Bad Apple (Bar, Lincoln Square)

Location: 4300 N. Lincoln Avenue
Phone: (773) 360-8406

I’m a sucker for anything Stone Brewery these days. It’s been a recent addition to Chicago and I must say, a pleasant one. I’d already familiarized myself with their Arrogant Bastard Ale, but this bar promised something a little special — Oaked Arrogant Bastard. I had no choice. It’s a strong ale, creamy, bitter, but relatively light and better for sipping than slamming. Having it “oaked” seemed to bring out a few of the more subtle flavors and make it all the more perfect for pairing with burgers.

The burgers at Bad Apple are a must — NYC’s Pat LaFrieda (butcher-to-the-stars) is the butcher, and damn does he know his meat. We had one “plain”, and one of the “Slow Burns”, which had spicy chilies sautéed in Left Hand Brewery’s Milk Stout, onions, bacon and white cheddar. Some older funk and R&B cuts were streaming out of the jukebox during the meal, and while our server wasn’t exactly Speedy Gonzalez, the man was cool. I had no reason to complain.

After the burgerpocalypse, I ordered myself a glass of Founder’s Red’s Rye. I’d been to Grand Rapids recently, where Founder’s Brewery is located, and even there I paid more than $4.50 for a glass. That’s right, the Bad Apple features a beer list that while small, is excellently curated (are beer selections curated? Can I have THAT job?) and on top of it all dirt cheap. I hurried to finish my second beer, meandered around the bar’s other room (populated by a shuffleboard table, a Foosball table and a pinball machine) and used the washroom. It was clean, another plus. All in all, I give this place a solid A. I worry about the speed of service on busier nights (I went on a Tuesday evening)), but I was in no rush, and for the quality and price I’m happy to entertain myself while waiting on rounds. Cheers!

To make this bar part of a marathon night, check out our Lincoln Square bar crawl.

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Gene Wagendorf III

About Gene Wagendorf III

Gene is a writer who has spent his entire quarter century of life as a resident of Chicago. When not exploring the city he can be found wandering flea markets and garage sales or having a cigarette between classes at Northeastern Illinois University, where he hopes to acquire a degree in the next quarter century. His favorite smells are old books and bowling alleys. His poetry (how embarrassing!) can be found in issues of Kill Poet, Ditch, Word Riot, O Sweet Flowery Roses and Vowel Movements.

One Comment

  • Caitlin P.
    September 12, 2010 | Permalink | Reply

    I always go for a turkey burger over ground beef when available but this place has one of the best burger burgers I’ve ever had. I can only image how good they are to someone who really loves beef. The cheese curds also cannot be missed (they compete with the famous curds available at the Minnesota State Fair). I went here on a particularly hungover morning and the food was the perfect cure. My only regret was that I was not able to partake in the incredible beer list. Must return to do so.

    P.S. This review should also be listed under restaurants. The food certainly deserves it’s own attention!

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