Can you believe that my first meal back in Chicago wasn’t an Italian Beef? J and I went to see her grandma and on the way back to her parents, we decided to stop for lunch. There’s a Portillo’s close, but I suggested we stop at the family restaurant that looked packed. If there’s a lot of cars in the parking lot on a Tuesday afternoon, it must be good.
Country House Restaurant is located in Alsip near the intersection of 127th Street and CalSag Road. There are entrance from both roads with most of the parking being behind the building on the CalSag Road side. We found a parking spot near a light pole (more on that later 😦 ) and headed inside.
Once inside, it looked like a seat yourself deal. I didn’t see a hostess and there were no signs that said wait to be seated, so I found a booth along the wall and sat down. I noticed while we were sitting there that there actually was a hostess seating people, but a waitress noticed us and brought menus over without making a big deal about us sitting down.
The inside of the Country House Restaurant is really homey. The decor reminds you more of your kitchen than a restaurant. The tables are a little more inviting than the usual, sterile restaurant tables and chairs plus there are high, exposed ceilings which gives off a frontier cabin feel. Near the entrance there’s a lunch counter and the kitchen is connected to that. The whole kitchen is out in the open and the waitress station is seperated by a half wall.
The menu is typical family restaurant times ten. There’s a huge variety of the staples plus they do a number of entrees. J and I are both trying to be good this week since it’s a holiday week and not gorge ourselves on fried food. I thought about getting a brick oven pizza, but passed because of the price. Then, I considered a hamburger, but again, passed because of the price. What caught my eye was a turkey burger which was two bucks cheaper than the hamburger and, I assume, a little healthier. All sandwiches came with one side and soup. I ordered fries and passed on the soup. The burger was huge. I wasn’t expecting that big of a sandwich. It was served on a bun which had been toasted with lettuce, tomato, and onion. I pulled the toppings off and dug in. A lot of people swear turkey tastes like beef, but I’m not convinced. I cook turkey burgers a lot myself, so it wasn’t something new to me. The burger was good. Not great, but good and definitely satisfying. The fries were out of the bag and a little soggy, but fries always taste good.
J was going to order a salad, but “The Best Grilled Cheese” was to tempting, so she went with that instead. She also ordered fries as her side and she took the soup. Who, besides me, can have grilled cheese without tomato soup? The sandwich was Cheddar, Swiss, American cheese served on two slices of thick, wholegrain bread. The bread looked delicious and they didn’t skimp on the cheese. A big chunk of melty goodness slide off her sandwich and I reached over there as quick as I could to get a taste. J loves grilled cheese and I’m pretty sure she was happy with this one.
Before the meal, the waitress came out with a basket of bread and crackers as well as a glass of water to tide us over. Our meals came up pretty quickly though, so by the time I was polishing off my third piece of bread, the meals were being put in front of us. The bill was just over $20 which seems high for two sandwiches, but when you factor in the soup and bread basket, it probably isn’t that bad.
The Country House Restaurant is a cute place. It’s very relaxed and seems to be a local favorite. Most of the tables were full for lunch and there were more people coming in as we were leaving. Oh yeah…leaving. Remember that light pole in the middle of the parking lot? It turns out it was pretty close to parking spaces. I was backing up and was so worried about tagging another car, I didn’t see the light pole. Now, I’ve got a dent in my bumper. I was pissed. Kind of ruined a decent meal. The only thing I’ll ever remember about this place is that I damaged my truck on the way out. If it hadn’t been for that, we would have had a great meal.