Restaurant review: the Handlebar in Chicago! »
I’m going to Chicago next week and I couldn’t be more excited! I’m exhausted and the daily grind is killing me. It’s time for a break in lovely, humid Chicago! Instead of Muni, there will be CTA! Instead of AT&T Park, there will be Wrigley Field! Instead of Bottom of the Hill, there will be The Hideout! Instead of freezing Ocean Beach, there will be the Michigan Lakefront! Next Friday cannot come soon enough and though there are many things I am looking forward to, going to The Handlebar is at the top of my list. I love that place so much.
The Handlebar is a hip little restaurant, located in Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood. When I say hip, I mean it’s usually swarmed with bike messengers and hipsters, but that is okay with me, because they are quite an attractive demographic of people. I do enjoy eating with both my eyes and taste buds. Don’t let me forget the fetching* waitstaff, with their creative haircuts and tattoo sleeves. Speaking of waitstaff, I’m just gonna gloss over this part as best as possible—don’t go to The Handlebar if you are in a rush. Enjoy yourself. Bring something to read if you are alone; there may be a little wait between those pints or coffee refills.
Tattooed servers, bike messengers, hipsters and vegan food, I’m COMING. I can’t wait! In the meantime, let’s you and I look at pictures from my recent trip in January. Fun. (Please forgive the incredibly bright flash, the lighting was just atrocious—oh, those dark winter nights.)
Hush puppies with tartar sauce. Yes it’s vegan! Unbelievable!
Samosas with tamarind chutney.
This is the Buffalo “Chicken” Wrap with collard greens, and the only dish I ever order. I am a creature of habit. I just want it all the time. You understand, right? It’s spicy and creamy—it’s bliss. The wrap my dreams are made of.
The Handlebar has a smallish menu, with many vegan options. Everything they do is done to perfection. This is going to sound totally crazy, and I know it, but they make the most delicious samosas I’ve ever had. Is that blasphemy, considering it’s not an Indian food joint? Anyway, the chutney that comes with them—SUPERB. Their seitan? So tender and scrumptious. Their beer selection? Awesome and varied. When I was missing Humboldt, I needed to look no further than The Handlebar, as they have Lost Coast Brewery beers on tap.
Handlebar, I love you, I miss you, and I cannot wait for us to be reunited.
*Daaaang, have you been working out? You look really great. Doing anything this weekend?
Boy meets girl, girl turns out to be a vegan hipster. I’m actually not a fan of making fun of hipsters, mostly because it seems like a sport in which only hipsters indulge. It’s like that Stuff White People Like blog: Only white people care so much about stuff white people like. Like, why don’t you go jerk off in front of the mirror.
What I do like though is how famous vegans are. We are the THE go-to minority now when you want an example of someone totally crazy! “Like, VEGAN-crazy!” Every TV show I watch mentions vegans now. Like in that new show with Christina Applegate (she fucking rules, BTdubs) [Ed.: I object! She was amazing as Kelly Bundy and I’ll give you Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead but other than that: NOPE. I’d say more but I’d definitely be extremely offensive and unpleasant and also make some stupid easy joke about how blondes are blonde.- Laura] [Megan note: sorry dude, The Sweetest Thing is a quality film!], she says her cool new neighbors are probably vegans. And on this other show this guy was all, “I’d rather date a vegan than do that.” And really just everywhere!
I actually don’t know any hipster vegans though; most of the hipsters I know are of the OMG BACON variety. My sister’s most hipstery friend even just sent me a Facebook invite to a pig roast. Don’t worry, it’s totes free-range, for sure.