Glenn's Diner is "a nice little place to eat", wrote Noah, and that sums up quite well our thoughts on dinner last week at Glenn's. Dining early, as we often do with the Taste Buds, they were fairly open on Monday night but the place was full when we left around 8:00. Not too bad on a once dismal stretch of Montrose, now bustling even on a cold Monday night in February.
Kate found Glenn's "very cheerful" but some of that praise could be attributed to familiarity; it's one of our favorite places around, although we are usually here for the weekend brunch. That, combined with an overflowing basket of Pepperidge Farm crackers (even the butterflies) and a full wall of cereal boxes, is a can't miss combo to a hungry eight year old. Whatever the inspiration, I agree with both assessments; Glenn's is the kind of place where you feel comfortable as soon as you walk in the door.
We started with an order of the smoked trout dip which was delicious, an excellent accessory to that full basket of crackers. For my children, who will dip into anything, this was the perfect beginning, and they both loved it, "great flavor, a little rich, a little spicy".
And then we find the one grievance with Glenn's: the children's menu. For a place that prides itself on it's extensive offering of fresh fish, not one filet found it's way to the children's menu. Rather our Taste Buds were offered a grilled cheese, a cheeseburger, mac&cheese, or spaghetti. All wonderful I'm certain but if we are going out for seafood I'd like to feed my children seafood. So we moved to our next best option, smaller portions, and we struck out again: no accommodation for small eaters, not able to offer a half order of anything. We love our Taste Buds but spending $22.00 on salmon, certainly a large delicious portion that in no way they would finish, was not an option. Option C is sharing which worked very well when they were younger. At 8 a Bud likes to have his own meal, sharing was scrapped.
Noah and Kate both ordered the perch po'boy and were very pleased. Noah found the fish very fresh and Kate liked the crispy texture. The sandwiches were a good option for smaller portions, as might be an appetizer portion. Mary, content to eat nothing but clam chowder for the rest of her life, opted for a bowl of her favorite soup. She was not disappointed, plus she had endless crackers to crumble into her bowl. Noah, who borrowed a few bites of his mother's mahi mahi, found the sweet ginger sesame soy glaze sooooo good, very high praise from a 9 year old boy.
Once finished, the Buds made their way to the bar, as so many children do after a nice meal. At Glenn's the bar is actually a counter fronting the cereal area, where box upon box of cereal is stacked for all to see. The staff standing there could have only been nicer to our children if they had offered to take them all across the street for ice cream, supporting Kate's note that the "lady serving us is so very nice".
They didn't, but we did, ending our night with insanely large ice cream sundaes from Margie's, but that is another story, one that will surely be told this summer.Glenn's Diner 1820 W. Montrose Chicago, IL 60613 www.glennsdiner.com 773-506-1720
"Mom, I really love this place", said Mary.