Monday, August 22, 2011

We Don't Need No Stinking Onions . . .

The Onion Pub & Brewery
22221 Pepper Rd.
Lake Barrington, IL 60010

I despise Chicago.

I despise Chicago for the traffic, the politics, and the dirty White Sox . . .

I have never had a pleasant traffic experience in Chicago.

Politically speaking, the city is absolutely atrocious. Can anyone say statism?

And as for the White Sox . . . Well, I'm a Detroit Tigers fan, so I have to hate them.

With the most annoying manager in baseball, Ozzie Guillen, that's sure not hard for me.

With that said, I will now introduce you to The Onion Pub & Brewery located in Barrington, Illinois, just about an hour northwest of downtown Chicago.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I love micro-breweries and I am willing to go out of my way to visit one.

In this case, I traveled about 40 minutes from my hotel to visit The Onion.

Now, the name of this place certainly peaked my interest . . .

Honestly, it had me concerned that it was going to serve beer brewed with onion, which I can never imagine being a good combination.

But actually, the name is a tribute to the original inhabitants of the region, the Potowatami tribe.
Apparently this area was once covered with wild onion and the Potowatami named it "Che-cau-gua", directly translating as "land of the stinking onion."
The city of Chicago derives its name from this, which seems appropriate to me.
The outside of The Onion was impressive, with giant wooden doors, a mural of foxes drinking beer, and creeping vines.

I felt like I was about to walk into black tie only restaurant.

The land that it was located on was impressive as well, green with a nice pond out back.

While I was looking over the menu, I ordered their Summer Wit, which was their version of a Belgian wheat beer.  It came standard with a slice of lemon.

It was pretty good. A nice light body for a hot summer day.

The menu was pretty impressive. They had everything from burgers, steak, and a few traditional German dishes such as Jagerschnitzel.

They also make their own barbecue sauce for their ribs and pulled pork sandwiches.

The only downside to the menu was the price.

Perhaps it was because we were close to Chicago and the prices are artificially inflated, or may be it is because everything is just so bloody expensive in Illinois because of the taxes. Either way, the prices seemed to be a bit high.

I decided to go with a BBQ Pulled Pork sandwich that was smothered in their house made lager BBQ sauce. As a side, I had a bowl of French onion soup.

I couldn't go to a placed called "The Onion" and not have a food item with onion in it.

As I waited for my food, I took a look around the place.

The inside was as impressive as the outside. The whole place has a timber interior frame, which gives it the feel of a hunting lodge, which made it cozy and relaxing.

My soup arrived first and it looked amazing, just like French onion soup should look like, cheese melted over the top, with the soup having a rich, dark color to it.

It was delicious. Easily the best French onion soup I have ever had.

Soon after finishing my soup, my pulled pork sandwich arrived.

It had pulled pork piled high, smothered in BBQ sauce, all on an onion roll.

It was wonderful, as were the pretzel rolls that came as an appetizer.

I was not disappointed by this meal.

Of course, I wish the prices were a little lower so that I could have afforded to try another one of their beers that were being brewed right beneath my feet.

That's right, this place brews its own beer in the basement of the building. Can we say guaranteed freshness?

It almost made me rethink my dislike for Chicago.


Rating: Seriously Thought About Buying the Shirt, but thought that I contributed enough through the prices and up-charges on my meal to justify it.

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