Walking around DePaul University's campus, it's possible for a few moments to feel completely separated from the city, which is an impressive feat for a college plopped down right in the middle of Lincoln Park. But the city is always there if you need it, especially when it is time to eat.
'barrelhouse flat' on Serious Eats
I'd arrived at Barrelhouse Flat around 4 p.m. that afternoon. Owner Stephen Cole had graciously granted my request to shadow the staff during their prep, service, and closing, with the goal of coming away with an unfettered look at what makes the place tick.
Unlike the ideally proportioned cocktails that come in cool coupes from Barrelhouse Flat, the porchetta sandwich ($15) arrives looking like a big hot mess. So, how does one politely dig into a sandwich the size of a football while sipping a cocktail, especially when said sandwich also happens to be dripping with juices and stuffed with heaps and heaps of meat?
Poutine. Some people love it. Some people hate it. Some people don't even know what it is. I, for one, can't get enough of it. Born and raised in Montréal, I've had a plethora of good and bad poutines, and I like to think that I'm experienced when it comes to this indigenous 'hot mess' of a dish.