Saturday, August 13, 2011

Our Trip to Chicago Food/Beer/Fun--Tuesday

This is part 2 of Our Trip to Chicago--Food/Beer/Fun
Tuesday
Featuring Oak Street Beach Food + Drink, Revolution Brewing, The Map Room and Bangers and Lace

Our Tuesday started out by walking the Magnificent Mile down Michigan Ave.  It was a great way to see the city and some of its amazing cultural and architectural elements.  Some highlights were Millennium Park, the John Hancock Center, and Navy Pier


After doing all this walking, we decided to stop at Oak Street Beach Food + Drink which literally sat on the shore of the Lake.  Even if we had a Corona it was worth sitting there, resting and checking out the amazingly clear water of Lake Michigan.   When we walked up and looked at the menu, I was pleasantly surprised to see some pretty cool craft beer offerings.  I had a chance to have a pint of Port Brewing Wipeout IPA on draft and then a SKA Modus Hoperandi all while enjoying the beautiful view of the lake!  If you take the walk down Magnificent Mile don't forget about this stop to help quench your thirst.
The water was amazingly clear...you could see the bottom even in 6 feet of water!

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Revolution Brewing
Our first stop during our evening out on the town took us to Revolution Brewing for dinner.  We took the Blue Line Train up to the California stop which made traveling a breeze.  From there the walk took about 3 minutes.
We ordered the Blackened Pork Belly and Watermelon for our appetizer.  The ingredients were Pork belly confit, watercress, watermelon, molasses vinaigrette, pecans and pickled watermelon rind. The blacked pork belly was had a wonderful smokey flavor and paired well with the sweet watermelon and sour pickled watermelon rind.
For my entree, I ordered the house brewed Pale Ale Battered Atlantic Cod that came with fries, roasted red pepper remoulade, and a honey jalapeno slaw.  The fish had a very light and crispy batter that really let the fish flavor speak for itself.  I added a little malt vinegar to the fish and crispy fries and was pleased with my entire meal.  
My fiancee ordered the Beef Stew.  It was slow braised in the house brewed Porter and balsamic vinegar and came with garlic cream cheese mashed potatoes, beans and carrots.  This dish was seasoned perfectly and packed with flavor.  The fresh beans and carrots added some texture which was needed wit the soft beef and creamy mashed potatoes.  This was a rich, smooth, and very filling dish that left her very pleased with our dinner choice.
Overall Revolution takes their food very seriously.  This was not your average brewpub food by any means. Food wise a 4.5/5.
As far as the drinks are concerned we decided to do a sample of everything they had to offer. 
Left-Pablo Picasso: A Dark Belgian ale aged in Cabernet barrels for over a year with Piedt Farms sour cherries.
Right-
Eugene:  A striking, robust porter full of warmth and chocolate malt.
Left-Rosa: A Tart summer ale infused with 20 lbs of Hibiscus flowers and touch of orange peel.
Right-
Bottom Up Wit : Belgian-style wheat beer spiced with coriander and orange peel. Made with organic malt and wheat.
Left- Iron Fist Pale Ale: A dry-hopped ale with Centennial, Cascade, Chinook and Amarillo hop varieties.
Center-
Anti-Hero IPA: An American hop assault.
Right-
Coup d' Etat: Dry, spicy French-style saison dry hopped with German Select hops.
My favorites of these were the rich and silky porter, the mildly hoppy pale ale, and the moderately hoppy IPA.   The saison and the wit were drinkable and pleasing, just not my favorites.  The Belgian was just too much sour cherry for me!  The house brewed options at Revolution Brewing  had pleasing flavor, proper body and proper carbonation.  Beer wise I'd give them a 4.25/5.

The Atmosphere and service were also excellent.  Our waiter was not only knowledgeable about the beers, but also the menu.  He was prompt and friendly the entire time and more than willing to share honest opinions about beers and food.
There were 4 of these awesome fist pillars around the bar.  Our waiter explained they were all carved out of a solid piece of wood using a CNC machine.
These curved pieces of wood actually are strips that were taken from  old barrels used to age Goose Island Bourbon County Series Beer!   In fact the whole restaurant is filled with re-purposed wood!
I figured since we were done with our meals it couldn't hurt to ask if we could see the brewing area.  Our waiter asked the manager and he was very happy to let us see the upper part of the brewing area (they were busying working downstairs.)  We were told that they would soon be selling their kegs to other areas of Chicago and very soon they hope to begin bottling their beers! Here are some pictures I took.
Revolution Brewing on Urbanspoon

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The Map Room
Our night did not stop at Revolution Brewing.   We decided to make the 10 minute walk to The Map Room to check out their beer selection because we heard it was excellent.  The bar is small, but worth the walk!  Map Room features a large draft list along with a very extensive bottle list.   If you head to Revolution and are looking to get another drink Map Room should be on your list. 
Map Room on Urbanspoon

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Bangers and Lace
After a few pints at the Map Room, we wanted to make one more stop since it was on the way back home along the Blue Line Train.   At the Division stop you have a 2 minute walk west and there you will find maybe my favorite bar of this trip, Bangers and Lace.  This is a newer bar, with a very trendy, upscale interior.  What made this bar really stand out for me was the 32 tap handles they had on the wall.  Of these 32 taps, Six of them were featuring the Mikkeller Single Hop Series!  In addition to this limited series there were many beers that were limited release such as the Weak Sauce Coffee Porter by Left Hand which was outstanding!
Large Chalkboard behind the bar which displays everything on tap.
Mikkeller Singe Hops
I was thrilled to try 3Floyds Apocalypse Cow!

I wish I would have taken more pictures, but honestly we were having too much fun to worry about pictures.Check out Bangers and Lace's Photo Gallery.
Bangers & Lace on Urbanspoon

By this point in the night we were both pretty tired and decided to call a cab to get us home.  The cab right only cost $15 to get downtown and was well worth the cash to get home safely.   I would highly recommend all of the places we visited on Tuesday because we had a blast.   Now check out what we did on Wednesday!  Cheers!

3 comments:

swagmaster@gmail.com said...

I wish Cleveland had a lake!

Ben said...

Your post really makes me want to go back to Chicago. I'd definitely like to make another stop at Revolution Brewing, and Bangers and Lace also looks like a lot of fun, especially the single hop beers.

Sarah said...

Last time we were in Chicago, we met up with some CHI friends. They took us to Revolution for beer and food, then went over to the Map Room and somewhere else. It was a delicious night!

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