Two for drinks speed dating


It's a feast of salt, heat and creaminess, which sums up drunk food just about perfectly. The handsome wood bar takes up nearly half the space, while all the tables are huddled in one corner.Sure, you get a view of the tiny kitchen, but the energy resides up front by the booze. Even though it sports two patties made with dry-aged beef, my burger came out oddly, um, dry.Given the promise shown by the other dishes, pluma iberica, a roast pork dish for two, presented well but tasted fairly pedestrian.Baby sepia was well grilled and paired nicely with a silky tomato puree and bitter greens, but the accompanying corn and squid-ink polenta lacked flavor.(I wanted more of that octopus.) I chose the smoky skirt steak — delicious with a dollop of melted cheese and an onion relish wrapped in a sturdy blue corn tortilla.



The regular red hot tamales ($5) come three to an order and are astoundingly tender, all without a trace of grittiness.Kinzie St., 312-940-9900, barriochicago.com— Bill Daley Beet hummus at Beatnik kicks off the meal with sparks of citrus zest and dusky notes of clove, offset by the crunch of fried chickpeas and the salty tang of blue cheese.(Annie Grossinger / Chicago Tribune)Beatnik is a study in texture.You can also do nothing but nurse a beer at some North Side watering holes and wait for the red-cooler-toting Tamale Guy to spring through the door, like Santa for the seriously sauced.

But The Delta manages to set itself apart by serving Mississippi Delta tamales, a distinct style that, if it weren't completely obvious by now, originated in the Mississippi Delta (basically, the northwest part of that state).

Ashland Ave.), they are a fascinating addition to the scene.