Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Random pics, thoughts, observations, from Chicago

I just wanted to share some stuff from the trip to Chi-town Zig Zag and I made last weekend. After drinking heavily for the better part of Sunday, Zig and I were in need of sustenance. For absolutely no reason whatsoever I really wanted a Philly Cheesesteak. So, I hopped on the Interwebs and found what many called "the best and most authentic Philly in Chicago" at a place called Philly's best, so off we went.Just outside the restaurant we spotted this ancient Huffy. I'm not sure if it actually works or if it's just been sitting there since '73.

And here we are inside Philly's Best let's get a cheesesteak. This sandwich was fucking awesome. I've never been to Philly but I've been to Ocean City which is pretty close and this cheesesteak was pretty close to what I had there. It's all about the cheese, it's gotta be liquid white American cheese (or Cheez Wiz) to be right and the guys at Philly's Best have it figured out.
This wall had a ton of pictures, almost all of them autographed, of various celebrities. There was pics of reporters from Philadelphia as well as sports figures from Chicago. Before our lunch at Philly's, we spotted some dive bars to check out before hitting the road and coming back to the P. The first stop was Carol's Pub located at 4659 N. Clark. Just outside the bar we found this empty can of Icehouse. This is always the sign of a great bar.

Most reviews online said it was a great place for karaoke and I don't doubt that. There was a big stage where country and western (both kinds of music!) play. The crowd at 1 p.m. on a Monday was...interesting. When Zig and I walked in, both TV's were turned to Maury and cranked up pretty loud. The whole bar was watching, which is the first time I've ever seen that. Below is a pic from my perch at the bar. This place was a true dive. It smelled a little like farts and stale beer but compared with the other cookie-cutter sports bars and douchebag hangouts in the area, I would definitely make Carol's a regular stop if I were lucky enough to live in the Windy City and run the Chicago Bar Review. After a couple Bloody Mary's and a few Bud Lights we headed to our next stop, Max's Place.
No one leaves a bar quietly at 4 a.m.

Max's is about a one cigarette walk from Carol's and is located at 4621 N. Clark. Max's is way smaller than Carol's but had just as much atmosphere. There's a bar, a jukebox, booze, and that's about it. But to be a great dive bar, these are really the main ingredients. I only got one pic, from my seat at the bar, check it out below.

The outside shot is a pic I got from another site. In case you can't tell, that sign is made of wood and is hand-painted, something you don't see very often.

Cheers to Philly's Best for providing Chicago with an authentic cheesesteak and cheers to Max's and Carol's for providing the City of Broad Shoulders with two great dives to hang out in.

1 comment:

  1. That sandwhich looks like manna from carnivorous mecca, coercing one to bow east in between esculent medias chomps of meat-searing delight....great post chief...there's a sort of working class integrity (slowly begining to wane in the neon nest of propagating douchebage bars) to the forlorn taverns of the chicago of yesterday....(somewhere on youtube there's a great piece of Studs Turkel and Mike Royko chatting about the cultural significance of the neighborhood tavern)...and oh, twist my arm a shade of chimay red, what time are you going to be at Mike's this s'nday??? The love of my life is on the emotional rag and sylvia plathing out of control it'd be nice to tap back a few with a fellow scribe indeed....