Cost: $12 per person
First of all, it's been a really long time since my last post (all time long I believe), and I'm sorry about that. I was out of town for my cousin's bar mitzvah (he did great by the way). So not only was I out of town, but my sister and I were given large amounts of leftovers which I've been trying to eat through over the past week. Well I broke the eat out drought for my buddy Dave's birthday. We had quite the med school crew assembled (Dave, Mike, Rabbi Kaufman, Mark, Joe, Steve, and P-Ty), and the plan was dinner followed by a Blackhawks victory. We decided to go to Jake Melnick's.
The seating at Jake Melnick's is an assortment of raised bar tables as well as booths. We didn't need a reservation on a Wednesday night, but it may be helpful at busier times. They've got a bunch of TVs, not a ton, but it'd still be a good place to watch a game with some solid food.
Our server was excellent. We told her that we were in a hurry to get in and out and to the game. We also asked her to split up the check among a large party. She never missed a step, and drinks stayed full the whole time.
The cost is what I've come to expect with burgers, wings, and fries for a little over $10. They had a solid deal with the burger of the month and a beer for $12. The portions are gigantic with excessive amounts of fries (in a good way).
Everyone got some sandwich or another. Mark got the Jake's Smokin' Que Burger, Dave got the Steak Sandwich, Joe got the half slab of ribs, Mike got the Pulled Pork Sandwich, Steve and Kaufman got the Country Fried Burger, P-Ty got the Turkey Burger, I went for the Buffalo Chicken Sandwich, and we split an order of Buffalo Wings for the table.
The Spicy Buffalo Wings
The Steak Sandwich
The Country Fried Burger
The Buffalo Chicken Sandwich
The Half Slab of Ribs
The Pulled Pork Sandwich
The Turkey Burger
The Smokin' Que Burger
The Smokin' Que Burger was wrapped in bacon and topped with pulled pork, and Mark said it was the most ridiculously delicious burger. Dave liked the Steak Sandwich a lot. Joe went to town on the ribs which were plenty heavy on the sauce. Mike's had the Pulled Pork Sandwich a bunch of times, and he said it was as good as ever. Kaufman and Steve got the Country Fried Burger (chicken fried burger, on texas toast, fried egg, cheddar cheese, bacon, and sausage gravy) mostly because it had the deal with the beer for $12. It may have been a little overkill in that it literally may have taken years off of their life. It reminded me of the Horseshoe (popular dish in Springfield, IL), and looked like it could satisfy most anyone's gluttony. The Buffalo Chicken Sandwich was crispy on the outside, tender on the inside, and coated in a spicy sauce. For the most part though, they're famous for the wings, and I can see why. They're breaded like the ones at Hooters which is much harder to come by than you might think. They've got a variety of sauces, but the spicy sauce has a good kick without giving me the spicy hiccups. Everything came with fries as well. These fries were hand cut and delicious. They weren't soggy at all or over salted, and there were a ton of them. They may have just been my favorite part of the meal.
On wings alone there's a ton to say about Jake Melnick's. Throw on a variety of burgers, solid bar sandwiches, and a pretty good list of on tap beers and you've got somewhere to hang your hat. I originally wrote about Jake Melnick's in my post for CBS on Chicago's Best Chicken Joints, and I'm glad I did. I'm giving them 4 out of 5 Pearls.