As I drove into Chicago, I was already listing the places I wanted to stop and eat. But, upon arriving, immediately fell back on a few late-night favorites. A short step from a great AirBnB was Parson’s Chicken and Fish. The fried chicken got me in the door the first time, the Negroni slushies and frozen cocktail list kept me coming back for more. A michelada, negroni slushie, fried chicken, fried fish and hush puppies to kick off the visit? Damn right.
While it may look like Parson’s is a vintage walk- up diner from the south, it sources locally and has a seriously hip vibe only Logan Square and Humboldt Boulevard on Chicago’s west side can provide. Grilled Amish Chicken with rum, habanero and spices, Pimento Toast with cornichon vinaigrette, Patio Pasta Salad #2 with lemon aioli and mint. It’s all approachable, just a lot fucking cooler than it is at your grandma’s house.
As we brainstormed our next stop circa midnight, another late-night favorite came to mind: The Boiler Room. The Boiler Room is a standby to show off to all of our friends and visitors because, well, where do I start? First, PB&J’s. Slice of pizza, PBR tall boy and Jameson shots for $8.50 tips the top of Best Deals in Chicago. Not only does the paper thin pizza have that smokey, fired crust but it’s topped with a bevvy of delicious options. As I look at their site now, I can’t help but dream about their “Special Slice” tonight- an alfredo sauce and house blend cheese, with tomato, red onion, bacon, and pumpkin threads tossed in a sweet chili sauce. Second, with the sound of the El train playing in the bathrooms (check them out), and outside the restaurant, don’t be too distracted and miss the boozy soft serve. It changes frequently but flavors like vanilla jameson, or vanilla mango-schino with citadelle gin is what you can expect to find. Finally, the decor. If you can look up from your delicious food, take in every detail around you. I’m normally geeking out about how much I love the random projections of movies, or nature videos behind the bar, to remember. Or could it be the shots of Jameson?
As we left the bar for a nightcap, we hadn’t yet realized that these multiple meals and cocktails were just the beginning. Like stretching before a workout so you don’t hurt yourself, eating fried chicken and giardiniera washed down with Jameson shots was just getting us warmed up.