Every once in a while someone posts about a place saying, "I'm surprised this hasn't gotten mention here..." And the place they talk about is, indeed, worthy of discussion. So why didn't it get LTH Love before that point?
Partly the reason may just be randomness, every place has to have a first time it ever got mentioned. But for me there's a certain class of places that maybe ought to get mentioned but don't. Typically what they share is, everybody already knows about them (there's no percentage in saying, hey, if you want good breakfast, I know this little place, it's called Lou Mitchell's
), they're located in the high-trafficked areas of the city from the Loop to Lincoln Park and Wrigleyville (so, again, everybody knows about them already), and they serve fairly conventional stuff (so there's no novelty factor a la eyeball tacos). As a result, nobody feels motivated to write about them, at least at length, and they just don't get the LTH Love, even when they're quite good examples of their type (a rare thing, admittedly, in Lincoln Park and environs).
So here's a thread to these places. My first choice that doesn't get the LTH Love is... Muskie's.
Only next to Gene & Jude's could you call Muskie's menu anything other than minimalist. You can have a char burger, a char dog, a char polish, a rooster (char chicken), or a fish sandwich. You can have fries. You can have a Coke, or a milkshake. That's pretty much it.
But the thing is, it's all pretty real (I can't vouch for the fish sandwich) and it's all pretty good. They have a big gas grill and your burger goes on it fresh and comes off tasting of healthy, life-giving char. The chicken sandwich isn't one of those wan, processed patties at a fast food joint, slathered with Dijon baconnaise and ranch lettuce so it actually has some kind of flavor, it's a half slice of a chicken breast, grilled till bits of it are black and crispy and taste of chicken and fire. The only "concept" Muskie's has is a slight hint of Wisconsiness, which consists of 1) a stuffed muskie over the door) and 2) Merkt's cheddar spread (or similar) as a gooey, fluorescent orange option on the burger and rooster (and the fries, for that matter). I don't normally like that stuff but I always get it here, because the charriness of the meat is robust enough to stand up to it.
The fries are fresh-cut and double-cooked, on those rare occasions that I actually need a milkshake Muskie's is the place that always comes to mind first. It's real, it's tasty, it's no-BS. Let's give up a little LTH Love for Muskie's.
2878 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago
Tel: (773) 883-1633
What place do you like that doesn't get the LTH Love?