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Centennial Crafted Beer + Eatery

July 16, 2021

  • 733 N. LaSalle Drive
  • Chicago, IL 60654
  • (312) 284-5353
  • Website
  • Menu

Finding a place to eat in downtown Chicago on a Saturday night was harder than we expected.  It seems most places are reservation only and you can’t get a reservation at the last minute.  

J really had her heart set on dinner at the Sugar Factory but we couldn’t get a last minute reservation nor did we think we should probably get one in advance.  We never know how our day is going to go and trying to get somewhere at a specific time just makes the day all the more stressful.  

We had spent a good part of the day at Navy Pier then headed back to our hotel room at the Marriott to relax.  J told me to find a place to eat so I opened up OpenTable to see who had reservations available nearby for the four of us.  

There were a few pubs within walking distance of our hotel so it was just narrowing down which one. We picked the one that offered outdoor seating in the reservation.

Centennial Crafted Beer + Eatery is on LaSalle Drive near Superior Street in Chicago’s River North neighborhood. The bi-level bar opens up to a very busy LaSalle Drive and takes up a couple of storefronts and a good portion of the side walk.

We had reservations for 5:30 and it was about a 15 minute walk from our hotel. We got there about five minutes early. I went in to find the host stand next to a magnificent bar. Centennial has that comfortable pub feel where you can pull up a bar chair and watch a baseball game but it also has spaces separated so dinner and conversation also feels pretty comfortable.

Our reservation was for outside where the shop built an outdoor structure during COVID that takes up a large portion of the sidewalk in front of their building and the businesses next to it. We could see that in the winter it appeared the walls would have had plastic on them and there were doors that could be closed off to separate groups.

Even in this post lockdown world, the outdoor seating here is something we would have chosen anyway. The road noise gives us cover for the kids who can be too loud in restaurants sometimes and, maybe I’m just getting used to this, but it was a nice night where the outdoor space allowed us to not worry as much about what was going on around us.

The waitress brought water to the table right away and before she left, we had all finished our glasses. We were all slightly dehydrated from all the walking we had been doing. She went back to get more water after she took our drink orders.

I ordered the Hot Dog Time Machine from Toppling Goliath Brewing Company in Decorah, IA. It’s not a Chicago beer but it’s from a brewery I’ve never had and they had it on draft…plus, it’s a funny name. The beer is an Imperial IPA and while I’m not usually a drink a beer when I’m dehydrated guy, this really tasted good at this particular moment in time. It was a delicious, hoppy beer that just went down really smooth.

J’s pick Clover Club from Hopewell Brewing Company in Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood. The beer is a fruity, citrusy raspberry sour. As I’ve mentioned several times before, I don’t love sours but J really likes them. She liked this one.

J and I were both pretty hungry while the kids…were not. They complained about having to go to dinner but once we got done, they changed their tune and were happy we found this place.

I ordered the Centennial Diner Burger. This sandwich is two burger patties with aged smoked cheddar and an onion ring on a brioche bun. I added some bacon for a little bit of an upcharge. This burger was sooooo good. I hate being generic in that description but the meat was just so juicy, tender, and full of flavor. The aged cheddar deepened that flavor profile while the bacon added a little salty crunch. The sandwich comes a la carte so I added on an order of frites. I was surprised at how many of the handcut fries came on the plate. L is a big fry person so I shared some of them with her but we still didn’t finish the plate.

J went for the Taco Trio. She picked the house smoked pulled pork for all three although she could have chosen any combination of pork, chicken, or brisket. The tacos are flour tortillas chihuahua cheese, romaine lettuce, and pico de gallo. There is a house salsa and sour cream served on the side. J loved these tacos. We picked Centennial because they had open reservations but we really picked a great spot. The tacos were overflowing with meat and toppings to the point J had to take some off just to be able to pick it up.

The kids were kind of being buttheads and not wanting to eat. L has been asking for pretzels lately and there was a Bavarian Pretzel. B kept saying he didn’t want anything…..so we ordered him a pretzel too. The Bavarian pretzels are quite large and served warm with beer cheese and Bavarian mustard on the side. I loved the mustard and used B’s on my fries. L eats her pretzels plain….which is weird..but she ate the whole thing. She tried dipping in the cheese but didn’t really like it. J took it and added some to her tacos. I also dipped fries in it. B fought us for the longest time on actually eating but once he finally tried the pretzel, he loved it and ate the entire thing.

J didn’t get a side with her tacos and she wanted to try the Mac & Cheese. She got a side order for her and L to split. Both loved the pasta dish made with gruyere cheese and topped with toasted bread crumbs. The side order was the perfect size for the two of them and both continued to rave about the Mac long after we paid the bill and left.

Our bill for dinner was just under $82 before tip.

I’m really happy we found Centennial Crafted Beer + Eatery. It wasn’t on our radar before coming to town but it was a great find. Everyone walked away happy and we had an absolutely delicious, stress free meal after we were worried about not getting a reservation before dinner time.

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