Star ratings are based on comparisons of similar restaurants. The Blade pays for critics' meals.
Chuck's on Monroe is a comfortable neighborhood bar.
Dimly lit with a range of music courtesy of satellite radio, it's a good place to grab a beer and food with friends — and maybe sing along to some songs you haven't heard in a while or watch the big game.
We found out right away that Chuck's does things a little differently than others. There's a sandwich called the Bimrock on the menu, and it's listed at $29.99. It looks to be a club sandwich on steroids and comes with four kinds of meats and cheeses piled close to a foot high. If you finish it on your own in 30 minutes, you get a spot on the bar's wall of fame and a $100 gift card.
MENU: Chucks on Monroe
We weren't feeling quite that ambitious, so we tried the chicken skewers ($7.99), which resembled street food and were just as tasty. The grilled chicken is wrapped with smoky bacon on a stick to aid in dipping in whatever sauces you would like. And, as we all know, everything tastes better with bacon.
A new addition to Chuck's menu, the 50/50 burger ($8.99), is worth discussion. We were told that Chuck's cuts bacon in its kitchen and the cook has wielded that power to create a burger that contains four ounces of ground bacon and four ounces of ground beef. After it's cooked on the flat-top grill, it's topped with — wait for it — two thick slices of bacon, along with a fried egg, red onion, bibb lettuce, chipotle sauce, and to make it "healthy," it's served on a wheat bun. What, a bun made of bacon hasn't been invented yet? All kidding aside, it's one of the smokiest, most delicious burgers I have ever eaten, but from a health conscious perspective it's not something you should eat very often.
The queso dip ($6.99) is great to share with a group. The combination of homemade salsa with gooey cheese goes well with the tortilla chips, but you also can opt for warm flour tortillas.
The chicken enchilada soup ($3.50) is hearty with a little bit of a thicker chili-type texture because there are a lot of beans mixed in with the chicken, tomatoes, corn, and other ingredients with a spicy but not overpowering kick.
The chicken quesadilla ($7.99) is on the starter menu, but it's perfect for dinner — especially after a cup of the soup. The almost-too-buttery tortilla is filled with cheese and Mexican spices, and you can add chicken or steak. It is served with a side of chunky pico de gallo, sour cream, and chopped jalapenos for those who like a little heat.
If you're not in the mood for the heavier bar food, the grilled chicken wrap ($7.99) is a good option. The tomato tortilla wrap is filled with chicken, chunks of avocado, crumbled bacon, lettuce, and honey mustard sauce. Unfortunately the avocado was not ripe, so it didn't add the necessary creamy texture to the dish.
The bland house chili ($3.50) was a downer but the mac and cheese ($1.99) was a definite highlight with a good crunch on top thanks to broiled bread crumbs.
The breakfast club ($7.99) — with bacon, of course — came with fried eggs and was gigantic enough that I could only eat half of it. Sadly, the Bimrock doesn't appear to be in my future.
Chuck's has some interesting takes on dessert — deep-fried Snickers and Oreos. Curiosity alone will have you ordering one. The cookies are dipped in a sweet doughnut-like batter and fried just enough for a golden crust and to heat up the cream. Served with vanilla bean ice cream, whipped cream, and chocolate sauce, there's a little bit of unexpected decadence to the dessert.
Contact Bill of Fare at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chuck's on Monroe
Address: 4477 Monroe St.
Hours: 11 a.m. to 2: 30 a.m. Monday through Friday; noon to 2:30 a.m. Saturday; 1 p.m. to 2:30 a.m. Sunday.
Wheelchair access: Yes.
Average Price: $
Credit Cards: AE, Dis, MC, V.
Web site: chucksonmonroe.com.