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Eris Brewery and Cider House

April 3, 2018

  • 4240 W. Irving Park Road
  • Chicago, IL 60641
  • (773) 943-6200
  • Website
  • Menu

Back in Kalamazoo for a few days then off to Chicago for a long weekend.  My mom wanted to meet for Easter and it was J’s birthday.  We always like to go back to Chicago for birthday’s and find someplace new in the city to eat.

As I’ve mentioned over the years, I drag J to a lot of breweries.  I mean, drag is probably the wrong word because the food is always great, but she’s not much of a beer drinker.  For her birthday, I like to try to find places that focus more on hard cider.

You would think in a city the size of Chicago there would be a couple options for places making their own cider, but that’s not the case.  A couple of years ago, a place call The Northman opened up as a “cider bar” but they just have a large selection of other people’s ciders.  The menu has never looked good enough for us to make that trip so this year, I did a search again for “Cider Bar Chicago.”  The difference in this search was that I actually got a good hit.

Eris Brewery and Cider House is in the Old Irving Park part of Chicago.  It’s on West Irving Park Road about three blocks from I-90/94 on the north side of the city in an old Masonic Temple.  

As with most things in Chicago, parking can be a daunting task.  We drove down Irving Park Road looking for a street spot when I noticed a lot next to the building.  A sign said parking was accessible from one of the side streets, so we headed back that way and made our way down an alley to a small lot.  There was actually a spot open and it didn’t say we couldn’t park there so we did.

Eris is a multi-level bar and restaurant.  Street level brings you in to a waiting room with a bar that can be opened on busy nights as well as a small merchandise shop.  A short flight of stairs takes you to another level which is the main dining room.  A hostess is positioned at the doorway.

This second level also has a waiting area.  There is a stand-up bar for drinks if the wait is too long.  We had about a 15-20 minute wait at 6:00 on a Saturday night.  We grabbed a couple of drinks from the bar then headed back out to this waiting area to wait for the text to say our table was ready.

While we were waiting we got in to our first drinks of the night.  Eris is both a brewery and a cider house so we both had a lot of interest in the drink menu.

We made our way in to the bar which is in the main dining room.  It’s a pretty tight squeeze between the row of tables and the bar stools.  We happened to be in the restaurant the night that U of M played Loyola-Chicago in the NCAA Final Four…and we were just a few miles from the Rogers Park home of Loyola so there was a lot of people, including us, glued to the two TV’s that hung over the bar.

I stuck with beer and ordered the Foiken Haze.  This beer is a New England IPA and it slips right in to the new hazy IPA craze.  Pretty solid beer that I sipped through dinner.  I knew J was going to be trying a lot so I didn’t want to go crazy.

J started out with Indelicate Flower.  It’s a dry cider with a strong lavendar flavor.  Neither one of us typically like dry ciders but this one worked well.  It was sort of middle of the road.  Not too sweet.  Not too dry.

Not long after getting settled in the waiting area, J got the text that our table was ready.  Seating options at Eris are rather unique.  There are three levels of dining rooms.  The main level has several large booths that can be divided among two parties.  There’s also a cat-walk like area that’s up a flight of stairs.  There is just a single row of tables along the rail.  The third area is up yet another flight of stairs to a more enclosed dining room that looks out over the main dining area from above the hostess station.

The menu at Eris is not huge.  In fact, I was a little worried J wouldn’t find anything to eat, but that was not the case.

We started with a couple of appetizers.  First, the Herb-Tossed Fries.  This plate is loaded with hand-cut fries, shitake bacon, scallions, red pepper, micro greens, roasted garlic, tahini, jalapenos, and radishes.  The surprising thing to me about this dish was the tahini.  It was good.  I was actually looking for fries that had a lot on it and tahini is not a flavor I typically like.  The loaded plate of fries went pretty quickly but we went a lot more for the fries than the toppings.  I would occasionally throw some jalapenos in my bites but not much more than that.

The second appetizer we ordered was the Beer Cheddar Dip.  The Sharp Cheddar dip was served with three long soft pretzels.  There was more dip that we needed for the soft, salty pretzels so we kept the cup and used it on fries.

For our mains, J chose the Kale Salad.  This bowl of greens was topped with Honeycrisp apples, New York Cheddar Cheese, toasted almonds, pomegranate, and a lavender cider vinaigrette.   J really liked this salad.  The bowl was completely empty when she was done.  A bus boy asked to take it at one point with just a few pomegranate and almonds left and she told him she was still working.  She didn’t want to leave any of those seeds that were floating in the leftover dressing.

I did something incredibly unusual for me.  I didn’t order a burger.  I ordered the steak frites.  This hanger steak was cooked to a juicy, tender, and pink medium rare middle with a crispy sear on the outside.  It’s served on a Gorgonzola sauce with herbed fries on the side.  I don’t do restaurant steaks very often.  I never feel like I leave the table satisfied when I do, but I definitely felt that way this time.  The steak was perfect cooked and the Gorgonzola sauce added just a hint of tanginess to the salty, peppery crust.

Instead of dessert, J chose to sample some more of the ciders.  They had five more on tap she hadn’t tried, but she chose just four of them.  All of them looked exactly the same but each had a unique and interesting flavor.  I, unfortunately, didn’t write down all of the names and there isn’t a new draft list online anywhere (there website is awful by the way….and the menu wouldn’t come up on Facebook mobile).  The thing that Eris does that we don’t see a lot of in Michigan is dry hopping their ciders.  There was one with Citra and one with Amarillo.  Of the five she tried, she didn’t have anything bad to say about any of them.

Our bill, before tip was a little over $75 but we really indulged.  We almost never order appetizers and we ordered two.  J ordered a flight and a full drink plus my beer so $75 seems like a good deal to us.

Eris Brewery and Cider House was exactly what I was hoping for when I found it on Google.  I wanted some place that J would love as much as I love breweries.  We’ve found a couple of those in Michigan but they’re still so few and far between.  We were looking for something special for J’s birthday and we found it…..and got to watch the basketball game while enjoying this great meal.

Eris Brewery and Cider House Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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