Goldyburgers feels like everyone's neighborhood bar, even if your neighborhood happens to be in Chicago, ten or twenty miles away. Here's a bar and grill in a historic but unpretentious building, jammed to the rafters with cardboard scoreboards, tributes to Michael Jordan and old Soldier Field memorabilia but more low-key than your typical sports bar. Friendly but never overbearing bartenders and wait staff serve a crowd that, on a weekday night, appeared to consist mostly of regulars.
There's plenty to entice patrons back to this bar, including $3-$3.50 house wines and $4.75 Guinness and Smithwick's on tap. Most domestic bottles are $2.50; Goose Island 312 is $4. The hearty, juicy, only slightly greasy half-pound burgers, come in eleven varieties at the reasonable price of $7-$8 and served with potato pancakes or fries. You'll even find a pineapple, bacon and bleu cheese-topped Hawaiian. Appetizers range from reliable wings and mozzarella sticks to the Armadillo Eggs, which is really just a creative name for jalapeno poppers.
The Friday night fish fry features a heaping pile of perch or shrimp in a basket or cocktail for under $10. Vegetarians dragged here by their carnivorous friends can order the salad, grilled cheese, Eli's cheesecake…and that's about it.
In the summer, Sox faithful congregate at the generously sized beer garden by a playful mural, which heralds news of "Another Crosstown Series." It's another sign we're all friends here.
Average cost: <$10
Centerstage Reviewer: Justin Sondak