I swear, I get out of the suburbs! Seriously 😉 We ventured outside the safety of our suburb and into River North last week. We were tired of the usual get home grind that typically includes going for a dog walk, cooking, eating, turning on netflix, falling asleep on the couch, then go to bed. Does that sound familiar to anyone else?
The Bear & The Bull Review
So, we broke out of our pattern and decided to go downtown for a date night in the city. It takes about 40 minutes to get into the city so by the time we arrived in River North I was starving. We opted for a burger joint called The Bear and The Bull. Andy was all about the tables that had beer taps on them, however it was pretty busy and we had to get seated at a high top without the taps. On a good note, neither of us liked the beer on tap that they had: Bud Light and Stella.
Our waitress surprised us with their “Throwback Thursday” drink specials of $7 Cosmos or Old Fashioneds. Of course, I ordered a Cosmo. You should know by now that I have an affinity for pink drinks.
Since we knew we were indulging in burgers, we kicked the off with a starter of brussels sprouts rather than the nachos. Weight Watchers hates me enough already. They were sooooo good. They were served with a roasted lemon and garlic aioli dip, although we didn’t need it. You better believe we ate the whole thing.
For burgers, Andy chose the Blue Chip Burger with blue cheese, which is usually my jam. I ordered the Turkey burger. See Mom, I’m at least trying to be a bit healthier with my burgers. The burgers come with fries but you can choose truffle fries or sweet potato fries for an upcharge.
My turkey burger, called the “No Bull Burger” had house ground turkey, smoked gouda, fried green tomatoes, honey-mustard aioli served on a challah bun. My first challah bun burger. Honestly, the meat was super flavorful for a turkey burger but wasn’t super juicy as could be expected with a turkey burger. I thought the honey-mustard aioli would be a bit overpowering but it was actually underwhelming so I ended up slathering on the ketchup. The sweet potato fries are what kept my interest more. They had cinnamon sugar on them and were perfectly fried slightly crispy but still chewy, which was great because I hate fries that are too crispy. I could have ordered them as a dessert and been very pleased. No sauce needed for these fries.
Andy’s burger was amazing. We agreed that blue cheese burgers are often overpowered by lots of blue cheese crumbles or a huge cooked patty of blue cheese but this one was very subtle, all you need with blue cheese on a burger. The burger was served with bacon and red pepper aioli on a brioche bun. His was cooked perfectly with a little pink in the middle, was very tender, and not overpowering like the last burgers we had. They accidentally served his with sweet potato fries when he ordered the truffle fries, so guess what? We got a whole plate of truffle fries on the side. Fries for days! I think we ended up eating like 10% of the fries, we had so much.
Overall, the burgers were decent. I probably would skip the turkey burger next time for a real burger because YOLO. However, I’ll be back for the brussel sprouts and their fries. I really liked the atmosphere of the bar too. It’s a self-proclaimed sports bar. It has great decor and awesome taste in music (I think they may have even been playing my favorite Pandora station), while still having TVs that aren’t overly distracting. I did steal a glance or two at the Canadian football that was playing on the screens. We were also given coupons for their weekend brunch, so hopefully we can swing back down into downtown for some brussels, mimosas, and breakfast burgers.
The Bear & The Bull. 431 N Wells. Chicago, IL. 312.527.5973.