Sunday, October 16, 2011

A gem of a bar -- Bigby's Pour House, Addison

Addison is not a bad place, by any means, but it lacks a centralized downtown area with shopping and restaurants, something I value in a town. However, on the Lake Street drag packed with restaurants (lots of chains), assorted stores, nail salons and car repair shops, there is a real gem of a bar tucked in.

Bigby's Pour House (links to their FB page -- 1700 W. Lake St., Addison) is a cozy, comfortable bar that serves craft beer, good wine and a selection of delicious snackery to munch on. No Miller or Bud here, no wine from a box, and no hard liquor -- just a couple of guys who really love their jobs and their bar.

Bigby's changes its menu up regularly, and the drink selection shifts seasonally and based on voting by customers. But rest assured, if you're not sure what you  might like, just talk to Ed and his crew -- they'll help you find something. As I said previously, I never really thought I liked beer. With a little help from Bigby's and a beer snob friend or two, I've discovered some great hard ciders, saisons, weisses, porters and stouts. But if you like super-hoppy beers and IPAs, Bigby's has you covered, too!

The atmosphere inside Bigby's, as I said, is cozy. It's like hanging out in a coffee house or awesome basement, with couches, TVs, movies, games and more. But, they serve beer.

If you're not familiar with Addison, Bigby's can be a little hard to find. It's just east of 355 and Rt. 53, on the north side of Lake St., attached to Mario's Deli. I highly recommend checking out this suburban gem.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Beer me?! Two Brothers Tap House, Warrenville

I've never been a real beer drinker. In college I mostly stuck to wine and pink cocktails, and while I knew there was "better" beer out there, I didn't really know anything about it or care very much.

Enter my husband's best friend, coinciding with the craft-beer-splosion in America. As it turns out, I do appreciate good craft beer, especially stouts, fruity beers and weiss. And I do appreciate good food, too, which this tap house has in spades.

This place is in a nondescript, sign-less building in an industrial park in unincorporated Warrenville. (Two Brothers Tap House, 30w315 Calumet Ave, Warrenville, No, not that nondescript, sign-less building. The other one, with the grain silo.

We brought aforementioned best friend, a total beer snob, out here on a sunny Saturday afternoon and started with tomatillo nachos. Mmmmm. Nachos. These are made with nice thick El Milagro chips, a great spicy salsa, plenty of cheese, and perhaps a little too much lettuce and sour cream.

I had the chicken tacos for my lunch; the portion was large and the quality was high. My tablemates had mac & cheese and the cuban, and both looked mighty tasty as well. I would gladly have eaten either. The menu focuses on organic and natural ingredients and has great options for just about everyone.

As we wound down our meal it was time for a brewery tour, and I found that to be very informative. The manager (whose name I have forgotten) was full of funny anecdotes and good information.

Normally you get tickets at the end of your tour to try a few brews, but the magical Beer Fairy had already set up samples for us on our table! Score! I personally liked the Ebel's Weiss and Domaine DuPage the most, but lemme tell you, the craft sodas were a real treat -- cinnamon root beer?! Genius! The craft-beer-loving lady was most pleased with what she tried as well (and so was the husband, don't get me wrong).

They also have a small shop where you can buy home-brewing equipment and a six pack or two to take home with you. I just wish they bottled the soda, too...