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Northwest Side Restaurant Review: Paddy Mac's

By Chuck Sudo in Food on Mar 14, 2007 5:00PM

2007_03_paddymac_burger.jpgRemember "Cheers," with Sam hanging out behind the bar, often leaving his post to do some classic, cheesy sitcom activity with Cliff and Norm? Paddy Mac's offers its own take on Sam with Brian at the bar. Walk in this old-school Chicago corner establishment, and within three beers you'll be treated as if you've been holding the bar down forever. Paddy Mac's has the requisite flat screen HDTVs (usually tuned to sports or the Game Show Network) along with a couple of dart boards and a pool table squeezed next to the massive liquor command center. Brian also recently added a removable ping pong top for the pool table for anyone looking to challenge him at beer pong or an actual ping pong game. Even if he’s not working, he can be often be found hanging out or challenging patrons to friendly pool games.

But college drinking events are far from all Paddy's has to offer. They have one of the best cheeseburgers we have found for $5.50 (or a mere $3.00 on Monday nights). A sizable half-pound burger seasoned with their own mix of special ingredients gives the burgers a hint of chili-like flavor, but without overpowering the natural taste of the beef. All sandwiches on the menu are served with fries or tater tots and coleslaw. While Chicagoist isn’t normally a fan of coleslaw, Paddy Mac's slaw is crunchy with a hint of sweetness that gives it a pleasant flavor.

2007_03_paddymac_skins.jpgBut what if you had a little too much beer last night? Or maybe Brian was too liberal with the Jameson shots? Skip the Mickey D’s and order Paddy Mac’s potato skins instead. These thick slices of potato are loaded with bits of bacons and loads of cheese, topped off with scallions. They're cooked just to the point of crispy skins (but not crispy cheese) and served with a centerpiece of sour cream; these skins will make the previous night’s debauchery disappear and get you ready for another night of shocking your liver.

Speaking of liver abuse, when we’re looking for a crowded yet casual bar scene close to home, Paddy Mac’s fits the bill. It’s equally good during the week when a much more chill vibe runs through the bar. It’s a great place for Chicagoist to relax, work on our dart skills and catch up with friends we may have been neglecting. While this isn’t the place to go if you want to try a specialty microbrew or a trendy import, Paddy’s basic yet ample beer selection, including Foster’s, Fat Tire, Blue Moon, Heineken and Guinness, will suit most palates.

The only downer about Paddy Mac’s is that the kitchen is only open until 10 p.m. during the week and 11 p.m. on the weekends. So don’t plan on finishing your night off with preventive potato skins. But, the next time you’re looking to get a hangover or cure one, head over to Paddy Mac’s at 4157 N. Pulaski and introduce yourself to Brian. By the end of your visit, you’ll feel like everybody knows your name.

Review submitted by Meghan Clark.