For no good reason I wanted to get out of the house last night for some new, cheap food. @SmallBarFull fit the bill. I had no idea the Small Bar franchise was soccer centric, but it was a welcomed change especially with World Cup fever in the air. Also, when they say "Small" Bar, they mean it. It's not a big space but it doesn't need to be. There is a nice long bar on one side, a few large bench tables on the other side and table-tops in between. The menu fits with the setting serving pizza, sandwiches and bar food starters. Additionally, the beer list is as good as I've seen in a while with many craft brews on tap. While the food wasn't bad, I'd make a return trip focusing on drinking and not eating.
As for the food, we started with a bowl of their "fabled" veggie chili. I love chili so I was a little disappointed when the bowl resembled a bean salad more than chili. I love beans, but chili to me is still tomato based with onions, spice and cheese. It also came with a mound of sour cream (to each their own I respect), which kind of defeats the purpose of a vegetarian healthy dish. I enjoyed the beans, flavors and cheese, it just wasn't what I would call veggie chili.
We were craving pizza so we browsed the very appealing pizza list and went with the BBQ chicken. The pizza's are 14'', so they serve more than two people, and cost $14. I was impressed with the pizza, but not blown away. Very good for bar food, especially something other than pepperoni or plain. I forgot that BBQ pizza is hard to eat a lot of, and we should have ordered something simpler for our own tastes. I would be curious to try their other pies, especially vegetarian focused options.
The beer was great, the service attentive and friendly, and the food above average for bar standards. I think the value is only mediocre. I'm also very surprised that there are no daily food specials, something that cash strapped Chicago bar goers seek. Since I don't live down the street I might not make the trek, but the beer menu is fantastic and the next time I want to watch Euro soccer or a World Cup match, I'll head to my local Small Bar.