The General

Restaurants, Soul and southern American Logan Square
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The General

The Logan Square restaurant and mercantile works best as a bar.

Sometimes, it’s easy to tell the difference between a bar and a restaurant. No food? It’s a bar. Would you order food but not necessarily drink? Restaurant. Other times, the line is blurry, particularly when the bar dominates the space. There are many bars I wish I could eat dinner at every night, and restaurants that have perfectly good drinks, but aren’t quite there with the food. The General Restaurant & Mercantile falls in the latter category, and having “restaurant” in the name detracts from what it feels like—a comfortable bar, with good drinks from Emma Sterzinger.

The name implies you’re there to eat (and maybe buy things to go, like booze), but the menu, which remixes Mexican and Southern flavors into tacos, sides and snacks, needs finessing. Taco combinations like smoked bourbon brisket with tomatoes, onion, pepper and poblano sauce and fried catfish with sour cream, peas and slaw, generally work in terms of flavors, although they’re structurally unsound, with huge amounts of filling overwhelming the tiny tortillas. Only the gravy-topped fried chicken is a manageable taco. Other dishes don’t come together either—collard greens have a muddy consistency, the guacamole cries out for salt and shrimp and grit chimichangas are a dry mash-up.

And so you will drink—there’s a solid beer list, the Simmerson is a tall, refreshing mix of rum, caramelized pineapple syrup and falernum, and the Abolitionist is a bright gin drink with hibiscus tea, grapefruit liqueur and Lillet Rouge—and with good service and the chill vibe, you’ll be happy about it.

Vitals

Atmosphere: Open and airy, with brick walls, wooden tables and a country vibe. In front, shelves are filled with beer and wine for sale.

What to eat: Fried chicken taco.

What to drink: The Simmerson or Abolitionist cocktails. There’s also a solid beer list, with BuckleDown and Moody Tongue brews, as well as ciders. For $8 on weekdays, get a beer, shot and taco.

Where to sit: Up front, where the open windows lend an airy feel. Besides a bar, there’s a patio and some two-tops. Some tables are tucked in back, and there’s also a cute back patio. 

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The General says
The General is a rustic-chic saloon serving Southern Comfort Food. Smoked meats, tacos, mac 'n cheese, homemade pie, and an array of craft cocktails and beer. Join us for our Bluegrass Brunch each Saturday (11am-3pm) featuring live Bluegrass music from local Chicago bands.
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By: Amy Cavanaugh

Posted:

Venue name: The General
Contact:
Address: 2528 N California Ave
Chicago
60647
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 4pm-2am, Sat-Sun 11am-3am
Transport: El stop: Blue to California, Logan Square. Bus: 52, 74.
Do you own this business?
To improve this listing email: feedback@timeout.com

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The General is an unexpected spot in Logan Square with a southern theme. While I wasn't crazy about the menu (not a lot of options for vegetarians), the space was cute and I love the concept of rotating beer specials that come in a cowboy boot.