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SAVOR: Porkchop; Uncommon Ground's honor
DISH Weekly Dining Guide in Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2011-12-21

This article shared 2722 times since Wed Dec 21, 2011
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Porkchop, 941 W. Randolph St., certainly makes an impression.

When you walk in, you can't help but notice certain items, including a "curtain" of rusty saws, the mason-jar lights and the deer head. There are also utensil-filled mason jars on the tables and rolls of those paper towels you usually find in restrooms.The restaurant's Dominique Bellamy said that the decor of the restaurant, which opened in May, was meant to invoke a "farmhouse" feel.

Got it? Got it. The decor is not "mainstream," but how about the food and libations? Well, I have good news and bad news.

The drink choices are interesting; most of the mixed-drink offerings seemed to revolve around bourbon, which is fine if you're into that. That being said, said choices do seem to fit in with the vibe of the place. I had a standard lemonade, which was pretty good.

My dining partner and I then received a sampling of various items. ( Curiously, despite the restaurant's name, we weren't given pork chops. ) The items including fried pickles ( serviceable ) as well as pulled-pork and chicken sliders, which were solid.

We also received what Bellamy said was the restaurant's award-winning fried chicken. I thought it was pretty good. However, it was probably the most healthful fried chicken I'd ever consumed because it was hardly salted. I enjoyed that, but I could see a lot of people reaching for salt shakers as if they were lifelines.

The best item was at the end, when we ( OK, my eating partner ) consumed the Maker root-beer float ( vanilla ice cream with a shot of Maker's Mark bourbon ) . I had a spoonful, and I had to agree with him that it was sublime. Other items on the menu range from mac 'n cheese to baby back ribs to spicy catfish.

Unfortunately, I can't comment on the service—which has received mixed reviews from others—because we were the only diners there. ( To be fair, I'm sure being there on a weekday afternoon had something to do with that. )

Porkchop also hosts music nights, but ( in keeping with the decor ) don't expect Lady Gaga tunes. The bands play everything from heavy metal to blues.

Diners are guaranteed an interesting time at Porkchop. However, like any adventure, there may be ups and downs.

Photos by Andrew Davis

Uncommon Ground's honor

Chicago's North Side Uncommon Ground, 1401 W. Devon Ave., has been named the "Greenest Restaurant in the Country."

On Dec. 13, Mayor Emanuel's office, the Green Restaurant Association and the Green Chicago Restaurant Coalition celebrated with Uncommon Ground for implementing 116 environmental steps making them a 4 Star Certified Green Restaurant in 2011.

In a statement released before the event, Emanuel said, "I'm proud to have in our City of Chicago the greenest restaurant in the country. Uncommon Ground is a great example of what our city can do and what our country can do, use water and energy more efficiently [ and ] grow more sustainable food, while boasting the world's most sustainable businesses."

Among the restaurant's green features are reclaimed wood amenities and the nation's first certified organic rooftop farm.

Among Uncommon Ground's previous honors are receiving the Governor's Sustainability Award ( 2010-11 ) ; winning the Mayor's Landscape Award ( 2009-11 ) ; and garnering the USGBC Environ-motion Award ( 2009 ) .

The restaurant's Lakeview location


This article shared 2722 times since Wed Dec 21, 2011
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