Start a Revolution

I am gonna start my own little revolution.  I’ve never done anything like this before, but a recent trip to a new brewpub has persuaded me to share my thoughts on a restaurant.  So I’m giving Revolution Brewing Company in Logan Square my first full review.

I went to Revolution on a total whim.  I was out with some friends who suggested we grab a bite to eat.  Someone chirped that they had heard Revolution had some good food.  Plus, he added, it came from the same people who own Handlebar.  If you are not from Chicago, Handlebar is a great vegan-friendly restaurant.  I was intrigued, so I agreed to go.

Wow am I glad I did.  Revolution is a pretty darn good brewery and an impressive restaurant.  First of all, the this is a hidden gem.  The outside is quiet and undiscerning, but the inside is stunning.  The large open space is essentially a prodigious loft.  Oddly airy, yet inviting.  The staff is warm and knowledgeable.  The beer, from what I gathered, was tasty and refreshing.  I had a Hard Working Woman and it was indeed the beer for me.  Then, there is the food . . .  Oh the food.  This is NOT your normal bar food.  This takes bar food to a whole different level.  I mean solidly, unreal.  I was really floored, maybe because I hadn’t expected or anticipated anything terribly spectacular.  I mean, after all, you go to a brewpub for the beer, not the food.

This is one brewpub I would revisit just for the food.  Their menu is creative and trendy.  There is the obligatory duck confit pizza and goat cheese salad.  However, they also have the more exciting testaments you would expect from someone who owns Handlebar, like italian seitan pizza and beluga lentils, quinoa, and winter vegetables.  And the taste and professionalism will blow you away.

That’s exactly what you think it is.  Bacon.  Parmesan.  Sage.  Popcorn.  Not only that, but the popcorn is cooked in bacon fat.  No joke.  This is a serious appetizer.  Not surprisingly, it also seems to be their most popular appetizer.  I’m not even sure how to explain it.  The word most people at the table seemed to agree on was, addicting.  Its salty, crunchy, and I dare you to stop eating it.  No really.  I dare you.

This is what they called “Sweet potato cakes”.  They take an Indian twist on latkes.  They are deliciously savory little sweet potato cakes seasoned with some lovely spice.  The dipping sauce is a roasted red pepper yogurt sauce.  Its cool and sweet.  I actually preferred this appetizer to the popcorn, but that might have something to do with my affinity for Indian food.

Yes, this is as delicious as it looks.  I love pulled pork.  I have tried to make it at home several times, but I just have not perfected the art yet.  So, I often order it when I go out to eat.  This was not your average pulled pork.  The pork was moist, tender, and slightly smokey.   But the slaw on this was amazing!  They call it a honey-jalapeno slaw and it has exactly what you would want and expect.  It’s creamy; it’s crunchy; it’s spicy; it’s sweet.  And it complements the meat perfectly.  And those fries!  They are incredible!  I don’t know how they make them, but the sprinkle them with coarse salt and they are more addicting than the bacon popcorn.

Needless to say, I highly recommend this place.  And the cherry on top of this calorie-laden sundae is that all of this food is . . . affordable.  Not just for Chicago, but generally affordable.  The bacon popcorn is only $4!  (Just to give you an idea.)  Its such a rarity to get not only good, but great, food at such a reasonable price, you better get moving.  The revolution isn’t going to wait for you.

Sweet Potato Zucchini Gratin

Delicious, creamy, crunchy, savory vegetables.  I love vegetables.  But I only recently discovered this love.   Growing up, I HATED anything with veggies.  Then I grew up and found out the beauty that is vegetables.  I call this a gratin, but there is no cream.  It really is a healthier version of gratin that is just as creamy and satisfying.  gratin

1 medium zucchini

1 medium sweet potato

1 tablespoon chopped garlic

Olive oil

Parmesan cheese

Panko bread crumbs

Salt and pepper to taste

Simple, I know.  But delicious. There are 2 simple tricks to making this dish so delicious. Its all in how you cut the veggies and how you cook them in the oven.

Slice the sweet potato and zucchini into thin slices.  The first trick is to keep the slices the same approximate size so they cook at the same time.  Coat the bottom of a 9×5 bread pan with olive oil.  Start layering the zucchini in a single layer on the bottom of pan.  Brush some oil over the vegetables. Then sprinkle a little cheese, garlic, salt and pepper over the vegetables. Then place a layer of sweet potato over the zuchinni. Brush oil over the sweet potato and sprinkle with cheese, garlic, salt and pepper.  Continue this until you have used all the vegetables.  Then top with bread crumbs.

Make sure your oven is heated to 375.  Here comes the second trick.  Make sure you start cooking the veggies covered.  I usually cover mine with foil.  Cook like this for approximately 2o min.  Remove the foil for the last 10 minutes of cooking.  The vegetables should be soft to the touch.

With these simple steps, you’ll fall in love with vegetables all over again!