For the fan who wants to be bombarded by sports culture while watching the big game, Allstar provides the meat, the beer, a plethora of television screens and walls covered with historic sports memorabilia. Thankfully the bar and grill stops short of titling all its entrees with cheesy, sports-related names like "Home Run Cobb Salad" or "The DH-rule is Ruining the Game Chicken Wings." Located inside the Presidential Towers on Madison Street, Allstar has a wood-paneled interior filled with autographed jerseys, pictures and balls from virtually every Chicago professional team known to exist, providing a familiar, welcoming atmosphere for the Chicago sports fan eager to gloat/moan about the past.
Most of the menu wisely doesn't stray from the typical sports bar fare—and the $1 burger special on Wednesdays after 5 p.m. may tempt even a vegan sports fan—but adds classy little tweaks on traditional junk food. Consider the nachos platter, which comes in the form of slightly breaded ravioli with ricotta cheese and marinara sauce. And if you're looking for something you couldn't get at a stadium or arena, there are plenty of more substantial dishes, like a tilapia oreganata filet.
The collection of memorabilia is immense, even overwhelming, but Allstar doesn't appear to favor one team over another. In fact, the bar seems to accommodate any type of fan (so long as you're not from Wisconsin), even the occasional chap who wants to catch the soccer match from across the pond.
Average cost: <$10
Centerstage Reviewer: Andy Seifert