Weber’s Grill, Chicago, IL

We ate lunch at the Weber Grill Restaurant in downtown Chicago and it was fantastic. Okay, I’m breaking my rule about chain restaurants again, but it’s worth it (plus, this one only spans two states and has four locations – so is it really a chain?).
We arrived at prime lunch time, about noon. We only had to wait 10 minutes for a table in the dining area, though we could have been seated right away in the bar. Service from the start was extremely attentive and personable. Our waiter was very helpful with suggestions on the menu when I had trouble deciding between three items and helped me settle on just the right one.
Before our meal were were served fresh pretzel buns with traditional sweet cream butter and a cheddar butter. If you’ve read my blog postings before you may know that I have a special weakness for pretzel bread that’s done well, and this was. The rolls had that unique pretzel flavor with a warm and soft interior. The cheddar butter was an interesting change and the cheddar flavor wasn’t overwhelming. The sweet cream butter also went well.
I ordered the barbecue chicken entree which included corn bread (my deciding factor on this dish), baked beans and coleslaw. There indoor grilling method on the specially designed Weber grills in the restaurant really did the trick. You would never know that this chicken was prepared indoors. It had the flavor of an expertly prepared outdoor grilled dish with perfect char lines while keeping the meat moist and tender. The barbecue sauce was a sweet tomato based version with nice flavor balance. The cornbread was lightly sweetened and the coleslaw was simple, but good. The baked beans which had a few bits of pork shoulder for richness and texture were a special treat. Sweet and smoky flavors with a mix of kidney beans and white beans for a nice contrast.
I got much more than I expected from this restaurant. It will be a regular stop when I’m back in Chicago.