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Pub Royale - Anglo-Indian and Craft Beverages on Division

Pub Royale - Anglo-Indian and Craft Beverages on Division
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  • Post #31 - October 16th, 2016, 2:59 pm
    Post #31 - October 16th, 2016, 2:59 pm Post #31 - October 16th, 2016, 2:59 pm
    Many believe the food has slipped since opening. Lot's of places start out w/a bang, the challenge is in keeping it. In general, suggest looking @ the dates of bylines and other lesser reviews, and if not recent, @ least be prepared to be surprised or disappointed. Sula wrote that early on, nearly a yr and a half ago.
    "In pursuit of joys untasted"
    from Giuseppe Verdi's La Traviata
  • Post #32 - October 16th, 2016, 5:04 pm
    Post #32 - October 16th, 2016, 5:04 pm Post #32 - October 16th, 2016, 5:04 pm
    Indianbadger wrote:Dining here has put me in a funk. Just really disappointed. :-(

    I loved this place when it first opened but this is exactly how I felt after the last time I ate there . . . which will likely be the last time I eat there.

    =R
    There are many things that are legal that are not a great idea --Nick Shabazz

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #33 - October 18th, 2016, 1:27 pm
    Post #33 - October 18th, 2016, 1:27 pm Post #33 - October 18th, 2016, 1:27 pm
    Jazzfood wrote: Sula wrote that early on, nearly a yr and a half ago.


    The review by Sula was long ago, I agree. But what prompted me to go was the most recent Reader pieces on what the restaurants serve for their staff meals. In that, there was a piece about Pub Royale and they claimed that the food there was "Devon worthy". That was what made me remember reading about this place and prompted my visit.

    Just like us at LTH forum with our GNR renewals, maybe they should update reviews periodically at Reader too. But that is maybe asking for too much when they are struggling with keeping afloat. :-(
    The art of living well and art of dying well are one. ---Epicurus
  • Post #34 - December 14th, 2016, 8:56 pm
    Post #34 - December 14th, 2016, 8:56 pm Post #34 - December 14th, 2016, 8:56 pm
    I can't comment on whether the quality of the food has slipped because this was my lone visit, but I had a pretty nice meal here recently.

    For starters, I really enjoyed the salt cod samosas. Crisp samosas with a delicious, creamy interior and I thought the malt vinegar reduction was both clever and tasty. I also really liked the flavor of the lamb dumplings, though I don't know that the lamb flavor came through as much as I would have liked.

    As far as entrees, I really liked the flavor of the India hot chicken which delivered a pretty good kick. My lone complaint with the dish was the fact that the chicken was boneless, and I felt the same way as I do at Honey Butter -- it just feels somewhat overworked. Still, delicious.

    Even better was the Royale with cheese. This immediately goes in my top 5 of burgers in the city and arguable right at the top. A lot going on, but the beef flavor shines through and the burger was cooked a perfect medium rare as requested. Last night I had the celebrated burger at Loyalist and I was far less impressed (in my opinion, way too heavy on onion flavor and it masks some of the beef flavor).

    Mussels with coconut curry and naan were good too, but nothing earth shattering. And the butter chicken was a bit of a letdown. Having just had the best butter chicken by far that I've ever had (unfortunately, a little far away at a hawker stall in Singapore), this was a far cry from that version. It just lacked the flavor of all those incredible, toasted spices. Not bad at all, but nothing I'd recommend.

    Still, a nice meal overall, with good service and I enjoyed the atmosphere. I will definitely return, and as much as I'd like to try more items, it will be hard for me to avoid that burger.
  • Post #35 - December 15th, 2016, 8:49 am
    Post #35 - December 15th, 2016, 8:49 am Post #35 - December 15th, 2016, 8:49 am
    BR wrote: Even better was the Royale with cheese. This immediately goes in my top 5 of burgers in the city and arguable right at the top. A lot going on, but the beef flavor shines through and the burger was cooked a perfect medium rare as requested.


    I totally agree here, the Royale with cheese is currently my favorite dressy burger in town. The beef is always the star– well seasoned quality product, cooked on point. I even like the "sauce" and I'm generally not a fan of thousand-island-y condiments (or mayo stuff at all) on my burger. The nigella seeds add a nice sub-continental twist. It makes sense why the burger is so good since it was designed by Jason Vaughan who spent some time at Au Cheval.

    I hit up Pub on the regular and I've not detected any slippage in the quality of the product. Like many hospitality companies, Heisler moves their A-team in and out of their kitchens to set up shop and then move on to the next project. So I can see where there's room for inconsistency in this model. But I've eaten at Pub probably once a month since they opened and the stuff I like on the menu (burger being #1) has had little margin of fluctuation. That said, there are a few things on their menu I've never liked. And my major complaint about the menu is that it does not switch up enough.
  • Post #36 - April 8th, 2017, 7:47 am
    Post #36 - April 8th, 2017, 7:47 am Post #36 - April 8th, 2017, 7:47 am
    Maybe I've been lucky? My meal last night was every bit as good, if not better, than my first meal back in December. There was no way I was not getting the Royale with cheese after my last experience, and I'm still proclaiming it the best burger in Chicago. Great bun, great beef flavor, cooked medium rare as ordered, great accompaniments that accent but don't obscure the beef flavor. Solid fries too, but easily forgotten as great as the burger is.

    The rest of the meal was excellent too. The pub salad, with sprouted lentils, crispy chickpeas, scallion, lime and a curry dressing, was probably my least favorite item but as far as salads go, it was decent enough. It resonated a lot more with a couple of my dining companions.

    It sounds like our experience with the Gobi Manchurian was a lot better than most people have had. The cauliflower was plenty crisp, and not too breaded for my liking. And I found the sauce delicious, leaning more spicy than sweet, and tasty. Not my favorite dish by any means, but if restaurants prepared General Tso's chicken (or cauliflower) with such care, I might actually eat the dish occasionally.

    One of my friends ordered the butter chicken, which was pretty boring on my first visit, but last night it was hot spicy, exploding with flavor, and delicious. My lone issue would be the use of what I think was breast meat, but to me this dish was mostly about the sauce and the paratha for dipping.

    The vadouvan split pea curry, with shishito pepper, kale, chickpeas and lime yogurt, was not as spicy but was delicious and also exploding with flavor. I also really liked the spicy slaw on the side. And we enjoyed some solid garlic naan.

    Some nice cocktails and beer choices, coupled with solid, friendly service, made this a very enjoyable Friday night. If Pub Royale was closer to me, I could see being there a lot more often.
  • Post #37 - August 18th, 2018, 2:38 pm
    Post #37 - August 18th, 2018, 2:38 pm Post #37 - August 18th, 2018, 2:38 pm
    BR wrote:Maybe I've been lucky?

    Or perhaps I've been unlucky but for my palate, all the magic with which this place opened has completely left the building. Circumstances and my damned short memory landed me back here for a lunch that was underwhelming in just about every way.

    Royale with Cheese and fries -- best items we had -- were just fine. I used to consider this burger to be the one sure thing on the menu and it may still be but there are so many great burgers around town that blow this one away. It was fine, if a bit overcooked but at least the fries were crispy in spite of them being cold by the time the plate reached our table.

    Lamb & Potato Hash was disappointing. Priced at $13 -- $9 more than a side dish of Potato Hash -- it offered no more than a few shreds of flavorless lamb and 2 over-medium eggs on a mound of soft, largely unpalatable potatoes. I think we left it 75% uneaten. Nor did we finish the Breakfast Roll, which also managed to be far less than the sum of its promising parts (bacon, paneer cheese, scrambled egg, green chile potatoes, tomatoes & onion). As for the Indian Hot Chicken Wings, I was grateful that our server, who was just too cool write down our order, forgot about them. Based on how the rest of this went, not eating these was pretty much the highlight of our lunch.

    I hate that we wasted an opportunity, and could have gone just about anywhere else for a better experience. Hell, we drove right by at least 3 better choices on our way there. Eating this food made me sorry that we hadn't gone somewhere else for great Indian or great burgers. This lunch mocked me for not having done so.

    =R=
    There are many things that are legal that are not a great idea --Nick Shabazz

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #38 - August 20th, 2018, 7:30 am
    Post #38 - August 20th, 2018, 7:30 am Post #38 - August 20th, 2018, 7:30 am
    Pre-gamed at Pub Royale Saturday night before dinner at Clever Rabbit with family visiting from Wisconsin. A few beers (including tastes of three different sours on draft), samosas, gobi Manchurian, and a lot of laughs with barkeep Jeff was the perfect start to our evening!
  • Post #39 - August 20th, 2018, 8:14 am
    Post #39 - August 20th, 2018, 8:14 am Post #39 - August 20th, 2018, 8:14 am
    Smassey wrote:Pre-gamed at Pub Royale Saturday night before dinner at Clever Rabbit with family visiting from Wisconsin. A few beers (including tastes of three different sours on draft), samosas, gobi Manchurian, and a lot of laughs with barkeep Jeff was the perfect start to our evening!

    Yep, though we didn't imbibe (it was lunch), the tap list seems to have remained solid, so a few pours and a meal elsewhere seems like the perfect way to approach Pub Royale.

    =R=
    There are many things that are legal that are not a great idea --Nick Shabazz

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #40 - August 23rd, 2018, 9:50 pm
    Post #40 - August 23rd, 2018, 9:50 pm Post #40 - August 23rd, 2018, 9:50 pm
    Also had mixed experiences with Pub Royale, and now have a hypothesis after reading ronnie_suburban and BR’s experiences.

    The two good meals were at primetime, both on Friday evening I believe. Yes, they were closer to opening, making it more difficult to test this theory, but those visits reflect the Pub Royale experiences described in BR’s posts.

    Conversely, when Pub Royale has served up some pretty bad renditions of previously great gobi manchurian & indelicately fried samoas, I’ve just now noticed it was late on a weeknight and on a very slow Sunday.

    This isn’t an excuse; in fact, most would probably agree it’s more frustrating than if it just weren’t that good in the first place (or if it really could be written off as just as beer spot). Will have to see after a time or two more whether the theory fits and how that reflects on Heisler in addition to just Pub Royale. As they grow, wouldn’t be unheard of for quality to slip and undercut the expansion of their group if inconsistency reigns after the aforementioned described “A-team” moves out.
  • Post #41 - August 23rd, 2018, 10:45 pm
    Post #41 - August 23rd, 2018, 10:45 pm Post #41 - August 23rd, 2018, 10:45 pm
    LVGamer wrote:The two good meals were at primetime, both on Friday evening I believe.

    Not specific to Pub Royale, I think this is true of many places -- that they're the best when they're at their busiest. In fact, I may have even started a thread about it in the past because I frequent a handful of places that definitely fall into that category. In any event, I'm the one who started this thread, so you know I was a big fan of Pub Royale when it first opened but now, it just feels like something significant has changed. I won't be testing the better-when-busier theory there, though, because the thought of going out to that location on a Friday or Saturday evening is not appealing in the least. If I'm at a restaurant on a weekend evening (or at a bar after 8 pm on a weekend), it probably means I lost a bet. :lol:

    =R=
    There are many things that are legal that are not a great idea --Nick Shabazz

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #42 - August 24th, 2018, 9:57 am
    Post #42 - August 24th, 2018, 9:57 am Post #42 - August 24th, 2018, 9:57 am
    We have had dinner on the patio three times since late spring/early summer. The first time (maybe May?) was awesome. The next two times not so much and not in a huge hurry to return. All three visits were on weeknights.
  • Post #43 - November 30th, 2019, 3:34 pm
    Post #43 - November 30th, 2019, 3:34 pm Post #43 - November 30th, 2019, 3:34 pm
    Hey, IB, I don’t know if the intervening three years have softened your heart, but you may want to give this place another shot. The eggplant biryani I had here the other day definitely didn’t lack for flavor (and despite the name, I think there’s more maitakes than eggplant in it). Very satisfying dish, and a pretty hearty portion — no, not as big as you’ll get on Devon, but plenty filling nonetheless.
  • Post #44 - December 3rd, 2019, 10:01 am
    Post #44 - December 3rd, 2019, 10:01 am Post #44 - December 3rd, 2019, 10:01 am
    cilantro wrote:Hey, IB, I don’t know if the intervening three years have softened your heart, but you may want to give this place another shot. The eggplant biryani I had here the other day definitely didn’t lack for flavor (and despite the name, I think there’s more maitakes than eggplant in it). Very satisfying dish, and a pretty hearty portion — no, not as big as you’ll get on Devon, but plenty filling nonetheless.


    Thanks, Cilantro! But no thanks on Pub Royale. It wasn't just the food though. The service was rude to the point of me almost walking out. :(
    The art of living well and art of dying well are one. ---Epicurus
  • Post #45 - December 3rd, 2019, 1:01 pm
    Post #45 - December 3rd, 2019, 1:01 pm Post #45 - December 3rd, 2019, 1:01 pm
    Indianbadger wrote:
    Thanks, Cilantro! But no thanks on Pub Royale. It wasn't just the food though. The service was rude to the point of me almost walking out. :(

    Totally get it — our previous experience several years ago was similarly disappointing. It was late, the place was packed, loud, and stupid; the food was probably okay but certainly not memorable; the service wasn’t rude but definitely indifferent, and the capper was us placing a dessert order, then waiting... and waiting... for what I timed at around one hour (we weren’t charged for it).

    This time, we were there around dinner time, everyone seemed to be there for the food, and our waiter was extremely efficient and professional. And that biryani sure was good.
  • Post #46 - December 3rd, 2019, 1:44 pm
    Post #46 - December 3rd, 2019, 1:44 pm Post #46 - December 3rd, 2019, 1:44 pm
    cilantro wrote:
    Indianbadger wrote:
    Thanks, Cilantro! But no thanks on Pub Royale. It wasn't just the food though. The service was rude to the point of me almost walking out. :(

    Totally get it — our previous experience several years ago was similarly disappointing. It was late, the place was packed, loud, and stupid; the food was probably okay but certainly not memorable; the service wasn’t rude but definitely indifferent, and the capper was us placing a dessert order, then waiting... and waiting... for what I timed at around one hour (we weren’t charged for it).

    This time, we were there around dinner time, everyone seemed to be there for the food, and our waiter was extremely efficient and professional. And that biryani sure was good.


    There is a very good reason why certain food critics and services such as Michelin go to places multiple times before deciding on them.

    Nothing wrong with writing off a place after 1 visit. However, a good business will adjust its inefficiencies, so I personally like to give places another try if I'm tipped off to it getting better. There is an Indian eatery near my office that for a long time was not good. We all swore it off. Then my coworker (from India) told us they got new cooks and it's way better. We all swore it off but said screw it and sure enough it was actually good.

    I think its easy to write off places but I personally like to try places we had just OK experiences at a bit later to see if they made an effort to improve or maybe that one time was just a fluke.
    2019 Chicago Food Business License Issuances Map: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1AGfUU ... sp=sharing

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