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SAVOR SafeHouse Chicago; Baconfest
DISH: Weekly Dining Guide in Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2017-04-05

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Five kung-fu poses...

These constituted the hoop that I and two complete strangers had to jump through once we entered SafeHouse Chicago ( 60 E. Ontario St.; SafehouseChicago.com )—a spy-themed, basement-level restaurant that apparently has a very loyal following in Milwaukee and that just opened in Chicago. ( A grand opening took place on March 30 that featured, among other things, a cadre of dancing teens done up, Goldfinger style. )

For those who like themed restaurants, SafeHouse is a gold mine; for those who dislike them, a visit here might spark a thousand eye-rolls.

The decor is all about spying and surveillance. ( There are several monitors downstairs that let patrons see what others have to do to gain entrance. ) There are all sorts of buttons to push on the walls, servers and patrons are called "agents"—and even the food is referred to as "evidence" as we engage on "missions" of eating. ( I'd love to see if the agent servers are just as energetic a few months from now. )

Speaking of food ( and drink ), of course they have spy-related names. My dining companion and I really liked the Spy Sliders, but other offerings include Thunderballs ( atomic homemade meatballs ), The Provocateur ( burger topped with brie and bacon jam ) and Fried C4 Cheese Curds. Skip the very blah Furtive Fish Fry and go with The Station Chief's Salmon ( one of the best items there ). I've yet to try Mata Hari's Meatloaf, but the name alone makes me wary.

SafeHouse isn't for everyone. It either can be quite fun—or it might be a mission impossible.

Baconfest Chicago

Chicago's biggest meat-and-greet took place this past weekend as the ninth annual Baconfest was held March 31-April 1 at the UIC Forum.

Want to be knocked out by a couple stats? More than 4,500 people consumed four tons of bacon. Some of the standouts during the April 1 lunch session included Antique Taco's carnita taco ( with roasted pork, queso, pickled onion, Nueske's bacon and ) tortilla verde ), Pork & Mindy's pig candy cannoli and Honey Butter Fried Chicken's loaded mash ( smashed potatoes, fried chicken, pimento Buffalo sauce, bacon crunchies and chive crema ). There were even dessert items such as maple-bacon macarons as well as cocktails.

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


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