With the name Saloon included in our moniker, one could surmise that we here at TMS like to drinky drinky. One that would make such an assumption would be correct, thereby throwing out the whole, 'when you assume you make an 'ass' out of 'u' and 'me' bullshit. We're here to profile some of the local watering holes around Wrigley, so that you aren't the poor sap who gets dragged into going to the Cubby Bear before the game, wherein you are soon left wondering how your life spiraled out of control so quickly. Tommy Buzanis has pledged to help out with this column, as he is no stranger to the bottle, but you can rest assured that those promises are as empty as his shot glass. So here it is, another sporadically timed, mildly entertaining column that you can only find here at the TMS. Actually you can probably find lots of info on Wrigley bars in a much more concise and helpful format, but that's neither here nor there.
Today’s Bar: The Long Room, 1612 W. Irving Park (Look, I don't actually drink in Wrigleyville proper very often folks. You'll have to bear with me).
Douchebag Factor (1-10, with 10 being this guy): 2 (it would have been even lower, but there was a really shrill voiced girl that had trouble deciding what beer to get).
Who You’ll See Here: Mostly neighborhood folks. Decent mix of humanity. The Tamale Man.
What to Order: They have a pretty large beer selection here, as well as some decent specials. The prices seem about average-to-low for Chicago on most items. I had a couple of La Fin Du Mondes (one of my favorite beers) at 6 bucks apiece, followed by a Schlitz for 3. The kicker though was closing out with a Laphroaig Islay Malt Scotch for only 8 bucks (which is very decent for ordering that at a bar).
But really, what you need to bring your money for are the TAMALES. More on that later.
If you were to see a celebrity here, it would be: I'm just going to say Harry Dean Stanton. It seems like his kind of place. Not sure why. Just go with it.
Summary: The Long Room was a pretty low-key, very relaxed place when I visited it last night. Nice atmosphere, and so unpretentious that Chaim Witz would probably burst into flames if he crossed the threshold.
The bar is aptly named, as it runs narrowly down the length of its building. There is an outdoor porch in the back that I didn't see much of, but I can assume is nice. There's a photobooth in the back if you like wasting money, and a good amount of regular "seating" booths (I hate sitting at regular tables in bars). And get this: it has parking for customers.
Again, there were a lot of beers available (enough that I panicked and went to a go-to beer to start), and what seemed like a pretty good liquor selection as well.
But what makes it for me is that that atmosphere of comfort and relaxation is interrupted every hour by The Tamale Man. I love bars with tamale salesmen coming through. Made fresh in a van parked nearby, these little packets of joy are sold in bunches of six, and man are they worth it. One of the people in our party said they were as good as the tamales his grandmother made, and I guarantee you that they're better than my grandmother ever could have made (however, this is probably because my grandmother probably never saw a tamale in her life).
Really, I'm actually annoyed writing this, because I want more of those tamales. They're like crack, only legal and you don't feel like a dirtbag 15 minutes after trying one at a party out in Goose Creek, South Carolina and STOP LOOKING AT ME!!!!!1
Anyway, good bar, great tamales, parking. Check it out.
Thunder Matt Rating: 5.5 piping hot tamales out of 6.
1. I actually have never smoked crack. That was ACTING!
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