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Toons Bar & Grill
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  • Toons Bar & Grill

    Post #1 - January 5th, 2009, 9:53 am
    Post #1 - January 5th, 2009, 9:53 am Post #1 - January 5th, 2009, 9:53 am
    There have been positive mentions of Toons on LTH, but no dedicated thread. This was a Toons weekend for me, with two happy visits in two days. On Saturday, my wife and I stopped in for a pre-theater bite to eat. As I reported in the other thread, the burger and fries were very good. The Caesar salad was fresh, but didn’t have much flavor (no anchovies). I won’t bother reporting on what my wife ate (boca burger, as fine a rendition as possible, I suppose)

    Yesterday, a friend and I were looking for a place to watch football, drink beer, and eat. Back to Toons, this time to try the barbecue. I’m no barbecue connoisseur, but man were the smoked spare ribs satisfying. I might not have the proper vocabulary to describe good barbecue, but I’ll do my best: these ribs were meaty, and had really great textural contrasts. They had a charred, crispy crust, and the meat was just the right balance between tender and chewy. The meat almost fell off the bone, but eating these ribs felt like eating meat, not jello. A nice, tangy sauce was served on the side, and it appeared that the ribs had also been glazed with a small amount of the sauce before, perhaps, being finished on the grill to give that nice, charred, crunchy taste and texture. Regarding flavor, in the balance between porkiness and smokiness, the smoke won out. I was nowhere near the cookshack smoker out back, but a day later I still feel and smell smoke oozing out of my pores, just from eating those ribs. The ribs were served atop a generous helping of Toons’ excellent hand-cut potato fries.

    We also sampled the wings. The last time I ate bar-style buffalo wings was probably 12 years ago, so take my opinion with a grain of salt. The wings were nice and crispy, and the buffalo sauce was tangy, with what I’d call medium-mild spice level. They seemed to be well prepared, but it’ll probably still be another 12 years before I order buffalo wings anywhere.

    I introduced myself to Toons owner and LTH poster jhawk1 yesterday. He couldn’t have been a nicer guy, and he generously gave me a “tour” of the Toons kitchen. It’s barely bigger than what I had in my post-collegiate railroad style apartment in NYC. I’m impressed by the quality and quantity of food being prepared in that tiny space.

    Reasonable prices, satisfying house-made food, friendly people, shuffleboard, Mad Hatter IPA and a number of other excellent beer taps will assure that Toons takes a regular place on my dining/imbibing rotation.



    Toons Bar & Grill
    3857 N Southport Ave
    Chicago, IL 60613
    (773) 935-1919
    ...defended from strong temptations to social ambition by a still stronger taste for tripe and onions." Screwtape in The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis

    Fuckerberg on Food
  • Post #2 - January 5th, 2009, 10:55 am
    Post #2 - January 5th, 2009, 10:55 am Post #2 - January 5th, 2009, 10:55 am
    sounds good..after talking BBQ a bit with Danny I now know he is serving the real deal there and will be stopping back to try his Q..although his burgers are mighty fine as well
    First Place BBQ Sauce - 2010 NBBQA ( Natl BBQ Assoc) Awards of Excellence
  • Post #3 - January 5th, 2009, 5:35 pm
    Post #3 - January 5th, 2009, 5:35 pm Post #3 - January 5th, 2009, 5:35 pm
    Toons is a good place to eat and watch a game. I love their New Orleans style cheese fries.

    Image
  • Post #4 - January 5th, 2009, 8:17 pm
    Post #4 - January 5th, 2009, 8:17 pm Post #4 - January 5th, 2009, 8:17 pm
    Don't know if it's the same owners or not but many, many years ago I was their nurse when they had their first (I think) baby. Glad they're doing well if it's them.
  • Post #5 - January 5th, 2009, 10:19 pm
    Post #5 - January 5th, 2009, 10:19 pm Post #5 - January 5th, 2009, 10:19 pm
    I am a big fan of the Blacken Chicken Po' Boy. I am a die hard burger fan and hardly eat chicken sandwiches because they are so poorly executed but Toons has never let me down with theirs. The BBQ kicks ass too and ask about the Craw fish boil... not to be missed.

    One of the last friendly joints on Southport... semi corporate places without souls have taken over but Toons still provides good times with heart and soul.

    PS. love the shuffle board!
  • Post #6 - January 8th, 2009, 2:08 pm
    Post #6 - January 8th, 2009, 2:08 pm Post #6 - January 8th, 2009, 2:08 pm
    Can't add much substance to the above but can certainly endorse the general consensus. Toons has long been my go to when working at Live Bait Theater on Clark. Even when crowded you can still talk. The back room for pool and shuffleboard is a friendly space, and the menu is amazingly good value, the food tasty and fresh. I've always liked good bar food, but not the bars very much---too much noise, crowding, and (formerly) smoke. I like to talk to my friends and not feel like I'm at a frat party. Toons has always seemed to offer all the positives and almost none of the negatives. Here's to them.
    "Strange how potent cheap music is."
  • Post #7 - January 8th, 2009, 6:42 pm
    Post #7 - January 8th, 2009, 6:42 pm Post #7 - January 8th, 2009, 6:42 pm
    Kennyz wrote:friendly people, shuffleboard


    This was the main reason that i've been to Toons many, many times and i (for some unknown reason) have never even thought to eat there.

    Now i'm even more excited to go back.
  • Post #8 - February 5th, 2009, 12:44 pm
    Post #8 - February 5th, 2009, 12:44 pm Post #8 - February 5th, 2009, 12:44 pm
    Made my maiden voyage to Toons yesterday for their Wednesday burger special. Very good burger, very juicy, and cooked spot on to medium rare. I'd give it a B+. Thought the fries were exemplary, handcut, really crisp on the outside, light potatoey inside, not greasy, served hot and salted. Solid A.
    We were there early (around 5ish) so it was pretty empty. Seemed like the few in there were regulars but we were treated graciously and service from the bartender was fine and friendly. Definitely got a welcoming vibe in my short time there, not directed at me necessarily, but kind of emanating from the space itself. Two hot sauces on every table, which even though I don't like hot sauce too much, tells me thought goes into making their dining customers happy. It's a ten minute walk from my apartment, and I walk by every day on my way home from work, so something tells me I'll be back. I'm looking forward to trying the wings.
    Oh! and I wanted to note that along with their burger special, they have $3 beers on Wednesdays. This includes all their drafts. My dining companion was especially pleased with his Dead Guy Rogue ale (iirc).
    "People sometimes attribute quotes to the wrong person"--Mark Twain
  • Post #9 - March 22nd, 2009, 11:36 am
    Post #9 - March 22nd, 2009, 11:36 am Post #9 - March 22nd, 2009, 11:36 am
    I attended the Beer, Bugs, and B-ball festivities @ Toons yesterday, and I had a blast. It was my first visit to this establishment, and I came away impressed with their hospitality, food, and dedication.

    I arrived around 11:45 and started with some Cazadores, as well as my standby, Miller High Life. I bumped into Danny who was hard at work getting the crawfish boil going. He took time out to talk, and show me the crawfish, as well as his smoker which was chugging away with chicken and spares. Kennyz, and soon after dansch arrived, and I enjoyed their company, and conversation the rest of the afternoon. After a few more beers(I had a couple Three Floyds Pride and Joy, as well as sticking to the Miller), and a few more shots the boil got under way around 1:30ish if I was to guess. The crawfish was supeerb, as good, and as fresh as I have had anywhere. There was also corn, potatoes, sausage, and mushrooms mixed into the boi for eating. One of the pleasures of the afternoon was the taking one of the halved heads of garlic that had been in the boil, and rubbing it on the ears of corn. I myself ate 4 buckets of the crawfish, as well as some smoked turkey gumbo Danny wanted us to try. Everything was good. I also tasted some of the burnt ends right from the smoker as well. After 6 hours I was stuffed, and no longer thirsty so I had to leave Toons for the evening, I think i will be returning to try some more of the menu.

    Thanks again Danny, Tommy, and staff for a great afternoon.

    Image

    Image

    Image
    R.I.P. jimswside - 5/2/16



    @GrubSeeker
  • Post #10 - March 22nd, 2009, 12:21 pm
    Post #10 - March 22nd, 2009, 12:21 pm Post #10 - March 22nd, 2009, 12:21 pm
    jimswside wrote:Thanks again Danny, Tommy, and staff for a great afternoon.

    Jim,

    Looks, and sounds like, a fantastic afternoon. If we did not have a Saturday afternoon wedding I would have been there with bells-on.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #11 - March 22nd, 2009, 1:29 pm
    Post #11 - March 22nd, 2009, 1:29 pm Post #11 - March 22nd, 2009, 1:29 pm
    G Wiv wrote: If we did not have a Saturday afternoon wedding I would have been there with bells-on.


    I dont doubt that.

    maybe next time.
    R.I.P. jimswside - 5/2/16



    @GrubSeeker
  • Post #12 - March 22nd, 2009, 2:20 pm
    Post #12 - March 22nd, 2009, 2:20 pm Post #12 - March 22nd, 2009, 2:20 pm
    The crawfish boil Jim described above was a blast. Those were some super-fresh, lively critters before we got to watch Danny dump them into his delicious boiling broth, which had just the right level of heat, and enough garlic to make even me happy. I must have eaten 2 entire heads which - once removed from the broth - were soft, sweet, spicy, and perfect for smearing onto small red potatoes and cobs of corn. For $20, I ate more than I could have imagined (yet still maybe only half what dansch ate). It took nearly 24 hours before I could contemplate consuming anything else. Danny's smoked turkey gumbo was thick, a little gelatinous, and very tasty, and I also managed to eat a couple of meaty spare ribs from the smoker, and half a plate of fresh-cut fries. Today, I'm still picking crawfish and spice out from underneath my fingernails, and my body oozes garlic and smoke from every pore. I'm thankful to have a special bar like Toons nearby, and a very understanding wife.
    ...defended from strong temptations to social ambition by a still stronger taste for tripe and onions." Screwtape in The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis

    Fuckerberg on Food
  • Post #13 - August 23rd, 2009, 9:00 am
    Post #13 - August 23rd, 2009, 9:00 am Post #13 - August 23rd, 2009, 9:00 am
    had a nice pre-Burrito crawl visit to Toons yesterday. Enjoyed Danny's company talking bbq, some cold beer, and Cazadores as well as fantastic smoked turkey gumbo, a smoked turkey sandwich, some bb ribs, some chicken wings, and pulled pork.

    All good

    Image


    Image
    pulled pork:
    Image

    smoked turkey sand.:
    Image

    I wish I lived closer to Toon's, I would be a regular.
    R.I.P. jimswside - 5/2/16



    @GrubSeeker
  • Post #14 - August 23rd, 2009, 11:01 am
    Post #14 - August 23rd, 2009, 11:01 am Post #14 - August 23rd, 2009, 11:01 am
    guess you really were'nt bbq'ed out
    First Place BBQ Sauce - 2010 NBBQA ( Natl BBQ Assoc) Awards of Excellence
  • Post #15 - August 23rd, 2009, 1:39 pm
    Post #15 - August 23rd, 2009, 1:39 pm Post #15 - August 23rd, 2009, 1:39 pm
    Head's Red BBQ wrote:guess you really were'nt bbq'ed out



    I guess not, I have the smoker going right now, turkey legs, chicken wings, & beef ribs are in.

    kilbasa is done, and the cs ribs are about to go on now.
    R.I.P. jimswside - 5/2/16



    @GrubSeeker
  • Post #16 - August 23rd, 2009, 9:49 pm
    Post #16 - August 23rd, 2009, 9:49 pm Post #16 - August 23rd, 2009, 9:49 pm
    do you bleed bbq sauce? and if so, is it tangy vinegary, or sweet and sassy?
  • Post #17 - August 24th, 2009, 6:54 am
    Post #17 - August 24th, 2009, 6:54 am Post #17 - August 24th, 2009, 6:54 am
    pigOut wrote:do you bleed bbq sauce? and if so, is it tangy vinegary, or sweet and sassy?


    hilarious... :lol:

    most of the items I do are unsauced, but I do like bbq sauce for dipping.

    Danny's/Toons BB's were really nice. tender with the perfect ammount of tug.
    R.I.P. jimswside - 5/2/16



    @GrubSeeker
  • Post #18 - August 24th, 2009, 7:56 am
    Post #18 - August 24th, 2009, 7:56 am Post #18 - August 24th, 2009, 7:56 am
    LTH,

    Stopped at Toons for a beer and cup of gumbo. Generous interesting mix of meats, slight heat, nicely balanced flavor, though more soup than gumbo. Oyster crackers were served instead of rice further carrying the soup theme forward. I liked the gumbo, just thought it more soup than gumbo.

    Though I've only been to Toons a couple of times, I like the place and am looking forward to trying the BBQ and burger.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #19 - August 24th, 2009, 7:59 am
    Post #19 - August 24th, 2009, 7:59 am Post #19 - August 24th, 2009, 7:59 am
    G Wiv wrote:LTH,

    Stopped at Toons for a beer and cup of gumbo. Generous interesting mix of meats, slight heat, nicely balanced flavor, though more soup than gumbo. Oyster crackers were served instead of rice further carrying the soup theme forward. I liked the gumbo, just thought it more soup than gumbo.

    Though I've only been to Toons a couple of times, I like the place and am looking forward to trying the BBQ and burger.

    Enjoy,
    Gary



    interesting, my cup of gumbo had rice in it.

    glad you like it overall though gary.
    R.I.P. jimswside - 5/2/16



    @GrubSeeker
  • Post #20 - August 26th, 2009, 12:59 pm
    Post #20 - August 26th, 2009, 12:59 pm Post #20 - August 26th, 2009, 12:59 pm
    jimswside wrote:had a nice pre-Burrito crawl visit to Toons yesterday. Enjoyed Danny's company talking bbq, some cold beer, and Cazadores as well as fantastic smoked turkey gumbo, a smoked turkey sandwich, some bbq ribs, some chicken wings, and pulled pork.

    All good

    <Trim>

    It wasn't only the food we sampled. :)

    Image
    Before Noon? Already leaning a little to the right!

    Image
    The Gumbo had a very good flavor! A little loose and it did have rice. My bride who does not like soup would be willing to have it again.

    Image
    The Chicken Wings were big and meaty with just the right amount of kick from the house assembled sauce.

    A big Thank You to our gracious host who kept on bringing out sampler plate after sampler plate. Did not take away our appetites as I feared for the upcoming a-thon just an hour away. :)
    "Make Lunch, Not War" ~ Anon
  • Post #21 - August 26th, 2009, 1:01 pm
    Post #21 - August 26th, 2009, 1:01 pm Post #21 - August 26th, 2009, 1:01 pm
    Panther in the Den wrote:
    jimswside wrote:had a nice pre-Burrito crawl visit to Toons yesterday. Enjoyed Danny's company talking bbq, some cold beer, and Cazadores as well as fantastic smoked turkey gumbo, a smoked turkey sandwich, some bbq ribs, some chicken wings, and pulled pork.

    All good

    <Trim>

    It wasn't only the food we sampled. :)

    Image
    Before Noon? Already leaning a little to the right!

    Image
    The Gumbo had a very good flavor! A little loose and it did have rice. My bride who does not like soup would be willing to have it again.

    Image
    The Chicken Wings were big and meaty with just the right amount of kick from the house assembled sauce.



    great pics,

    it was fun bending an elbow with you again panther.
    R.I.P. jimswside - 5/2/16



    @GrubSeeker
  • Post #22 - October 2nd, 2009, 5:35 am
    Post #22 - October 2nd, 2009, 5:35 am Post #22 - October 2nd, 2009, 5:35 am
    Great bowl of gumbo last night, packed with tasty smoked turkey, andouille, and plenty of rice to make it a meal-in-a-bowl. Mad Hatter IPA (sadly about to permanently leave the excellent tap rotation at Toons) was on sale, so I had a pretty-cheap, comforting meal on the cool, rainy evening.
    ...defended from strong temptations to social ambition by a still stronger taste for tripe and onions." Screwtape in The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis

    Fuckerberg on Food
  • Post #23 - November 5th, 2009, 2:57 pm
    Post #23 - November 5th, 2009, 2:57 pm Post #23 - November 5th, 2009, 2:57 pm
    fixin' to be @ Toons Saturday around 1:00 p.m. for a few(perhaps 3) hours of food, and beverages. If anyone is in the area some LTH company is always appreciated.
    R.I.P. jimswside - 5/2/16



    @GrubSeeker
  • Post #24 - November 6th, 2009, 9:53 am
    Post #24 - November 6th, 2009, 9:53 am Post #24 - November 6th, 2009, 9:53 am
    meet danny wed nite . it was great talking bbq & i can't wait to go to toon's :mrgreen:
    philw bbq cbj for kcbs &M.I.M. carolina pit masters
  • Post #25 - November 6th, 2009, 10:15 am
    Post #25 - November 6th, 2009, 10:15 am Post #25 - November 6th, 2009, 10:15 am
    I had some great wings at Toons last night. Fries and onion rings were good also. Catfish po-boy was fair. Service was slower than a snail. We didn't mind the slow service because we weren't in any rush. But the one server for the dining area (one!) had this nasty habit of asking if we wanted something (more beer, ready to order, etc.) and then walking away before we had a chance to answer. Very funny! But those wings were great.
  • Post #26 - November 6th, 2009, 1:00 pm
    Post #26 - November 6th, 2009, 1:00 pm Post #26 - November 6th, 2009, 1:00 pm
    Made it over to Toon's last night for some Bulls/Cavs, Great Lakes Holiday Ale and of course food. I got to meet Danny and talk some food and life in the Caribbean and check the place out. Amazing how much good food comes from that small ass kitchen. They had some turkey breast smoking out back in the smoker that was near done when we took a peek at it. When I had my 1st fried turkey about 6 years back I knew I was done with the baked stuff. Surprisingly this was my 1st run in with smoked turkey, at least that i can remember, all I know is I'll be back for some of that and cant wait to be. Great stuff it was moist and full of flavor from the homemade rub with the perfect touch of smoke.

    Image
    Turkeys in the smoker

    It worked out that it was Thursday night which is also their wing special night cause despite getting over there often I never had the wings. Its a damn shame it took until now but at least I know now too. I thought these wings were right in the mix for the best buffalo wings in the city. They were perfectly sized and fried just right. The sauce was nice and the side of bleu cheese dressing was the real stuff. With the NBA on TNT on Thursdays which is when I start the wkd, Ill be over there more often for the wings.

    Image
    Toon's Buffalo Wings

    You gotta love a neighborhood bar that's puts so much into the food which is what they do at Toon's. just as impressive is the nice beer on tap selection and a pool table and plenty of TVs to catch whatever games are on. Not on the menu (due to limited grill space) are these charred BBQ wings coated with the bar's house made KC style BBQ sauce. Just like the Buffalo wings above these were most excellent.

    Image
    Charred BBQ Wings

    I was with four other buddies so we got to try quite a few things. The catfish po' boy was enjoyed as were the pulled pork 'dilla's. My friend who ordered the ribs (smoked on site out back) mentioned he cant wait to get back since hes new to the neighborhood. I had a try and just like the turkey they were great. I could tell from the wings and fries they do a good frying job over there. i also spotted the pickles as an accompaniment to each order. had me thinking it would be great if they started doing up some fried pickles. Is there anything better to snack on when kicking back some cold ones fresh from the tap? Something tells me Toon's would do these up right. Service was good and the crowd was nice and I enjoyed meeting Danny and I will be back and I'm going to bring my KU buddies along so they know were the best place to catch a Jayhawk game is if you wanna eat and drink. Should be an interesting year for the the rock chalk Jayhawk people.

    Do be aware of the made in house pineapple vodka. Its not juice but man it sure does taste like it. That's why I drink Jameson, it lets you know when your getting there. The shots were great though. I cant wait for the next crawfish boil.

    Image
    Toon's Ribs

    Toon's Bar
    3857 N Southport Ave
    Chicago, IL 60613-2823
    (773) 935-1919
    Website
  • Post #27 - November 6th, 2009, 5:18 pm
    Post #27 - November 6th, 2009, 5:18 pm Post #27 - November 6th, 2009, 5:18 pm
    that stuff looks great , i have to get there soon . great pic s
    philw bbq cbj for kcbs &M.I.M. carolina pit masters
  • Post #28 - November 6th, 2009, 7:45 pm
    Post #28 - November 6th, 2009, 7:45 pm Post #28 - November 6th, 2009, 7:45 pm
    We live in the neighborhood and have had the good fortune of enjoying Toons' excellent barbeque for some time. In fact, we just shared some ribs and the delicious "black & blue" burger for dinner. I also contend that they have the best fries in the city (at least in my experience - I acknowledge that's a heady claim). We've always had a great experience with the service there, too, especially at the bar. And don't miss the crawfish boil!
  • Post #29 - November 8th, 2009, 7:32 am
    Post #29 - November 8th, 2009, 7:32 am Post #29 - November 8th, 2009, 7:32 am
    I hit Toon's yesterday afternoon to kill sme time, watch some football, and talk a little bbq with Danny. Another great visit, and very good food. Ronnie S and I enjoyed a sampling of the wings,which are top notch as stated all over LTH, also tried the pulled pork quesadilla, some burnt ends, and a cup of shrimp, andoullie, & crawfish gumbo. the gumbo is my second favorite in Chicagoland(Cajun Connection is still tops for me). This version had crawfish, shrimp, and chunks of sausage, big chunks of okra, and a pefect gumbo broth.

    Danny is a student of bbq like myself, and takes it seriously, he seems to have every book written about bbq, and strives to do it right, I tip my hat to him, and his dedication.

    I have said it before if I lived in the city I would be at this place all the time, it is that good.

    heres a couple pics:

    wings:
    Image

    gumbo(the picture does not do this great bowl justice, hopefully Ronnies turned out better:
    Image
    R.I.P. jimswside - 5/2/16



    @GrubSeeker
  • Post #30 - November 8th, 2009, 8:06 am
    Post #30 - November 8th, 2009, 8:06 am Post #30 - November 8th, 2009, 8:06 am
    Jim,

    Thank you for your kind words, it is always a blast to talk some BBq, New orleans and tequilla with ya! I had a great week and owe it all to LTH! I got to meet up with a few Lther's I had met before,( Kennyz,Jimswside and GWIV as well as meet some new one's, Pigmon, Philw, Dabeef, Msula and Ronnie-Suburban)! What a great time talking food with these guys!! Would have never met any of these guys without LTH forum so Thanks LTH!! Look forward to meeting many new folks in the future and in the mean time we will just keep doing what we do, Pump out a lot of food out of a Small Ass Kitchen as Dabeef put it!!
    Cheers,

    Danny
    Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans?...........Louis Armstrong

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