Gordon Biersch achieves the sometimes-elusive combo of producing both quality food and beer on site. The large restaurant/brewery makes five beers on the premises, offers a diverse menu of American cuisine and has a spacious and comfortable atmosphere. Located in the Bolingbrook Promenade, this is the first Illinois location for the chain that began in California in 1988 (most of its restaurants are in the west and southeast).
The beer menu includes a Hefeweizen, a Czech lager and rotating seasonal brews. But its most popular is the auburn-colored Maizen, which has a nice mild taste with a hint of sweetness. For the non-beer drinkers, the bar offers wine, mojitos and everything in between. After settling on a drink, you may find it just as difficult to decide on the eats. Aside from standard appetizers like wings and calamari, there are some standouts like the garlic fries and crispy artichoke hearts (starters range from $6-$12). Entrees include everything from specialty pizzas ($12) and sandwiches ($9-$12) to seafood and steaks, including a bone-in ribeye topped with gorgonzola butter ($26.50).
The classy interior has a roomy feel with its high vaulted ceilings and multiple seatingoptions. High-top tables, booths and TVs fill the bar area at the entrance. While the dining area features some large, comfy booths and a side room with big windows letting in lots of natural light. There are also two outdoor patio areas—one facing the parking lot and the other facing the walk-in entrance to the Promenade's shops.
Average cost: $10-$20
Centerstage Reviewer: Jim Collins