The General, in Logan Square, is a hot spot for craft beer and satisfying food. Their focus is on soul food and artisan tacos– which is a mighty fine combination if you ask me. Their daily special is really one of the best in Chicago. For $8ºº you can have yourself any one of their tacos (5 to choose from, with a Vegan option), a 12oz craft beer served in a boot and to finish it off, a shot of bourbon.
The General embraces the Old-West styling of a General Store / Mercantile. The heavy use of wood, brick and warm lighting transports you back to a time where you couldn’t get in the door unless you were wearing spurs; however, that’s no longer a dress code requirement.
It is a relatively small restaurant, but it keeps it at a relaxing pace. There is seating at the bar, main floor tables and a back, raised up area by the kitchen that provides more seating options.
The mercantile portion of The General sells a hearty selection of craft beer and liquor. Some hard to find bottles, as well as the standard ones, adorn their shelves. When I was there– they were having a phenomenal sale of some 22oz Lagunitas brews for a mere $4ºº!
I quickly jumped on that sale and snagged an Imperial Pils and a Maximum IPA to enjoy when I got back home. They even put them in the fridge for us so they’d be nice and chilly by the time that we decided to embark.
Food & Drink
My friends and I originally came in for their daily special (mentioned above), but after looking at the menu I knew that I couldn’t settle for just one taco. Instead, I ordered up a plateful of tacos and a new-to-me can of beer.
This Lawyers, Guns & Money – by Crazy Mountain Brewing Company out of Colorado – is classified as a Barley Wine; however, it was far different than any Barley Wines that I’ve indulged in thus far. Rather than having the traditional bitter / tart attribute, it more or less hit my palate like a strong IPA would. That could be due to the strong citrus hints and aroma to it. Very hoppy, but ultimately refreshing at 10% ABV.
We ordered up four tacos, which included a side of slaw.
•The Shot and a Beer Can Taco was pretty ridiculous. They combine slow-roasted and tequila marinated chicken with pork belly and top it with collard greens, avocado southern spiced aioli and cilantro. The aioli alone was good enough to drink.
•Next up was the Bayonet Smoked & Roasted Pork Shoulder Taco. The sweetness of the honey on the pork shoulder complimented the tanginess of the phenomenal Carolina mustard BBQ sauce. As far as BBQ tacos go, this is right on the money.
•Then, I committed to the General Logan Smoked Bourbon Brisket Taco. The Bourbon Brisket is smoked in house and braised in roasted tomatoes– which essentially means that it’s impossible to say no to. The poblano chile sauce accents the tender meat in a way that you just need to commit to experiencing first-hand. Finally, onion and orange bell peppers come in to tie everything together.
• The last was the Vicksburg Fried Mudcat Taco. That is compiled of crunchy fried Southern-style catfish, and topped with the traditional combination of smoked garlic jalapeños, black eyed peas, in-house made habanero pickle, sour cream, slaw and a lime to add a hint of sweetness.
Unfortunately, I’m not the biggest fish / seafood fan so I opted out of this one– but my buddy devoured it and was about to order another one. I think that means that it receives a Gold Star rating as well.
The General Overview
The General is a Logan Square staple– with food and drink specials happening on the daily, that alone is enough to convince me. However, they have events streaming through their doors as well. Perhaps my favorite is their Bluegrass Brunch on Saturdays from 11am-3pm. There is just something that feels so right about drinking a Smoked Bloody Mary while listening to the twang of a banjo and the high notes of a harmonica.
Here are The General directions to one of the best venues in Logan Square :
2528 N California Ave, Chicago, IL 60647
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