Elephant & Castle
Ratings: 18 | Reviews: 12 | Display Reviews Only:
Reviews by Realale:
3.65/5 rDev +7.7%
This place is one of my father-in-law's favorite haunts, as its right around the corner from his office. As a result, I've downed a good many pints and a few meals here.
The space is divided between a smoky bar area and a smoke free dining area. Lots of British and Irish pub decorations, but it still seems a bit new/contrived. It gets quite crowded in the after work hours, but begins to thin out as the evening progresses.
The selection of beers on tap is okay, with an emphasis on big brands from the UK and Ireland, with a smattering of big micro and Goose Island tossed in. Definitely a step above what you'd expect to find in the average faux British/Irish pub, but certainly not worth a special trip. The beer has always been in good shape. No cask. The bottle selection is quite boring.
All of the bartenders I've dealt with have known their selections well. Only one of the many waitresses has. Most have not even known what the Goose Island seasonal on tap was without a special trip to the bar.
The food is good, but can be spotty. Lots of pub standards, such as bangers and mash, and an interesting selection of other dishes from various cuisines. Would probably be more consistent if the kitchen was more focused. The most common problem has been too much salt.
All in all an OK place to grab a pint and a bite to eat, but not worthy of a special trip.
11-05-2003 17:05:06 | More by Realale
More User Reviews:
3.38/5 rDev -0.3%
I tend to go here when I visit Chicago, mainly because the hotel I usually stay at is Club Quarters, which is in the same building. With so many other great places in the area, there's really no point in going to E&C, especially considering the prices are a bit steeper, but it's still an okay place. British pub setup, decent atmosphere, usually a quiet crowd. Pretty busy quite often, but the staff is typically on the ball. Beer selection is okay, with Goose Island making an appearance, and Fuller's, and typical beers like Bass and macros and all. Food is a bit on the pricey side, but all pretty good; they have some tasty breakfasts there. Not a beer enthusiast's paradise by a long stretch, but still nice. Might I recommend Miller's Pub a few blocks away?
05-09-2011 02:32:32 | More by Rifugium
3.03/5 rDev -10.6%
Set up as an English Pub right in the heart of the loop. A pretty big place, enough space for those just looking to get a drink and plenty of tables. A good place to go for lunch or dinner and drinks on a Friday. Typical English food selections, I had a decent fish and chips, (chips were really good). The service is ok but they are not beer people, nor is this a beer place. They a little beyond BMC but not much, not heavy on English beers as the name and bar atmosphere would hint at.
Not a destination at all, but when in the loop and looking for something really quick and easy to get to, worth a drink, just don't have high expectations of having something special.
11-20-2010 21:46:22 | More by jrallen34
2.65/5 rDev -21.8%
Visited the Wabash St. location today and asked about their dispense system for Fullers. Appearance wise, they look like 3 handpumps, but the bartender confirmed they are dispensed with forced CO2 and not actually cask ales. Very misleading, and sad to see this practice still goes on.
Addendum: It should be noted that E&C dispenses through fake beer engines here (Adams St. & Wabash St. locations), which aren't actually cask ales. It's artificial housing around a standard tap, with a lower CO2 level.
Marginally better than Kitty O'Sheas, the other lame forgettable chain bar in the Loop.
Inside there was lots of dark wood, wrought iron railings, and stained glass. Carpeted dining area, tiles around the bar. The interior felt very 'by the numbers' and designed to feel "homey" and "British" in a corporate office somewhere. A fake fireplace with some books on it, with framed photos of Charles Prince of Wales. Little jugs of "olde tyme stoute" above the bar, next to the 20 bottles of macros that comprised the bottle selection (minus Goose IPA and Hacker Pschorr).
Taps were the only decent thing about this place, 3 Fullers: ESB, London Pride, London Porter, also Franziskaner, and SA Noble Pils as a seasonal offering. The rest were your typical Harp, Bass, Guinness, etc. Decent Scotch selection, about 12 in all. My London Porter seemed like it had been sitting too long, but I did see one other pint drawn while I was there. Imperial pints were another bump up to the service score, in addition to the sweet girl that was taking care of us. There was an unpleasant funky bleach odor at the bar though.
Food wise we tried the bruschetta, which was passable. Overall there are better places to go in the Loop.
If you're staying downtown, check these places out:
Kaseys, Hackneys, Villains, The Gage, Millers (old school), Binnys South Loop (bar and megastore).
Looking for authentic cask ale near the Loop? Try Clark St. Ale House.
An authentic English/Irish pub in town? Check out Duke of Perth, Mrs. Murphy & Sons Irish Bistro, Owen & Engine, or The Globe Pub.
09-12-2010 05:46:57 | More by emerge077
Elephant & Castle in Chicago, IL
82 out of 100 based on 18 ratings.