As promised, here's the itinerary for this Saturday's tour. Feel free to print it out. I'll also have a few copies to hand out.
Welcome to The Contingent
’sHoney Butter Fried Chicken/Northwest Chicago Tour! Our biggest challenge today will be avoiding collapse before we get to the grand finale. All these stops have a long list of “must try” items. As you all know, pacing is the key, so choose well and partner up with a few others for sharing and optimizing menu choices. 11-11:50amBang Bang Pie & Biscuits
; 2051 N. California, (773) 276-8888
members have been to Bang Bang on prior trips (The Great ChicagoStyleHotDog & ItalianBeef Crawl of 2015) and know what to expect. For the newcomers, here’s a quick rundown. You shouldn’t be surprised that we’re starting with a dessert stop. As the old saying goes, “Life is uncertain, eat dessert first!” Also, BBP&B has a solid breakfast menu featuring Biscuits with a variety of toppings, Pot Pies, Grits, and Sides. Best course of action may be to grab the Pie to go for later and focus on the breakfast selections while we’re here. Noon-12:45pmRed Hot Ranch
; 2072 N. Western Ave.,
RHR serves one of the best examples of the Minimalist
CSD (mustard, relish, onions, sport peppers; NO
tomato, pickle or celery salt), but the focus today should be on their recent menu addition, the RHR CheeseBurger. This smashdown burger starts out as two wads of beef (definitely order the double, especially since you’ll likely be splitting), mashed to almost paper thinness on a searing hot griddle. The resulting caramelization creates one of the meatiest tasting Burgers in all of Chicago. You can order it with RHR’s Special Sauce, or my favorite, the classic ketchup, mustard, pickle, and onion (raw or grilled) combination of my misspent youth at McDonald’s. All sandwiches come with Fries.
If you must order something besides a Burger, go with the Deep-Fried Shrimp. They’re served “tails off” for easy popping and are among the best in town. 1-2:30pmPizza y Pan Pa' Ya
; 3125 W Montrose,
This could be our toughest stop. Everything on the menu looks so inviting you’ll have a hard time limiting yourself. And they’ve got a full range of finger food choices from savory to sweet; all of it looking like just tiny little bites, but after a while it adds up.
Standouts on our test run were the Empanadas and the Pizza. The Empanadas feature a thick, crunchy shell giving way to abundant fillings. Our group of five ordered the 12” thin crust Pizza with chicken and mushrooms and walked away with leftovers. For our group of 23 I’ll guess four pizzas and a handful of appetizers will more than satisfy our needs. 2:45-4pmEl Potosi Taqueria
, 3710 N Elston Ave., (773) 463-2517
You need to appreciate El Potosi for the total experience. The food here is NOT life changing, but it is very good. Accept it for what it is and you’ll love this wonderful, quirky example of an urban Taqueria. You’ll feel like you’re in a tiny joint in rural Mexico instead of one of the busiest neighborhoods on the northwest side of Chicago.
They serve a full Mexican Street Food Menu, including Burritos, Tostadas, and Tortas. We found it easiest to split a plate of Tacos. Added Bonus: If you’re a lover of Al Pastor (spit-grilled pork), El Potosi serves a dandy version! You can also get full dinners and a whole separate menu of Shrimp choices.
This will be our tightest squeeze of the tour. I guarantee some of the group will be eating al trunko
. El Potosi’s inside is about the size of a small home kitchen and dining area with maybe four seats. Most of the eating space is outdoors overlooking beautiful(?) Elston Avenue. Off the top of my head I’d say there is total seating for about 18 people (who knew we’d get such an overwhelming response for this trip?). 4:15-6pmHoney Butter Fried Chicken
, 3361 N Elston Ave., (773) 478-4000
We’re here for everything the name implies: Beautifully Fried Chicken, smothered in Honey Butter (served on the side). Looking at the menu, you might think it’s a bit pricey, but keep in mind, all the bird served here is boneless (except the drumsticks, duh) so you’re getting maximum value. The sandwiches are fried thighs, instead of breasts. IMHO, thighs are the best part of the bird and make a better sandwich.
They have a unique selection of sides including Schmaltz Smashed Potatoes (Mashed Potatoes with Chicken Fat Gravy), Roasted Garlic Grits, Pimento Mac & Cheese, and Creamed Corn. For anyone who wants to fool themselves into believing they can make this a healthier meal, there’s a Kale & Cabbage Slaw option.
After Honey Butter we can break out the pies we bought earlier in the day at Bang Bang. That is unless Pie Diva brings her own creations for us.
See you all Saturday at 11am!
post edited by BuddyRoadhouse - 2018/06/01 18:23:41