Big Jones – Marvelous Southern Coastal Cuisine in Chicago
Raise your hand if you’re having employment and money woes. Oh, hello, most of America. Me, too! And if my boyfriend were here, he’d raise his hand, too. But he’s out chasing work, which makes it all the more important that his birthday dinner on Sunday be enjoyable and memorable.
Thanks to my half-Southern roommate, I had once been treated to the marvelousness that is Big Jones restaurant at 5347 North Clark Street. And since my boyfriend is a Southern boy at heart, and an adventurous foodie to boot, I thought a nice birthday dinner at Big Jones was the perfect choice.
From start to finish, our evening at Big Jones was delightful. Granted, we were there on a Sunday night, so we probably got more personal attention from our server than we may have otherwise, but honestly, from the complementary red pepper and cream cheese appetizer, to the crab cakes, to the super fancy bevvies and entrees, everything was just lovely.
Big Jones’ cocktail menu is an impressive array of specialty beers, carefully chosen wines, and mixed drinks that will have you feeling like sophisticated ladies and gentlemen even if you stumbled in the door exhausted from a video shoot in rumpled jeans and a hoodie (oops, maybe that was just me). I can vouch for the deliriously delicious The Original Sazerac, (Remy VS Cognac, Absinthe, Peychaud’s Bitters, and a touch of cane syrup), as well as the True North Cherry Coke (True North Cherry Vodka and Coca-Cola).
My boyfriend tore through a generous plate of Shrimp and Grits (with savory house tasso gravy and organic white hominy grits) while I dug into a sandwich made of crisp Black Eye Pea Cakes dunked in Green Goddess dressing. Both were excellent.
How much did our waitress’ attentiveness add to our enjoyment of our meal? A lot. When she noticed I was nibbling my way through the cherries in my True North Cherry Coke, she brought me more, in a shot glass. Then she bought us each a birthday drink, and I’m pretty sure she gifted us the Mississippi Mud Pie (with a single candle) we had for dessert. Incidentally, the pie was encrusted with some freshly caramelized marshmallows, prompting me to remark (accurately) that I could easily do with a small plate of nothing but toasted marshmallows for dessert and be very happy.
The music selection is also a perfect match – B-side Motown charmers and very pleasing Southern-tinged classic pop. So check out Big Jones if you are planning a special evening out – you’ll be glad you did.