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  • Owen & Engine

    Post #1 - November 7th, 2010, 4:12 pm
    Post #1 - November 7th, 2010, 4:12 pm Post #1 - November 7th, 2010, 4:12 pm
    Not taking anything away from Mr. Hammond's Ampersand Tour but I thought that Owen & Engine deserved it's own thread :D

    Enjoyed brunch there today with an LTH lurker, her hubby and 1 year old. O&E is child friendly enough (and baby Alex is good enough) that we were able to enjoy a meal with a few significant high points (and a few not so high). As previously mentioned, the interior is cozy (not too dark since it was the middle of the day) and really achieves the English pub effect without kitsch.

    As for the food--I missed out on the order of mini scones but Alex was happily devouring his when I arrived and my adult dining companions' were already gone. All seemed to be fans. Very nice beer list--manager-type was walking by as I looked through the list and asked if I wanted to sample anything so I took him up on it and ordered something that sounded good but, ultimately was a bit lighter in body than I was looking for (and I don't see it on the online menu). He never made it back to see if I liked the taste but I eventually ordered a Bell’s ‘Best Brown’ Brown Ale which was delicious (described as figs and brown sugar which I thought was accurate).

    For food, the winner was my friend's Ploughman's lunch: a very generous portion of toasted light brown bread slices (light and fluffy but substantial at the same time--really good bread!!); a white cheddar that was surprisingly creamy considering that it had a pronounced bite--usually those cheeses seem to end up tasting chalky to me; a sweet & sour chutney; horseradish creme fraiche, a half of a honey crisp apple and the plate's stars--house smoked beef served warm (tasted a bit like corned beef) and ham. I only got to taste bites of the various components but my friend made a sandwich that was a mouthwatering sum of the parts. She was very happy! This was a perfectly reasonable amount of food for $14.

    Her husband opted for the Full English Fry Up--I didn't taste it but it looked good--a bit skimpy considering the price ($15 or $16) and while I think he enjoyed it, he was expecting something a bit more authentic (which was to say, larger!)

    Finally, I went with a big departure for me--I rarely stray from the savory side of the brunch menu but I wasn't ravenous and was craving a little sweet for some reason so went with the Scottish pancakes with Burtons Maple Syrup and House Bacon. Since I've never had "scottish" pancakes, I asked for a description and was told that they were denser and more filling than typical American cakes. Hmmmm....I didn't notice any difference--there were three smallish cakes that tasted exactly like those I make at home with a mix. The syrup was fine--not remarkable. The bacon portion was 3 small pieces but lovely--as much as I love "artisanal" bacon--my main complaint is that it just isn't crunchy enough--this managed to be both.

    So, all in all, a bit pricy but perfectly in line with the high end ingredient trend. Warm, inviting space. Good service (attentive without being annoying) and good to very good food.

    The pub menu looks like fun and I hope to return soon to try a few more things--starting with the wings which look terrific! Nice to have this in my extended neighborhood.

    Owen & Engine
    2700 N. Western
    773.235.2930
    http://www.owenengine.com/
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #2 - November 7th, 2010, 5:43 pm
    Post #2 - November 7th, 2010, 5:43 pm Post #2 - November 7th, 2010, 5:43 pm
    Oh, yes, an ampersand establishment in need of its own thread. We had a great meal there awhile back and somehow didn't yet post. So, now that a thread is started: we enjoyed the strong beers on tap, found the homemade pickles sparkling and the perfect contrast to the food; and we thought the Bubble and Squeak was truly revelatory - taking something so simply as potato and cabbage and onion, and reaching the transcendent (by way of the heavenly hand of butter no doubt). Bangers and mash were also very satisfying on the rainy evening we visited. Chicken wings were totally excellent (I think they do them with a brick), and the green salad we started with had a distinctively nice vinaigrette. Our impression was of fidelity to authentic pub fare, but with appreciable care in the execution, and little tweaks to elevate the concept. What a boon to that neighborhood also, especially given how little there is to eat right at the movie theater. We will be back, for sure.
  • Post #3 - November 7th, 2010, 9:01 pm
    Post #3 - November 7th, 2010, 9:01 pm Post #3 - November 7th, 2010, 9:01 pm
    boudreaulicious wrote:The bacon portion was 3 small pieces but lovely--as much as I love "artisanal" bacon--my main complaint is that it just isn't crunchy enough--this managed to be both.


    It seems crunch would have more to do with cooking method (or length of cooking) than provenance.
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #4 - November 7th, 2010, 9:12 pm
    Post #4 - November 7th, 2010, 9:12 pm Post #4 - November 7th, 2010, 9:12 pm
    David Hammond wrote:
    boudreaulicious wrote:The bacon portion was 3 small pieces but lovely--as much as I love "artisanal" bacon--my main complaint is that it just isn't crunchy enough--this managed to be both.


    It seems crunch would have more to do with cooking method (or length of cooking) than provenance.


    If this were true, turkey bacon would be a much better seller. :wink:

    Thanks to each of you for the reports - I love having brunch options with a soul, and have been taking solace mostly in Nightwood since Cuatro closed.
  • Post #5 - November 7th, 2010, 9:29 pm
    Post #5 - November 7th, 2010, 9:29 pm Post #5 - November 7th, 2010, 9:29 pm
    Santander wrote:
    David Hammond wrote:
    boudreaulicious wrote:The bacon portion was 3 small pieces but lovely--as much as I love "artisanal" bacon--my main complaint is that it just isn't crunchy enough--this managed to be both.


    It seems crunch would have more to do with cooking method (or length of cooking) than provenance.


    If this were true, turkey bacon would be a much better seller. :wink:

    Thanks to each of you for the reports - I love having brunch options with a soul, and have been taking solace mostly in Nightwood since Cuatro closed.


    The only food I'd willingly call "bacon" comes from a hog. :D
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #6 - November 7th, 2010, 11:13 pm
    Post #6 - November 7th, 2010, 11:13 pm Post #6 - November 7th, 2010, 11:13 pm
    For some reason, "home" cured bacon (encompassing the chef prepared bacon that I find in the better brunch spots) often doesn't have the same crunch (or perhaps as much pure fat) as the commerical stuff. It's more meaty and, therefore, seems to not crisp up the same way. Am I imagining this?
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #7 - November 8th, 2010, 8:37 am
    Post #7 - November 8th, 2010, 8:37 am Post #7 - November 8th, 2010, 8:37 am
    boudreaulicious wrote:For some reason, "home" cured bacon (encompassing the chef prepared bacon that I find in the better brunch spots) often doesn't have the same crunch (or perhaps as much pure fat) as the commerical stuff. It's more meaty and, therefore, seems to not crisp up the same way. Am I imagining this?


    I think it's just a choice cooks make with bacon that they consider special. By slicing it a little thicker and cooking it to a point with a bit more chew, one can better bring out the flavor of the artisanal product. That said, for breakfast I prefer cheaper, crisper bacon too.
    ...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 #8 - November 8th, 2010, 12:08 pm
    Post #8 - November 8th, 2010, 12:08 pm Post #8 - November 8th, 2010, 12:08 pm
    boudreaulicious wrote:
    For some reason, "home" cured bacon (encompassing the chef prepared bacon that I find in the better brunch spots) often doesn't have the same crunch (or perhaps as much pure fat) as the commerical stuff. It's more meaty and, therefore, seems to not crisp up the same way. Am I imagining this?



    KennyZ wrote:
    I think it's just a choice cooks make with bacon that they consider special. By slicing it a little thicker and cooking it to a point with a bit more chew, one can better bring out the flavor of the artisanal product. That said, for breakfast I prefer cheaper, crisper bacon too.


    I've found this often in my brunch eating experiences (except at Chuck's!) It's almost as if the thick-cut bacon isn't being cooked low & slow enough to render out the fat to become crisp, and although the flavor is much better than the commercial stuff, much of the satisfaction I get from bacon at breakfast comes from the crispy texture.

    Thanks for the reports on brunch - glad to know there's good offerings in the vicinity of the new abode - I'll check out O&E soon!
    "Did you know that all food in NC is served on a biscuit? I ordered a biscuit - it came inside another biscuit. It was like turducken, but all biscuit."
    ~ Al Madrigal, The Daily Show
  • Post #9 - November 8th, 2010, 12:20 pm
    Post #9 - November 8th, 2010, 12:20 pm Post #9 - November 8th, 2010, 12:20 pm
    I haven't posted about my one visit to O&E as it was just a few days after their opening and it was obvious that they were still working out some issues.

    However, given that their burger is still haunting me a few weeks and several burgers later, I wanted to put in a good word for it. This is a burger for folks who think Kuma's and Bad Apple are just trying too hard. This is a burger where the meat is the story - - Slagel beef topped only with caramelized onions, cooked to medium rare. The beef was so good that nothing else was necessary. Even an aged Dietzler burger last Saturday night paled in comparison.

    At $14 with fries, this isn't a cheap burger. But, given the quality of the meat and the housemade potato bun, I think it's worth the occasional splurge.

    Ronna
  • Post #10 - November 8th, 2010, 8:07 pm
    Post #10 - November 8th, 2010, 8:07 pm Post #10 - November 8th, 2010, 8:07 pm
    *Stepping out of the lurker shadows*

    Was the member of the brunch that had the Ploughman's Lunch. It was absolutely wonderful and if I didn't want to try everything else on the menu, I would order it every time. The crumpets were also phenomenal - warm, buttery, and delicious - highly recommend.

    Next time, I will order bubble & squeak and also the french press coffee (opted for beer this past time instead). I loved the beer menu - each beer is described in three words. I had the Saison Dupont - pear, grassy, dry. It was exactly as described and so good.

    Thanks for posting the review B-licious!!!
  • Post #11 - December 10th, 2010, 9:11 pm
    Post #11 - December 10th, 2010, 9:11 pm Post #11 - December 10th, 2010, 9:11 pm
    REB wrote:...their burger is still haunting me a few weeks and several burgers later, I wanted to put in a good word for it....is a burger where the meat is the story - - Slagel beef topped only with caramelized onions, cooked to medium rare. The beef was so good that nothing else was necessary. Even an aged Dietzler burger last Saturday night paled in comparison.

    At $14 with fries, this isn't a cheap burger. But, given the quality of the meat and the housemade potato bun, I think it's worth the occasional splurge.


    You're not kidding. Wow, that's a hell of a burger and it's going to haunt me too for some time to come. I loved it and everything else about my first visit to Owen & Engine this 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 #12 - December 12th, 2010, 11:25 am
    Post #12 - December 12th, 2010, 11:25 am Post #12 - December 12th, 2010, 11:25 am
    My first visit to Owen & Engine last night was OK to good. We arrived at about 8pm and were quoted a one-and-a-half to two-hour wait. (I wrongly assumed that they didn't take reservations, and I also wrongly assumed it'd be a slow night because of the impending storm.) We weren't in a rush to get anywhere, and though there weren't any open seats at the bar, we decided to wait it out. My companions drank beer; I had cocktails. I especially enjoyed the Genever Oude Fashioned (Boomsa Oude Genever, kümmel, Cherry Heering, orange bitters). It was very gin-forward but had some lovely, very subtle medicinal notes, which I really dig.

    It turned out that the wait really was going to be about two hours, but we got lucky and snagged seats at the bar after about 45 minutes. We started with the charcuterie board and wings.

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    I didn't catch the details of the charcuterie except that I believe our pâté was lamb. Overall, I thought the meats were under-seasoned and texturally not really to my liking. The sausages felt lumpy and mealy, and the pâté could have been smoother. I'd try the charcuterie again, but it didn't charm me last night. I was the only one in our party who liked the wings, which had just a very simple espelette rub.

    We also had the fish and chips, burger and rasher and egg sandwich.

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    I'm generally not a fan of fish and chips. The portion was very generous, two huge pieces of haddock. I thought the fish was too moist for this preparation, but I loved the chips, which were served very hot from the fryer and crisp. (The chips were also served with the burger but not with the rasher and egg sandwich, to my disappointment.) The burger was excellent as others have said, the only thing I ate last night for which I'd return for sure. It was cooked to a gorgeous medium for us, and the onions added a light sweetness. We were all wishing that we had ordered our own burgers instead of sharing one. The rasher and egg sandwich is also not my kind of thing, but both of my companions loved it and remarked on the beautiful egg and perfectly seasoned pork.

    The most peculiar aspect of our visit last night was that the crowd and general atmosphere seemed very stiff, almost dour. At first, I couldn't pinpoint what was bothering me about the space, but I finally realized that it didn't really look like anyone was having any fun--there was no one smiling--which I may not have noticed except that we were seated in the close quarters of the bar area. I usually prefer subdued settings, wasn't looking for boisterous last night, but everyone kind of looked like they were on first dates that weren't going well. (There did seem to be a few actual first dates taking place around us.) A snow storm was starting outside; we were inside, warm and dry, with good food and drink. It seemed like these conditions should have inspired even just a glimmer of jolliness. Fortunately, I had excellent, merry company, and Owen & Engine may have the most comfortable bar stools in the city. I won't rush back, but I'd try it again.
  • Post #13 - December 12th, 2010, 2:15 pm
    Post #13 - December 12th, 2010, 2:15 pm Post #13 - December 12th, 2010, 2:15 pm
    happy_stomach wrote:I'm generally not a fan of fish and chips. The portion was very generous, two huge pieces of haddock. I thought the fish was too moist for this preparation, but I loved the chips, which were served very hot from the fryer and crisp. (

    I loved the fish and chips, which seemed to me more of a delicate pan fry you'd get at a place like Blackbird than the ubiquitous crispy pub staple available all around. And yes, the fries were crazy good.

    As for the lack of smiles in the place - try bringing an infant with you. That's what I did, and as we sat together in the comfy leather chairs by the fireplace, everyone on the O&E staff as well as many patrons stopped by to giggle along with her.
    ...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 #14 - December 29th, 2010, 12:36 am
    Post #14 - December 29th, 2010, 12:36 am Post #14 - December 29th, 2010, 12:36 am
    Kennyz wrote:
    REB wrote:...their burger is still haunting me a few weeks and several burgers later, I wanted to put in a good word for it....is a burger where the meat is the story - - Slagel beef topped only with caramelized onions, cooked to medium rare. The beef was so good that nothing else was necessary. Even an aged Dietzler burger last Saturday night paled in comparison.

    At $14 with fries, this isn't a cheap burger. But, given the quality of the meat and the housemade potato bun, I think it's worth the occasional splurge.


    You're not kidding. Wow, that's a hell of a burger and it's going to haunt me too for some time to come. I loved it and everything else about my first visit to Owen & Engine this evening.


    Count me a(nother) fan of the burger. My SO ordered the burger with 2 year aged cheddar and rasher. But here is the thing - he ordered it well done and it was STILL amazing. Our charming waiter Ryan said the burger was comprised of ribeye and shortrib cuts. The caramelized onions had great flavor from the homemade Worcestershire sauce.

    I ordered the soup - a fish stew with a monster prawn/mussels/clams, stewed tomatoes, fennel, with a pinch of chile. Reminiscent of cioppina but with a sweetness.

    Great beers rounded out an impressive first visit.
  • Post #15 - December 29th, 2010, 8:29 am
    Post #15 - December 29th, 2010, 8:29 am Post #15 - December 29th, 2010, 8:29 am
    My visit to Owen and Engine last week left a very good impression.

    The burgers deserve all the hype they seem to be getting. The meat is tender and very beefy and the bun is soft though strong enough to maintain its shape. I appreciate that the default burger just has a a small topping of caramelized onions and nothing else. The meat is the star of the show and they present it as such. When we asked the temperature that the chef recommends on the burger the waitress told us medium. We considered it, but went with medium rare and were glad we did. It's been a long time since I've ordered a premium burger that the chef recommends cooked anything but medium rare. I wonder if it was just the way the chef likes his burgers, or if there was something about this burger that benefited from longer cooking.

    The fish and chips were also very good, though not as memorable as the burger. They give you two nice sized strips of haddock, lightly breaded and fried. They are not greasy at all and the haddock was very moist. The fries were crispy and light and served with vinegar aioli.

    I also have to give them props for the excellent cask pours. They have a good tap list in its own right, but the casks really stood out to me. They have three rotating casks and I got to try two of them. Both were fresh and the lines were nice and clean. They also serve them at cask temperature which may be a surprise to some, but I think cask beers benefit from the higher serving temperature. And these are imperial pints, not the wussy American pints. A proper English pub should do proper cask pours, and Owen and Engine delivered.
  • Post #16 - December 29th, 2010, 9:34 am
    Post #16 - December 29th, 2010, 9:34 am Post #16 - December 29th, 2010, 9:34 am
    turkob wrote:When we asked the temperature that the chef recommends on the burger the waitress told us medium. We considered it, but went with medium rare and were glad we did. It's been a long time since I've ordered a premium burger that the chef recommends cooked anything but medium rare. I wonder if it was just the way the chef likes his burgers, or if there was something about this burger that benefited from longer cooking.


    I recently had a second burger, and again I ordered it medium rare. This time, however, it was cooked well beyond that - probably the medium-well side of medium. The burger was still very juicy and beefy. I enjoyed it a lot, but still preferred the med-rare version, which I thought had even more flavor.
    ...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 #17 - December 29th, 2010, 11:03 am
    Post #17 - December 29th, 2010, 11:03 am Post #17 - December 29th, 2010, 11:03 am
    happy_stomach wrote:My first visit to Owen & Engine last night was OK to good.

    I haven't been back yet, but I must have liked O & E more than I wrote above because four separate non-LTH friends told me this week that they've been because of my recommendation. I did like it a lot.
  • Post #18 - December 30th, 2010, 1:22 pm
    Post #18 - December 30th, 2010, 1:22 pm Post #18 - December 30th, 2010, 1:22 pm
    I forgot to mention that between courses we ordered some bread to munch on. The bread was fresh from the oven, one wheat roll and one "torn" baguette (this is code for part of a baguette). It was an excellent interlude paired with the locally sourced butter, the pot of pickles (some pretty spicy) and a pint of cream stout. Owen and Engine is definitely doing a lot of things right.
  • Post #19 - January 1st, 2011, 4:39 pm
    Post #19 - January 1st, 2011, 4:39 pm Post #19 - January 1st, 2011, 4:39 pm
    Kennyz wrote:I recently had a second burger, and again I ordered it medium rare. This time, however, it was cooked well beyond that - probably the medium-well side of medium. The burger was still very juicy and beefy. I enjoyed it a lot, but still preferred the med-rare version, which I thought had even more flavor.


    Same thing happened to me today. The burger I ordered medium rare came out completely well done. We mentioned it to the waiter and he comped us a dessert. Still the fries were solid and the cask pour of Abbot's was spot on.
  • Post #20 - January 30th, 2011, 9:33 pm
    Post #20 - January 30th, 2011, 9:33 pm Post #20 - January 30th, 2011, 9:33 pm
    Nothing much new to add here, just wanted to pile on some more praises for the burger. I just had a bite of my friend's burger and it was pretty amazing.

    I had the fish & chips which were light and perfectly crispy. My one complaint is that they spooned the tartar sauce on top of the fish and I'm just more of a malt vinegar gal. The beer list was great, and we had shared the banofee for dessert and it was delicious.

    The atmosphere was a bit "fancier" than expected, but that's not saying it's a bad thing. The staff was very friendly, personable and attentive. It's a bit pricier than I want in a neighborhood that's full of new restaurants around the same price point, but I'd definitely come back for a nice meal, a date, dessert.
  • Post #21 - January 31st, 2011, 2:49 am
    Post #21 - January 31st, 2011, 2:49 am Post #21 - January 31st, 2011, 2:49 am
    redhanded wrote: My one complaint is that they spooned the tartar sauce on top of the fish and I'm just more of a malt vinegar gal.


    OH, that's not good. They certainly didn't do that when my wife and I dined there and we wouldn't have been happy if they had. I hope you provided feedback that tartar should be served on the side - I'd hate for glopping it on to the fish to become the new norm.
    Objects in mirror appear to be losing.
  • Post #22 - January 31st, 2011, 3:55 pm
    Post #22 - January 31st, 2011, 3:55 pm Post #22 - January 31st, 2011, 3:55 pm
    I recently returned to O&E for a second burger. After reading about overcooked burgers here, I was ready to plead my case to the server to please not overcook the burger. Before I could begin the second sentence of my plea, he said that he always orders his rare at O&E, and if I didn't mind the burger falling apart a bit, he'd recommend I do the same. My companion and I both ordered rare burgers and they were both delivered as ordered and delicious.

    While the burger was great, the fries this time were disappointing. They were sadly soggy. A side of roasted veggies was bland and overcooked, too.

    In addition to the burger, the excellent service was a real highlight. When my companion couldn't decide on a beer, samples were freely offered. The server came by at just the right moments to check on us and the food/drink and to make sure we had everything we needed. Even though we were only eating a burger and a beer each, there was absolutely no pressure to free up the table, we were welcome to sit and chat as long as we liked.

    I'll keep going back as long as the beer lines stay clean, the service is great, and they don't overcook my burger.

    Ronna
  • Post #23 - January 31st, 2011, 8:10 pm
    Post #23 - January 31st, 2011, 8:10 pm Post #23 - January 31st, 2011, 8:10 pm
    REB wrote:While the burger was great, the fries this time were disappointing. They were sadly soggy.


    One shouldn't have to ask for "crisp" fries, but I always do because that seems one small way to make sure I get fries that are not what fries should never be.
    “Nobody exists on purpose. Nobody belongs anywhere. Everybody’s gonna die. Come watch TV?”
  • Post #24 - February 1st, 2011, 9:57 am
    Post #24 - February 1st, 2011, 9:57 am Post #24 - February 1st, 2011, 9:57 am
    David Hammond wrote:
    REB wrote:While the burger was great, the fries this time were disappointing. They were sadly soggy.


    One shouldn't have to ask for "crisp" fries, but I always do because that seems one small way to make sure I get fries that are not what fries should never be.

    I end up doing the same when ordering deep dish pizza, which I think is much more delicious when the cheese and especially the bottom crust have had a chance to firm up a bit.

    Not to go too tangential, but I think deep dish gets a bad rap for some people because when dining in (as opposed to picking up and baking longer in your own oven), you so often get Papa John's-level undercooked, doughy, goopy pie that misrepresents deep dish's orgasmic potential.
    pizza fun
  • Post #25 - February 1st, 2011, 10:31 am
    Post #25 - February 1st, 2011, 10:31 am Post #25 - February 1st, 2011, 10:31 am
    David Hammond wrote:
    REB wrote:While the burger was great, the fries this time were disappointing. They were sadly soggy.
    One shouldn't have to ask for "crisp" fries, but I always do because that seems one small way to make sure I get fries that are not what fries should never be.
    I was amused that I was focused on how the burger was cooked, only to be disappointed by the fries, which were really great during my prior visit to O&E. I suppose next time I'll have to emphasize both a rare burger and crispy fries. I suppose a few polite pleas to the server is worth it for a good meal.

    Fortunately, they keep getting the beer right at O&E, including the great cask options.

    Ronna
  • Post #26 - February 1st, 2011, 5:41 pm
    Post #26 - February 1st, 2011, 5:41 pm Post #26 - February 1st, 2011, 5:41 pm
    Kman wrote:OH, that's not good. They certainly didn't do that when my wife and I dined there and we wouldn't have been happy if they had. I hope you provided feedback that tartar should be served on the side - I'd hate for glopping it on to the fish to become the new norm.

    I did not complain, but by the looks of happy_stomach's photo above, this wasn't a one-time thing. It's not a deal breaker for me, I will just have to remember to order it on the side - or more likely, hold the tartar sauce altogether - next time.
  • Post #27 - February 22nd, 2011, 7:09 pm
    Post #27 - February 22nd, 2011, 7:09 pm Post #27 - February 22nd, 2011, 7:09 pm
    wendy wrote:
    Kennyz wrote:
    REB wrote:...their burger is still haunting me a few weeks and several burgers later, I wanted to put in a good word for it....is a burger where the meat is the story - - Slagel beef topped only with caramelized onions, cooked to medium rare. The beef was so good that nothing else was necessary. Even an aged Dietzler burger last Saturday night paled in comparison.

    At $14 with fries, this isn't a cheap burger. But, given the quality of the meat and the housemade potato bun, I think it's worth the occasional splurge.


    You're not kidding. Wow, that's a hell of a burger and it's going to haunt me too for some time to come. I loved it and everything else about my first visit to Owen & Engine this evening.


    Count me a(nother) fan of the burger. My SO ordered the burger with 2 year aged cheddar and rasher. But here is the thing - he ordered it well done and it was STILL amazing. Our charming waiter Ryan said the burger was comprised of ribeye and shortrib cuts. The caramelized onions had great flavor from the homemade Worcestershire sauce.

    I ordered the soup - a fish stew with a monster prawn/mussels/clams, stewed tomatoes, fennel, with a pinch of chile. Reminiscent of cioppina but with a sweetness.

    Great beers rounded out an impressive first visit.


    Return visit to O&E and Ryan not only remembered us but bought our first round - as he was leaving from brunch duty. Hell yeah, we will be back on M/Th/Sat, thank you very much. He brews his own beer, is a bourbon expert, and wants to put up pickled peppers (for use on collards.) What is NOT to love about this guy.

    But about the food. We were back for the burgers late afternoon on Sunday. Caught the tweener shift at 4pm (too late for brunch; dinner starts at 5) so had to 'kill time.' A hand pulled IPA and draft Belgian (read like Blue Moon but tasted so much better) and we got our burgers. My medium rare order came out medium. Juicy - just not pink center. Scratched that meat itch. Pickled veggies had kumquats, carrots, onions. I'm a sucker for vinegar. Including the malt aioli for the fries.

    Scott wanted dessert and ordered the banofee. Chocolate pudding, toffee bits, bananas (nilla wafer-esque in the pudding) and biscuits to dip. LARGE portion and very tasty with the bourbon aged IPA on draft.
  • Post #28 - February 24th, 2011, 3:52 pm
    Post #28 - February 24th, 2011, 3:52 pm Post #28 - February 24th, 2011, 3:52 pm
    My experiences there have benn pretty good. My real question for those who do not like the fish and chips, the best I have had in chicago for my money, where is a better place to get fish and chips?
  • Post #29 - February 24th, 2011, 5:01 pm
    Post #29 - February 24th, 2011, 5:01 pm Post #29 - February 24th, 2011, 5:01 pm
    Chefcon wrote:My experiences there have benn pretty good. My real question for those who do not like the fish and chips, the best I have had in chicago for my money, where is a better place to get fish and chips?


    I'm interested in a response to this as well. Though my take is that this may be more a personal preference that some prefer the heavier/crunchier breading on their fried fish to the very light and delicate coating that O&E uses. My wife prefers the latter and I like both (within reason on the former).
    Objects in mirror appear to be losing.
  • Post #30 - June 19th, 2011, 9:00 pm
    Post #30 - June 19th, 2011, 9:00 pm Post #30 - June 19th, 2011, 9:00 pm
    A friend & I had dinner at Owen & Engine last week before a movie.

    I was the only one drinking & was excited by the beer list. They have 20-30 beers on tap, including at least 4 cask conditioned ales. I didn't completely review the list of beer available by the bottle because there were so many great options on tap. The waitress was very knowledgeable, listened to what I liked/didn't like, made some great suggestions and was generous with the samples.

    We got:
    * Homemade pickles: Good assortment of young carrots, brussels sprouts, beets, bread & butter pickles and red onions. Nice assortment of items, all of which still had a nice crunch to them.
    * Charcuterie platter: Pork rillettes, a salmon terrine, Tuscan salami, a domestic prosciutto (from PA or NY, I think) and another sausage along with some homemade crackers, bread, mustard, and more bread & butter pickles and pickled red onions.
    * Scallops: So great we ordered a second round. Served with a fresh minted pea puree, crispy prosciutto and roast or sauteed green onions. Fantastic combo of savory, sweet and salty fresh flavors.
    * Streaky bacon: A good-sized chunk of bacon ends (pork belly?), nice & crispy on the outside with melt-in-your mouth texture inside, wilted greens & peach slices, which made a terrific combo.

    I've been on a Purple Pig/Publican/etc. kick in recent months, so Owen & Engine is a great addition to my gastropub rotation. I even told my friend that he could probably convince me to go the movies more often if we could do dinner beforehand! (That said, I walked out of Super 8 about 30 minutes into it. Ugh...that movie did nothing for me. Alas, I went into another movie when I should have just told my friend to meet me Owen & Engine when the movie was done.)

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