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Alps: East vs West

Alps: East vs West
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  • Alps: East vs West

    Post #1 - March 14th, 2010, 10:41 pm
    Post #1 - March 14th, 2010, 10:41 pm Post #1 - March 14th, 2010, 10:41 pm
    Recently enjoyed a patty melt at Alps West (a/k/a "The Original Alps Restaurant"), Irving Park and Elston. Alps West have not only come back from the dead, they are actually bigger and better than before (bought out the neighboring storefront). Take that, branch bank developers! Anyway, Saturday I had a fantastic burger at Alps West. Hand formed, cooked medium rare as requested (waitress made a point afterward about how much she hates places that say they'll cook your burger medium rare, then hand you a medium well burger ... "contempt" is the word I am thinking of here). Fries were also fresh cut, although I think they need more care in cooking them to maximize the value here; the centers were a bit undercooked. As I've noted in the past, the soup was great (lentil, in this instance). I didn't have a shake this visit, although my waitress (who worked at Alps West before it closed in 2005) said they were unchanged, so I might head back for that.
    Last edited by JimInLoganSquare on March 15th, 2010, 10:27 pm, edited 1 time in total.
    JiLS
  • Post #2 - March 15th, 2010, 3:51 pm
    Post #2 - March 15th, 2010, 3:51 pm Post #2 - March 15th, 2010, 3:51 pm
    Patty melt at Alps West, Irving Park and Elston,


    Irving and Lincoln, my brother lives around the corner and we go for breakfast all the time.
  • Post #3 - March 15th, 2010, 7:50 pm
    Post #3 - March 15th, 2010, 7:50 pm Post #3 - March 15th, 2010, 7:50 pm
    Shaggywillis wrote:
    Patty melt at Alps West, Irving Park and Elston,


    Irving and Lincoln, my brother lives around the corner and we go for breakfast all the time.

    Actually, that would be Alps East.

    The Original Alps Restaurant
    3637 W. Irving Park Road
    Chicago, IL 60618
    Phone: 773-267-5112
    http://www.originalalps.com/

    Alps East Restaurant
    2012 W. Irving Park Road
    Chicago, IL 60618-3910
    (773) 975-0527‎
  • Post #4 - March 15th, 2010, 10:12 pm
    Post #4 - March 15th, 2010, 10:12 pm Post #4 - March 15th, 2010, 10:12 pm
    ... and never the twain shall meet.

    Indeed, while confusion over the two Alps restaurants on Irving Park Road is inevitable, it should NOT be given voice, at least not in Alps East. Last visit I made there, maybe two months back, I made the mistake of observing to the cashier, as I left, that Alps West had reopened. Big mistake. An arctic cold front descended: "We have nothing to do with them." Imagine every meaning those words can express, and then imagine the words intoned so as to reflect all those meanings at once. I backed out the door. And my next Alps visit was to Alps West. Somebody was apparently more pleased than I that, for a few years, there was only one Alps on Irving Park Road; and not so happy to see the competition back in business. Or so I surmised.

    More relevant to this discussion, I also had a patty melt at Alps East on that last visit. It was serviceable, but it was overcooked, and seemed like a pre-formed or frozen burger. It was not bad, just not extraordinary, which my recent patty melt at Alps West definitely was. (I ordered the Alps West patty melt specifically to compare them. And that is how the West [was] won.)
    JiLS
  • Post #5 - March 16th, 2010, 9:59 am
    Post #5 - March 16th, 2010, 9:59 am Post #5 - March 16th, 2010, 9:59 am
    Sorry about that Jim. I actually was surprised about the praise. I mean, their breakfast is decent but that is all I have had. I was actually stoked about the milkshakes, will have to go farther west for that. :)
  • Post #6 - March 16th, 2010, 9:07 pm
    Post #6 - March 16th, 2010, 9:07 pm Post #6 - March 16th, 2010, 9:07 pm
    In a conversation with the owner of both Alps West and its building last winter, he indicated that he thought he had a good tenant in the bank. But the bank handed the keys back to him rather than the more common situation of handing the keys back to the bank. After that he decided to remodel and open a larger restaurant.
  • Post #7 - March 18th, 2010, 11:00 am
    Post #7 - March 18th, 2010, 11:00 am Post #7 - March 18th, 2010, 11:00 am
    Yep, Bob, the owner of the building and restaurant, got his restaurant back. If you look carefully you can see that the decorating includes some of the fixtures from the WaMu the space breifly was.

    I have always enjoyed the real roasted turkey on the club sandwich.
    Today I caught that fish again, that lovely silver prince of fishes,
    And once again he offered me, if I would only set him free—
    Any one of a number of wonderful wishes... He was delicious! - Shel Silverstein
  • Post #8 - December 1st, 2018, 6:30 pm
    Post #8 - December 1st, 2018, 6:30 pm Post #8 - December 1st, 2018, 6:30 pm
    HI,

    My Mother went to Alvernia High School, a Catholic girls school, which was very close to Alps-West, and now the Disney Magnet School. Back then, it was forbidden for any student to eat at Alps. Quite frequently when we pass Alps, my Mom will recollect this story. Until today, in an act of disobedience long postponed, we had lunch at the Alps.

    Mom had the classic diner blue plate special: open faced beef sandwich with mashed potatoes and extra gravy plus a cup of lentil soup. I ordered a medium-rare-toward-rare-not-medium patty melt sandwich with a cup of chicken noodle soup.

    We were there at the end of their day, so it was no surprise the chicken noodle soup was a little salty. A few spoons of water remedied this problem for a satisfying noodle soup. Mom was very happy with lentil soup.

    Mom's opened face sandwich was covered so well with the gravy, the contours of the beef, bread and mashed potatoes were obliterated. Can't complain when you request extra gravy and they delivered it with abundance. I did dip my fries for a quasi Poutine experience. I did a quality check of her food (yeah, sounds better than stealing food), it seemed pretty good to me.

    My patty-melt was mostly medium rare with some medium mixed in, I probably should have attacked it faster.

    The menu at the Alps indicate they have been there since 1970. I asked the cashier what was the restaurant's name prior to 1970. He thought it was also call the Alps. I advised my Mom went to Alvernia and the nuns forbid them to visit this restaurant. He did not seem very impressed.

    We now have eaten at the Alps, crossing off something my Mother never considered visiting a possibility. Those nuns really knew how to draw the line.

    Regards,
    Cathy2
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #9 - December 1st, 2018, 9:20 pm
    Post #9 - December 1st, 2018, 9:20 pm Post #9 - December 1st, 2018, 9:20 pm
    Of possible interest to Alp's West partisans: a son of Alp's has opened a restaurant just west of Alp's West. Per BlockClubChi-

    Theo grew up in Irving Park, working with his family at the Original Alps Pancake House, 3637 W. Irving Park Rd. and still helps out on the weekends. In high school, he worked for Dick Portillo and became an assistant manager at Portillo’s Restaurants while he was in college.


    Retro-Inspired Burger Joint B-Side To Replace Bread & Wine In Irving Park
  • Post #10 - December 1st, 2018, 11:08 pm
    Post #10 - December 1st, 2018, 11:08 pm Post #10 - December 1st, 2018, 11:08 pm
    Bok Choy Jr wrote:Of possible interest to Alp's West partisans: a son of Alp's has opened a restaurant just west of Alp's West. Per BlockClubChi-

    Theo grew up in Irving Park, working with his family at the Original Alps Pancake House, 3637 W. Irving Park Rd. and still helps out on the weekends. In high school, he worked for Dick Portillo and became an assistant manager at Portillo’s Restaurants while he was in college.


    Retro-Inspired Burger Joint B-Side To Replace Bread & Wine In Irving Park

    I've been a couple times now and I can't detect anything that sets it apart from any other beef-and-burger place in the general area except the higher prices and the tidier decor, and I don't think the latter justifies the former. He'd have done well to take some more tips from his former employer whose name rhymes with "Armadillo."
  • Post #11 - December 3rd, 2018, 11:09 am
    Post #11 - December 3rd, 2018, 11:09 am Post #11 - December 3rd, 2018, 11:09 am
    Cathy2 wrote:My Mother went to Alvernia High School, a Catholic girls school, which was very close to Alps-West, and now the Disney Magnet School. Back then, it was forbidden for any student to eat at Alps. Quite frequently when we pass Alps, my Mom will recollect this story. Until today, in an act of disobedience long postponed, we had lunch at the Alps.

    Cathy, you've made me curious. Why did the nuns forbid it?
    Pithy quote here.
  • Post #12 - December 3rd, 2018, 12:39 pm
    Post #12 - December 3rd, 2018, 12:39 pm Post #12 - December 3rd, 2018, 12:39 pm
    Hi,

    I don't know. I have a feeling those nuns did not offer explanations.

    Thinking about it more, it could be Alps did not want their place to be the after school hang out.

    Regards,
    CAthy2
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #13 - December 3rd, 2018, 8:14 pm
    Post #13 - December 3rd, 2018, 8:14 pm Post #13 - December 3rd, 2018, 8:14 pm
    Cathy2 wrote:I have a feeling those nuns did not offer explanations.

    Regards,
    CAthy2


    Yeah, that sounds pretty nun to me.

    To be fair (and I'm not sure why I should be), I can envision a local business calling up a local school and requesting 'please keep your kids out of our place'. Cut down on the noise? Cut down on the predators (because there is no fetishization of Catholic school girls whatsoever :roll: )?

    Giovanna
    =o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=o=

    "Enjoy every sandwich."

    -Warren Zevon

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