United States > Illinois > Chicago
emerge077 (129) RIP Johnnies, Chicago, Illinois | March 12, 2014
74 AMBIANCE 3/5 SERVICE 8/10 SELECTION 10/15 FOOD 8/10 VALUE 4/10 OVERALL 16/20
When Frietkoten opened a few years back, it was hard to classify for Beerfly, it’s essentially a market stall in a train station. However they serve Belgian beer on tap and carry around 50 bottles. Modeled after street vendors in Belgium, this pomme frites stand brings that traditional Belgian flair to Chicago.
When they opened, their house taps were DuPont Avril and Cuvée des Trolls, currently they serve two Belgian-style beers from the US, Allagash White and Prairie Path on draft. Bottle highlights included Tripel Karmeleit, Witkap Pater and Tripel, Dupont, Paulaner Oktoberfest, and an obscure hoppy Belgian pale I’ve never heard of. American crafts like Metro Krankshaft, Cane & Ebel, and Lagunitas were nods to the local craft scene. A fair amount of Dutch & Belgian macros rounded it out (Amstel, Heineken, Stella). For a pomme frites stand, this is a great selection, though it could use more Orval, saisons, or Trappists. I think the idea was to serve more light food-friendly beer.
The stand is decorated with laminated Belgian beer posters, Witkap, Dupont, and the like. A couple of small binders listed beer styles and BA scores which was a nice touch.
Frites here are great, Steve Dolinsky claims they’re top 5 in the city. They’re served up hot in a checkered paper cone in a wire stand, with a number of dipping options, but the aioli and curry mayo are the best. They also serve a short list of creative burgers. Service was quick and friendly.
Overall this is a fun stop if you’re riding the metra out of Oglvie. Pastoral is also located here and they serve a few bottled crafts to-go along with hard to find cheeses.
DrnkMcDermott (89) Downers Grove, Illinois | January 8, 2013| Updated April 23, 2013
66 AMBIANCE 2/5 SERVICE 6/10 SELECTION 11/15 FOOD 8/10 VALUE 8/10 OVERALL 14/20
Located in the French Market beneath the Ogilve Transportation Center (Metra station). That has to cut back on the Ambiance rating. But it’s a little stand with cones of yummy Belgian frites (French fries to you). They also have a small menu of burgers served on brioches, at at reasonable $8, with a $10 special on a burger plus a draft beer. Yes, there are two taps at this place. But the true bonanza is the selection of bottled beers. Many Belgian and other European labels like Urthel, Konigshaven, Timmermans, and so forth, and a well represented list of American craft… plus the usual tall boys of Bud Light for the tourists. And yes, I got some fries with a $2 can of Presidente because it I was on the cheap and this was the only beer I was certain I hadn’t rated yet. They also have a long list of special condiments to buy for your cone of fries, or just the dispensers of catsup, two mustards, and various hot sauces and malt vinegars. Having cheap beers makes this the best beer oasis in any Chicago terminus since they closed the little bar at the Electric’s Randolph St. Station that featured Point on tap.
Update, April 23, 2013. The Burger, Fries & Beer special is now $11, Mon-Wed. But I tried their Bleu Cheese burger (with an Allagash White) and it was totally excellent. Kind of a smoky flavor, though the server told me they simply grilled it.
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