Double Wide Grill’s white fish seviche, served on a corn tortilla.
Photo courtesy of Double Wide Grill
I’m looking at the 10-day weather forecast. Yes, I know it’s the optimistic, reckless brother to the more sensible five-day forecast, but I’m embracing the future.
And the temperatures, it seems, are creeping up—not yet to full-on summer territory, but with regularity that ensures a comfortable night in the elements to anyone clothed in jeans and a hoodie. It is time to begin heading outside. It is time to taste beer in the fresh air.
It is time, once again, for Double Wide Grill.
Sure, I’ll stop in for a big meal full of ribs and gusto throughout the winter, but with more sunlight and higher nighttime lows, one’s inclination rises for the uniquely themed restaurant on the South Side. And Double Wide has obliged us by expanding their kitchen hours; you can get some great home-style grub until midnight Sunday through Tuesday or until 1 a.m. Wednesday through Saturday. Bonus: You can keep drinking ‘til 2 a.m. every night.
If you’re unfamiliar with Double Wide, you may have shuddered at the words “themed restaurant,” but make no mistake. This is no overpriced Rainforest Cafe, nor a place where you’ll pay ridiculous prices for cheesecake just for the opportunity to eat it near some sunglasses that someone wore while filming Terminator 2. This is a brilliant bit of marketing and design, turning that ‘Burgh staple—down-home cookin’—into a fun, festive experience, with every night posing as the best cookout you’ve ever attended.
It starts with the food. I’d like to direct your attention to the special barbecue menu—featuring the most meat-tastic thing this side of the Hofbrauhaus, the “Pig Out” (1/3 rack of ribs, chorizo, bacon and pulled pork for $15.29.) I can’t pass an opportunity to mention my personal favorite, though, the “Build Your Own TV Dinner”—pick a main course and four sides, and it’ll appear on a metal TV dinner tray, just like grandma used to give ya (when she didn’t have time to cook). Crazy delicious, and a filling steal at $15.99.
Double Wide’s underrated as a Sports Bar, too—remember, not everywhere you go to watch the game need be a generic family restaurant-style festival of wings and light beer. They’ve got a quartet of 10-foot projection screens, so you won’t miss a thing.
I also must mention the beer—right now, Double Wide has around 35 on tap, including Maudite, Bells Two Hearted Ale, Great Lakes Conway Irish Ale, Arcadia Hopmouth Double IPA … I could go on.
But mostly, it feels like every night you ever spent on a lawn chair in good company—only infinitely more delicious. Get three to seven close friends, get a table outside (you might have to wait), and spend the whole night. Someone will challenge someone to the beanbag toss game, an impromptu eating contest may erupt or you might just spend a night reminiscing and cracking jokes ‘til well after midnight.
There are surprisingly few places on the South Side to do this kind of thing outdoors; fortunately, Double Wide Grill is the all you’ll need.