Saturday, June 13, 2015

Parts and Labor

The neighborhood that I live in in Chicago is generally recognized as a hipster hang out and my friends give me a hard time about being a hipster for both my address and for having some of the aspects of the stereotypical hipster.  A list came out recently a list came out listing the most hipster restaurants in Chicago, and as it might be expected, many of them were in Logan Square.  I have also been to and like many of them (which also adds to my hipster cred).  To be clear, I do not think that I'm a hipster myself, I just think it's kind of funny and like to play with it occasionally.  There was a restaurant close to me that had gotten some pretty good press and was also on the hipster list that I hadn't been to so I decided to visit it.  Parts and Labor is a bar and grill with a simple food menu, mostly consisting of their burger, a few sandwiches and salads, and sides.  They do have a very good beer list, though, and I started things off with a Diablo Belga Belgian Style Dubbel from Ale Asylum.  A Dubbel is a high alcohol brown ale with an understated bitterness and flavors of fruit and cereal.  They are generally heavy, but this one really wasn't.  It also didn't have much of a head.  It did have flavors of raisins and granola and it was pretty good.  The restaurant itself is bigger on the inside than it looks on the outside.  It occupies a corner lot with windows on both sides and a small courtyard/patio in the back.  The interior is unfinished and open with many ladders on the walls in the front of the space where the large bar is, and furniture with an 8-bit design in the back.  There are also many flat screens throughout the space.
Parts and Labor is primarily known for their burger and while you can order it on its own, they have two specials built around it.  The first is the burger with fries and a cheap beer and the second is the burger and fries.  As I generally try to avoid cheap beer because it has no taste, I decided to go with the second which I added bacon to.  The burger consists of a couple of thin griddle burgers (like you would find in a diner or many fast food restaurants) and is topped with Iceberg Lettuce, Tomatoes, Onions, American Cheese, "Special Sauce", and the Bacon that I added on.  Ketchup and Mustard are served on the side.  The Fries were crispy Curly Fries seasoned with Seasoned Salt.  As far as ingredients were concerned, the burger really wasn't anything special.  It was however, cooked and assembled well, and was well worth the price.  It was a very good bar burger.  The fries were crispy, flavorful, and very good.  I am sure that they would have been good with ketchup, but it wasn't necessary.
Their dessert was similarly limited, but it definitely hit some comfort food notes, featuring a couple of floats and a Fried Twinkie.  The Fried Twinkie sounded positively decadent, so that's where I had to go.  When it arrived, I saw that it was even more decadent than it sounded.  The trinkie seemed to have been coated in a light tempura batter.  It was light and crispy with a lot of air pockets.  This was liberally covered with raspberry jam and it was surrounded by whipped cream.  It was crunchy, sweet and very good.  The vibe at Parts and Labor is very relaxed, it has a good beer list, and prices are inexpensive, so I will definitely be back.   

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