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SAVOR Ballast Point Chicago; Epic's milkshake
DISH: Weekly Dining Guide
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2018-07-30

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Looking for a nice selection of beers with some very nice culinary options? Then look no farther than Ballast Point Chicago ( 212 N. Green St.; www.ballastpoint.com/location/chicago/ ).

Located in the Fulton Market district, Ballast Point ( part of a chain that originated in San Diego ) is a nautical-themed spot that offers a 4,000-square-foot rooftop with bar and lounge seating in addition to the 250 seats for guests in the 12,000 square-foot main tap house. And there are spots with names such as Captain's Quarters and Crow's Nest.

But before you confuse this spot with a Long John Silver's, consider the elevated atmosphere—and on-site brewery. More than 40 beers are offered, in categories such as "crisp and bright" and "barrel-aged." I opted for a rather tasty flight of beers—and I consumed more than I thought I would, despite me not being the biggest fan of the drink.

And as for the cuisine, Chef John Diaz ( who hails from Virginia ) has some tantalizing options ( and he is coolly gregarious, even as my dining companion was mooning over Diaz himself ). Some of the dishes are quite unexpectedly wonderful, such as the pork-belly nachos—which sound normal, but come with goat-cheese curds and cherries. ( Trust me when I say that combination works. ) And the chopped kale salad features pickled onion, hominy, avocado, feta, savory granola and chipotle lime vinaigrette. Other offerings includes fried-chicken Monte Cristo and BP wings ( with one variation involving sorghum BBQ ).

And, as for dessert, the new frybread ( with, yes, cherries ) is absolutely wonderful. ( By the way, these are all items from the rooftop menu—not that there's too much room to maneuver in this bustling spot.

For a more seamless guest experience, the brewpub's rooftop will allow guests to close or add to a tab previously opened on the main floor.

Be sure to top the experience with a tour—and if you can get the colorful server Dani to lead the way, your visit will end on an intriguing note, I guarantee.

By the way, Ballast Point Chicago is marking Sours of the Wench Day on Sunday, Aug. 12, so you may want to check out the scene.

An 'Epic' milkshake

Many people already crowd Epic Burger ( various locations; epicburger.com/ ), but now there's an additional reason to go.

Epic is debuting five new gourmet milkshakes ( $6.99 each ) with the launch of its new milkshake counters. Flavors include Strawberry Shortcake ( the delicious one I tried, complete with large strawberry and pound-cake chunks on the bottom ), Lemon Coconut, Nutella, Gimme S'mores and Coffee & Cream.

These drinks are the essence of indulgence.

Note: Restaurant profiles/events are based on invitations arranged from restaurants and/or firms.


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