There are many places to eat in downtown Chicago and in the heart of River North, they range anywhere from the upscale bistros of the five star hotels to McDonalds and Chick Fil A. It depends on what you want to eat, but most out of towners prefer to find places where they can find familiar dishes they can find back home. For us “Chicago” ers, we just would like to find a place to unwind after a day’s work or have a casual business meeting. One of these cozy places is just steps away from the world-famous Peninsula Hotel. My apologies to those folks at the Shanghai Terrace, but if I was a guest at the Peninsula, I would order up some wings and a sandwich from Jake Melnick’s Corner Tap. Good food and good fun that is just steps away from the Mag Mile. Just recently, the gang at Jake’s invited us to try some of their faves. Needless to say when were at the two trade shows at McCormick Place , we couldn’t stop talking about the food .
I like Jake’s because you get just plain good food. No fancy restaurant portions or spices are served. They use meat and plenty of it. It’s got wings, it’s got salad, and it ‘s got just plain old killer portions that you can take home. One of their specialties is their craft beers and bars. Lots of people just like to come in for a drink or to watch whatever team in playing that night. In a town filled with sports teams, that isn’t hard to do. But along with the sports, the food is the star.
We started the meal with some yummy appys, the pig skins were huge and filled with all the good stuff. They were cheesy and filled with delicious pulled pork. The potatoes were crispy and there was plenty to go around. But you can’t call a restaurant a sports bar without talking wings. One of their stars , is definitely Jake’s wings. In fact, Jake has won prizes for their wings and their sauces. They range from the super hot to a mild one. My personal faves were the PB and J and the Fajita Chicken. The PB and J reminded me of pad thai that mixed well with the raspberry chipotle jelly. The fajita wing was grilled and marinated with a saucy tequila sauce and served with cilantro. It was truly an original .
It was time to move on to the entrees. Jen is a longtime cheese freak, so she had to have the Big Cheese as well as the Homestyle Baked Mac and Cheese. It was cheesealiicous , the cheese was creamy and the cheeses were a good blend. When they say “Big Cheese, they mean it. The cheese was melted between two pieces of Texas toast and paired with a delicious tomato basil soup dusted with parmesan. I am the BBQ fanatic so I indulged into the triple play combo. It was pure meaty heaven covered with Jake’s BBQ sauce. I also am now addicted to the fries as well. With so many sauces, I had a lot of choices to dip my fries in. I chose the homemade ranch. I also tried the sweet taste of firecracker with its yummy sweet chili and sriracha . Finally, I also had to try the French Onion burger for May. After all, May is Burger month. It was everything I liked in a burger , swiss cheese carmelized onions, and put them on a ciabatta bun.
The piece a resistance was a Jake’s fave, their world famous fried oreos. The oreos are dipped in pancake batter served with vanilla ice cream and drizzled with chocolate sauce. Yummmski. If you want to enjoy eating and have some for the next day, come to 41 East Superior to the one and only Jake Melnick’s Corner Tap.