The Reader says…

reader-better-barfoodHoliday Club
4000 N. Sheridan, Chicago, (773) 348-9600.
Bar/Lounge, American, Pizza. Dinner: seven days. Sunday brunch.
Open late: Saturday till 3, other nights till 2.

It’s not often that you get pine nuts on a salad in a bar, but there they were on top of a generous portion of mixed greens with a balsamic vinaigrette. And that was just half the plate: on the other side were two thick slices of very tasty meat loaf and a healthy scoop of homemade mashed potatoes and gravy–all for $5 as a Wednesday special? You gotta be kidding me. Never mind the “swingers” (as in Rat Pack) theme; this friendly, unpretentious place attracts all types. On the night I visited I sat next to a Serbo-Croatian woman who was zestfully wolfing down quesadillas. “It’s the homemade salsa,” she said. “I can’t get enough of it.” On my left were a couple guys sharing a bucket of “grenades,” those silly-looking miniature bottles of beer; next to her was an Irish guy who wound up being bounced when he grew drunkenly belligerent. He should have shut up and helped share his neighbor’s nachos, an imposingly large heap. Other appetizers include calamari, cheese and gravy fries, and mac ‘n’ cheese; in addition to sandwiches, a burger, and wraps, there are specialty pizzas–pesto, a margherita, barbecue chicken. Sealing the deal, the barkeeps make a mean manhattan.
–Kate Schmidt

Friendly, unpretentious bar offering surprisingly good food at great value. Not yet rated. Published in The Reader.