Since the company I work for moved offices last spring to that wonderful toilet known as Ravenswood, a co-worker and myself have been lamenting the loss of our Friday tradition, lunch at the Palace Grill. For those not in the know (or in the city of Chicago even), the Palace is, for lack of a better term, an old time greasy spoon. Think of Mel’s Diner but with much better food.
The owner, George, is a super friendly person who remembers everyone who comes in there on any sort of regular basis. He’ll come up to you and ask how you are doing and shake your hand. The staff are all very friendly too, and most of them have worked there a lot longer than the 4 years I’ve been eating there. We hadn’t eaten there since we moved almost a year ago so last week we decided to make the trek over there for lunch. It was nice that we were remembered after all that time and the food was just as we remembered it.
The lure of the Palace for myself and some fellow co-workers was the “palace burger”. This is a 1/2 pound burger that comes on French bread. It is a site to behold and it tastes awesome. It will sneak up on you however. The first time you eat it you’ll think, “well that was a pretty good burger” but then you’ll find yourself thinking about it a couple days later and then wanting another one and then the next thing you know, it becomes your Friday lunch tradition. I don’t know of any other place that I’ve been to that serves a burger on French bread, and that bread totally makes the burger, they have some of the best bread around.
Where our new office is, there isn’t anything like the Palace. There isn’t any place that hooks you in and makes you want to become a regular. Hell, there isn’t much there that makes you want to leave the office to eat instead of bringing lunch, unless you hop in the car and drive to Potbellys or Hot Dougs.
I think we are going to have to bring back “Palace Fridays” albeit not quite as frequently since it is a far drive and time consuming, but man is it worth it.