Friday, November 5, 2010


You know what Tuesday night is? Well if you live near the DePaul campus, it's Trivia Night at State. That's right folks, the bar that first made you feel like you weren't cool enough is now making you feel like you're not smart enough. Anyways, Zach Frankel started going a while ago and has recruited a bunch of us to go on the occasional Tuesday. The team MVPs are clearly Jeremy Spector (everything sports), Richard Gross (who else knows lines from "Good Luck Chuck?"), Jeff Schneider (generally kind of an old man who knows dated facts), Scott Frankel (movies), and Jeff Smith (music, but only things that most of us would be embarrassed to listen to [i.e. Nickleback]). Last Tuesday we also had a guest appearance from Josh Finkle who specialized in the miscellaneous category, "Nickelodeon TV from the 90's." Do you know the name of Clarissa's obnoxious little brother because Josh sure does. So clearly we're a crack team, but we can't seem to put it all together on the same night.

Now when you're sitting there for 3 hours playing trivia, you inevitably get pretty hungry. Good thing they've got a pretty large bar menu and pitchers on special.

Trivia starts at 8PM, and there are a lot of tables. Still, it's really difficult to get a table unless you're there by like 6:50. You need 5 people or more to get a booth, and you can only have something like 8 people on a team (not a very large window). When we got there (at like 7:10) there were probably a half dozen open booths, but we were told that those were reserved for some of the many softball teams that State sponsors. We ended up sitting at this part of the bar that they call "the lounge," which is basically a padded bench with coffee tables in front of it. In general I'd say that the staff has this huge sense of entitlement, and if you ask the host for help of any kind they make you feel like you're really putting them out. You ever see that Simpsons episode where Moe owns a cool bar? He puts Homer, Lenny, and Carl in the corner and then turns off the lights where they are so that no one can see them. That's kind of the State feel sometimes.

The special is $13 pitchers of miller light and $5 hamburgers. The portions are pretty large, and they're normally around $10. I think getting extra toppings (like cheese) costs $0.75. Since we had too many people for one team, we split into two. We placed our food orders maybe 5 minutes apart, and the other team got their food at least a half hour before us.

The Food
The guys sitting right next to me had some key items which I think give a good feel for the quality of the food at State. Josh and I ordered the Burger, Specs got the Buffalo Chicken Sandwich, and Schneider got some kind of Turkey Melt. All of our meals came with a hefty portion of Tater Tots on the side.

The Buffalo Chicken Sandwich

The State Burger

 The Turkey Club (or something like that, the online menu is inaccurate)

As you can see in the picture, the Buffalo Chicken Sandwich is smothered in a little too much cheese, and the a good buffalo flavor didn't really come through. The burgers weren't anything to write home about, and the cooking was a major problem. It wasn't necessarily that the center was cooked less than the rest but rather that the left side was cooked more than the right. I'm not sure how they made this happen, but I had a well done burger on one side and a medium rare on the other. If I had only eaten the medium rare side first I wouldn't have had such a poor taste in my mouth by the time I got to it, and I would've at least enjoyed half of the burger. The Tater Tots were a nice change of pace to fries, but they were really greasy. I was aching for a while after this meal.

I would say I was disappointed with the service, but I've grown to expect this from State. I'd never had the food before, so this was a fresh way to upset me. The major issue is that the trivia is lots of fun (despite how difficult and innacurrate the answers often are). So basically, I'm gonna keep going back and just put up with it. Still, the point I'm trying to make is not to come here eager for a tasty or even properly cooked burger. I'm giving State 1 out of 5 Pearls.

State Restaurant & Cafe on Urbanspoon


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