Saturday February 24th 2018

Fireside Restaurant

Have you ever heard of the expression, “A DESTINATION RESTAURANT”? I am sure you have. What this means is a place that is not on the beaten path or even easy to find, but because of the food and the atmosphere, and very often the service and the pricing, a restaurant that one you find, you will never forget! This is how many of the regulars feel about Fireside Restaurant located along the train tracks/Ravenswood Avenue, a few blocks south of Peterson Avenue. While it doesn’t look like much when you pull up, even in the warm weather when they have an outside patio, it is what is inside over the packaging that makes this a special place to visit and dine.

For years, I have been coming to Fireside, but never for a true meal. It is a great spot for sporting events (they have many large screen TV’s in the bar area )and they have an added-on back patio (enclosed) that gives you the warm feeling of outdoor dining, even when the temperature is in the teens. There are several area theaters nearby, so often, I stop by for a drink and a bowl of chili or their wonderful crab cake appetizer plate before I head over to The Raven or Redtwist or Rivendell. They are also not that far from the ” Friendly Confines” before a Cubs game (or after). I find the staff very friendly and the patrons seem to be “regulars”. In fact, there are times, when I am in the bar that I expect “Cliff” and “Norm” to walk in at any moment. It is that type of place.

Tonight’s experience was a different one. Jane and I brought our friends, the Steinberg’s and were seated in their warm and cozy dining room. There is a great fireplace in this room, thus the name, I am sure. We started the evening with the aforementioned Crab Cakes ( never get enough of those) and their bronzed shrimp (Cajun spices combined to compliment the flavor of the shrimp sautéed in virgin olive oil and the lightly battered calamari that was crisp, yet juicy.

For our entree’s, we selected the grilled salmon (with an orange and dill garlic butter), their special Fireside rotisserie chicken, slowly cooked and sprinkled with a special rb. The chicken was juicier than any of the other rotisserie chickens I have tasted. Since Fireside is known for having great ribs, and we needed a pork dish for our taste buds, we ordered the full slab of BBQ Ribs. They are smoked on end for 4 hours and this allows the smoke to reach all sides of the ribs, which makes them easy to eat (mind you, they are not par-boiled) and as tasty a treat as you will ever enjoy. To round out our evenings samplers, we opted for the New York Strip, a 12 oz hand-cup prime cut- delicious!

For sides, they have an unbelievable selection of choices. We had veggies, baked potato, mashed potatoes and the special sweet potato tater-tots. They have a number of other choices as well as a large selection of burgers, sandwiches, pastas, house treats, a special Gouda Mac & Cheese (just enough kick to wake you up) and  Thin Crust Pizza , from 10″ – 16″ with a huge selection of toppings available. The desserts are daily specials and tonight they had several that we opted to taste. The cheese cake was delightful as was the key-lime pie, but my favorite was the apple purse with ice cream (to die for!).

Our hostess/waitress, Sara made certain that we were comfy from start to finish. Even the bar-tender came by to say hello and bring me my martini. I have a special way to make them, and since I stop by on my way to the theater, she knows the routine, and made sure my evening was perfect. One of the things I like about this hidden dining spot is that they are a neighborhood gathering place and their prices reflect that. The items on their menu are all affordable and the portions are perfect. I watched some of the regulars as they ordered a few meals to share and others went for the full dinners, knowing they could take some home for the next evening. This is “homestyle cooking” and they even do  weekend brunch (Saturday and Sunday, from 10 a.m.- 3 p.m.) with breakfast specialties, omelets, quiches, skillets, homemade waffles and yes, even biscuits and gravy ( I must come back and try those). By the way, they offer some healthy eating as well!

The Fireside is located at 5739 N. Ravenswood, in Chicago with street parking and a lot next door.




Monday-Fridays  11 a.m.- 3 a.m.

Saturdays  10 a.m.- 4 a.m.

Sundays  10 a.m.- 3 a.m.

They also deliver to the local area. Order online at http://www,

contact them at firesidechicagoravenswood@gmail.comor call 773-561-7433

Fireside can also do catering, events and parties( weddings, showers, birthdays, special events)

Make your destination the Fireside Restaurant. Once you do, it will become a regular for you and your family!



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