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Onion Pub & Brewery / Wild Onion Brewing Co.
Active Beers: 23
Beer Ratings: 539
Beer Avg: 3.63
Taps: - / Bottles: -
Cask: N / Beer-to-Go: Y
$$ - reasonable
[ Brewery, Eatery ]
22221 North Pepper Road
phone: (847) 381-7308
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Reviews by Star80:
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4.5 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 4 | $$
Went to the Onion last weekend with my wife and an old friend, and overall had a great experience. First off, they couldn't have hid the place any better, down and away from the street at what appeared to be a dead-end road in an industrial park! However, the outside sign and appearance of the restaurant/brewpub looked nice and inviting on a Saturday afternoon. The outside mural on the side of the building of a group of foxes eating supper was an odd and interesting touch, made me even more curious about what I would find within. The inside of the place was very nice and upscale, with premium material and darker, classy woods throughout (not a surprise in Barrington), with nice touches like copper metal table tops, fancy light fixtures, you name in, this was a nice place and we were impressed. The back deck was where we ended up sitting most of the night, overlooking a man-made pond with a fountain, and a warehouse not too far in the distance, but still the atmosphere was elegant.
Now on to the beer...when we first arrived our barkeep was a younger man who ended up with good knowledge of beer. When I asked him about the hops used in the Imperial King Paddy IPA, which was VERY tasty I might add, he rattled them off from the top of his head. Good. I ended up sampling this beer, along with the regular Paddy Pale Ale, which had a beautiful fresh floral/citrus bouquet to it, along with the Golden Ale, Wheatstacker, and their Amber Ale. They were out of the maibock, which was too bad, but offered half off the price of a wheat stacker. I really enjoyed all these beer except the Amber Ale, which just plain seemed way off to me, in a stale Pepperidge Farm thrift store smelling tasting sort of way. Just rubbed me wrong all over, to the point that I quickly returned the beer. But aside from that, everything was smooth, crisp and refreshing given I was in the mood for lighter thirst quenching beer.
I had their signature burger made from fresh ground chuck and it was excellent. Everything about it, including the bun was delicious. The meat was well seasoned and tasted fresh and tasty, had fries with it which were, well, your average (frozen?) fries, etc. Ok ok, wrong choice on a few levels there on the side....
Our server outside on the patio was friendly and attentive, and my friend ordered the sample glasses the entire night and she was still nice and friendly,...it started getting pretty busy and later after paying her we went back inside and got a table. The bar was a pretty quiet "older" crowd, which my 3o something wife liked how we were the youngest people there, ha.
So, all in all the beer selection was very good, I found everything save for the Amber to be excellent, especially the IPA, which my friend thought was the best IPA at a hopfest in Chicago a month before, and I would say it certainly holds it own. I would buy a canned six pack of the Paddy Ale at the liquor store someday if I see it and it isn't $12 or something ridiculous, AND I had an idea it was fresh, cause it is a good, hoppy/citrusy ale in the west cost sort of mold. Overall the prices were about what I expected them to be, maybe even cheaper knowing the area and the real estate on the place, which also houses two banquet halls. I definitely look forward to coming back again. Nice job, Onion.
08-08-2010 04:28:18 |
More by Star80
More User Reviews:
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.75 | service: 4 | selection: 4 | food: 3.75 | $$
Back when Illinois brewpubs were few and far between, new breweries weren't popping up every other week, and The Onion was among the last handful I haven't been to. This was mainly due to it's obscure location in an industrial park (a la FFF) in a suburb I never had a reason to go to. Recently had time to grab lunch here over the weekend, after drinking their beers for a few years now.
Oddly we were the first patrons at 11:40am on a saturday. The expansive parking lot was deserted, leading us to do a drive by on the front door to doublecheck the hours before parking.
The building is nice, definitely has lots of rustic, homey ski-lodge decor, with a fireplace in the bar area and a pair of little corner snugs flanking it on either side. The bar area is to the left past the host station once inside the heavy double doors. There were a dozen staff working, many sitting at one table doing prep work for Easter brunch. The bartender came over and served drinks and got us menus when we asked for them. They had some spring specials, I had the footlong jalapeño cheddar brat, and it was good.
Beer selection was decent, seemed like less than a dozen house taps, I had a Beggar's Brown and Drago Imperial Stout. Most of the standard lineup i'd had before. Kainz Brau is a surprisingly solid Pils, Hop Slayer is also good. Doesn't seem to be much variation seasonally, and more of a focus on the commercial canning operation of their regular lineup. The bartender mentioned they do a sign-up brewery tour on the first Saturday of every month. Village Tap and Owen & Engine will still be my go-to's for Wild Onion beers, where they tend to send their rarer one-offs and cask treatments.
Overall good, but probably not a place i'd return to soon. Locals don't seem to have many options though. Solidly just above average sums it up well.
04-02-2013 00:41:37 |
More by emerge077
vibe: 3.75 | quality: 3.5 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.75 | food: 3.25 | $$$
We chose the Wild Onion as it was kind of half way between the two groups I was going out with. It was still a 40 minute drive….
As we pulled into the parking lot, I was impressed by the building and really liked the large mural on the outside. Inside, even more impressed. There is lots of large wood beams, a huge stone fireplace, cozy bar area to your left and lots of dining straight on and to your right.
Service was friendly and knew the beer menu, but they really try and quickly turn the tables over. My advice is to order an appetizer or two and don’t place your food orders until after you are done with the appetizers. I realize they are busy and may have folks waiting, but our check arrived at almost at the same time as entrees. Our waitress did say not to rush, but I still felt rushed.
Between our group, we had full pints of 7 of their offerings. The consensus was good not great beers. The best of the bunch was their hefe.
The appetizers were pretty good, the food was adequate. We liked the fried pickles and calamari. Burgers seemed to be premade patties. The fish and chips were good and the tartar sauce was very good. Nice salads as well. The prime rib, wraps and fish special didn’t not receive as high of marks.
I would be willing to go back for another visit. Maybe pick a week night to see if it is a little less rushed.
03-04-2013 19:05:49 |
More by Redrover
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 4 | food: 1.5 | $$
The Onion Pub is a conundrum wrapped in an enigma in the middle of an industrial park. The owners of the Onion Pub won the lottery (literally) and were able to build a state of the art brewery and a wonderful, ski lodge style facility. There is a large and popular room used for weddings and the interior of the building, especially the bar area, is second to none in the northwest Chicago burbs.
The beer is pretty great. The Paddy's Pale Ale is a solid classic and the Hop Slayer is a decent double IPA. The Jack Stout is good but the Centennial Blonde is not spectacular. In general, this is a nice variety of styles, nothing earth shattering or too crazy, but good, consistently well made beer.
The problem is the food. It is not good. Unpalatable. The ingredients are cheap, the quality not always good and the presentation or how it is served is just...cheap. Oyster crackers, in the plastic bag with your salad...just put it them in a ramekin or on the side. The burgers are cafeteria grade. The rest of your food can be sub-par at a brew pub but if the burger is bad you've grossly missed the mark.
I want these guys to be great. The beer is leading the way, as a place like this should...but seriously, step up your food game.
01-05-2013 21:42:08 |
More by Ascender
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 1.5 | service: 2.5 | selection: 3.5 | $$
After adventuring through the hills of the Über-wealthy, we finally found this place.
Outside looked fantastic.
Complimentary Valet? Huh? That's weird to this guy.
Upon entering, the hostess disappeared to go do something after taking the information for the people in front of us.
So, we waited. And waited. And waited. Occasionally, people would come up to the podium and say, "hello," then walk away.
Eventually the hostess came back. We swear they looked about 12.
Anywho, on to seating!
Once seated, service was about average.
Ordered a flight of all 13 (I think it was) biers on tap.
The Winners: Oktoberfest and MAYBE the Pumpkin (though, after about 4 sips, it was too overbearing)
The Losers: Everything else
The HORRIBLE Losers: The Brown Ale, the Stout, and all the Pale Ales. Between 3 guys, no one wanted to finish the little 4 oz glasses of ANY of those.
The hops they use are really foul. It's an almost astringent, urine-like hoppiness. It just lingers and lingers on your tongue.
I love a good IPA, APA, or IIPA. All of theirs were bad. The wet-hopped IPA was better, only because that grating hop was more subtle.
The stout was like water.
The Brown Ale was vile (I am NOT a fan of the style, so there's bias there).
We were so disappointed in this place. The Oktoberfest was the only bier the three of us unanimously agreed we would even try to have a pint of.
But, by this point, the nastiness of the bier killed the mood, so we left.
Luckily, we decided to drown away the flavors with delicious Mexican food (somewhere else). That saved the evening.
I don't think I'd go back here. It's kinda out of the way for me, and there wasn't a SINGLE thing I really enjoyed.
The atmosphere was great, though. Nice building, relaxed feel. And, 13 or so brews on tap was pretty fantastic. It was something like $13 for the whole flight, but the food is a bit over $10/plate...but it's the Barrington area...
10-08-2012 03:13:04 |
More by TheSSG
vibe: 2.5 | quality: 3.5 | service: 2 | selection: 4 | $$
The place is in the middle of nowhere. But a very cool looking building on the outside. On the inside it looks welcoming with lots of stone and exposed woodwork.
The crowd was very stuffy. Annoyingly so.
The beers I had were very good.
Unfortunately, they really whiffed on the service. The two bartenders were middle-aged women that didn't seem too knowledgable about the beers. The were polite but not very engaging - at all.
At a place like this the bartenders should either be hot young women, or beer geeks ... or both!
I'll try again because I like the beer. Maybe the regular bartenders had the day off.
02-11-2012 22:49:39 |
More by NorthsideFred
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 3.5 | selection: 3.5 | food: 4 | $$
My fiance checked this place out as a potential wedding venue.
The armosphere is somewhat "home" like with decorations set on shelves, dim lit lighting, and wood stained walls and ceilings. The wedding coordinator ordered us a beer while we waited for her.
The quality was pretty tidy and nice. The selections on draft were tasty as well as a bowl of sweet pepper crab soup. Clean place that.was cozy.
The.service at the bar was a bit slow, as was the event coordinator but there was an event going on in the banquet hall. Because of the wait we got our 2 beers and soup on the house.
They only had house brews on tap and had about 6-8. Small selection but quality matters.
Our soup was delicious!
Not hard on the wallet as brews range from 4-6 bucks a pint. Food was reasonably priced as well.
Pretty nice place.
12-17-2011 01:13:26 |
More by ChugginOil
vibe: 4 | quality: 4 | service: 4.5 | selection: 3.5 | $$
This place is in the middle of nowhere it seems. It is tucked behind a few car dealerships iirc.
It is a huge place but the bar area is pretty small. That is where I sat. There was a wedding going on and an Irish guy playing music in the corner. I sat there and watched some hockey.
There seemed to be room for about 4 taps and 4 casks, but there were about 10 taps available on this night.
I tried the Weiss, Oktoberfest, CenteniAle, and Pilsener. None of them are available in cans. The Weiss amd CenteniAle were good but the other two lacking. The O'Fest was more like a Vienna, and an oddball one at that. The Pilsener was super watery.
There was a selection of bottles ranging from Hoppin Frog to Miller as well.
The bartender was pretty attentive. Overall a nice place.
11-12-2011 17:31:51 |
More by crossovert
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 3 | food: 4 | $$
Onion Pub & Brewery - Lake Barrington, IL
After first really being exposed a few months back to Onion by trying their canned Pumpkin brew, I figured it's worth a visit. The aesthetics are awesome. Having visited in early November, the outdoor portion was unavailable. The inside features a high ceiling with tons of wood accents. It reminds me of a ski resort. I can imagine in a few weeks when there is a bunch of holiday decor up. Sat at a table in the bar area and was able to catch some Alabama/LSU action. My first request was Hop Slayer which unfortunately they were out of. I then requested a Pumpkin ale which although the site said was unavailable on tap was apparently available. I thought the Pumpkin brew was good in a can but was exponentially better on tap. I then tried the Centenni ale which was refreshing and robust. The food was simple but very good. Had a fondue that went great with the sausage included. The entree consisted of (don't laugh) an exceptionally awesome fried chicken and waffle plate. Although a staple in some areas, it's not so common in the Chi-land area. Turned out awesome. A buddy had oyster sliders and said they were unedible. Brews were solid, food was great (at least for 2 of the 3 people eating) and atmosphere was top notch.
If you're in the area, check it out.. especially on a cold blustry night.
11-06-2011 20:41:37 |
More by rmcnealy
vibe: 4 | quality: 3.5 | service: 4 | selection: 3.5 | food: 3.5 | $$
The Onion is average to slightly above average in almost every respect. From the beer to the food to the fairly limited selection, there is almost nothing that stands out about the Onion. The one thing that does is the building itself. The building reminds me of a French chateaux, even despite the fact that is sits in what can be called a semi-rural industrial park. There is a mural of a fairy-tale tavern with drinking foxes (at least I think those are foxes) on the front of the building while the landscaping is quite welcoming. Entering through the old looking wooden doors, you notice it is quite beautiful inside, with the inside being full of heavy wooden features, exposed cross beams and a large dark wood bar. The Onion is not only a brewpub, but is set up for catering, parties, and weddings as well. I mention this because a large portion of the interior is essentially a banquet hall.
However, aside from the thought and care that was put into the building, nothing else really stands out. The beer is average to slightly above average depending on what you order. And the food is the same: well prepared, but not overly interesting or impressive. Service was knowledgeable, helpful, and welcoming, but on the Sunday afternoon we were there, we were our waitresses only table, so being attentive shouldn't have been an issue.
Over all, I'm glad I visited the place. Couldn't see making the trip all the way out to Lake Barrington just to visit the Onion, but if I was ever in the area again, I wouldn't be opposed to stopping.
10-20-2011 01:29:09 |
More by Florida9
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Onion Pub & Brewery / Wild Onion Brewing Co. in Lake Barrington, IL