After the hotel concierge dashing our dreams of a barbecue –style restaurant where we might feast like Two Men Versus Food (she curtly intoned there weren’t any in central Chicago), she sent us to the next best thing.
Jake Melnick’s is a no-nonsense sports bar serving up gargantuan baskets of fried stuff, and great glasses of that crisp, light American lager.
As we’d flown in from New York City that morning, we were up for a food challenge and kicked things off with their deep-fried pickles, and a basket of hot wings – voted best in Chicago and victors of the annual Chicago hot wing competition (which surely merits a return trip even if nothing else had grabbed our fancy all trip).
When our main course came – pulled pork sandwich and pulled pork platter – we groaned, sacrificed our remaining beer for fear it would take up useful room in the stomach for delicious meat and weighed in.
We were defeated, and muttered profuse apologies as the waiter took away our still-heavy plates, as if we’d insulted his own child in the school play.
For cheap, commonsense American bar food, I’d recommend this warm and inviting place – but be prepared to eat your country proud, where we certainly failed.