Thursday, July 18, 2013

Chicago 2013 Day 3

La Trappe Bock at the Map Room

Chicago 2013 Day 1
Chicago 2013 Day 2

We took it slower today and started with the morning at the Art Institute of Chicago.  The, we did a late lunch at Piece Brewery & Pizzeria.  I seem to love this place, as I've been to it on several trips in a row now and just keep wanting more. I decided on this incarnation that it is the combo of New Haven style pizza and a better than average brewery that gets me.  Either alone wouldn't be enough, but together it's a fun combination for a new beer or two, generally one that I like well enough for a draft and that wonderfully hot, thin crust pizza.  Easy recom for any Chicago visit.

Al wanted to visit the Map Room, which is a fine local bar that does a great job of handling the beers that they have.  I took the opportunity to try for the first time a La Trappe Bock Bier. Beautifully served but I wasn't crazy about the beer. From my notes, I was in the Map Room ten years ago with my wife and the the place is very similar today.  I would be happy to live nearby but it's not the destination bar like Hopleaf.

The Map Room
Revolution Brewing was next on our stop for some hoppy brewing swagger, starting with Triple Fist and Double Fist, triple and double IPAs respectively.  The double was disappointing but the triple was significantly better.  Ended with a saison named Coup D'Etat that was my favorite Revolution brew. We intended to eat dinner at Haymarket, so we ordered just an appetizer of Smelt and Fried Lemons with Sriracha-Lemon aioli sauce. I took some ribbing for never having had smelt beforeevidently, a deficiency of my Iowa upbringing—and thoroughly enjoyed them.

Last November, I had a great time at Haymarket with my wife, niece and nephew for our Thanksgiving dinner, one of the only places open. Looking forward to our return, we showed up just before the start of the first game of the Stanley Cup with Chicago and Boston facing off.

Revolution brew house
For dinner, I went light with a bowl of Vegan Chili and a side of Mac 'N Cheese.  Both were excellent. Haymarket tries to push the limit with beer, so decided to try the Girl & the Goatee, a Belgian ale with rhubarb.  Not every experiment goes well, and this one was a mediocre success. The white peach wit Mash Made in Heaven VI was far better. Our main issue for the night was the extremely loud television for the hockey game that made it uncomfortable to sit for the evening. We left as the Blackhawks started to come back for the eventual triple overtime win.

Revolution Brewing main bar

Al had a friend who said he needed to hit Au Cheval.  We were a bit chagrined looking at our phones to realize that we had walked past it on the way to Haymarket; it was on the opposite corner from where we were sitting.  So, we stopped in for one.  I added a new brewery with a draft of Against the Grain's Tickle Me Ale-Mo, an excellent wild ale.  We shared the crisp fries with mirnay sauce, garlic aioli and fried farm egg on top. To my surprise, I like egg on my fries. Too dark to take a pictureor really see for that matter, Au Cheval is an upscale bistro that happens to have a pretty good draft list.  Stopping for one didn't really do this place justice, though I will probably pass on stopping for a full meal since the menu isn't very veggie friendly.

That's Chicago!  At least, our version of it.  A great time with friends and I feel like I have only scratched the surface of this quickly developing beer city.  

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