Wednesday 29th of December 2010 02:06:38 PM link
I came here with a friend before a Bulls game and the place was packed. We lucked out because two guys stood up right as we entered and we grabbed their table. Classy-looking place with a lot of beer signs on the walls, a nice long bar, and tap handles that you can see from across the room.
The waitress took a while to come by, but was fast once we got her attention. Looking at the giant pink elephant tap handle, we ordered two Delirium Tremens. The waitress brought our beers out... in bottles. Now, maybe they didn't have Delirium Tremens on tap (maybe the Noel was on tap?), and maybe we should have clarified that we wanted beers off the tap. But still, something to keep in mind for the next time I go.
It was a Tuesday and they had a $2 burger special. I asked the waitress if it was a normal-sized burger. She replied unenthusiastically, "Yeah but it's just like a plain burger." A plain burger? Conflicted, I ordered the fish and chips. My friend ordered the burger, "but could I get tomato, cheese, etc, etc on that?" The waitress said no problem and walked away. So next time, I will try the burger for $2. My friend said it was good. The fish and chips were also good... but not $2. Oh, and parking will be slightly tough before a Bulls game if you didn't know already.
Selection: 4.5 |
Atmosphere: 4.5 |
Service: 2.5 |
Monday 28th of June 2010 09:32:23 PM link
The Beer Bistro is one of the spots I go to when I want to get dinner but don't want to plan out an evening. Thus, I get many opportunities to try their extensive beer selection.
Last December they did a promotion where there was a specific list of 'holiday' beers (from micro places I believe) and if you drank so many you received a prize. The selection of those beers was very good for a promotion. It was interesting to try beers I had never seen before and that is the advantage of a place like Beer Bistro that carries so many types of beers.
Watch out for nights that the Blackhawks play. That place gets very crowded before and after the game and I've had to go elsewhere before due to lack of space.
11/23/11 - Been here a number of times, but I've had some really bad experiences with the staff. Just bizarre treatment of customers (rude, abnormally slow even with consideration of the crowd, etc). I fear sitting in the basement because service seems to be even worse. I understand there are some logistical problems (no bar in basement, etc), but figure it out already.
Selection: 4.25 |
Atmosphere: 3.75 |
Service: 2.75 |
Friday 4th of June 2010 06:01:31 PM link
The crowd at this place leaves something to be desired, mostly young & older professionals in business attire. It's a bar, dammit, not a corporate social function. It seemed that half the bar was swilling Bud Light, despite the many other offerings available.
Interior is well appointed with antique columns behind the mirrored bar, faux tin ceiling panels, and vintage beeriana decor. A large french door/window opens facing the street, where a small fence cordons off tables and 3/4 of the sidewalk.
Service was good, prices were quoted (a must) and refills offered. The thing is, they offer 90 or so beers (at $4-$10 apiece), which are printed on a tiny menu with no prices. The list is alphabetical, so it can be tough find what you're looking for, especially in the dim lighting. Coors and PBR are mixed in alongside Duvel and Maredsous. Around 18 standard Belgian offerings, but they are among the priciest. They only had 10 or so taps...
Didn't try the food, and didn't see many diners here at 7-8pm. Menu had beer pairings listed for entrees & appetizers, which earned a few points.
One unisex bathroom with a tricky lock, be careful if it's crowded, you don't want to get bum rushed.
This would be a decent spot if you have another destination in the West Loop area, but not really a destination itself.
2010 Addendum: Check out Mac & Min's a few doors down. Great lunch spot. Located at 1045 W. Madison, open daily 10:30am-8pm.
Selection: 3.5 |
Atmosphere: 3 |
Service: 4 |
Saturday 15th of March 2008 12:05:30 PM link
The Beer Bistro is right down from my office, but I have only visited once. They have 12 taps and a decent sized bottle list. The bar is a long "L" shape like most Chicago bars.
The 12 taps have a smattering of craft selections alongside a few imports and Blue Moon. You probably won't see any crazy draft selections, but there are some solid choices.
We happened to show up on 2 dollar Burger Tuesday and I found out that a 2 dollar burger actually can be more like 6 or 7 dollars if you put other things like bacon and cheese on it and get tater tots on the side. But it still wasn't a bad deal.
I really like the fact that the Beer Bistro suggests beers to order with each entree. I think more restaurants/brewpubs should do this.
Street parking is available in the area and Madison has a pretty steady stream of busses that head in and out of the downtown area.
Selection: 3.75 |
Atmosphere: 4 |
Service: 4.25 |
Sunday 8th of July 2007 12:32:57 PM link
Met a friend for lunch here recently; we sat outside. They have a huge, varied beer list in bottles, mostly imports and craft, and it looks like much thought went into the list. That said, their draft list is short -- there were maybe eight taps on. A good list, though completely summery -- nothing dark save Guinness -- I remember Trumer Pils, DFH 60 Minute, GL Burning River, some kind of wheat beer, a Goose Island offering. The food was tasty -- I had mahi mahi tacos, my friend had a decent burger cooked to order. They obviously made an attempt to educate the servers about the beer; mistakes were made but were minor. The Trumer came in its branded glass; I saw shaped glasses for specific brews like this beyond simple logo-ed pint glasses. I know they had the proper Belgian glasses for their bottled Belgian brews. They offered beer-matching selections for their menu items.
Have to say, my atmosphere rating mostly has to do with sitting outside on a great day -- I couldn't vouch for the inside at all.
If I were in the area and wanted a good beer, I'd go here, and the food is good enough that I'd steer folks here for casual meals.
Selection: 4.5 |
Atmosphere: 4 |
Service: 4 |