The Publican Restaurant 845 W Fulton Market Chicago, IL (312) 733-9555
American’s “Second City” (or more precisely O’Hare Airport) has always been just a transit hub for me over the years and a place I’ve never gotten a solid chance to freely explore. Even on my most recent stop, my venture out to the downtown core was limited to but a single evening. And amid a heavy wind storm and pouring rain my mood was pretty low, that was until I got to The Publican. Reservations recommended, otherwise you might have to wait a while at one of the standing tall tables with a drink before one becomes available.
Stepping inside from the torrential downpour was like entering a warm, inviting oasis complete with a happy, buzzing crowd that felt almost like its own little private party. The carefully designed layout of this beer-centric restaurant felt part Canadian farmhouse (with the rustic livestock holding pen-lookalikes near one wall that served as private booths, and part German beer hall with its really rigid lines, long communal tables, high ceilings, open concept and use of wood materials throughout.
Capital City Brewing Company 1100 New York Ave NW Washington, DC (202) 628-2222
Hot summer weather. And cold beer. Goes well together don’t you think? I must be mentally trying to keep the summer alive with today’s post, reflecting on my July visit to the east coast of the US.
As an escape from the humid heat that was still blanketing the city even in the late afternoon, a group of us ducked into the nearest, air conditioned gastropub for a quick hit before our dinner plans. As we were expecting some vehicles to pick us up, we had plenty of time to kill. And with the drivers taken care of, a license to drink as well. The formula for a good start to the night!
Churchkey 1337 14th Street Washington, DC (202) 567-2576
So a Canadian, a Texan, a Colorodan, and a native Virginian walk into a bar…
Nope, not the opening line of some tacky joke but what happened on my summertime visit to the Churchkey gastropub in the funky neighborhood of Logan Circle, that I grew to love during my time in America’s capital city. In desperate need of some shelter from the sweltering heat, along with some food and liquid sustenance, the four of us ducked into this two floor establishment well before the big rush of customers came not too long after the sun went down.
The burly fellow who was checking ID’s at the door gruffly noted they didn’t have a happy hour (or at least when we entered). Alas, that didn’t stop our crew from going inside, as one member had heard this place had a wicked beer selection. Now if you’ve been following along lately, you’ll probably remember that I’ve cut back my consumption of this popular adult summer season liquid, but this day was an exception. Why is it that the hotter the weather, the stronger my craving for ice cold beer becomes?
London Pub 700 Main St. Vancouver, BC (604) 684-7732
A year ago this week I was in London, UK. So fitting that I should visit a gastropub that has taken that city’s name in its title. Nestled in a restored corner space of a brick building on the southern edge of Chinatown along Main Street, this still relatively new establishment seems to have a carved out a niche for itself with a loyal and locally residing customer base, judging by how busy and loud it got during the course of my stay. Large, spacious, things to do like some pool tables, video games and big screens to watch sports, it has none of that commercially produced feel of say a Boston Pizza, but rather feel just like the work of some folks who wanted to create a place to hang out, have some suds and meet up with friends for some pub grub. My kind of joint…
The London Pub while first and foremost a watering hole, did have some food on the menu to peruse from and with nothing in my stomach after a long day of work, we figured something to munch on would be good. Looking to split something more substantial the the listing of smaller appetizers shown, we opted to try one of their pizza’s, 11-inch I believe. The barbecue chicken seemed to be the most appealing and substantial of the lot, so that’s what we ordered from the personable young lass who was assigned to our table with the high stools. Fairly chewy and softer textured dough and on the sweeter side with the sauce, gourmet pizza it is not, but for someone who was in need of some sustenance, it fit the bill just fine. Size-wise, more than enough for the pair of us.
Quickly now, what comes to your mind when you hear the words French Cuisine?
For me, fine dining, regional, and an assortment of French translations for common ingredients that are clearly the fading remnants of my eight plus years of childhood education in the language come rushing out at me.
Now do the same for say, Italian or Chinese. I’m sure strong images pop into your mind, mainly of the favorable variety, including some great dishes or full meals you’ve had associated with the countries from which they came.