Sunday, September 25, 2011

Barn & Company

After checking out B&C for their soft opening we decided to go back for a real tasting of the menu and beer. Similar to the first impression, Barn has the feeling of a place you want to be at. It's the same guys behind English and Hubbard Inn so it's no surprise they know how to create a fun and festive atmosphere. Instead of slinging high priced cocktails to people wearing a month's rent on their feet (I'm seriously generalizing to an unfair degree) you get bbq pulled pork and draft beer in a jar. I'm much more a fan of the later and the main reason I can't hang out at Barn more often is location. I also appreciate the other half of the concept is sports bar with more than enough TVs to catch every game and then some. To recap, it's a nicely furnished sports bar serving solid beer and lots of bbq at reasonable prices - sounds like a winning combination in the heart of Lincoln Park.

Even with all the intangibles the food must stand on its own as high quality and tasty. In this regard my assessment is that the food is good enough and nothing earth shattering. It's clearly better than a lot of the other new bbq places to pop up in Chicago but far from the best. I will give ample credit and praise for the homemade sauce selection. There are three choices and each one has its strengths but all are tasty and better than store bought.



My favorite item on the menu so far is the pulled pork sliders. That entire tray was for me alone. Just kidding, I can't each 12 but they're only $2 each on Mondays so it was a good start for the table. The pulled pork in general is solid, nicely cooked and seasoned with some pickled onions. Lather on the sauce and it's quite tasty. The regular pulled pork sandwich is a monster and mostly just a pile of meat on some bread (still good just not really a sandwich).



The combo platters on the menu are the most interesting since you get to try different meats. They both come with two sides and a hot link but Combo 1 is half chicken, half slab and Combo 2 is pulled pork and brisket. For $22 and $20 respectively, there's more than enough food for two people if not more. I preferred the chicken and ribs but the pork is also good (just had my share with sliders). I'm not usually a link guy but these are pretty good. Not hot and spicy but solid. The brisket was disappointing as I like mine leaner and more tender.

All of the sides are good. The mac n cheese was hit across the table, three ordered and none left. The baked beans are fine, nothing special, but I also really liked the sweet potato fries (something of a trend these days).

The beer flowed freely with $10 pitchers of green line (on Mondays) and everyone enjoyed good bbq to celebrate Carson's birthday. Barn does a great job of knowing their customer and making them happy. Prices are reasonable and the food is consistent without needing to be world class. The large patio will be an asset in the summer, but the TVs will be an asset during Fall football and winter basketball. If you want the best bbq in the city there are other places but Barn goes after a different crowd and succeeds with a fun place to watch sports, drink beer and eat good food.

Barn & Company on Urbanspoon

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