STATE RESTAURANT: How Many Pigs Does This So Called Restaurant Get On Gregg's Scale?

STATE RESTAURANT:  How Many Pigs Does This So Called Restaurant Get On Gregg's Scale?

Hello friends.

Some people have asked me if I have ever been to a restaurant that served pig that I did not like.  Just because you have the hog on the menu doesn’t mean you cannot screw it up. Trust Ol’ Gregg on that.

STATE
935 West Webster Avenue (Corner of Bissell and Webster)
Chicago, IL 60614

Neighborhood:
Lincoln Park

Hours:
Mon-Wed 4 pm - 12 am
Thu 4 pm - 1 am
Fri 11 am - 2 am
Sat 10 am - 3 am
Sun 10 am - 12 am
Closest CTA Stop:
Armitage (Brown Line, Purple Line)
Fullerton (Brown Line, Purple Line, Red Line)
Attire:
Casual

During my time here in Chicago, I have spent a majority of my time in and around Lincoln Park.  It is one of my favorite parts of the city but there are several things about Lincoln Park that annoy me.  One is the overall pretentious nature of many of the residents and others who frequent the area.

I can find no better example of the above statement than at State on Webster and Bissell.  It has been quite a while since I graced State with my presence but I decided to give the place another opportunity when a friend told me about an updated menu.

State calls its self a restaurant and has tried to also position itself as a sports bar…by having what seems like 500 video screens plastered in every nook and cranny.  It has sold itself to the Badgers of Wisconsin…another boring underperforming Big 10 team.  GF NOTE:  This is a phenomenon that a Southerner cannot understand.  For those that do not know, bars throughout the city of Chicago will sell their collective soul to an exclusive Big Team team.  I am amazed by that fact but will save my full diatribe for another blog.
Wisconsin Badger Bucky Mascot

Maybe the Chicago Police SUV parked on the curb should have tipped me off as to the experience I was about to get.  Local residents have told me that this is not out of the ordinary.
State Bar Fight Lincoln Park

As always, I took a friend for the review, which allows me to sample more of the menu.  The place was about half full but the noise was deafening as we walked in.  Even with all the video monitors turned to sporting events, you could not hear them…you could only hear the Euro beat of banging dance club music.  Kept thinking that I would hear a little Coldplay at any minute.

One of the things I noticed were the eight (8) top booths at the front of the restaurant that had retractable big screen televisions.  Great idea…I thought.

We were seated in the middle of the restaurant but I asked the hostess about the booth at the front.  I was informed that those were reserved and required a minimum purchase.  My inquisitive nature forced me to ask about the minimum.  I was told that most of the time it was $200 but for big games it could well be upwards of $350-500.  Things are becoming clearer for me.
Jersey Shore Douch Bags

Our server Jen was prompt and pleasant when she came over to take our drink order.  James Francis Ryan from Iowa ordered a Bloody Mary and when I saw the slim selection of quality crafts I had to ask a question that no Texan should ever have to ask in a restaurant…is your ice tea brewed or from the beverage gun…and of course Jen said it was out of the gun.

What is happening to this country when restaurants are to stinking lazy to brew ice tea?  This is one of my pet peeves.  If you have iced tea on the menu…BREW IT.  God did not intend for ice tea to be a carbonated beverage.

The Boody Mary was substandard made from ZingZang and completely lacking in spice.  It was a far cry from Virgil Cain’s Bloody Bills.
Zing Zang

Overall, the menu was large and seems to have something for everyone…including some 450-calorie items.

In keeping with the spirit of pork, I decided to try the TRUFFLE MAC & CHEESE LOLLIPOPS ($9.99) Served with a bacon aioli; these deep-fried nuggets are stuffed with truffle cream, double-elbow pasta, bacon and green onions.  While this was a unique use of two of my favorite food groups (mac & cheese and bacon), the result was lackluster and the bacon aioli tasted like cheap mayonnaise with a little bacon grease added.  I had expected much more.

For the entrees, we decided to go with the SPICY CHICKEN SANDWICH (9.99) and the CHICAGO STYLE CHEDDAR BURGER ($10.99).  Topped with Pepper Jack cheese, fire-roasted jalapeños and avocado, the chicken sandwich was ordered blackened but had no real kick.  Also, the chef must have a much different view of spicy as he limited the sandwich to three (3) jalapeños…yes you read that right three slices.  Overall the sandwich was soggy and not very good.

The cheddar burger was topped with Merkts Cheddar cheese, caramelized onions, garlic aioli and applewood-smoked bacon on a pretzel bun.  Both the meat patty and bacon were way over done…it is hard to ruin the flavor of bacon but State had succeeded on that front.  I love onions on my burger, especially grilled or caramelized but when you top a burger with caramelized onions and then also put almost a entire red onion under the meat patty you have gone way to far.

"This business will get out of control. It will get out of control and we'll be lucky to live through it."
Fred Thompson as Admiral Josh Painter in the Hunt for Red October

As for the shoestring fries, the truffle fries were average and the chipotle ranch tasted as if it was out of a bargain-brand bottle.  I did try their signature State fries.  The shoestring fries are covered in garlic, oregano feta cheese and lemon juice.  They were soggy from the lemon juice and had a very weird after taste.

Overall, the food was below average but the service was actually very good and you cannot blame your server for the food.  The atmosphere is much more of a dance club that a restaurant.  This place is made for pretentious D-bags and younger college students who are looking for drink specials and somewhere to be seen.

If you are over 27 years of age, I suggest you just walk half a block to Kelly’s Pub for a much better Lincoln Park experience.

This experience was bad and rates only TWO (2) PIGS on GREGG'S FIVE (5) PIG scale.

Gregg's Flying PigGregg's Flying Pig

PROS: Location, Service

CONS:  Trendy, Loud Club Music, D-Bag Central, Below Average Food, Wisconsin Badger Bar

SPECIALS:

Mondays
$5.99 Food Menu All Day (with beverage purchase)
1/2 off Beef Medallions, Molcajete Guacamole and State Sampler
$3 Bud Light, Budweiser and Bud Select Bottles
Tuesdays
$5.95 Build Your Own Burgers
$13 Bud Light Pitchers and $18 Import Pitchers
Wednesdays
1/2 Off Food and 1/2 off Wine Bottles
Thursdays
$5.00 Food Menu All Day  (with beverage purchase)
Fridays
$5.00 Food Menu All Day (with beverage purchase)
Saturdays
$12 Morning Glories
$7 Build-Your-Own Bloody Mary Bar
Sundays
Our $12 Morning Glories
$7 Build-Your-Own Bloody Mary Bar

That is all for today folks…stay classy.

QUOTE OF THE DAY:  “If you're gonna have a pet, keep it on a leash.”

COMING UP:  Lagniappe

 

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