Top o’ the morning to ye and welcome to Mastication Monologues! Today’s post involves an Irish pub with plenty of class and delicious food. I’m talking about Lady Gregory’s located on the north side of Chicago. The name references a female Victorian Irish playwright who penned “Playboy of the Western World”, a play made infamous due to its scandalous reference to underpants. Ohhhhh my! She faced plenty of resistance and even death threats from audiences until Teddy Roosevelt saw the play and praised it. Looks like the king of “Bully!” stopped the bullies, and Lady Gregory’s menu contains the same sassyness the original Lady Gregory possessed. It ranges from flatbreads, salads, soups, burgers, and big plates. Plus, they have plenty of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages to wet your whistle.
As for the layout of the restaurant, it has both indoor and outdoor seating. Janice and I chose to sit inside, so we were ushered past the impressive wrap-around bar to the area known as “the library”. Why? Simple. It’s an actual library that has walls stocked with reading material to go along with your eats and a few board games as well if you’re not entertained with simple conversation. After looking over the menu, I went for the ultimate grilled cheese ($10) and a side of champ ($3.50). My meal eventually came out, and it looked great. When they say the grilled cheese is “ultimate”, they mean that every element of the sandwich is coated, stuffed, and/or infused with cheese. *Cue Homer moment*. It was unlike any other grilled cheese moment I’ve had in other parts of Chicago or in my life. First, the bread was a Parmesan encrusted sourdough that had plenty of crunch, cheesy flavor, and consistency to support the flavor bomb that was ticking between the slices. When I bit through the beautiful bread, I was greeted by an avalanche of lava hot cheeses: Gruyere, Irish white cheddar, mozzarella, and brie to be exact. While these smooth and flavorful cheeses were cascading down my palate, I also managed to catch some of the mashed tomatoes in the waves of dairy along with some delightfully smoky yet sweet, candied bacon pieces. I’d highly recommend this delightfully rich in flavor but not in price plate. The free pickle on the side only “sweetened” the deal with its sour, dill crunch. As for the champ, it’s an Irish take on mashed potatoes. Called brúitín in Gaelic or “poundies”, this side takes basic mashed potatoes and combines them with butter, green onions, and milk. A simple food that packs plenty of complex sensations into a humble bowl. While the potatoes were extremely creamy, the rich butter contrasted with the semi-strong green onions that introduced a bit of attitude like a champion side dish should have.
So if you want to have some great versions of simple meals that won’t cost you a pot o’ gold, check out Lady Gregory’s!