Monday, June 4, 2007

Moody's Pub

Moody's Pub
5910 N Broadway
773-275-2696


So, as far as CBP is concerned, I’m a blogger, not a journalist, and I don’t aspire to impartiality. Adam and I come with a combined half-century’s worth of culinary prejudices, and there’s simply no way to eliminate them, but I think we do a decent-enough job of making it clear where we’re coming from.

Thus, disclosure: Moody's inspires a sentimentality in me that few other restaurants could...it's pretty much idiosychracy-themed restaurant, or a vision of what "family dining" would look like if Arthur Treacher had been able to outlast TGI Friday's. The building itself looks like some kind of conceptual Levittown Elks lodge. The dining room is almost unimaginably dark, crammed full of heavy wood tables and chairs. There are fireplaces in several corners that remain operational year-round, and everything is covered with a patina thirty years of aerosolized beef fat.* A massive multi-tiered beer garden/patio provides the corresponding yang, picnic tables shaded by a picturesque tree canopy. In a word: marvelous. Summer, Chicago, and Moody's beer garden are inextricbibly intertwined.

As you might expect, Moody's menu is heavy on the grilled and the fried. No aspect of it is extensive. Moody's only serves four beers (Michelob, Beck's, Berghoff Dark, and Anchor Steam---just try to find a bar with Anchor Steam on tap, let alone at $9 a pitcher). Also available are various wines, sangria (pretty decent), and several weird signature drinks with names like "Jaker's Mark" and "Moody Dot Com" (not actually the URL for Moody's website, which is, instead, http://www.moodyspub.com). The consensus seems to be that these are okay, if a little weird. Moody's has been known to serve the world's worst Long Island Ice Tea.

Okay, so: the burger, as I usually eat it, topped with a creamy bleu cheese sauce ("The Moody Blue"...ha).

Moody's Pub

You've got a pretty standard 1/2 lb. hamburger patty of respectable, but not remarkable quality that may or may not come pre-formed from a vendor. Not a bad thing in and of itself, but it really requires some careful cooking, which didn't really happen this time (CBP confederates ordered burgers ranging from medium-rare to medium-well, and from what I could tell, everyone received a medium). Correspondent Aaron Blazer ordered a bacon cheeseburger, which arrived without bacon. He was then served a cup of cold bacon, resulting in this:

Moody's Pub

Weird. The buns are really too soft to handle this burger, and they tend to disintegrate. The fries photograph well, but are pretty average.

None of this seems very compelling, but here are two things to consider:

a) Your enjoyment of Moody's hamburger is directly correlated with your hunger/inebriation levels, which skew higher than normal at Moody's. Shlepping all the way up to Uptown can do wonders for the appetite, and with beer this cheap, it's hard to resist the urge to toss back a few, and then a few more. Even Flash Taco tastes pretty good when one's in a certain way, and by all yardsticks, Moody's is much better than that.

b) Moody's website, which languished for years, has been recently revamped, and a long-dead link to a 2-for-1 coupon has been restored. With this coupon, you're looking at a dinner of two burgers, a pitcher of Anchor Steam, and a 25% tip for $20 (before tax). That's a PHENOMENAL deal that easily outhustles most of Time Out's cheap-burger deals with all of their conditions and exceptions.

Moody's claims to have won "Best Burger" at various times from the Tribune, the Sun-Times, and Chicago Magazine...long forgotten issues, I'm sure, but if Kuma's, That's-A-Burger, and Rosebud weren't around, maybe Moody's WOULD be the best burger in Chicago. These are heady days.

*Description credit: Eric Porges, who's been saying this from day 1.

23 comments:

artemiskemp said...

Plus, if you go to Moody's, Tom Katers might break out his "Dr. Cosby."

Kirsten said...

For some reason, Moody's dispenses with sliced tomatoes. Last time I was there and asked for some, they acted like it was some alien burger topping.

Tony Ritz said...

"The Bullfighter," one of aforementioned specialty drinks is really incredible. I've never had the bite of tequilla melt into the sugary aftertaste of cranberry so readily-not that I ever had tried. The bacon in a cup is sad and the onion rings were a major letdown; "but Moody's is about the experience," they all cried!

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Melinda said...

This is perfect, I've heard they have an excellent express service, I didn't know they had relation with Viagra Online, it consists if you buy a burger and a taco you'll get a box of products of that company.

Andrew said...

Awesome post! Used a quote of yours in my new "summer" blog post... http://chicagorants.wordpress.com/2011/05/26/to-do-this-weekend-in-chicago-italian-ice-outside-dining-live-music/

Andrew said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
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