My advice? Get the dry rubbed ribs and the smoking thighs and a couple beers. Those were the highlights of the 4 dinners we ordered. Still, it's a fun place for a drink, and there are some things they do very well.
Insanely popular and worth the trip
The wait can be likewise insane (we waited 2 hours). My suggestion: Wake up, eat breakfast, then send one person to put your name in. If the wait's a half hour, join them. If it's not, judge appropriately. We were told 90 minutes and it took over 2 hours. TAKE THIS INTO CONSIDERATION IF YOU ARE TAKING KIDS. There are some distractions there, but not 2 hours worth.
The food is fantastic, but if you're overly hungry from waiting to have your first meal there, it clouds your enjoyment.
I had the biscuits and t he biscuit sandwich platter and just about licked the plate.
This place is fantastic. The burgers and fries are top notch and the beer list is great. I'm dying to go back and have some sausages. I'd skip the sodas, though. we had their cream soda and it was a total miss.
Atmosphere is great. Prices are more than fair. USA.
This place is a true gem. It's tiny, but there was a steady stream of GrubHub deliveries t he whole time I sat there and I'm sure it's a big part of their business. The burger (for me, the fatcheezy) destroyed the spot.
It was cooked perfectly medium, coated in melted cheddar and on a buttered and grilled potato bun. Fries were excellent. It cost me $12.71 and 15 minutes of my time.
It ranks up there with some of the best. See my burgers list for where it lies.
Also, go there now.
We were taken to Chicago Cut Steakhouse for lunch. A colleague and I split the burger and steak sandwich. Pure dynamite. Other diners at our table had salads, and though they looked excellent, I couldn't bring myself to get a salad at a steakhouse. Sandwiches on the other hand... The ribeye sandwich was outstanding. Next time I get it, I may order it without the mushrooms. Don't get me wrong, they were very good, but the steak was great as well, and I really wanted to taste that more.
The burger was significantly more flavorful. It was charred on the outside and perfectly medium rare as ordered on the inside. I wanted to order a second one.
Fries were good as the side, and they gave me too many to finish. Definitely ranks on my burger list.
We opened with a field greens salad. It was tasty but HUGE. Enough to split if you're treating it like a side or appetizer.
Service was exceptional. You have a main waiter and they all seem to take care of each other and help each other out. As a concrete example, they all wore these really cool Chicago Flag pins. As I was leaving a guy (one of the managing partners it turns out) was holding the door for us. I asked him where they got the pins and he explained that the mayor had given them to the whole staff. At which point he took his off and gave it to me. I protested, but he insisted, and forged himself a patron for life.
In Chicago, reputable Steakhouses are plenty. It takes something special to set yourself apart. It seems that's just what Chicago Cut has done.
Yelp is really a great game of averages. Once you get enough reviews on a place to push past the handful of family and friends who will 5-star a place and the handful of people who hate a place because of how a cashier made eye contact with them, it's truly a useful tool.
As of this writing, Yelp gives Pei Wei a 3.5 star review. That's right on t he money. If you like PF Chang's food, but don't like the waits, this is the place to go. The menu has very few direct matches, but the dishes are all similar and all taste like they came out of a PF Chang's kitchen.Entrees are like 7-10 each and kids meals are like $4. They have the coke machine of the future as well which is a plus for me.
Take your typical Chicago bar. Lots of TVs, plus bar and Bar Food, then PERFECT it. Benchwarmers definitely feels like a neighborhood bar, but it sets itself far apart in the kitchen. I'd come here for the cheap drinks and friendly bartenders, but I'll go back for the excellent food. Way better than any bar food I've and and SO unexpected. I had the chicken shoestrings because I was a little hungry. They're panko breaded chicken fingers that got me interested in the rest of the menu. That night they were running a special on a pulled pork sandwich and the bartender pitched it at me. I responded I wasn't interested because it was probably frozen. He said they made it all fresh in house and one bite made me a believer. This is my new go-to spot.
I returned to Atz's for the first time since my childhood on a recent trip to Ft. Wayne. It was everything I remembered. My wife and I and our 2 kids had a great diner lunch and ice cream for under $33.
My wife had a fish sandwich special that was outstanding and the kids loved theirs. The ice cream was a clear star. Also, I recommend a vanilla coke to drink #protip.
The staff is attentive and friendly. The place needs some renovation; it looks like they've removed a lot of dividers and just painted over where the joints were.