Flagship, to many, may seem like just another typical sports bar. Upon first glance, I wouldn’t argue with you. However, being that sports games were flooding the copious amount of screens throughout the venue and my table didn’t pay attention to any of them one bit– while still managing to completely enjoy ourselves– says something more about Flagship Tavern & Grill in Lakeview.
Flagship’s layout caters to the notion of sit anyway and see multiple TVs. I find the open layout very welcome and the long bar to post up at will make even a loner feel welcome while they sip their whiskey and be the only one cheering for their team. However, Chicago and Miami sports fans will fit right in here.
I arrived just after they opened on a Wednesday, which allowed me to have my picking of tables– but Flagship is known to fill up– especially on game days.
Flagship has a fun drink menu. From a solid selection of cocktails that are suitable for all tastebuds, to beer, wine and their 128 ounce Mason Jar cocktails if you are looking to drink socially with friends or fall asleep at the bar (that’s not a challenge, nor recommended though).
•The Gin & Juice was definitely different than the standard Gin & Juice that Snoop Dogg and I are accustomed to drinking. The addition of grapefruit was a nice touch though. I could see myself drinking it more in the summer months, and Snoop would drink it if he decided to make a Reggae album over Rap.
(Hendricks gin, St Germaine, fresh lime juice, topped with tonic and grapefruit juice)
•I couldn’t say no to The Gingerman, which is essentially a glorified Whiskey / Ginger.
The addition of bitters was very welcome.
I’m somewhat of a Whisk Ging connoisseur since it was my go-to drink for a very long time– Flagship’s is right up there with the best.
(Jameson Irish Whisky, fresh lime juice, Angostura bitters, topped with Ginger Beer)
•In my standard procedure, I aided the digestive process after stuffing my face with a shot of Fernet– if you’ve never had it or heard of it, there is a chance that you may not like it.
If you enjoy Malort, Fernet will go down easy.
If you are open to trying new things– always end a meal with Fernet or have one as an appetizer.
On this visit, we decided to fully embrace the bar food options, as well as their taco special, and truly stuff our face with some quite delightful cuisine.
The Flagship Burger had a red box around it on the menu– and you can’t just ignore a red box. I’m glad that I didn’t. A little insight, Flagship took home the title of Number One Burger at Burgerfest 2012 in Roscoe Village.
Three years later, I would say that they are still a strong contender. The burger was cooked perfectly, with some pink still remaining to ensure juiciness. However, what really did it was the combination of the fresh avocado slices and the applewood bacon.
The two existed on top of the beef patty in complete and utter harmony.
Spicy Popcorn Shrimp
Alright, bear with me on this one. I’m not a fan of seafood, but my friends were pretty stoked to see popcorn shrimp on the menu and it received their approval– so I put on my big-boy pants and put one down the hatch.
The breading on these little guys were pretty perfect. The Buffalo and Dijon Ranch dipping sauces were also spot on. When I took that first bite down it displayed the somewhat firm yet rubbery pop between my teeth that I happen to despise. The taste was good, the texture just freaks my mouth out. However, I am pretty sure that means that they were cooked correctly and shrimp fans will be pumped.
Wings are one of my favorite foods ever– whenever I stumble across a place that has unique sauces, I’m all over them. In Flagship’s case, the Maker’s Mark / Chipotle BBQ wings were calling me. I have an affection for Maker’s Mark, as it takes me back to a very aggressive summer of 2012. Both the drums and wings were very meaty and juicy. If you have any appreciation for wings– these will hit the spot for sure.
The poutine at Flagship was just as good as any other that I’ve had. The fries alone are quite delightful, but once you add on their unique gravy and delicious cheese curds, you’ll find yourself in a cardiac heaven. Poutine has never been my favorite dish, but I found myself continuously reaching for more.
I know this sounds repetitive by now, maybe because I am a foodie that appreciates the simple things, but tacos are also among some of my favorite food. Taco specials are even harder to pass up. When I was there on a Wednesday, they had a special that was $2 tacos with a 3 taco minimum. They offer steak, pork and chicken tacos– naturally I ordered one of each. Chicken was my favorite, but I highly enjoy anything chicken related– the pork and steak definitely held their own though. For a taco craving at a discount, Flagship is hard to beat.
Flagship Chicago truly is not reserved for sports fans alone. Their food offerings are outstanding for when you are craving the standard fixings of a bar– but created at a higher level than expected. The decor is relaxing and there are plenty of seating options– bar, high tables and a stretch of booth seating. TVs are plentiful if you are indeed looking to watch a game and the staff is very accommodating. If you have yet to venture to Lakeview’s Flagship, the time is now.
1622 W Belmont Ave, Chicago, IL 60657
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