Chicago’s Signature Dishes: The meatball sandwich and “Smang It” burger at Temple Bar
By Trent Modglin
3001 N. Ashland in Lakeview
The very definition of an inviting Chicago neighborhood pub, the folks at Temple Bar treat you like family whether you’re a twice-weekly regular or a first-timer from out of town. A popular destination for Blackhawks and soccer fans (Manchester United, especially), it’s modeled after Dublin’s famous drinking establishment of the same name and is serious about its beer and food selections.
Forget that boring hoagie roll and a few bland meatballs. Temple Bar’s version of this classic sandwich takes things to another level. We’re talking pork-and-beef blended meatballs fit for a king, made fresh daily (no bread crumb filler here) and slathered in spicy tomato sauce, resting atop a thick slice of garlic toast and topped with a bit of parmesan, lemon zest and parsley. Uniquely simple in its rollout, and tasty enough to have you coming back for another a few days later.
“Smang It” burger
One of Temple’s 10 signature burgers, this is a house favorite, piled high with chipotle mayo, pepperjack cheese, smoked Spanish chorizo, jalapenos, avocado, lettuce, tomato and onion. While it brings a little heat, it’s mellowed by the cool veggies. “I told the staff to come up with their own creations, things that were creative and would sell,” says chef Cecil Rodriquez, who earned his stripes at high-end establishments like Nellcote, Savoy and Purple Pig. “And this is by far our best-selling burger. I’ll give Whitney credit for this one.”