The weekend is over and all you have to look forward to are meetings, email, studying, exams, chores, working out – you know, the daily struggle that’s essentially the drudgery of life. Um…no. Get yourself out for any of these Monday night specials that will assuage the stifling normality of weekdays and bring, at least, an air of weekend fun.
1829 W. Chicago Ave.
Chicago, IL 60622
You’ll have to wait until the last Monday of the month, but fantastic things come to those who wait. Chef Fred Despres features special ramen and noodle dishes on the last Monday evening of every month from 5 – 9:15 p.m. paired with Asahi Japanese beer ($4) and Arami’s custom-brewed sake Ichi No Tori ($9 a glass/$15 hot carafe). Complimentary table side sake tastings are also offered. Don’t be surprised if guest chefs are also aboard concocting specialty noodle dishes. As the weather warms, Arami will feature cold noodle dishes. Reservations are encouraged, but not required.
325 S. Franklin St.
Chicago, IL 60606
Franklin Tap, a quick shot across the street from Willis Tower, offers a featured draft (12 handles) paired with a special burger for just $13, unheard of in this part of the Loop. Chef Glenn Pistorio patties all kinds of burgers for the special, including bison, black bean, turkey and classic ground chuck. You might sink into a Diablo with Buffalo sauce, pepper jack cheese, jalapeños and grilled onions. Or try a Santa Fe Turkey Burger with melted Monterey Jack cheese, pico de gallo and chipotle mayonnaise; a Bacon Cheddar featuring Merkt’s cheddar and crisp bacon; or a Greek Burger, among the featured specials. His deal is available from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Mondays.
2000 W. Roscoe St.
Chicago, Illinois 60618
Strictly on manic Mondays, Commonwealth Tavern offers a wonderful Charcuterie Plate special paired with five 8-ounce beers for $25. The plate will include an assortment of housemade meats, preserves and pickles along with the pairings: Jagerwurst with Weihenstephaner Hefeweizen; pork rillette with Three Floyds Alpha King IPA; chicken liver mousse with Dark Horse Boffo Brown Ale; Dunbarton blue cheese with Half Acre Daisy Cutter Pale; and a lovely Camembert cheese with Boulevard Tank 7 Farmhouse Ale.
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2922 W. Irving Park Road
Pitchfork is the corner saloon your dad would have loved, except in his day, there were no specials and the menu consisted of a bag of chips and a spicy Slim Jim. Think “pitchfork” as in “an instrument to move hay” as opposed to the hipster music festival that calls Chicago home, and you’ll get the vibe. The friendly, rustic atmosphere (and an extensive whiskey list that makes things even happier), solid barbecue and reasonable prices would win over any pub goer. Monday night you’ll save even more when the specials include $3 Bud Light Drafts, $5 Revolution Beers and $5 for a two-fisted half-pound burger with a side.
Phil Stefani’s 437 Rush
437 N. Rush St.
Chicago IL 60611
If you’re living, working, visiting or shopping downtown, you have to know about Phil Stefani’s Workweek Countdown. From 4:30 to 7 p.m., say “Che fortuna” and sup on some fine appetizers for half price like Capesante (roasted diver scallops, pickled mushrooms, micro greens, truffle dressing); Autunnale – imported buffalo mozzarella, fresh tomato coulis, tomato petals, oven dried cherry tomatoes, red onion confit, basil oil; and a melange of fried calamari, shrimp, mixed vegetables and homemade tartar sauce; among others. We think you’ll agree, these ain’t no wings and pretzels. In addition, there are drink specials: $6 Kettle One Martini; $5 House Wine by the glass; $4 Craft Beer (house selection); and $3 Bud Light or Miller Lite.
Jacky Runice has been a columnist with the Daily Herald Chicago since grunge music and flannel was the new black. Her fingers and gray matter have been busy as travel editor of Reunions Magazine; penning a column that was syndicated around the nation via Tribune Media Services. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.