By: Lauren Pause (Loyola Sophomore)
When it comes to restaurants in Rogers Park, Bulldog Ale House has certainly made a name for itself as a go-to spot for residents and visitors alike.
The sports bar scene in northern Chicago is quite few and far between, and this can easily be chalked up to Bulldog’s being able to satisfy that craving with its easily-loved American dishes and casual brewery aesthetic.
Although the restaurant is a favorite in the neighborhood, especially for Loyola University Chicago students, Bulldog’s is still relatively new.
The project to build Bulldog’s was announced in the summer of 2016 by its owner, Max Amenti. The location, 6606 N Sheridan Rd, was previously a cellphone and corner store, and even a Halloween costume store at one point.
Despite the address’s previous short-lived businesses, Bulldog Ale House has stood as a strong constant in the area. I recently went to the restaurant to see for myself if it lives up to the hype.
When you think of what a sports bar should look like, you are thinking of the interior of Bulldog Ale House: dimmed lights, saloon-style booths and tv screens that line the walls of the intimately-sized space. I ended up going at a time when no sports games were on, but normally the TVs are all on and the speakers are alive with the sounds of sports games. Despite how much I love the interior of Bulldog’s, we decided to eat out on the patio because there was such beautiful weather that day.
We started with a plate of wings as an appetizer before getting entrées. You can get a plate of 10 wings for $18 or five wings for $14. We ended up getting a plate of five wings with the Honey BBQ sauce, but there are 12 sauces you can pick from.
The wings were my favorite part of the meal. The fried parts of the wings had a nice crispiness to them and the sauce was tangy with a slight hint of sweetness. This was the first time I had ever tried the wings at Bulldog’s before, and it certainly won’t be the last time.
Bulldog Ale House doesn’t have a formal “specialty” dish, but if they did it would be their sliders. It’s the dish that is most recommended by the waiting staff as well as regular customers. So it only makes sense that my favorite meal at Bulldog’s is the Buffalo Chicken Sliders.
The Buffalo Chicken Sliders come with a side of fries and are $13 for three sliders, and $17 for six sliders. They are made to perfection with a fluffy bun, lettuce, crispy chicken, buffalo sauce and bleu cheese dressing. As someone who can’t handle too much spice, the sliders strike a great balance of ingredients so that nothing is overbearing in the dish. Specifically, the piquant buffalo sauce and cooling bleu cheese dressing are an exceptional juxtaposition of taste. However, while I do love Bulldog’s, I do not like the fries they serve. They can be quite dry and tend to need a little more salt, in my opinion.
The other entrée we ordered was the Memphis Burger for $19 (also comes with a side of fries). The burger is topped with BBQ pulled pork, cheddar cheese, coleslaw and an onion ring. The dish has a great blend of flavors that compliment each other, and each bite was accented with a satisfying crunch of the coleslaw. However, the onion ring, while impressive to look at, was a little difficult to eat with the rest of the burger, due to how tall it was.
To conclude our meal, we got another Bulldog’s favorite, the Baked Brownie Bottom Pie. The dessert is $8 and is worth every penny. The brownie looks as awesome as it tastes, as it comes in a skillet and is topped with vanilla ice cream, whipped cream and chocolate sauce. The warm brownie batter with the melted ice cream is simply outstanding, and an amazing swan song to end our time at Bulldog’s.
All in all, Bulldog’s is a fantastic place for some classic American cuisine in the Rogers Park area. The little restaurant packs so much charm into a small venue, and you can tell there’s a lot of care put into the place. If you ever find yourself looking for a fun place to relax with loved ones and watch a game, Bulldog Ale House is the perfect place to do it.
For more information about Bulldog Ale House, visit this site.