Thursday, January 27, 2011

The Fifty/50

In med school we've recently begun a class called Healthy Living. One of our assignments was to track everything we ate for a week to learn what patients go through when trying to analyze their own diets. Well all week, despite what you all may think, I was doing awesome. That was of course until the last day when Lisa and I attended a special event for the media to try some of the new dishes at The Fifty/50.

The Fifty/50 is a sports bar near Damen and Division where you can expect some excellent bar food as well as some great brunch and creative drinks. On top of that, you'll always get served by an attractive waitress. They've got solid TV coverage no matter where you sit too. I can't really speak to reservations since they had the basement reserved for us, but I'd bet that during good sporting events it's near impossible to get a table.

Our service was excellent (although we were probably getting special treatment). Still the drinks stayed full, and a waitress was always nearby to help us with anything we needed. Although this was a tasting, I can still give you an idea of what kind of deal you'll get. Burgers come at around $11, plus appetizers and wings under $10. That may seem like most other bar prices, but these portions are insane.

The Food
The first thing brought out to us was the Greek Salad. I expected something generic, but this was heavy on the money ingredients (kalamata olives and pepperoncinis). The dressing wasn't too heavy either like you get with lots of bar salads. Then we got the mozzarella sticks. They make the mozzarella in house, and the breading was just the right consistency. Also, the cheese had a little give to it but not so much that strings of it were making a mess.

The Greek Salad

 The Mozzarella Sticks

Then came the hamburger course where they brought out two new burgers that will soon be on the menu. The first was the Surf and Turf burger. It was a medium rare patty topped with a crab cake, creole mustard, and pepper jack cheese served with a side of sweet potato fries. After we wolfed down that guy they brought out the O Face burger, a patty topped with pulled pork, merkts cheese, and a mac n cheese waffle. You might be wondering what a mac n cheese waffle is. Basically they make mac n cheese, blend it to a paste, and put it in a waffle iron. Surprisingly all of the ingredients stayed together on the bun relatively well. I think they took this shot at gluttony a bit too far though, and I don't think the waffle tasted much like anything. It was served with some waffle fries that were just slightly too salty.

The Surf and Turf Burger

 The O Face Burger

As if that wasn't enough food, they brought out a heaping portion of their lasagna. It was topped with a spicy sausage and loaded with ricotta cheese. I would've liked it if the lasagna noodles were more substantial. With the slightly overcooked noodles and heavy amounts of ricotta, it got a little bit mushy. Then they brought out some buffalo wings. Thankfully they only brought out a small taste because I was about to explode at this point. Some people say that these are the best in the city, and honestly I was too full to thoroughly judge anything. The sauce was unique with a tangy kick that made the wings worth some praise.

The Lasagna

 The Buffalo Wings

Almost every sports bar you go to has unhealthy food, but at The Fifty/50 clearly the motto is go big or go home. Everything was loaded with flavor and had a unique spin to it. I think they may have gone too far with the burger toppings, but that may just be because I ended up putting down about 2600 calories in total. The big news from the event was that they'll soon be opening a Quad Cities style pizza joint in the Ukranian Village called Roots Handmade Pizza. I'll be sure to get there when it opens. I don't think it'd be fair to give a Pearl rating since it was a special event, but I can easily say that they're hitting on all cylinders of bar food.

I'd also like to extend a special thanks to my friend and fellow blogger Kate Bernot for informing me about the event and to my Media Strategist Rachel Cohen for setting it up on my end.

Fifty/50 on Urbanspoon

Chicago Restaurants


  1. I was supposed to go to this with @chifoodsnob but plans fell through at the last minute and now I am not sad! Way too much food. Someone woulda had to roll me home!

    Nice that they make their own mozzarella though!

  2. Those mozza sticks look insane ~ and I haven't craved one of those since 1999!