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Chicagoist's Cubs Fans' Guide To Bridgeport- Phase One: The Eats

By Chuck Sudo in Food on Jun 22, 2005 1:43PM


A few weeks back Chicagoist Prime made her first ever pilgrimage to the Ballpark Formerly Known as Comiskey and had to admit to having some fun at the game, particularly when the fireworks exploded whenever a White Sox player hit a home run. From there she intimated that both the Cell and Wrigley Field are fun in their own ways. She then went with her entourage to Rock Bottom Brewery after the game, unaware that within blocks of TBFKAC there was a bar that makes the best bloody mary in the city. Two blocks north of that bar is a taqueria that’s open late and serves amazing Mexican food; another two blocks from there is a pizza place that symbolizes everything that’s great about Chicago pizza and another Mexican restaurant that, besides its corny name, makes an amazing margarita.
Now we grew up Cubs fans in a family of White Sox fans, and our mother doesn’t let a phone call go by without rubbing the fact that we now live within blocks of TBFKAC into us like salt in a wound. We got past that and eventually discovered that Bridgeport had more to offer north side baseball fans and our friends besides a quick train ride back home or quick access to the expressways. Today and tomorrow Chicagoist is going to give those readers who are coming down for this weekend’s cross town series a guide to good eats and drinks in Bridgeport. It’s not in as concentrated an area as Wrigleyville, but that’s not the point. Chicago is a still supposedly a city of neighborhoods, made for walking and exploring. Given the public relations savvy and business acumen of the CTA that may become a necessity for many of us sooner than we think.

In a way Chicagoist has given its readers a jump on this already with recent posts on Gio’s Café and Deli, Polo Café and Catering, and Lindy’s Chili/Gertie’s Ice Cream. So today we’ll offer some restaurants, pizza joints, and grills to enjoy before or after the game. Tomorrow we’ll offer our bar and tavern suggestions. Hopefully we can help you begin to answer the question, “Where do you all go after the ballgame?” when it’s posited out south. With all the options you have, however, you should save some of your appetite for the Cell itself. TBFKAC has some of the best concessions in the major leagues.

Bridgeport is full of cheap eats, so if you’re planning on just coming down right before the game you can pick up a quick hot dog at Ferro’s (200 W. 31st) or bite into a genuine Maxwell Street Polish or pork chop sandwich at Maxwell Street Depot (411 W. 31st). Southside Shrimp House (335 W. 31st) offers some of the best popcorn shrimp and whitefish in the neighborhood.

Pizza isn’t ubiquitous in Bridgeport- it’s a way of life on some blocks., And we, like everyone else, have our favorites. Connie’s Pizza has its central location at 2373 S. Archer. Another option is Punky’s Pizza (2600 S. Wallace) operates under the slogan “if your last pizza was funky, call Punky.” Both places have designated al fresco dining. The cheese on the slices at Freddie’s (701 W. 31st) never fails to scorch the roof of our mouth. For the bold, try Freddie’s breaded steak sandwich- as thick as the average forearm its 4,000 calories of “you can’t possibly eat that in one sitting” goodness.

If Mexican food is your forte, simply head across the street to Pancho Pistolas (700 W. 31st). Get past the cheesy name for the place and you’ll find some of the best Mexican food outside of Pilsen. With the recent addition of a second floor dining room and outdoor seating during baseball season Pancho Pistolas has more than enough seating room to accommodate the largest parties. On South Halsted you’ll find neighborhood standbys San Jose Taqueria (3253 S. Halsted) and Taco Erendira, which just moved into a spacious new location one block north of San Jose, a major step up from its old location on 35th Street. Finally, for Chinese food without navigating Chinatown head to Happiness Chinese Restaurant (3313 S. Halsted) and Ed's Potsticker House (3139 S. Halsted) for some of the most delectable entrees not found on South Wentworth.

Tomorrow: the bars.