Monday, November 11, 2013

The Bar on Buena

Chicago is a big city crowded with many unique neighborhoods, and every neighborhood has its own defining gathering spots. Quiet. Hidden. Relaxed. The Bar on Buena is such a place that blends into the neighborhood.

Photo credit: Chicago Bar Project

Founded by two high school buddies, Aaron Zacharias and Steve Podjasek, The Bar on Buena is not a typical bar. Besides its assorted collection of craft beers and mixed drinks, the kitchen serves a full menu with more than decent food and a fair price.

As frequent guests, we quickly decided what wanted. We started with Sweet Potato "Conical" Fries as appetizer.

Prior to moving to Chicago, I had never had sweet potato fries back in Michigan. I shrugged it off as some pseudo-healthy alternative whenever someone suggested me giving it a try, oh boy was I wrong. Their Sweet Potato "Conical" Fries comes with two homemade dipping sauces, habanero aioli and sundried tomato aioli. Especially the habanero aioli, the spicy yet creamy flavor combined with the hint of sweetness makes my mouth water every time.

Megan ordered a Grilled Cheese with creamy avocado slices in between. For her side dish, she ordered a salad. And this is what really sets The Bar On Buena apart from other bars: Their food is fresh and well prepared. Instead of soaking in grease, the Grilled Cheese is crisp and crunchy, so is the Salad.

I went with the Burger On Buena. Needless to say, it is a burger of simplicity and passion. There are no fillers or gimmicks. It is one solid burger patty in between two fresh toasted buns and lettuce, tomato, and cheese of your choice and pickle on the side. This is exactly what a burger should come with, nothing but the best ingredients.

Overall, The Bar on Buena is a must-visit if you live in the neighborhood. It's relaxing atmosphere combined with top notch food, a wide selection of craft beers and micro brews, and a fully stacked whisky bar. The Bar on Buena definitely earns its right to bear the namesake of its neighborhood and the epicenter on the block.

Would you bring your bros here?

The Bar On Buena is a perfect place for hanging out. They have plenty of warming craft beers and micro brews. They have a great dinner menu. They have a fully stacked whisky bar. They have plenty of TVs. They have many cozy couches and seats. I guess the real question is, when can I move in?

Should you bring someone here on a date?

Yes. The relaxed atmosphere is a great place for a casual date.

Can I bring my boss or colleagues for a happy hour?

Although the place doesn't have happy hour, The Bar On Buena has specials. The place is not exactly close to offices and businesses, just keep that in mind.

Is this a family friendly place?

Yes and no. The Bar On Buena is not exactly a Chicago tourist attraction, but it is still a neighborhood epicenter. If your family is in town for a visit, it might not be that interesting of a place for them. But if they live around, or they are just looking for a nice place to relax. The Bar On Buena is your best choice.

Bar on Buena on Urbanspoon