So this past Saturday, The Kekambas, our newly formed summer softball team had its first practice and worked up quite a hunger. Since we were in Buffalo Grove at the time someone mentioned grabbing a beer and a burger while watching the Bulls get stomped by the Cavs. After some coercing by my teammates, I eventually gave in and went to The RAM (www.theram.com). Now in all fairness, this isn't the big Stevenson High School bar. That title goes to The Cubby Bear North, but I was still worried I'd run into a multitude of people who's names I'd inevitably forgotten. I thought I was in for a lunch full of awkwardly staring across the bar at other people, both of us knowing we should go say hi, and yet neither one of us getting up (you know the situation). I was pleasantly surprised when we got there to find a practically empty bar. This meant that all I'd have to deal with was the variety of delicious bar food and multitude of TVs.
The RAM is split in two by its open air kitchen. On one side of the building is a tame restaurant seating area with lots of booths, limited TVs, and a quiet ambiance. On the other side there's a bar setup with a bunch of raised tables surrounded by a ring of booths. There's a huge, wall-sized projection TV in the center and another 20 or so smaller TVs on the rest of the walls. The bar has comically high shelves, which are even more comically stocked with bacardi at the top. They have these monstrous ladders for the bartenders to get up there, which seems like an awfully long way to go for some cheap rum.
Anyways, we got sat at an extra long center table, which was great since we had a party of 10 or so. Also, since we were practically the only people there, we were served really quickly. I've been there on busy nights too, and the service is usually pretty good.
I think it should be noted that they brew their own beer. Even though they have some large tanks on display, I don't think they brew anything at that location, but I'll forgive the fake showmanship.
Big Horn Beer Sampler
Everyone started off with a beer or two from the home brewed selection. I've had plenty of time to try out The Ram's beers, and think that by far the best is the Hefeweizen. It's a thick, wheat beer with some fruity background flavors, and it really hit the spot after a "tough" day of practice. They've got a bunch more beers, and if you'd like you can get a sampler of all of them for something like $6. They also offer growlers for those who just have to have Big Horn beer at home, but I've never thought beer kept well in those things.
Amber Ale Marinated Chicken Sandwich and Onion Rings
The menu has a large selection of burgers including an Elvis burger with peanut butter, but I chose to go with a chicken sandwich. Specifically, I got the Amber Ale Marinated Chicken Sandwich. The breast was covered in a thick bbq sauce and topped with cole slaw, roasted tomatoes, onion strings, and chipotle mayo. Usually a sandwich with so many different flavors runs the risk of blending together into an indistinguishable mush, but these flavors all held their own. The slaw was crisp and cool, and I've never disliked onion strings on a sandwich. The sandwich was humongous and tasty, but I wish I could've tasted the beer a little more in the sauce. The sandwich was $11 and for $0.49 I substituted onion rings for fries. These onion rings are pretty darn good. They're cut very thickly with a thick and crisp breading. Nothing special as far as seasoning on them, just good, standard, thick onion rings.
Interior View (Check out those layers!!!)
Since it was our first practice, it was fitting to hit up The RAM for our first beer league get together. The food is tasty, the beer is unique, the TVs are plentiful, and I escaped without any awkward high school reunion. As far as Lincolnshire bars go, I still think I prefer a place like Champps for food and a game, but you can't go wrong with The RAM. One strike against it is that it's somewhat of a miniature chain. Also, I feel like the food must've been pretty unhealthy because my food coma that afternoon was rather prolonged. I'm giving it 3 out of 5 Pearls.
Also a special thanks to Eric Spigelman for taking the pictures.