Carhartt opened in mid-April 2011 at 1518 N. Milwaukee Avenue, launching only its third American storefront. Like the Salt Lake City and Portland locations, the iconic store features classic work wear gear popular with everyone from construction workers to BMX bikers. By offering bib overalls as well as rough-and-ready clothing designs for both men and women, Carhartt seamlessly bridges the gap between fashion and utilitarian consumers.
The company’s style fills every inch of this Wicker Park store, from the tinted concrete floor to the re-purposed local antiques. Carhartt may have a rugged sensibility, but that doesn’t mean it’s not becoming a trend.
When you think Chicago and pizza, the image of a 100 pound deep dish usually conjures. Not the case at Piece Pizzeria and Brewery in Wicker Park. Nope. Here slices of just about anything you want can be made and the most popular is actually the “New Haven” style.
From clams to sauteed mushrooms, the topping selections means no one goes home hungry. And the beer? What other perfect accoutrement could one need? With its seven barrel brewery, Piece produces award winning micro brews thanks to brewer John Cutler who was even named top brewmaster at the World Beer Cup Champion as was this small brewpub. Prost!
After a long week of wise cracks and improvised jokes, Second City star Lauren Ash hits up the sinfully delicious brunch at Bongo Room. Lauren’s must-have is the Nestle Crunch Pancakes, with bananas and crumbled Nestle Crunch bars baked into the pancake. If that sounds decadent, take a look at the rest of the menu. The Chocolate Tower French Toast is a favorite, with chocolate French Toasts piled high and topped with bananas and both chocolate and white chocolate shavings. For those who want to stay away from the carbs- although this is the place to divulge- Bongo Room has a phenomenal Lump Crab Egg Benedict that’s cooked to perfection, and a lunch menu filled with American favorites like BLT’s and classic salads, but all served in over-the-top portions. Bongo Room proves that not everything is bigger in Texas, because brunch is massive at Bongo Room.
*** Lauren Ash is a Canadian-born comedian and actor at Chicago’s iconic Second City comedy club. Lauren has received rave reviews for her starring role in Second City’s Taming of the Flu.
Rockin’ comfort food since 1990 back when it was nothing more than a few stools and 23 seats, Wishbone Restaurant is clearly doing something right since they’ve now evolved to three locations.
Back before Wicker Park was an “it” neighborhood, Wishbone opened as one of the first chef-owned indie restaurants in Chi-town making it a fave locale for artists and hipsters. Today, Wishbone’s three locations continue to host artists and hipsters in the ‘hoods of Berwyn, Lincoln and West Loop.
The secret to their success? Chef and owner Joel Nickson and his brother, co-owner, Guy Nickson are indeed from the south so trust them on their southern take on good eats. Joel even schooled with Anthony Bourdain so let’s hope there was nothing on Kitchen Confidential on Wishbone.
Oh. My. God. Almost always the three words uttered by anyone trying their first White Dragon roll at Coast Sushi in Wicker Park or now, it’s newer location in the South Loop. The roll is so good it feels like it should be illegal. Order it as your starter roll and you can kiss goodbye trying anything else on the menu – you’ll just keep ordering more White Dragons until you can barely get yourself out of the door.
Flattering lighting and a cozy feel, Coast masters the Japanese chic of interior design, but who really notices when the food is so good? As for drinks, it’s BYOB so indulge in as much or as little as you want, you won’t feel it when the bill comes.
Aside from the White Dragon, Coast features all the standard rolls, sashimi and nigiri, plenty of entrees, salads and all that jazz. But, if you don’t order sushi, you’re making a mistake. As for the White Dragon – what is it that causes it to create an instantaneous reaction of pure and utter bliss? The ingredients admitted are: shrimp tempura, wasabi tobiko, cream cheese, avocado, scallion spicy sauce, wasabi dessing, eel sauce and tempura crumbs — and a little bit of Oh. My. God.
They say Mediterranean and Greek food is the healthiest cuisine there is – thank goodness! Because that allows one to gorge oneself at Taxim guilt-free, no? The thing is, Taxim in Chi-town’s hipper than hip ‘hood, Wicker Park, offers so many ga-ga worthy Greek dishes that you’re going to wish you had five stomachs.
Touted again and again by the press for its over-the-top deliciousness, each and every plate is seriously delectable. The names may give your mouth a work out, try spitting out: Sparágia me avgó pápias – young asparagus, duck egg, wood-grilled no-knead garlic bread, but your tastebuds will reap the benefits. Melt-in-your-mouth lamb, Amish chicken, mouth-watering sea bass and a whole slew of veggie options, the menu is a people pleaser.
Of course, knowing its location too, Taxim certainly doesn’t skimp on the decor. The chic interior is warm, sexy and cozy enough to cuddle up and enjoy a night cap post din-din. Opa!