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  • Hopleaf [Belgian Bar Food]

    Post #1 - May 31st, 2006, 7:11 pm
    Post #1 - May 31st, 2006, 7:11 pm Post #1 - May 31st, 2006, 7:11 pm
    Image

    It has been the site of numerous LTH events.

    It has been loved and less than loved.

    But, on most nights, we can all agree, mussels and frites at Hopleaf are a thing of beauty. So simple, Mussels steamed with Wittekerke, shallots, thyme and bay leaves. A loaf of Red Hen bread. Frites. Aioli.

    Heaven.

    The rest of the menu is not too shabby - daily homemade soups, imaginative vegetarian entrees, and good steaks on a seasonal menu. Great sandwiches - we recently enjoyed the Beef Brisket braised in Sprecher Black Bavarian served with fresh horseadish served on an egg bun. Beefy flavor, on a sweet rich bun that asborbed the juices of the beef. Just enough horseradish to make your nose runny.

    We are lucky to have it in our town, in any neighborhood. We visit this one frequently (kid free, of course).

    I would like to nominate Hopleaf as a Great Neighborhood Restaurant (and Bar).

    More posts Hereandhere.

    The Hopleaf Bar
    5148 N. Clark St.
    Chicago
    773-334-9851
  • Post #2 - May 31st, 2006, 7:49 pm
    Post #2 - May 31st, 2006, 7:49 pm Post #2 - May 31st, 2006, 7:49 pm
    I agree completely that it's got wonderful food and a wonderful beer selection, and I think it's completely deserving of a GNR.

    My wife is still a little bitter that they took the BLT off the menu (nueske bacon, roasted tomatoes, lettuce, aioli, all on pumpernickel, and the entire thing toasted -- truly fantastic). And prices have risen about 20% across the board in the past few months. But still. Those are only minor problems with an otherwise great restaurant and bar.
    Ed Fisher
    my chicago food photos

    RIP LTH.
  • Post #3 - June 15th, 2006, 4:24 pm
    Post #3 - June 15th, 2006, 4:24 pm Post #3 - June 15th, 2006, 4:24 pm
    I'll throw what weight I have behind Hopleaf as well. As I said in an earlier post:

    "I'm a champion of Hopleaf. No, it's not a life-altering experience, but it's a comfy neighborhood joint with a comprehensive drink menu and a kitchen that would be worthy even if it weren't an add-on to the bar (they were just a bar originally, weren't they?). They don't try to get cute with the food, and what they do they do very well. I've come away happy every single time, so allow me to add my voice to the chorus of recommendations."

    This is the first time I've been around for GNR nominations, so I hope that I understand the spirit of the award, but as I understand it, Hopleaf is it. It's a unique place that does what it does extremely well, both food and drink are excellent, it's an anchor in its immediate community, and it embodies a certain hominess that makes you feel as though it's your place (even if you have to fight through hordes of others who feel the same way).

    I understand many of the criticisms, and as such I don't know that I could be upset if it didn't make the cut, but here's one member (albeit still a puny one) who thinks Hopleaf is worthy.
    Dominic Armato
    Dining Critic
    The Arizona Republic and azcentral.com
  • Post #4 - June 15th, 2006, 5:01 pm
    Post #4 - June 15th, 2006, 5:01 pm Post #4 - June 15th, 2006, 5:01 pm
    This is the first time I've been around for GNR nominations, so I hope that I understand the spirit of the award, but as I understand it, Hopleaf is it. It's a unique place that does what it does extremely well, both food and drink are excellent, it's an anchor in its immediate community, and it embodies a certain hominess that makes you feel as though it's your place (even if you have to fight through hordes of others who feel the same way).


    Ditto. Now, where are my mussels and Saison Dupont?
  • Post #5 - June 15th, 2006, 7:39 pm
    Post #5 - June 15th, 2006, 7:39 pm Post #5 - June 15th, 2006, 7:39 pm
    I'm going to dip my toes into the GNR Award pool here with my vote for the Hopleaf. While many places feel like something someone felt like doing, the Hopleaf feels like a place that the owner really wanted it to be, and is realized in a way that makes other places feel half-done by comparison.

    If the Hopleaf stopped at the bar, it'd be a great place to try new beers and enjoy rare ones. But the fact that they put out damn good food is the icing on the cake, or the mussel sauce on the bread as the case may be. The hostess doesn't need to be sing-song sweet, I can deal with the bar being clouded with smoke and while I'd like a little more space to work with when it's already full at 5 on a Saturday afternoon, after a couple Kwak all is right with the world.

    Perhaps more indicative of the Hopleaf deserving this award (at least from a cheap swede's perspective), a few days ago out of absolutely nowhere I said "I hope sometime soon I can go to the Hopleaf and drop a hundred bucks." My fiancee turned to me and and said "God, me too."
  • Post #6 - June 17th, 2006, 7:52 pm
    Post #6 - June 17th, 2006, 7:52 pm Post #6 - June 17th, 2006, 7:52 pm
    Although at this point, I suppose my support is superfluous, I offer it -- Hop Leaf definitely deserves the GNR. Now, if they would only put in a branch somewhere about 45 minutes closer to my home...
    JiLS
  • Post #7 - June 22nd, 2006, 11:28 pm
    Post #7 - June 22nd, 2006, 11:28 pm Post #7 - June 22nd, 2006, 11:28 pm
    I was trying to think how to present an account of something that happened at tonight's dinner at Hopleaf-- which, unbelievably even to me, I had never been to before tonight-- and all I can think to do is present it factually and let you, the reader decide.

    I go in and meet my party. I try to order a draft beer, off the impressive, almost comically detailed draft beer list. I have to wait for the bartenders to do approximately one trillion other things before they can bark "Whaddleya have" at me. I'm okay with that, the place is insanely busy. I order one of the impressively talked-up beers on the card. She goes over to the wall of a hundred different glasses and selects one shaped like the Treaty of Ghent or something, I dunno. So far, great, the glasses selection is, you must admit, one of those things that's so over the top you can't help but be impressed.

    Then, she glances at the tap nearest me, does not see the beer there (there are two other taps, each with a different assortment), and reaches down to the fridge and grabs a bottle, pops it and hands it to me.

    Frankly, I'm not even sure I got the same thing I ordered. I kind of think it might have been same brewery, different beer. But in any case, I just say to her, as I pay, "You know, I'm fine with this but I ordered a draft beer, off the draft beer list." Try to guess her response:

    A) "I'm sorry sir, would you like me to get you a draft beer instead?"
    B) "I'm sorry sir, we seem to be out of that beer listed and described for a paragraph and a half on the cards set up every 18 inches along this bar, which any reasonable person would regard as completely current. You're entirely right, I should have asked first before opening a bottle as a substitute."
    C) "If we'd had it on tap I would have given it to you on tap, wouldn't I?"

    The answer is C, or F.U. is perhaps a more apt letter designation for it. In any case, it was, I'm pretty sure, the first time I have ever stormed out of a bar leaving a beer mostly undrunk behind, out of sheer lividness at the way I have been treated as a customer.

    Credit to G Wiv for then speaking to her, or possibly someone else, and calling me a few minutes later to inform me that a beer on the house awaited me. (Credit to somebody at the Hopleaf for that too.) And our meal, once we left the bar area, was very nice-- excellent frites and mussels, fairly good if somewhat tough steak, and decent but somewhat bland rabbit stew; and an entirely pleasant waitress to boot. (On the other hand, when I tried to keep my little pot of aioli in between courses, the busboy-- the busboy-- gave me a contemptuous look somewhere between the one he gives the person who asks for ketchup for his frites, and the one he gives the person who's caught stealing deodorant cakes from the urinals.)

    Anyway, I was amused (and exaggerated for effect) the service at San Soo Gap San, filing it under the vagaries of ethnic dining; but this is another matter entirely, and given the number of past comments about service there, I kind of think that the Hopleaf doesn't need any more awards, no matter how good the food can be and how impressive the beer list undoubtedly is.
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  • Post #8 - June 23rd, 2006, 8:58 am
    Post #8 - June 23rd, 2006, 8:58 am Post #8 - June 23rd, 2006, 8:58 am
    Here's what I love about Hopleaf:

    --You can sit at the bar and have a generous pot of mussels, a hunk of good french bread, frites w/aioli, and a draft Belgian beer, and get change back from a $20.

    --Chicago has a few really great beer bars (far too few for a city of this size, methinks), but this is the only one in my estimation that serves pretty good food. (Although I have yet to try the Italian beef and giardinera pizza at Quenchers). There's no place quite like it in Chicago, which is exactly what keeps me coming back.

    Here's where Hopleaf leaves me a little bit sour:

    --In a beer bar, you really want a staff that knows their stock inside and out and is excited about talking about it with their customers. The bartenders at the Hopleaf have always carried the attitude that the customer should feel priveleged just to be there. More than once, I have felt as though I'm causing a problem by ordering a beer there--let alone asking a question about one.

    The bartenders and management should take some service lessons from their dining room waitstaff. It's like night and day.

    But, like I said, there's no place like it in Chicago, and this forum really seems to like it. Smells like a GNR to me, but I'll bet dollars to donuts that they don't post it up if they win it.

    Best,
    Michael
  • Post #9 - June 23rd, 2006, 9:08 am
    Post #9 - June 23rd, 2006, 9:08 am Post #9 - June 23rd, 2006, 9:08 am
    Right. You put together a fantastic beer list, you put together an even more fantastic wall of glasses, you make little cards romancing the quality of each beer on tap-- and then when someone asks for one they get handed the first bottled beer that matches three of the same letters. (I guess I'm lucky I didn't ask for something that started with B-U-D or M-G-D, then.)

    I can't help but feel that they're a victim of their own popularity, and in the bar, at least, just no longer have the time or the room to follow through. Guess I shoulda gone back when.
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  • Post #10 - June 23rd, 2006, 9:09 am
    Post #10 - June 23rd, 2006, 9:09 am Post #10 - June 23rd, 2006, 9:09 am
    I don't want to get involved in a holy war regarding the service at Hopleaf. We often sit in the dining room, but if there are seats, we prefer the bar. One of the bartenders will gladly let us try beers and talk about them with us. He'll suggests blends - a half and half lambic and stout. A small bottle of a Belgian Christmas Ale that we now regularly scout out at Sam's. Like many other GNR's, the nominators have developed relationships with the staff over the months or years that others have not.


    I have also received bottles of beer that I thought was on draft, but only when I've been at the upstairs bar or they have been out of something.

    So I am not making excuses, or implying people haven't received rough service. Just that different people have different experiences at different places.

    And I still think Hopleaf is a great restaurant in any neighborhood.
  • Post #11 - June 23rd, 2006, 9:24 am
    Post #11 - June 23rd, 2006, 9:24 am Post #11 - June 23rd, 2006, 9:24 am
    Also I hold them personally responsible for the fact that Squeeze's Pulling Mussels From The Shell has been in my head for the last two days.
    Watch Sky Full of Bacon, the Chicago food HD podcast!
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  • Post #12 - June 23rd, 2006, 10:48 am
    Post #12 - June 23rd, 2006, 10:48 am Post #12 - June 23rd, 2006, 10:48 am
    Mike G wrote:Also I hold them personally responsible for the fact that Squeeze's Pulling Mussels From The Shell has been in my head for the last two days.


    Were they playing it, or was that just a free association to an addictive lyric? Personally, I lean more towards Cool for Cats. Maybe you can move to that now?

    In some respects this is a little like my complaint with CT's and my favorite Yogi Berra line (please forgive me for quoting this yet again) "Nobody goes there any more cause it's too popular."

    In a big busy place you ain't always gonna get attentive service. And in a high volume joint, they are going to try to keep things turning over. Both of your issues, Mike, sound like situations where they were trying to keep things moving as opposed to engaging with you to satisfy your needs, desires whatever - you were a cog on an assembly line and they had 20 seconds to complete your assembly. Who has time to figure out what you want or how you feel about things? You are a problem to be solved, and quickly.

    Anyway, my read, having never been to Hopleaf, is that I am unlikely to go there unless I find myself in the neighborhood at an odd hour when the place would be relatively quiet. But I also do not think that being successful and brusque can or should be held against a place. People just need to know that going in, and they should now. You have to be ready to come with a bit of an edge to make yourself heard.

    Happy to hear what others think about this.
    d
    Feeling (south) loopy
  • Post #13 - June 23rd, 2006, 1:22 pm
    Post #13 - June 23rd, 2006, 1:22 pm Post #13 - June 23rd, 2006, 1:22 pm
    Mike G wrote:excellent frites and mussels, fairly good if somewhat tough steak, and decent but somewhat bland rabbit stew; and an entirely pleasant waitress to boot.

    Mike,

    In addition to the mussels and frites I particularly enjoyed the beer battered smelt. Crisp, greaseless exceptionably meaty smelt, delicious dunked in aioli. Waitress was both pleasant and efficient.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    Sauce on the side, always, implied, axiomatic..........never a doubt, BBQ sauce without.

    Low & Slow
  • Post #14 - June 28th, 2006, 10:44 pm
    Post #14 - June 28th, 2006, 10:44 pm Post #14 - June 28th, 2006, 10:44 pm
    Wow, I somehow missed all the negative Hopleaf backlash.

    It's hard for me to understand how you can not love this place. This is my go to bar for a night out with the guys. Or with my wife for a good beer. Or several years ago, before the crackdown I guess, an afternoon trip with a buddy while on babysitting duty.

    I've never had bad service, but I'm pretty low maintenance. I've been there on at one occasion with a friend who felt he was treated grievously by a bartender, and maybe he was a little? (I witnessed the incident), but based on this and a number of other service complaints, they seem to me to come from people who are a bit thinner in the skin department. This is not to contradict the facts of the case in regards to peoples' experience, but poor service, as a characteristic of the Hopleaf, is almost entirely inconsistent with my experience there. Brusque, at times? I guess I could see, though even that with some difficulty. Offensive? Hardly.

    I'll share one of my favorite Hopleaf service stories...a year or two ago, probably during the great LTH lambic lovefest, I ordered, maybe, a Cantillon Gueuze...something described on the menu as the Champagne of beers. The bartender looked at me a bit skeptically.

    Bartender: "Are you sure?"
    Me: "Uh, I think so...shouldn't I be?"
    Bartender: "Well, you know, you can't return it if you don't like it."
    Me: "In that case, I'm sold...I definitely want it."

    Now someone might be indignant, thought the bartender was flippant or rude or condescending. I thought it was great. But enough about service. To Mike's point in another thread, I think service is only an issue if it keeps you from coming back. I don't get that sense very strongly here, and certainly not for me.

    I think the beer list, selected thoughtfully, described beautifully, offered lovingly in their appropriate vessels, is justification almost on its own. How could you not say this place is a Great Neighborhood Bar at the least? And we've surely established precedent for including establishments other than "restaurants" per se.

    But the food, as it turns out, is fantastic, and what a great match for the beer. A big ol' pot of mussels, the sausage plate, the aioli and frites, even the ham sandwich. This place kicks bar food ass. And it's a damn good restaurant too, bar aside. It has my full-fledged support.
  • Post #15 - June 29th, 2006, 11:35 am
    Post #15 - June 29th, 2006, 11:35 am Post #15 - June 29th, 2006, 11:35 am
    Aaron Deacon wrote:I think the beer list, selected thoughtfully, described beautifully, offered lovingly in their appropriate vessels, is justification almost on its own. How could you not say this place is a Great Neighborhood Bar at the least? And we've surely established precedent for including establishments other than "restaurants" per se.

    But the food, as it turns out, is fantastic, and what a great match for the beer. A big ol' pot of mussels, the sausage plate, the aioli and frites, even the ham sandwich. This place kicks bar food ass. And it's a damn good restaurant too, bar aside. It has my full-fledged support.


    Very well put.

    I, too, absolutely love the Hopleaf - occasionally brusque service and all. Fantastic choice for a GNR award, IMHO.
    I exist in Chicago, but I live in New Orleans.
  • Post #16 - June 30th, 2006, 11:51 am
    Post #16 - June 30th, 2006, 11:51 am Post #16 - June 30th, 2006, 11:51 am
    Hopleaf. Great beer, serious oversalting. I know this is an age-old barman's strategy, but it stands in the way of my enjoyment of their food, I am sorry to say.
    Man : I can't understand how a poet like you can eat that stuff.
    T. S. Eliot: Ah, but you're not a poet.
  • Post #17 - June 30th, 2006, 7:58 pm
    Post #17 - June 30th, 2006, 7:58 pm Post #17 - June 30th, 2006, 7:58 pm
    I've only been to HL once and so have hesitated to chime in here but then again, a properly qualified comment has its place.

    From my one visit I can certainly understand why the fans of HL have supported its nomination -- all the food I(/we) had was without doubt very good and, of course, the beer selection is outstanding. If I lived closer (and had more disposable income), I'd probably go there with a certain degree of regularity. My only misgivings -- some of these have already been expressed in a longish post in the long HL thread -- are probably not really fair: they all have to do with a certain mismatch of expectations with regard to the alleged 'Belgianness' of the place, expectations based in part on their own description of the kitchen and in part on the opinions some people I know have passed on to me.

    Be that as it may, HL does seem to me like a place that does what it does very well (aside, perhaps, from service problems others have experienced), keeping the menu limited and the quality high. Forgive my limited experience here but I suspect it is a deserving recipient of a GNR award.

    Antonius
    Alle Nerven exzitiert von dem gewürzten Wein -- Anwandlung von Todesahndungen -- Doppeltgänger --
    - aus dem Tagebuch E.T.A. Hoffmanns, 6. Januar 1804.
    ________
    Na sir is na seachain an cath.
  • Post #18 - June 30th, 2006, 11:54 pm
    Post #18 - June 30th, 2006, 11:54 pm Post #18 - June 30th, 2006, 11:54 pm
    HI,

    Pretty much my exposure to this place is via the dining room. While I acknowledge the food I have had has been well executed. There are very definite service problems, which is likely due to their crushing success.

    I recall going there with Hammond and his wife after a Seth Zurer play. There was a table in front us with empty seats enough to accomodate our party. The Lioness at the Gate wouldn't let us seat as she searched high and low for a party she'd promised a table to. Busboys and waitresses kept passing us encouraging us to ignore her and sit dow anyway. We finally did do the squatter's rights with the tacit cooperation of the other staff. As fast as we sat down, we had our water glasses to signify we were there until our meal was finished. Fortunately the Lioness never arrived to our table with the mystery party following suit.

    Our meal was excellent, as have all my meals there, though we got out of there pretty quickly after our meal as a courtesy to anyone else who wanted a seat afterwards.

    Hopleaf lives in perpetual Check Please! effect crowd-wise though it was long bursting at the seams before Check Please! ever arrived on their doorstep.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
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  • Post #19 - February 27th, 2008, 12:38 am
    Post #19 - February 27th, 2008, 12:38 am Post #19 - February 27th, 2008, 12:38 am
    Throwing down the Kwak gauntlet on Hopleaf, I think they need to challenge us and deliver a bit more consistently on the food side to earn my high praise. While the beer list is unparalleled (though I've enjoyed some rarer selections at Bluebird this year), the kitchen seems to be a revolving door of talent.

    Sometimes, the fine prep (frites cut, vegetables, steak thickness, sausage doneness, delicacy of slaw, dressing and presentation of the greens under the Scotch Egg and in the salads, selection of the most succulent mussels) is worthy of place charging heady multiples. Other times, dishes are thrown together with coarsely chopped and unevenly cooked elements, and can just be downright funky (the occasional unpopped mussel, the rind of the untrimmed Nueske ham in the usually sublime sandwich, the discolored center stem of the cabbage included in the slaw).

    As you may be able to tell, I am at Hopleaf a lot. Probably too often (it's an after-rehearal pilgrimage). I know most of the servers and bartenders by name, have several well-worn copies of self-printed seasonal cellar lists with my own ratings cross-linked with Beer Advocate, and have a standing domestic policy about kisses after aioli.

    The overall establishment is great, much-needed, and much-improved (in my opinion) with the smoking ban. But do they need a continued GNR? Are they challenging us with new menu items and preparations, and consistency on core favorites? Are they performing at the kitchen-care level we require from the humblest of storefronts to the laser-lit stations of the pricey avant garde? Please help me figure these angles out.
  • Post #20 - February 27th, 2008, 1:18 am
    Post #20 - February 27th, 2008, 1:18 am Post #20 - February 27th, 2008, 1:18 am
    Cases can be (and have been) made for and against. Speaking personally, Hopleaf was where I learned to appreciate beer, and that's pretty much enough for me. The one thing I would urge is that their "crushing success," as it's been referred to above, is not held against them. Whether they have or have not handled that success with panache, absolutely. But I suspect there will be some who might be a little reluctant to continue to support Hopleaf's GNR because Hopleaf is one of the cool kids now, and I hope anybody who was behind Hopleaf two years ago but is wavering now will be careful to ensure that isn't the reason.

    Please don't think I'm trying to call out anybody in particular. I don't think I could even name somebody who I suspect feels this way. I'm just speculating about a possibility and I wanted to warn against it.
    Dominic Armato
    Dining Critic
    The Arizona Republic and azcentral.com
  • Post #21 - February 27th, 2008, 2:17 am
    Post #21 - February 27th, 2008, 2:17 am Post #21 - February 27th, 2008, 2:17 am
    I support Hopleaf's GNR. I remember when it was just a beer bar, and a very good one at that. When they added food, they did it right, and brought a level of mostly-Belgian food that I don't think is equaled anywhere in the city (if there are such places, please tell me). The smoking ban has made it an even more inviting venue. Yes, the servers can be gruff, probably as a result of their busy-ness/success. And, relatedly, crowds can be a problem. But should a restaurant be penalized for being successful?

    When I want beer and mussels, it's the first place that comes to mind.

    I don't think I've ever seen Hopleaf's GNR certificate displayed, which, for me, is a minor negative.

    Nevertheless, Hopleaf is a true gem, and deserves to retain its GNR status.
  • Post #22 - February 28th, 2008, 11:31 am
    Post #22 - February 28th, 2008, 11:31 am Post #22 - February 28th, 2008, 11:31 am
    I don't know that occasional unevenness is uncalled for in a GNR, as long as the big picture still holds; my own experience was spotty, but I would still say that it's a restaurant I'd recommend and return to...

    Here are some recent posts:

    http://www.lthforum.com/bb/viewtopic.php?p=173384#173384
    http://lthforum.com/bb/viewtopic.php?p=177922#177922
    http://www.lthforum.com/bb/viewtopic.php?p=178360&sid=4f19ec26f1a969fc520546402fa45d07
  • Post #23 - March 19th, 2010, 4:21 pm
    Post #23 - March 19th, 2010, 4:21 pm Post #23 - March 19th, 2010, 4:21 pm
    The love hate relationship continues - but this is still my go-to date night spot. Even with a long wait. The food is as good, if not better. The Cashew Butter/Fig Jam sandwich is a revelation.
  • Post #24 - March 21st, 2010, 6:39 am
    Post #24 - March 21st, 2010, 6:39 am Post #24 - March 21st, 2010, 6:39 am
    Only two blocks from my house, Hopleaf is squarely in my neighborhood. While I generally avoid bars/restaurants as busy as Hopleaf, the moules frites are better than any I had on a recent trip to Holland and the Belgian beer list is unmatched in Chicago.

    Even when packed to the brim, I've never experienced the bad vibe others have from the servers, though I wouldn't call service a super strong point either.

    Sitting on the back patio in the summer, drinking Gueuze and eating mussels makes me happy. I definitely support Hopleaf's continued status as a GNR.

    -Dan
  • Post #25 - March 24th, 2010, 5:09 pm
    Post #25 - March 24th, 2010, 5:09 pm Post #25 - March 24th, 2010, 5:09 pm
    Their beer list alone makes them a great restaurant. They have beers on tap that you can only get a couple other places in the entire country. Add to that great food and a lively atmosphere, this is definitely a GNR in my book. Just get there early.
  • Post #26 - March 24th, 2010, 11:21 pm
    Post #26 - March 24th, 2010, 11:21 pm Post #26 - March 24th, 2010, 11:21 pm
    Read in Dish today that they're scrapping plans to open a separate place next door in the old La Donna space and, instead, are going to significantly expand Hopleaf. Hopefully, that will smooth over the two aspects of Hopleaf dining that aren't always a pleasure--trying to get a table and not get trampled while you'e waiting...and stressed out servers trying to maneuver through a most inconvenient layout.

    Best moule frites, wonderful rabbit, beer on the patio...and, hopefully soon, a more comfortable dining experience! Would've voted for renewal without it but have great expectations for a new and improved Hopleaf!
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #27 - March 29th, 2010, 3:17 pm
    Post #27 - March 29th, 2010, 3:17 pm Post #27 - March 29th, 2010, 3:17 pm
    Whenever we have someone in from out of town that wants to hit a beer bar, the Hopleaf is always the first choice. The moules are usually great, and the fries with aioli almost reach WaSC standards. Definite vote for renewal.
  • Post #28 - March 29th, 2010, 3:30 pm
    Post #28 - March 29th, 2010, 3:30 pm Post #28 - March 29th, 2010, 3:30 pm
    nr706 wrote:Whenever we have someone in from out of town that wants to hit a beer bar, the Hopleaf is always the first choice. The moules are usually great, and the fries with aioli almost reach WaSC standards. Definite vote for renewal.


    It's funny that you posted about Hopleaf and Hot Doug's in succession. Both have very long lines/waits that really distract from the experience. Both are places I would only go during an off hour.
  • Post #29 - March 29th, 2010, 3:36 pm
    Post #29 - March 29th, 2010, 3:36 pm Post #29 - March 29th, 2010, 3:36 pm
    Darren72 wrote:
    nr706 wrote:Whenever we have someone in from out of town that wants to hit a beer bar, the Hopleaf is always the first choice. The moules are usually great, and the fries with aioli almost reach WaSC standards. Definite vote for renewal.


    It's funny that you posted about Hopleaf and Hot Doug's in succession. Both have very long lines/waits that really distract from the experience. Both are places I would only go during an off hour.


    Funny, I was thinking the same think--til I realized one VERY important difference. And at Hopleaf, it comes in all different pretty glasses :P
    "Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad." Miles Kington
  • Post #30 - March 29th, 2010, 4:06 pm
    Post #30 - March 29th, 2010, 4:06 pm Post #30 - March 29th, 2010, 4:06 pm
    Darren72 wrote:
    nr706 wrote:Whenever we have someone in from out of town that wants to hit a beer bar, the Hopleaf is always the first choice. The moules are usually great, and the fries with aioli almost reach WaSC standards. Definite vote for renewal.


    It's funny that you posted about Hopleaf and Hot Doug's in succession. Both have very long lines/waits that really distract from the experience. Both are places I would only go during an off hour.

    I usually go to the Hopleaf early, frequently on a weekday, so crowds/lines have rarely been an issue for me there. Hot Doug's, it seems, always has a line.

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