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The revamped X/O is now a late-night Boys Town mecca, like Sidetrack with bar food.

Our Review

Let's start with the onion rings, something Philip K. Dick might have invented as the perfect drug: each puffy hoop as big as a doughnut and studded with coarse salt, the Bass Ale batter and the onion itself nearly atomizing the moment you bite down. It's exactly what you might want with a night’s worth of alcohol in your bloodstream, and sure enough, Halsted's Bar & Grill has begun to corner the market on Boys Town bar food. The former X/O, which was lively but almost genteel, has been transformed into something resembling Sidetrack with food, complete with overly loud music, a large see-and-be-seen patio in the back jammed with guys (and the occasional girl), and a newly updated video jukebox. If that's your scene, you'll love it. Burgers, sandwiches, and salads (in very hearty portions) are complemented by slightly adventurous variations on old favorites. The meat loaf--a deliciously spicy chorizolike version served with creamy mashed potatoes and green beans--was outstanding, but the Athena pizza suffered under a load of unchopped toppings (feta, asparagus, and cherry tomatoes) piled helter-skelter. Service was attentive, but it's clear the kitchen is beginning to suffer from its own success--it took upwards of 45 minutes for the entrees to appear, and Raters are likewise registering discontent.

Rob Christopher

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Price: $$
Payment Type: American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

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