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September 29, 2007


by gastronomicbypass

Location – 444 N. LaSalle (LaSalle and Hubbard)

In one care – Flagrant

Food – I did not really have any expectations for English. The menu was filled with burgers and sandwiches. Not feeling especially hungry, I opted for their mushroom bisque. It was a bit too salty, but all in all, decent. Then I had the English house salad. This was a sad salad. It was one of those that sounded good on paper, but in practice failed miserably. The lettuce seemed a bit off and the waffled carrots were not crisp. If I go back, I will try something more substantial (and perhaps fresh?) and see if I am impressed.

Drink – The place is more a bar than a restaurant. I had their tea cup (vodka, iced tea and lemonade), I liked it. The specialty drinks fit somewhere between an English pub and an East Coast clam bake.

Service – Totally ridiculous! Hear me out: I have an allergy to walnuts. I usually do not like to mention this allergy at a restaurant because the staff gets overly sensitive.  They know if I have a reaction when I have already told them my allergy, they’re going to get sued. Well, the salad had a walnut dressing, so I needed another option. I told our waitress about the allergy, so she noted that I was going to take the cucumber ranch dressing instead. The person who served our salads (different than our waitress) seemed semi-sure that my salad had no walnuts. I have an allergy, I wanted him to be sure. I asked our waitress, she said “Try it and if it’s the walnut dressing, we’ll get you a new salad.” EXCUSE ME? I told you I have an allergy and you’re telling me to test the dressing? Let’s see if you puff up into a balloon and then we’ll give you the right salad. I was appalled. You could not have asked for a more flagrant mistake in the dining business.

Occasion – Food and service aside, the place is kind of cool. There are three floors. The decor is dark and understated. If nothing else, the clientele is pretty attractive. Note that this place is loud. I felt like I was shouting the whole time. However, this might mean it would be a nice place for a party. Just make sure you eat first.

Attire – I was feeling casual, so I wore jeans. That was perfectly fine, but I did see some in their suits from work and some cute “must wear this before summer ends” dresses.

Cost – I spent $19 for soup, salad and a drink. I did not feel like this was a bargain, but I would not say it’s completely overpriced.

If you like, try…Sidebar, Elephant and Castle


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