Trivia host extraordinaire and BrainSportz founder Jeremy C. (most recently seen in our recent review of Michael Diversey's) is back with a new guest review. Do you have a favorite trivia spot in Chicago? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll publish us your review!
I’m baaaack…How’s it going Chicago Heart’s Trivia fans? It’s been a while since I have posted a guest review. Some of you may know who I am and others may ask “Who Am I?” and “Why Am I Here?” (Will always be my favorite quotes). Anyway I am not just a trivia player, but a host as well. If you haven’t come seen me at one of my trivia nights, then what are you waiting for? Today they I come to you to give you my take on two of Chicago’s Monday Night Trivia locations. Monday is a rare bird in the trivia world. Not many locations to choose from and Monday isn’t the most popular nights to be out drinking, yet yesterday I was able to hit up two different trivia nights in the city.
First we have Sidebar located downtown at 225 N. LaSalle and starting conveniently for the after work crowd at 6PM on a Monday. Sidebar is a nice place and not what one thinks of when picturing a bar that does trivia, but they do it every Monday and they have ½ price apps and drink specials to go with it. Trivia is hosted by Caleb and consists of 5 roundswith0 questions per round. All 5rounds are a mish-mosh of categories, but Caleb lets you know at the beginning of the night what topics he will be asking about. The night I went, the questions were from Geography, Sports, Pop Culture, Movies, The CTA, and Current Events. Each round had 1-2 questions from each category.
One of the nicest things about Sidebar is that they give prizes out to the winners of every round. Caleb has certificates good for free tater tots, a free skillet cookie, or free shots that he gives to the winning teams of each round. They can be redeemed that night or saved for another night. At the end of the night the winning teams gets a $100 gift card good on their next visit. Nothing too crazy about this trivia night, it’s just good old straight fashioned trivia. As far as hosts go Caleb is a pretty solid. He is good on the microphone, you can understand him, he repeats questions when needed, and he is personable and funny without being obnoxious and in your face. This is the only trivia night Caleb hosts so go see him if you get the chance.
The questions were fine, as well, Caleb comes up with them on his own and he had some good ones especially about the CTA (What side of the train would you get off on if you took the Brown Line North to Belmont?), He makes a few of them multiple choice and a few have multiple answers so they were worth more points. The only snafu was the question about the only artists to have a #1 movie and #1 album at the same time. Caleb insisted Eminem was the right answer because of 8 Mile and its soundtrack. Problem is the 8 Mile soundtrack is not an Eminem album, but a compilation album featuring Eminem songs. J-Lo on the other hand was #1 with both the Wedding Planner and the album J-Lo back in the day and should have been the correct answer. He did relent and give me the point but he didn’t take away the points from the teams that got it wrong. No big deal but that means I should have missed out on first place by one point instead of two. All in all it was a solid night and it came down to a tiebreaker between the top teams. They had 2 minutes to write down as many D1 College Teams that don’t end in S as they could. I wasn’t able to stay around long enough to find out who the winner was, but I am hoping they remembered the Hofstra Pride. Trivia was over by 8:20 (save for the tie-break) meaning you could be at home by 9PM, which for a Monday night is important. As far as food goes I decided to sample the tacos $2.50 each and you have your choice of fish, Korean BBQ, steak, or a 4th that I don’t remember because I didn’t get it. The steak and fish were my favorite. The Korean BBQ was a bit spicy for my liking (but I am a SPICE WIMP). The waitress was friendly and made sure we were well taken care of. We also won some tater tots so we tried those and really it’s hard to mess up tots. They are served with ketchup and cheese for dipping.
Overall I would give Sidebar a solid 3 paw review. The food was good, the service was good, the host was good, the time was reasonable, and the format and questions were fine. If you are looking for a good after work activity for Monday downtown Sidebar is a well worth the visit.
221 N. LaSalle, Chicago
6pm to 8:30pm
3 paws (out of 4)