Francesca’s vs. Francesca’s: The bloody showdown

I love Mia Francesca’s. When I lived in Edgewater, Matt and I would go to their location on Bryn Mawr religiously. It is so wonderfully delicious and such an awesome atmosphere. It is by far one of my favoritest places to dine in the city, even if just for their amazingly yummy carpaccio. Even now that we live in Roscoe Village and the location on Clark is infinitely closer, we have stayed true to our original favorite, occassionaly making the trek up north. Until this Thursday. We finally broke with tradition and went to the location on Clark. What a mistake.

If you have had the pleasure of dining at both locations, the differences are glaringly obvious. Whereas the location on Bryn Mawr is quiet and private, the location on Clark is very loud and very boisterous. You get the feeling that everyone inside is already drunk the second you walk in. Instead of the nice quiet booths at Bryn Mawr, the Clark loaction is more family style, with tables crammed right up next to each other.

I should have known better. I should have said “No, Matt. Run!! Run for the car!!” but I didn’t. We were seated at a table squeezed in between a group of 4 on my left, and a mother and son on our right. I took the seat at the booth, which was drastically knocked down in size due to the mother’s ginormous purse beach bag small suitcase taking up half my seat. We had barely started looking at the menu when it began.

Mother: [ something inaudible but clearly drunkenly slurred ]

Son: [ 5 times louder than necessary ] “Oh my god. We are in a restaurant. I can’t believe you said that out loud in a restaurant. What is your problem? God.”

He carried on scolding her for a couple more minutes as Matt and I looked at each other as if to say “Oh, fuck.” We tried to talk to each other about our days, but couldn’t hear a damn thing because of the noise level in the restaurant. As we waited for our appetizers to come, the fighting continued next to us.

Mother: [ again, something inaudible but clearly drunkenly slurred ]

Son: “You are such a child. You never support us. I want to do what I want to do in my life, and you never support it. All you care about is yourself. You are such a child and so selfish and all of us, as in YOUR CHILDREN, think so. Why can’t you just accept it. Blah blah blah blah [insert 5 more minutes of equally selfish whining here ]”

This continued for the duration of our meal, with me having to kick Matt in the leg multiple times to keep him from glaring at them. But they were both so clearly self-involved that they probably wouldn’t have given a damn anyway.

I am not gonna knock Francesca’s, because the food was terrific as always. However, I will suggest that if you are planning a nice meal there, you head over the location on Bryn Mawr. Unless being surrounded by noisy and drunk idiots is your scene. In that case, you may as well just head up the street to Barleycorn’s. It’s a hell of a lot cheaper.

3 Comments so far

  1. nikkos (unregistered) on June 3rd, 2005 @ 4:12 pm

    Next time you go to the Clark St. location, ask to be seated upstairs. Much quiter, more space between tables, etc.

  2. eric (unregistered) on June 6th, 2005 @ 1:21 pm

    Is the Francesca’s on Taylor related? I think it is. Also a much nicer alternative to the location on Clark (which I hate as well).

  3. Fuzzy (unregistered) on June 7th, 2005 @ 3:16 pm

    Yes, those three Chicago locations (Clark, Bryn Mawr, Taylor) are all owned by the same people, as are 11 suburban locations.

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