Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Sports bar solace -- 601 Bar & Grill, Addison

At the corner of Mill Road and Army Trail there is a small strip mall that formerly housed Solace 601, a fine-dining Italian-French restaurant.

I don't know if it wasn't doing very well, or if the owners just wanted to take things a new direction, but the space has been reinvented and is now 601 Bar & Grill (601 W. Army Trail, Addison). That's much more our speed, so we decided to stop in on a recent Friday evening.

The owners must have done a big renovation -- the space has a big bar, lots of tables and high tops, and a dozen or more TVs.

We were seated promptly next to a picture of the Stanley Cup-winning Blackhawks and the most popular people in the restaurant. Half a dozen or more people squeezed themselves in next to my husband just to say hello to them. And around the bar were a bunch of middle-age dudes on their fourth beer who had absolutely no inside voice.

But 601 saved itself. Because the food was quite good and the service was excellent. The menu is heavy on burgers and wings, but also includes other sandwiches, pizza and a few entrees for giggles.

We started with nachos, which were very good chips, covered in beans and taco meat, slathered in convenience store cheese sauce and dotted with tomatoes, scallions and sour cream. Not bad, but would've been better with real cheese and pico de gallo.

We both ordered burgers: I had the California burger (avocado, green chiles, jack cheese, hold the mayo); the husband had the pizza burger.

Pretzel buns are awesome. The burger patties were juicy and cooked well (but not well-done). And the toppings were mighty tasty. We also both had waffle fries, which were sufficiently good though not seriously outstanding.

Service was very, very good -- seemed like nobody walked by our table without grabbing a used napkin, refilling the water, asking how the food was or *something*. Extremely attentive and friendly.

I just wish for a few more booths (I only spotted one) and a few less loud-mouthed dudes...

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