Monday, January 31, 2011

Hub 51

Location: 51 W. Hubbard
Cost: Around $20

After the cooking demo with Chuy at the Kenmore Live Studio a bunch of us wanted to grab a drink. Our first attempt was at the Public House which was unfortunately closed for a private function. Thinking on our feet, we quickly thought of heading just down the block to Hub 51. Now usually I don't go there unless there's some event like Hubbukah or Schneider has a bunch of friends in from out of town, but this was our best option at the time. Plus I'd heard the food was really creative.

We got in there, and it was packed. The bar was standing room only, but when we told them we had a party of 9 we got sat immediately. Right off the bat I thought that was pretty impressive. They've got a ton of seating in general, but we must have just gotten lucky after another big party left.

Our server was excellent and kept checking on us to see if we needed anything more as far as drinks and food went. The food came out really quickly too, which was great because we mostly went for appetizer style dishes and pitchers of beer. The pitchers were in the mid teens, and most of the other dishes we got were around $10-15.

The Food
We started off with the Pulled Chicken Nachos which was a really big portion. It came with a spicy salsa on the side, and the chicken had a nice rub. After that we ordered the Three Green Bites which was a combo platter of Edamame, Padrone Peppers, and Tempura Green Beans. The edamame was pretty generic, and I like the fried green beans better at TGI Fridays. These ones were too heavy on the batter and really had no spectacular flavor. The peppers were really interesting because they were unevenly roasted. The first one I had was well roasted, on the sweeter side, and delicious. The second one was a little raw and intolerably spicy (hiccups and coughing ensued for a good 5 minutes or so).

The Pulled Chicken Nachos

 The Three Green Bites

After that we went for some more substantial dishes. We got the Dry-Rubbed Ribs. They fell off the bone, but could've used more sauce and were a bit stringy. Also, they came with a side of "cracklin" peanuts which I didn't really know what to do with. After that we got the Jerky which was actually a combo of turkey, beef, and pork jerky. It came along with a homemade cheese dip, toast, and olives. The jerky was really tasty and not too tough, plus the cheese dip was really something else. The Erikas shared a bottle of wine and a piece of Carrot Cake. They thought the wine was overpriced, but they loved the cake (especially the frosting on the side).

The Dry Rubbed Ribs

The Jerky

The Carrot Cake

Hub 51 is a bit all over the place with a menu featuring sushi, nachos, enchiladas, and filet mignon. I definitely suggest ordering carefully so that you don't end up eating guac and sushi in the same meal. I had high hopes since it's a Lettuce Entertain You restaurant, but was a little underwhelmed. I know that we didn't get to try much of the menu, but we did go by much of what was recommended by the waitress. Some things were overpriced and lacking in flavor, but the nachos were solid. I think there's promise that some of the other dishes could be really great, and I'm around there enough that I'm sure I'll have a revisited post on some of their other dishes. I'm giving Hub 51 2.5 out of 5 Pearls.

Hub 51 on Urbanspoon

Chicago Restaurants


  1. I've been very unimpressed with Hub 51. Too much going on with the menu...Sushi and Burgers? Pick one.

    And their new "Paris Club" looks like Hub/Sub 51 West. Boring.