A Guide To Chicago's Most Epic Entrees With Colossal Portion Sizes

By Anthony Todd in Food on Feb 8, 2016 6:15PM

By Kailley Lindman.

America tends to get a bad reputation for its overabundance of restaurants with penchants for portion sizes that singlehandedly cover your day’s caloric intake, and while we’re often inclined to agree that such portions are problematic, it’s worth noting that not all colossal dishes are created equal.

Entrees of epic proportions shift from shameful to sensible when they’re crafted with the intention of serving two (or sometimes more) people, and in some cases, may even be more cost effective than if two individuals were to order two separate, standard-sized entrees. Here, a look at six Chicago restaurants doing big entrees right.

Pig’s Head at Charlatan

Not for the faint of heart, this whole roasted pig’s face is as much a conversation piece and an Instagram opportunity as it is filling meal for two. The rustic preparation speaks to the restaurant’s mission to provide an “Italian countryside meets Midwest farmhouse” experience, and seasonal vegetable accompaniments complement the tender meat. There are a limited quantity available each night, so be sure to plan your visit accordingly.

1329 W. Chicago Ave.

Whole Chicken at River Roast

This sweeping riverside tavern may be known for its large format roasts, but it’s the supremely moist wood-smoked chicken that upstages the rest. The dramatically presented fowl is carved tableside and served atop baked and fried potatoes. Dining tip: try to resist digging into the potatoes as long as possible, as they get better and better as they soak up the chicken juice.

315 N. LaSalle St.

Rotisserie Duck at The Duck Inn

Crispy skin and juicy meat are the hallmarks of a masterfully cooked duck, and at Kevin Hickey’s Bridgeport darling, that’s exactly what you can expect. In addition to carved duck, the signature board for two sports potatoes saturated in duck drippings, a seasonal salad, and a sizable vessel filled with the remainder of the drippings.

2701 S. Eleanor St.

Ribeye at Boeufhaus

Between Chicago’s time-tested steakhouses and the myriad new meat-focused concepts, you need not travel far to find a hulking piece of beef to satisfy your carnivorous habit; finding said piece of beef at a good value, however, is another story. Kill two birds at Humboldt Park’s charming—if a bit unconventional—steakhouse, where an unfathomably tender 22-ounce, 55-day dry aged ribeye clocks in at $60

1012 N. Western Ave.

Chicken & Waffle at MAD Social

Gina Stefani’s new West Loop concept may have just opened, but it’s already making a splash with its playfully eclectic eats, and executive chef Mariela BolaƱos’ hulking twist on chicken and waffles is no exception. The colossal entree showcases a churro waffle layered with crispy chicken schnitzel, succulent pork belly, and your choice of syrup or house-made hot sauce; a steak knife piercing the creation works double duty as an eye-catching presentation element and am implement for easy sharing.

1140 W. Madison St.

Duck at GreenRiver

This Streeterville hotspot frequently offers whole duck on special; its presence on the menu varies based on when the kitchen is able to source the birds, but social media posts always indicate when it’s available. Following a social media post, guests are invited to call in and reserve theirs. Each bird is air-dried and aged for at least ten days, rubbed with buckwheat, honey, and thyme, and then roasted whole and served with a sauce and seasonal sides.

259 E. Erie St.