As I’ve mentioned before, living south of the Madison line in Chicago can be a bit distressing for certain ethnic fare. (We’ve got Chinatown, but not much in the way of sushi.) One of the things the South Side does not lack is rib joints. I live in Pilsen’s backyard, and there are two BBQ joints within walking distance of my house (three if I really had my walkin’ game on). So, why on Earth would I go to the far Northwest side for ribs? To celebrate a birthday, of course!
We went to the Gale Street Inn (not surprisingly located very near Gale Street). They’re in the midst of renovating their bar, so seating is a bit more of a premium than before. The atmosphere is definitely family-friendly, on the loud side, and good for large groups. Relaxed, casual, and with a full bar—not to mention that they don’t skimp on the portions.
What We Ate
Not surprising, Paul had ribs—a full rack, obviously. The ribs come with a choice of potato, a side, and either soup or salad. Paul went with the au gratin potatoes, a side of mac and cheese, and the black bean soup. Seriously large portions going on here. Of course, Paul finished it off and complained bitterly about being too full for the next three days. For a skinny guy, he sure does make a lot of noise.
I had a filet mignon and fries with a salad (your basic lettuce, tomato, cucumber with standard selection of dressings). The steak was done perfectly. I like an extremely rare steak. This bad boy was just off the moo-train. Speaking of mooing, my Moo had chicken fingers and fries off of the kiddie menu. He barely ate any of it since he had filled up on bread products and Cheerios while we waited. So, next time, I would nix the fries as my potato and just eat his.
The birthday honoree had the ahi tuna which is served sliced thin. They do a light sear (very light) on the tuna, so be prepared for a sushi-esque experience. (Cold—very cold—in the center). But, I’ve been told that it was tasty.
What We Drank
I had a Blue Line Martini because I love blue drinks (vodka, blue curacao, and lemon-lime). They have a decent beer list, a small wine selection (all by the glass and the bottle) as well as a few cocktails. (Pimms Cup and Moscow Mules on the menu? I like the randomness.)
There are early bird specials, sandwiches, and pastas—everything you’d expect from a family-style rib joint. There’s also live jazz on Mondays along with a full rack special that night.
Location: 4914 N. Milwaukee (told ya it was far North). Free parking in the lot directly next to/behind the restaurant. I’d recommend reservations if you’re going on a weekend, especially until they finish up the bar renovation.