Commonwealth Tavern: Mediocre food, mediocre presidents, and the wrong hockey game | Bleader

Monday, May 5, 2014

Commonwealth Tavern: Mediocre food, mediocre presidents, and the wrong hockey game

Posted By on 05.05.14 at 03:14 PM

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The amazing $9 plate of mac n cheese bites
The Commonwealth Tavern in Roscoe Village is loud, and there aren't enough tables or chairs. The decor is minimal: a lot of framed letters and proclamations from the less impressive U.S. presidents—James Buchanan, Herbert Hoover—line the walls.

The service is slow. The food is overpriced, sometimes ridiculously so: for $9 you get just five mac 'n' cheese bites, a customer favorite (at least according to the menu). The shrimp tacos were clearly the work of a gringo—Kevin Church, formerly of Owen & Engine—and had a strange, grainy texture besides. The steak, which came smothered in caramelized onions, was tasty, if a little chewy. The meal left a lingering aftertaste that needed to be washed out with lots of water.

None of this bothered the crowd that showed up last Friday night to watch the hockey game. (Need I say which hockey game?) There were plenty of big TVs with clear sightlines. However, they were all tuned to NBCSN, which did not switch over to the Blackhawks-Wild game after the Rangers and Penguins went into overtime.

Through the windows, the Commonwealth clientele could see that the Riverview Tavern across the street had found the Hawks. If the beer list hadn't been so extensive, there might have been a revolt. As it was, there has never been a crowd in Chicago that cheered so loudly for a New York Rangers victory.

Commonwealth Tavern, 2000 W. Roscoe, 773-697-7965,

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