Last Friday I had my heart set on a big juicy burger. As most of you read, M Burger did not fill this craving, so I set out to find somewhere that would, leading me to Chicago's newest brewery in the heart of Logan Square..... Revolution Brewery (http://revbrew.com). On Saturday, I spent most of the morning at the Family Farmed Food Expo noshing on organic and vegetarian samples, which if anything only increased my desire for a big piece of meat (I honestly couldn't think of a better way to say this while still conveying my desired message). Between a recommendation from my friend Kayleen and excellent reviews on Timeout Chicago, I had to check this place out.
The Timeout Chicago article made this out to be the longest wait around (as if it were Kuma's Corner or something). So I figured I should hit it up with Josh this past weekend since we could get away with just sitting at the bar as a party of 2. To try and paint a picture for you, imagine a large bar in the middle of a larger room with tables strewn around the edges. If you've seen Goose Island Brewery, it's pretty much like the room with the bar in it but larger, or you could try and imagine Station with tables and class. So Josh and I went there expecting to wait a while and were given an estimated time of 45 minutes (not so bad considering it was 6:30 on a Saturday). With the same approach as at Kuma's, we waited behind a couple eating at the bar, ready to pounce on their seats. We never got the chance though since after only 15 minutes the hostess told us our table was ready. During that wait, I had the chance to try one of their excellent beers, and I could've probably waited for another hour or two just drinking those and hanging out if I had to. If you want to come with a group, they don't take reservations, and don't have that many huge tables or much variability in their seating arrangements, so anticipate a long wait or come at an off hour.
The Food (and the Beer)
The beer list at Revolution is a little limited, but I'll cut them some slack since they're brand new. What's nice though is that they all cost $5 a pint, and they have a delicious stout that is served in a room temperature cask (my beer of choice for the evening). Typically, it's become the trend for microbreweries to go gaga over some pale ale. I've never really liked pale ale's, so seeing a brewery take pride in their stout was very appreciated. That's not to say that the patrons don't seem to love their other beers, and at $5 a pop you can try a few and not break the bank.
As Josh and I waited at our table we saw some of the burgers (which are HUGE), but in the interest of my readers we thought we'd try at least one appetizer. What jumped out to us was the Bruschetta Sampler, a variety including bruschettas with duck confit, roasted cauliflower and arugula, beets, and a traditional with plum tomatoes. Really though it wasn't anything special. All of the fancy bruschettas had a pretty similar taste (surprising because of the boldly different ingredients) which was mostly garlic and oil. Although we didn't order this, the popular appetizer seems to be a Bacon Fat Popcorn mixed with chunks of bacon and Parmesan cheese, and if you're a bacon lover I suggest you try it.
But not to fear the lacking bruschetta, because our burgers followed soon after. I went with the Farm Burger, a pound of Angus beef covered in beets, sauteed spinach, and a fried egg. I requested it medium rare, and it was cooked perfectly. The bun was nicely toasted, and the toppings were still crisp without their flavors blurring together. The egg soaked nicely into the bun and I could see why this has become such a popular trend at top notch burger joints. Josh got the more traditional Workingman Burger, topped with bacon, aged cheddar cheese, and beer grilled onions. As a bacon cheeseburger connoisseur of sorts, Josh rated this one very highly, saying the key was that the bacon was crisp but not charred and chewy but not as thick as those bacon steaks they serve on the burgers at Chili's. So these burgers were huge (well worth the $10), but on top of that they came with a heaping helping of fries that I would dare to compare to the amazing fries of Al's #1 Italian Beef (much better than Mr. Beef for those of you watching the new travel channel show "Food Wars"). They were crispy, substantial, and not overly salted (basically the anti M Burger fry). Now, we were too full to try these, but we could overhear people raving about the beignets, served with a hot chocolate dipping sauce.
The burgers and the beer can carry this place a long way, but if that's not enough for you, there seems to be a few great appetizers and deserts as well. Additionally, it's not as expensive as some of the other high quality burger joints around the city. Now until everyone gets a piece of Revolution Brewery (which may take some time), you may have to wait in some long lines, but it's well worth it and you can always just enjoy a beer or two before your meal. I don't suggest coming there just to drink since getting a bar seat is difficult, and right now people seem to be coming for the food just as much as the drinks. Really, this place is just trying to be as great as Goose Island with a nice mix of beers and fantastic bar food. Revolution isn't there yet, but it's well on its way with a creative menu at a moderate cost.