There is also another dining area that has the smaller, regular sized tables if the pub thing isn’t your thing.
Tribes has a HUGE craft beer selection including a bunch of Michigan favorites. Since I can get those anytime, I decided to steer clear of them for the night. The problem I was having was that they didn’t have a beer list on the tables. There are TV monitors hanging from the ceiling with the night’s selection, but it’s four pages of beer that is scrolling through. The hostess did tell us there is a QR code on the table we could scan and get the list, but neither of us have QR code readers on our phones anymore. The only thing we could do was try to scroll through the selection on their website with our phones or sit patiently and try to read everything on the monitor before the page changed.
We actually had to ask the waitress for some more time because the beer listed hadn’t paged all the way through by the time she came. She went and grabbed a couple glasses of water until we were ready and it worked out that by the time she came back, I had caught something that grabbed my attention.
I ordered the Lagunitas Sucks. This mistake of a beer is an Imperial IPA that was brewed because they didn’t have the capacity to brew their holiday beer back in 2011. The beer pours clear and has a really strong citrus finish. I wasn’t able to get any bottles this year in Kalamazoo, so I was really excited to see this on the menu.
J ordered the VanderMill Ginger Peach Cider. This cider appears to have been originally brewed for The Winchester in Grand Rapids, but the footprint appears to have expanded. J said it was a crisp, refreshing cider although she didn’t really get the ginger taste.
After settling with drinks, we put our order for dinner. We started with the Lager & Cheese dip. We have had such a hard time passing up beer cheese appetizers recently. This delicious dip is made with a lager and served with four pretzel sticks and soft, fresh pitas. We both dug in right away and realized we still had sandwiches coming, so we slowed down and decided to keep the cheese for our fries. The pretzels were both our favorites, but the pitas were a just as delicious way to get that cheese in to our mouths.
I was really excited about the burger selection and even though J tried to talk me in to something else, I couldn’t help myself. All of the burgers come with a choice of meat. You can choose between a chicken breast, beef, turkey, bison, elk, or a veggie patty. I chose the beef and went with the Barbeque option. The sandwich is served on a Parker House roll and my choice of preparation included bacon, Merkt’s cheddar cheese, and BBQ sauce. I ordered the sandwich medium which added to the messiness of this burger. The sandwich was delicious although I did make a heckuva mess of my face and the table in front of me. The Merkts cheese mixes really well with the BBQ and it was soft enough that it made the top of the bun slide around. It was sooooo good, but so messy also.
My choice of side was the french fries which are the Chicago style fresh cut greasy fries. On their own, they’re delicious, but we still had some of that beer cheese left on the table, so we dipped them in that too which made them even better.
J went with a panini and ordered the Turkey and Brie sandwich. This large sandwich is overflowing with turkey, bacon, brie, and a cranberry chutney. The idea of the sandwich was good, but the turkey was too turkey-y for J. She prefers turkey that has that smokey taste to it while this turkey is more of a roasted turkey. She ate half of the sandwich and most of the fries and took the second half home for a later meal.
At this point, there were so many beers on the beer list that I wanted to stay and drink, but there was just no way. I was stuffed. I wanted more, but damn I was stuffed. I had to admit defeat and ask for the check.
Our bill was a little under $50 and in my opinion, it was worth all of it. J’s sandwich was a little bit of a miss, but my sandwich and the beer was incredibly delicious. My only real complaint about the place is that I really wish they had beer lists on the table. I know it would be somewhat of an expense since they change their taps so often, but trying to see what was on tap was a real pain the ass….maybe monitors on every table…or tablets..or something….or at least a mobile friendly website.
Other than that one little setback, I loved Tribes Alehouse. I have a couple friends who have raved about the place and I agree with them. If you’re a craft beer lover in the south suburbs, this place is a must stop….a must frequent stop for great food and beers you won’t be able to get anywhere else in town.