Written by resident guest author: For Whom the Beer Toales.
One thing that I do not understand about Chicago is how everyone that lives here is not grossly overweight. Chicago, like my hometown of Philadelphia, has a dangerous penchant for making healthy foods unhealthy (bacon on salad/vegetables/everything) and unhealthy food EVEN WORSE (wrapped in bacon/deep fried/cheesy-blaster’d). The menus at most of the places we go look like they could have been created by the guys behind Epic Mealtime. I will henceforth refer to this emerging genre as “fatty/stoner piles.” Today, I will tell you where to get the best one I have ever had.
About a month ago, a pizza place quietly opened at the end of our street (note dangerous proximity). We have walked the dogs by a few times and marveled at the interior design, the decadent heaps of food they serve, the bros that swarm there like flies, and the BEER SELECTION. As I will be traveling for the next few weeks, I chose to have my sendoff dinner at Roots.
The place has more of a Dave and Busters vibe than I normally go for (some kind of “Dukes of Hazzard” theme happening, all the impossibly thin waitresses wear impossibly short shorts) but I am glad I persevered in spite of this.
After some initial confusion with our adorable and well-meaning waitress, I ordered a Point Belgian White from Stevens Point Brewing and a Centennial IPA for my gentleman friend. I wound up with a Point Nude Beach, a nice summer session but a little light for this lady. Founders, amazing as always. The more I looked at the menu (I was reading it like a book, I think my date was offended) the more excited I got about putting everything on it in my mouth. Maybe this is a good time for you to take a look and experience the mouth boner it causes.
The crush turned into love when I looked at the booze list and saw that they carry Root and Snap, amazing small-batch liquor made by my friends/heroes/artists over at Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction (watch the video on their website for explanation). I batted my eyelashes at the boss and asked for permission to order a $12 cocktail. The “Ginger Ale,” one of their Adult Soda Classics, was spot on. It also came in a pint glass and made me VERY happy. I was so inspired (drunk) that I figured out the recipe and wanted to share it with you:
- 2 ozs Snap liquour
- thimble of elderflower liquor (St. Germain)
- thimble of ginger simple syrup (boil equal parts sugar and water with a thumb sized piece of ginger – grated or chopped – strain)
- combine over ice, top with soda water and a slice of lemon
Our next round consisted of Daisy Cutter (the summer classic) and a Bitter Woman IPA from Tyranena with an order of the Caprese Stacks with Bacon. Housemade mozzerella? Yes please! At this point I thought it would be fun to torture Doug (he loves his Wingies) so I texted him this photo from the menu, to which he replied, “Buffy Wingies? Kill me.” Following that, we had a Rocky’s Revenge Bourbon Brown and an oops I forget and decided to get the rest of our meal to go so it could be enjoyed properly – on the couch, in sweatpants, watching Game of Thrones. We left with a 16” “Big Mick” – mozzerella and cheddar, onions, shredded lettuce and diced pickles and house-made sausage (we subbed that for the recommended ground beef) and an order of sweet potato tater tots. It… was… awesome.
I will definitely be frequenting this spot. The waitress admitted that she didn’t know much about beer, but she was so nice and helpful that I didn’t care. She brought over tasters and happily consulted the bartended when asked questions out of her depth. My only two complaints: the house brew and the lack of purse hooks in the bar.
- The house brew really made me sad. It was a harsh slap of mediocrity amongst an otherwise 5-star night. It is brewed by Two Brothers, who NEVER disappoint – Resistance I.P.A., Cane and Abel, and Domaine Dupage French Style Country Ale are all staples in my house. The menu says: Roots House Brew//Two Brothers Brewing Company. We couldn’t find the perfect beer to enjoy with our pizza, so we made our own. Brewed specially for Roots to pair perfectly with our malty pizza crust, this French-style country ale drinks smooths and has a nutty caramel flavor with just enough hops for complete balance. It was gross. I took two sips, shed some beery tears into the glass, and abandoned it.
- No purse/jacket hooks? Why, world, why? So annoying.
The days when I could enjoy such a feast without consequence are long gone. I woke up at 4:30 am with hot mothball mouth and a wicked case of heartburn. This must be how the Preggers feels. Props to Root for commitment to locally sourced food and exclusively Midwest-brewed beer. SUPER PROPS for having Root and Snap, and knowing how to serve them. This place is bro-central but I would wear cargo shorts for just one more bite of the Big Mick. I would wear the shit out of them.