Archive for October, 2013

BadHappy Poutine Shop

Saturday, October 19th, 2013

BadHappy Poutine Shop
939 N. Orleans Street
Chicago, IL   60610
Tue – Sat: 12:00 pm – 10:00 pm
Sun: 12:00 pm – 4:00 pm

Good Food : 4/5 | Good Service : 4/5

On the corner across the block from the Corden Bleu culinary school, BadHappy is a small no-frills/no-nonsense shop with 4 tables and a counter that seats up to 10. The dark interior and lack of windows only help to reinforce the grunge ambiance. Most of the right wall is covered with BH stickers of people who attempted their Triple-Double Challenge : 1 triple BadHappy Sauce Burger (18 oz), two full poutines, and a milkshake (12 oz) consumed in 30 minutes or less.  The number of fails so far has greatly outnumbered the people who successfully completed this challenge.

If you drive, be prepared to circle a while for parking or to feed the ‘Pay to Park’ meters several blocks over. The CB school, church and several schools in a 4 block radius means that most of the street parking is permit-only and practically non-existent during the day. You can take the Metra to the Chicago-Brown stop or catch the 66/37 bus lines to Chicago & Orleans  if you want to avoid the parking madness.

The hubbie and I went on a Thursday for lunch and tried 2 of the poutines : the RedNeck and the Good, the Bad & the Happy. Poutines are served on food service wax sheets in standard pie tins, and paper napkins & plastic cutlery sits in plastic quart-sized containers on the tables and counter. Menus are laminated and you mark your order and give it to the staff behind the counter, who will turn right around to the cooktop area and make your meal.

The RedNeck's mac-n-cheese ball

The RedNeck poutine ($12) : Pulled BBQ Pork, a pool-ball-sized fried Mac-n-Cheese ball, red cabbage Southern Slaw, fried okra slices, PBR Gravy, frites and cheese curds. This was the more flavorful of the 2 poutines – the pork is tossed in the bbq sauce, adding a nice tomato/vinegar layer to counteract the heavy weight from eating the mac-n-cheese and fried okra pieces.

The Good, the Bad and the Happy - truffle mayo stripes!

The Good, the Bad & the Happy ($13) : Pork Belly pieces, truffle Mayo, Foie Gras mousse & gravy, frites, cheese and a sunny side up egg. A very heavy poutine due to the pork belly, truffle, and foie gras. The runny egg helps to slightly minimize the artery clogging feeling that comes over you about halfway through. Combining this with the RedNeck’s fried items meant we waddled out of the place with heavily weighted but happy stomachs.

Overall, be prepared to break any sodium or fat rules in your diet – since the french fries are deep-fried and salted & the poutine gravy is a staple ingredient, this combination plus the white cheese curds means that this is neither a low-sodium nor a low-fat food. But, if you can survive the meal, the poutines are a great indulgence.