Lincoln Park, Chicago, IL
Over Memorial Day weekend, Dan and I went to Chicago to visit his closest friend, Rod, and his girlfriend Roxy. We did a lot of neat things on the trip, but our first stop at Barrelhouse Flat was my absolute favorite place we went all weekend. It's one of the top 5 bars I've ever been to with absolutely the #1 best bar food. The downstairs is super packed, but since everyone in Chicago is so damn nice you don't mind a few bumps and bruises. Rod, Dan and I sat at the bar (Roxy didn't get in till the next morning) and ate the bar food of kings.
Upstairs, there's a throwback lounge that looks like somewhere old rockstars would hang out. Velvet couches and lamps full of fringe, it would be a cool place to people watch and sip on cocktails for hours. Like the food, the drinks were insanely intricate and had layers of flavor you never expected.
Instead of dipping our toes into Chicago's food scene the first night, I'd say we dunktanked on the first throw.
Caramel Chicken Wings - Instead of crunchy, these were almost puffy crisp. Covered in a unique soy caramel glaze that I could have eaten on any meat or even ice cream. Paired with kimchi and spicy cucumber salad. (Featured in picture above.)
Corn Fritters - They look more like falafel wraps, but are actually dense corn fritters with pickled onions, creamy sauce (called raita), on miniature round house flatbreads. The flatbreads reminded me of those fresh baked tortillas you get at Chevy's when you're younger, but eight thousand times as good.
Poutine - Thank. You. Canada.
Duck Plate - This was one of Dan and Rod's favorites, but not me. I appreciate the concept, but the only duck (done 4 ways) I liked was the pastrami. Pattes and mouses aren't textures I enjoy.
Rinku – Gin, cocchi rose, pineapple syrup and ginger beer - A fancier Moscow Mule.
Dream Phone – Vodka, st germain, lime, grapefruit, orange bitters and champagne - So good I was humming "Phone Sex" by Grimes louder with every sip that went down.