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!