A few months ago, I moved to Chicago into a neighborhood I had never been to before – Logan Square. I really had no idea what to expect, simply because a lot of Chicago neighborhoods are very different from each other. I can honestly say, living in this neighborhood has been pretty amazing. There are some great bars, awesome restaurants, and a good demographic. The demographic in my neighborhood seems to be more 20 & 30 somethings which is a nice change from the college student vibe back in Lincoln Park and parts of Lakeview.
In my opinion, the best way to get know this neighborhood is through the local businesses. In Logan Square, there is no shortage of awesome restaurants, bars, and coffee shops. Since my mom is still in town, it’s been fun to bring her to places that I haven’t been to yet, but also wanted to check out.
The Harding Tavern is a place that I’ve been wanting to go for a while now – ever since I found them on Instagram. Their food always looked awesome and my mom and I are both big fans of beer, so it seemed like a no brainer to bring her here with me. We were not disappointed.
Now I don’t know about you, but before I even decide on the food, I immediately judge a place based on the vibe they give out. I mean, don’t we all? The food can be excellent, but if it’s at a place that feels stiff or even worse, is completely void of anyone but employees, it makes it hard to just relax and enjoy. Atmosphere is a huge part of the experience.
The Harding Tavern had a great vibe. It feels super relaxed and the type of place you’d love to grab some lunch and hang out with your friends for a drink or two. My mom and I sat by the window and the server brought us over this cool bourbon glass bottle full of water. I thought this was an excellent touch that you don’t usually see.
We looked over the menu and tried to decide exactly what beer we wanted. There were several on the menu that we never tried before. We decided to split a beer flight – 3 beers – so we can each taste a few different things that we probably normally wouldn’t have. It’s easy to get caught up in getting your usual “go to” beer.
We ended up having the Schlafly Double Bean Blonde Ale; Avery, White Rascal (Belgian), and Three Floyd’s Gumballhead (Wheat). My mom and I both aren’t a fan of super hoppy beers, hence our selections. Each of the beers were pretty great, but the real surprise ended up being with the Double Bean Blonde Ale. I’m not typically someone who enjoys beers that have a coffee taste, but this actually ended up being my favorite of the bunch! It was the perfect beer if you wanted just a hint of coffee flavor and want to stay away from the dark beers.
The beer was good, the atmosphere is good, but what about the food? The food was decent.
My mom and I are all about splitting meals when we are together for a few reasons. 1) We can try more things on the menu. 2) We don’t get tired of the same flavor. 3) We don’t get too full. Feeling too full after eating is uncomfortable and can really put a negative spin on the rest of the evening.
We decided to split an appetizer and an entrée. For the appetizer, we decided to get the mac and cheese.
Now guys, this mac and cheese was so delightful. I’m a huge mac and cheese fan and I really like when different restaurants have their own take on the dish. What I really liked about The Harding Tavern’s mac and cheese, was simply having a different shape. It wasn’t the classic elbows, but instead looked to be like a penne shape. This made it just a touch classier, which I enjoyed. But on top of that, look at that cheese pull guys! It was so cheesy and delicious. Would definitely get again.
For our main entrée to split. We decided to get the Grilled Portobella Sandwich.
This sandwich was pretty good. The Portobella itself was so flavorful, but the real star was the spicy herb aioli that came with it. That was absolutely my favorite part. The only way this sandwich could have been better would be if it was made open-faced. Having the sandwich be open-faced really lets you enjoy all the ingredients and flavors without the bread just getting in the way. Besides that – the fries were awesome. Seriously. I would go back for the fries – crispy and flavored with sea salt and fresh herbs. Definitely didn’t even need ketchup (and that’s saying something.)