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Taps: 24 / Bottles: 150
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: N
$$ - reasonable
[ Bar, Eatery ]
4300 N Lincoln Ave
phone: (773) 360-8406
Monday - Wednesday :: 4:30pm - 2am
Thursday - Friday :: 11:30am - 2am
Saturday :: 11:30am - 3am
Sunday :: 11:30am - 2am
Sunday - Thursday @ 11pm
Friday & Saturday @ 1am
(Place added by: joe1510 on 08-11-2009)
Ratings & Reviews
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| Reviews: 37 | Show All Ratings:
vibe: 3.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.5 | $$
Been here a coupe times now...
First time place was packed and very loud (annoyingly loud and bad music)...
Second time was better, was able to sit at bar and actually hear myself think...
Decent tap selection, Chicago staples on tap and other midwest offerings, but varies with some german/belgians as well. Ordered food each time I visited and was not terribly impressed either time.
Would stop in again if in the neighborhood but would not travel out of my way, especially with so many other top tier beer bars in the Chicago area.
01-16-2010 09:17:12 |
More by hawks10
vibe: 1 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 5 | food: 5 | $$
I've been to Bad Apple twice now. The first was, speaking frankly, a pretty disappointing experience.
Bad Apple is clearly not a bar. It has a bar, but it is definitely a restaurant with a bar in it. When you walk in the front door the first thing you see is a bar - low hanging red globed lights, an exposed brick wall and several flatscreen tvs - opposite the bar is about a half-dozen high-sitting tables with stools. They've worked the hardest on this first of three rooms. It's clean, modern, and trying a bit too hard. The room seems to be designed to reflect well off shiny shirts and waxed chests. Not my cup of macho, but it is forgivable.
Unfortunately, the other rooms - the back room and a side game room - have been given much less consideration. Strange layout and cheap furniture force you to take a second look at the front room undoing the rather thin veneer of pretense and paint that may have first fooled you. Bad Apple is just not a warm place, it looks like it might have been decorated by a forty-something day trader redecorating his "man cave" after a divorce. No personality, but a tangible, uncomfortable ache to be liked. But by who?
Our interaction with the staff on our first visit was pretty negative, too. Two of the three people we interacted with were rude even as we went out of our way to be friendly. Fortunately, last night, on my second visit, our waiter was much different. Friendly, attentive, and knowledgeable he helped make me want to repeat our experience.
The music has been pretty terrible both times I've been in there. After enjoying our beers for about 20 minutes last night all the sudden the pretty crummy sound system in the game room started blatting out the Austin Powers theme song - no shit. The rest of the night was a mix of 80's and dub. With the vibe they seem to be going for they should consider hiring a DJ to spin some tasteful, down-tempo beats and help them out with their paper-thin monitors.
The upswing of Bad Apple? Two things. They've got a great beer selection. Last night they had Left Hand Milk-Stout, Great Lakes Dortmunder Gold, Two Brother's Heavy Handed, Founder's exceptional IPA, Goose Island's Matilda, Half Acre's Daisy Cutter, Karmaleit Triple, New Holland's Really Delicious and Surprising Charkoota Ale, One of New Belgium's Lips of Faith series, and several others I can't recall. They had Surly Cynic the first visit there, but, even without Cynic last night, they had their bases well covered. Bad Apple offers a beer menu with all of their beers well described with region, tastes, and ABV listed.
The other upswing? The food we had was amazing. We started with their Montreal Poutine. As far as I know there is only one other establishment in Chicago where you can get Poutine, Small Bar. Small Bar serves their Poutine with sausage gravy. It's an amazing twist on the classic dish, I was curious to see if Bad Apple would follow that lead or go the traditional brown gravy path. I was happy to discover Bad Apple went with the brown gravy, and it was an amazing brown gravy. Seriously, it was so good my we sat there rubbing our fingers through the remaining gravy doing brown gravy nummies until the waiter came and took the smudged plate away. It goes exceptionally well with the Charkoota Rye.
We also took the strong recommendation from our waiter and had the Slow Burn burger. Chili peppers and garlic sauteed throughout the day on top a bacon and white chedder hand packed patty and cooked to order. The bun and burger literally melted in my mouth and, coupled with the delicious pepper saute, covered my mouth in a subtle, but thorough coat of easy warmth that hung around several minutes after each delicious bite. Masterfully made to have heat, but deliver it gently over time and with surprising sustain, dip this wonderful little beast in a just a dab of the table mustard and sit back and let your taste buds coo. Kudo's to our server for recognizing the brilliance of this burger and being able to read his guest's well enough to recommend it.
We also got our hand cut fries covered in truffle oil. It's like an extra $.75 or something menial, but the deep flavor of the truffle just pops on the crispy fries and is an ideal compliment to the burger.
Chicago's Bad Apple, is not without it's flaws, but it's upswing makes passable the bummer atmosphere. If they could get their aesthetic a bit warmer, find comfort in a personality, and lose that offensively dumb apple with the mohawk they could have a really fantastic place. Until then, I will be visiting again to try the goat cheese fondue and their Ebel Weiss ham and swiss, but if they could get their comfort level up they might not ever be able to get me to leave.
Oh, hey, guys, get a freaking website too, eh?
10-14-2009 16:32:43 |
More by OutsidersAlmanac
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
Checking this place out with a few friends early one Saturday evening.
The beer list was very well thought out, with a good variety both on tap and from the beer list. What The Bad Apple Lacks in quantity, it pretty much makes up for in quality. If there's a style you are looking for, chances are it's not only represented, but well represented. I don't need five different Double IPA's as long as the one or two that you have are quality.
The food was also good. I had the beer can chicken sandwich, and my wife had a portobello sandwich, both of which were above average pub fair, better than almost any beer bar food I've had in Chicago, falling short of only Hopleaf and The Publican.
The service was also very friendly and helpful, with an adequate knowledge of both the food and beer items.
The only thing I didn't like about The Bad Apple was the atmosphere. The bar is dark, which would have been totally fine had the only source of light not come from these red globe hanging lights. The end result is a feeling that you and your buddies are hanging out in a darkroom (hopefully that reference won't be lost now that digital cameras are the norm.) The side room, where the shuffleboard, foos, etc were, weren't red, but had the lighting of an office building...not exactly ideal.
The space also seemed a little sparse, I think because they want to be able to accommodate a good sized standing crowd if needed. As the night went on, the music got really loud, to the point where it was hard to hear other people at the table.
All in all, this is for sure a spot I will hit again when I am in the area. Even on a street with several other bars with good beer menus (42 latitude, Glunz) this is a cut above. Once they get over some growing pains, it could truly be top-notch.
10-06-2009 02:41:21 |
More by quinnsi
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
for only being a few weeks old, Bad Apple is already a solid beer bar. a very laid back atmosphere and a decent tap list would be great, but there is also a healthy bottle list and a dining area in back, along with a game room as well.
atmosphere is laid back and low energy (though it may get busy on the weekends), with decor of dark glossed wood and dim lighting. the taps are very season-based, with mostly lighter styles for the late summer. this BA had a Half Acre Daisy Cutter and a Founder's Centennial, both were fresh and tasty. clean conditions and proper-ish glassware.
service is friendly and prompt. can't speak for busy conditions, but during a lax period on a Wednesday night, it was great.
selection is good for a place so young, but still could be improved on in the coming months. around fifteen to twenty taps, with no real focus as far as a brewery or a region. still, a solid lineup.
food is great. the home-cut fries are prefectly cooked, and the burgers are big and juicy. the black & blue burger was excellent!
overall, this place should become more popular as time passes, with the only downfall being that it is a bit removed from the brown line trains and the Lincoln bus stops running mid-evening, but that is only an afterthought.
08-27-2009 17:43:59 |
More by botham
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 5 | selection: 4.5 | food: 4.5 | $$
Beer and burgers- what more could you want!! I was very excited when I saw the menu on the window as the Bad Apple was getting ready to open (particularly the draft beer portion of said menu). This space has housed several different bar/restaurant type spots over the few years I've lived in the neighborhood and I really hope this one sticks!
Upon entering you'll see a long bar on the right side with a couple of flat screens in each corner. on the left are several long tables with high bench seating. my buddy and I took a seat at a long table. the waitress was very quick to come over and take our drink order. I ordered a Founders Centennial IPA first and a Surly Cynic Saison for round 2. both were excellent.
I had a hard time choosing my hamburger- they all sounded so good. In the end I went with the Gonzo Burger- mushrooms glazed in Flying Dog Imperial Porter and served on an english muffin. Excellent choice. And the fries were fantastic- crisp and golden just how I like 'em.
The service was great- our waitress was attentive, friendly and informative. When I mentioned that I live just a block away and would likely be a frequent visitor, she introduced herself and called me by name the rest of the evening. Usually you have to ask a waitress for her name, at least in Chicago, and even after you introduce yourself, they almost never call you by name. Anyway, just a nice little bonus for a neighborhood joint.
Overall, a great new spot in the neighborhood. Good burgers, good beers and friendly service. The Bad Apple will be a regular hang out for me on nights when I just don't feel likely firing up the grill- or if I just need to get out for a good beer with some buddies. Looking forward to the rotation and the possibility of some new beers we don't otherwise get in Chicago.
08-25-2009 17:37:30 |
More by jhoban19
vibe: 4 | quality: 4.25 | service: 4.25 | selection: 4.25 | food: 4.5 | $$$
Stopped in today with BA's d0b and joe1510. The angular bar seats about 20, and had a view of bustling Lincoln Ave. Red globe lamps hung above long tables to one side, and curtains partially obscured the dining room in the back. A hidden game room off to the side past the bar held a pinball machine, foosball table, an old school Galaga Ms. Pac-Man table, and a display of board games. The walls were painted with a tree silhouette mural, and a few interesting stained glass panels in the back. We sat at the bar and had a couple beers.
The selection was solid, with taps that were varied and interesting. Half Acre Daisy Cutter (brewed right across the street) was $4, and GLBC Dortmunder was only $3.50. On the high end was Tripel Karmeleit for $7.50. There were taps from Founders, Surly, Arcadia, also limited ones like New Belgium Dandelion, Goose Fleur, and New Holland Imp. Mad Hatter. Allagash White, Flying Dog Gonzo, 2 Bros. Ebel Weiss, Lindemans Framboise, and Matilda rounded out the list. Bottles were equally solid and varied, nothing too obscure, but they did have La Trappe Isid'or, which i've never heard of. Staples from DFH, Weihenstephaner (including Vitus), GLBC, Founders, maybe 15 Belgians and a handful of UK & German. US Micros were broken down by state of origin.
Service was quick and friendly, they offered tap samples, and water was served in elegant stemmed glassware. There were maybe 15 or more unique branded beer glasses behind the bar too. The owner mentioned the possibility of expanding their tap selection in the future. Joe's burger looked killer, and i'll definitely be returning for some beer-infused cuisine soon. With the opening of Half Acre's tap room on the horizon, this would be a no-brainer stop for dinner and relaxation.
Edit: The Steak Frites & Strange Famous burgers were good, but the Hangover burger was AWESOME. They are proud of their Pat LaFrieda beef!
2010: Consistently great food and tap list. Prices seem to be going up for smaller pours though. 6 oz. of beer ain't much... and charging for 1 oz. samples is somewhat questionable.
08-12-2009 00:05:30 |
More by emerge077
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4.5 | selection: 4 | food: 4.5 | $$
When you walk in the Bad Apple you're instantly greeted by a wooden bar that runs the length of the front room with a dip here and a curve there. Exposed brick walls and dark paint coat the bar area with a few tables along one set of windows and a bar along the other set. Hanging bar lights and wooden floor make for a fairly cozy feel.
The seating area is in back and more dimly lit with some cool Asian sort of influence. Between the bar area and seating area is a small hallway that leads to a completely chill lounge area with pinball, foosball, Galaga and a whole wall full of board games. It's dimly lit, the windows are covered and the ceiling is of hanging fabric. Especially cool!
There were 12 taps all of which were well thought out. Uber-fresh Half Acre Daisy Cutter and Surly Cynic were my drinks of choice and outstanding. The others included some one off Goose Island FultonWood Series, New Belgium Lips of Faith, a couple IPAs and so on. The most mass appealing beer on-tap was Allagash White, which is really saying something for this place.
The menu sported a bottle list that went about 50 deep with a lot more, well thought out choices from Belgium to Germany, Scotland to the US. It's all craft beer in this place besides the cans of Miller Lite and PBR.
The menu is a mix of gourmet burgers and sandwiches, all of which have beer as some sort of ingredient. I had a killer burger called the "Slow Burn" with beer sautéed chilies and onions on top bacon and white cheddar. Hand cut fries are extremely good as well and perfectly cooked.
This is my new neighborhood bar and I'm more than happy to say that. I will be in this place often. The vibe, beer, and food are all top notch.
08-12-2009 00:01:57 |
More by joe1510
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Bad Apple in Chicago, IL
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