High Noon Saloon | Wicker Park/Bucktown | Bar, Mexican/Southwestern, Small Plates | Bar
Tex-Mex bar and restaurant in the former People Lounge.

Our Review

Locationwise, High Noon Saloon is extremely close to Big Star; foodwise, they're worlds apart. The menus are similar, sure—queso fundido, guacamole, chips and salsa, tacos, margaritas—but the bar, a redo of the former People Lounge, doesn't come even close to measuring up to the (admittedly high) standard that its wildly popular neighbor has set. A pork tamale managed to be simultaneously dry (the meat) and soggy (the masa); the veggie tamale (goat cheese, poblano pepper, tomato, onion) was distinguishable from the other only by the fact that it was uniformly soggy and had less flavor. Tacos (al pastor, barbacoa chicken, smoked brisket) were more flavorful, but the meat on all of them was a bit tough. Even queso fundido, a dish you'd think impossible to mess up, was one of the blandest bites I'd had in a while, with hard-to-find bits of chorizo and bell peppers standing in for poblanos under a congealed mass of cheese. There were a few sleepers: a salad of mixed greens with jicama, orange, grapefruit, pineapple, and candied pecans in an apricot vinaigrette was outstanding, and churros were equally good, crunchy outside and so creamy and dense inside that I thought for a second that they were filled with custard. And the Saloon offers a very decent selection of draft and bottled beers, including several local ones, plus an extensive whiskey and tequila list. There's also a handful of cocktails, like some very small margaritas. The Aces & Eights (Tanteo cocoa tequila, Averna, raisin cola syrup, lemon, and aromatic bitters) sounded intriguing but was overly sweet; a manhattan made with Templeton Rye was harshly alcoholic, not balanced at all.

Julia Thiel

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Payment Type: MasterCard, Visa, AmEx, Discover

Bar Details

A redo of People Lounge, High Noon Saloon offers a very decent selection of draft and bottled beers (including several local ones), plus an extensive whiskey and tequila list. There's also a handful of cocktails, like some very small margaritas. The Aces & Eights (Tanteo cocoa tequila, Averna, raisin cola syrup, lemon, and aromatic bitters) sounded intriguing but was overly sweet; a manhattan made with Templeton Rye was harshly alcoholic, not balanced at all. —Julia Thiel

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