The Logan Square tavern focuses on off-cuts of meat but can't quite succeed at using them
Chicago has returned to its steakhouse roots lately with numerous contemporary takes, and many more on the way. But while the name suggests that Son of a Butcher belongs in that conversation, it takes a different approach to meat—specifically the off-cuts, like beef tongue, which a butcher would eat at home.
So upon sitting at the Logan Square restaurant, from owner Adolfo Garcia (Pearl Tavern, Heating & Cooling) and chef Frank Valdez (Mexique), it kind of makes sense that diners receive a complimentary plate of ham and pickles—although the tiny scraps and fatty pieces seem more like the discarded remnants of someone’s charcuterie board. But it’s something to pick at while perusing the menu, which consists of small plates, large plates and sandwiches.
Offal is nothing new in Chicago, so the heart and bone marrow don’t pose a big challenge for diners—though having "butcher" in the name suggests serious butchery work is happening here, so you’d expect to find some prime cuts alongside the offal. Instead, there are mostly vegetarian starters, like heavy goat cheese fritters, an overdressed squash salad and a tasty “cochinita pibil” hummus, seasoned with annatto. Entrees include an underseasoned pork cheek torta and a leaden beef burger, while the oddest sounding combo—mussels and meatballs—works, thanks to a lively tomato, bacon and piquillo sauce that complements both proteins. But the entrees ranged from cold to lukewarm, and service from disinterested to smothering, so by the time dessert arrives, it’s a relief that the single offering is pie from Bang Bang Pie Shop. There’s a balance to strike at Son of a Butcher, but they just haven’t found it.
Atmosphere: The design is an eclectic combination of things, including old photographs and paintings, taxidermy and knickknacks.
What to eat: Hummus, mussels and meatballs, pie.
What to drink: On the cocktail list, the Smokin’ Rose is pleasantly smoky with mezcal, blackberry and Peychaud’s, but others, like the Butcher Fashioned (more of a Sazerac), were out of balance. The beer list has plenty of good stuff, though, so try an Off Color beer or Vander Mill Cider.
Where to sit: There’s a mix of bar seating and tables, as well as a patio along N Richmond St. If it’s nice, grab a spot outdoors.
|Venue name:||Son of a Butcher Tavern||Contact:|
2934 W Diversey Ave
|Opening hours:||Tue–Fri 5pm-2am, Sat 11am-3am, Sun 11am-2am|
|Transport:||El stop: Blue to Logan Square. Bus: 52, 76.|
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Well it looks like Timeout needs to update the listing for SOB. The place is now under the Whisk umbrella and that has made for some delightful changes to the menu. For starters, they truly do have some of the best wings in the city! Smokey and easy off the bone, they pack a lot of flavor into each bite. No matter your spirit of choice, the drink menu will not let you down. Definitely try the margarita and the peach tea. They also a very respectable beer list, draught and bottled. SOB is open for brunch and dinner and you cant lose with either one. The pancakes are a must have for brunch and rather you're in for a snack or meal, just like at Whisk, SOB has some great tacos.
On top of the amazing food here, the service is simply outstanding. Rick and his team are extremely accommodating and truly do their best to make your dining experience enjoyable.
Great neighborhood spot! The burger's super great and they have a pretty good beer selection. Basically feels like a chiller, smaller version of Longman and Eagle.
We enjoyed it very much and enjoyed it for what it is: a tavern. Which is also in the name of the restaurant. Regarding your assertion, "Offal is nothing new in Chicago, so the heart and bone marrow don’t pose
a big challenge for diners," that is indeed true. In fact, we have thousands of restaurants in this city, so technically *nothing* is new. This is a great dining town, no matter how our views on ketchup will cause you to flee.