mknisl1 | Chicago Reader

Recent Reviews

Re: “Celtic Crown

this new venture from ala carte entertainment (alumni club, the apartment, etc) is a bustling bar with above average bar food that is very reasonably priced and needs only find it's stride with service to be an exemplary public house. have already made several visits and will be back for more. the bar itself has plenty of distractions in the form of tv's with sports and pool. the electronic jukebox is like a big ipod on the wall. drink specials every night make it easy on the wallet. what sets it apart and warrants return visits is the food. they have very reasonably priced daily specials as well as the regular menu. appetizers top out at $5 with most at the $3 level. the portion size is excellent--you have enough to have your hunger quenched without being overfed. the guinness battered shrimp are excellent, as are the accompanying spicy cocktail sauce and curry mayonnaise. their burgers are substantial and tasty and are on special for $1 on mondays ($2 if you opt for deluxe with cheese, lettuce, and tomato). fries are good, as is the option to substitute tater tots. good selection of domestic and import brews on draft, and $2.50 will get you a guinness, bass, or black and tan on thursdays. the only drawback is the service. perhaps the servers are too hindered by their tacky tight-shirt/short-skirt uniforms to provide speedy service. i've been there at both busy and not-so-busy times and this seems to be a common theme. they're nice enough, i suppose, but really slow. in addition to the main bar, there are quieter, smaller bar areas on two other levels. overall, a fun pub with above average food and great food/drink specials. go check it out!

Posted by Michael Knisley on 04/15/2003 at 4:39 PM

Re: “Yes Thai

while the walls are bright, the food fails to match. the spring roll was decent, nothing special. one nice thing about it was that it wasn't overwhelmed with bean sprouts. the broccoli with tofu in "special yes sauce" just wasn't all that special. the broccoli was fresh enough. but it all came in a veritable ocean of dark yellow with an off-putting semi-solid consistency. it even came with a soup spoon. at first i wondered why that was sent out, but there was just so much sauce on the plate, perhaps they wanted me to eat it all. other than ginger, not much flavor came through and i did not put that spoon to good use. will perhaps go back to see what they do with the standards like pad thai, but will try other places first.

Posted by Michael Knisley on 04/15/2003 at 4:25 PM

Re: “Las Mananitas

have been to las mananitas several times, most recently yesterday. i want to like it more, based on the food, but just can't. it remains a place that i go when i want outdoor seating with a lively street scene and good margaritas on a summer day. the food just never seems all that fresh. nothing rotten, mind you. just not the freshest. the salsa they serve is not that good either, with a brownish color and spice so overwhelming that you get no tomato or cilantro or onion flavor whatsoever. the quesadillas were a very small portion and filled with VERY greasy cheese that had formed a gelatinous lump before it even got to my stomach. i think the problem was that there was just way too much of the cheese. other dishes i've had in the past always seem to have some problem with proportions too--too much, too little, to dry, etc. the margaritas, however, are wonderfully potent and well worth the trip. just don't plan on eating there. oh, a note on the service...this varies considerably. some are very good, others are downright rude. yesterday, our waiter disappeared and another started coming to take care of us. after multiple visits from the new waiter, assuming he was now our waiter, i asked him to bring another glass for a friend who joined us. as he was walking away, he very clearly said "why don't you ask your own **!@#! waiter". shortly thereafter, the original waiter did come back with no explanation of that event.

Posted by Michael Knisley on 04/15/2003 at 4:15 PM

Re: “Mickey's Bar & Patio

went to mickey's yesterday on a whim since it was so nice and they have plentiful outdoor seating. after our waitress found us (we moved after sitting down, which the host was aware of but apparently didn't tell the waitress), things got much better. we split the chicken quesadillas and had a couple of beers. the quesadillas were surprisingly good--crispy on the outside with plenty of chicken and a not-overwhelming quantity of monterrey jack cheese. the pico de gallo was a little to dry, making it hard to get it to stay on the quesadilla as you tried to eat it. the menu is mainly light, snacky things like that. fries, some sandwiches, etc. if you want a laid-back place with outdoor seating, it's a decent option.

Posted by Michael Knisley on 04/15/2003 at 4:03 PM

Re: “Noodle Zone

this place does a decent job with the standard pan-asian noodle shop fare. have been several times, both eating in and carry-out. have not been disappointed, but also nothing to write home about. it's good as a quick, cheap option in andersonville. the food has been fresh and portions are reasonably sized. service is always friendly. nothing bad to say about it.

Posted by michael knisley on 03/10/2003 at 10:19 PM

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