Friday, May 11, 2012

Snackin' on Damen By: Miguel



Miguel is a professor and former Check, Please! alumni, serving as a guest on Season 11. He enjoys art, traveling, and staying healthy at the gym. Miguel loves dining out because he appreciates the diversity of Chicago restaurants, where you can find excellent food at any price point. 

Last summer, one of my close friends moved from Ukrainian Village to Ravenswood. As I was helping her move, I couldn’t help but notice all the amazing finger foods on offer stretching along Damen between Chicago and Montrose. Here’re a few of my highlights:

Bagel on Damen (1252 N. Damen) is a fairly new operation with another location in Ravenswood. I love the Sea Hog sandwich, stacked with nearly all of my favorite foods: lox, bacon, avocado, sliced onions, and generous chunks of cream cheese on an ‘everything’ bagel. Be prepared to wait in line if it’s a weekend!

Blue Line Lounge & Grill (1548 N. Damen) is one of my favorite haunts in Chicago. I think their sliders are second-to-none! They make their own ground beef patties and serve them with American cheese on a sweet-salty-chewy bun with a big pickle slice plopped on top. This is one of the coziest diners in Chicago during the winter months.

Black Rock Pub & Kitchen (3614 N. Damen) is your typical local bar in the North Center neighborhood. Besides having great pub food, Black Rock is known for the doughnut holes they sell at Chicago’s ubiquitous summer street festivals. The little dessert is buttery and sweet on the inside with a crunchy, salty exterior, liberally doused in powdered sugar (don’t inhale anywhere near them). If you can’t find them at the bar you’ll definitely find them at the Black Rock tent at Ribfest, which is North Center’s mainstay summer block party.

Fountainhead (1970 W. Montrose, corner of Damen) is a recent installment in Ravenswood admired by craft beer enthusiasts and artisanal foods admirers. Snacking is so popular there that it warrants its own section of the menu. My pick is the house-made caramel cashew popcorn – salty, sweet and aromatic. The restaurant is well known for the simply addictive monkey bread, prepared with gorgonzola and bacon with a generous side of milk gravy, which is the perfect accompaniment to any of the Fountainhead’s many exotic and delicious beers from around the world.

Bagel on Damen
1252 N. Damen Ave
Chicago, IL 60622
(773) 772-2243

Blue Line Lounge & Grill
1548 N. Damen Ave
Chicago, IL 60622
(773) 395-3700

Black Rock Pub & Kitchen 
3614 N. Damen Ave
Chicago, IL 60618
(773) 348-4044

1970 W. Montrose Ave
Chicago, IL 60640
(773) 697-8204

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the review. About those maple bacon donuts, they're on our brunch menu, every Sunday!

    -Black Rock


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