We’re guilty of hunting down the Dönermen food truck in desperate need of an indulgent, slightly spicy and wholly satisfying currywurst on more than one occasion. Now there’s a spot where we can reliably snack on our favorite food truck dishes—plus, they have something we’ve always wanted with our curry fries: Beer. Food trucks laws in Chicago are notoriously strict, from downtown restrictions to food preparation regulations, leading more and more of our favorite mobile eateries to find brick-and-mortar alternatives. Dönermen is the most recent truck to join this club, which makes sense, as their food is the perfect accompaniment to a night of drinking.
The new Avondale bar is dangerous insomuch that it provides us with everything we could possibly need after a day at work, located just a short jaunt from the Belmont Blue Line. The bar is small and with only a handful of table for groups larger than two, your seating choice is easy: Belly up to the bar. You’ll order drinks from the bar and food from the kitchen’s window, but the staff will bring both to your seat.
The food menu is identical to the Dönermen food truck, no new dishes or specials—something we would have loved to see with an expanded brick-and-mortar location. It’s something that the group is working on, but for now you’ll have to settle for old favorites. The food truck and bar both serve German–inspired street food, with added influences from Turkish immigrants who arrived in Germany in the early 1970s. Indian spices are the name of the game (currywurst and curry fries), while the marquee döner kebab combines juicy spit-roasted chicken with red pepper harissa and lettuce, topped with yogurt goat tzatziki. All dishes are available vegetarian, too.
The bar is stocked with eight craft beers on tap, boasting selections from the likes of Penrose and Three Floyds. There’s also a list of bottled and canned craft beers to wash down your tender döner kebab wrap or poutine. The space might be small but the walls are decorated with interesting Dungeons & Dragons-inspired paintings and 20-sided dice. The ideal time to start a campaign might be during happy hour, from 8 to 10pm on Sunday through Thursday, which offers half off most beer and drinks (Anyone down to be the DM?) If you’re looking for a no-frills beer bar and some solid food to accompany it, Dmen Tap could be your latest haunt.
Atmosphere: Fairly laid back with décor that will inspire nostalgia in any former teenage metal head who hosted a weekly D&D game.
Where to sit: Groups of three or four will need to snag a table at the front, while pairs will find tables along the backside of the bar, but we prefer a seat at the bar.
What to eat: Currywurst might be the most indulgent thing you can get—a bed of French fries with pork and veal sausage covered in curry sauce that’s perfectly tangy. If you’re trying to be healthy you could go for the döner salat (spit roasted meat on a bed of lettuce), but you’ll miss out on the fries.
What to drink: The draft list changes regularly—on our visit we indulged in a Penrose Devoir. There’s almost always something worthwhile from Three Floyds on tap.