The Houndstooth Saloon moved one block south from its original location in Wrigleyville, but this joint hasn't lost its southern hospitality or its allegiance to University of Alabama football.
Houndstooth is the official meeting place for RolltideChicago.com, the website of the Chicago Area University of Alabama Alumni Association. About every fifth song played is "Sweet Home Alabama" and any mention of Crimson Tide gridiron legend Bear Bryan will probably draw a round of cheers, and shots. Northerners are welcome here too, though. When she began working here, my waitress Jacky says she endured only mild hazing for her nasal Chicago accent.
Thursdays and Sundays are still country music nights at Houndstooth, where crowds of dudes and southern belles get down to honky-tonk while sipping Southern Comfort under the antlers mounted on the ceiling lights. (A red-blooded patriotic friend of mine once took offense at my Cuban baseball cap and dragged me off to country music night at the old Houndstooth location in hopes that I'd get pummeled — alas, the crowd didn't even notice.) If you're just here to watch the game, cozy up to the bar in the intimate front room and take your pick from one of eight flat-screen TVs. The larger back room is why Houndstooth made the move south.
Houndstooth offers a menu of standard bar food with a Tex-Mex and southern twist. Start with the cheese (mozzarella and cheddar) & bacon fries served with ranch dressing ($7), gourd yourself on the Alabama sandwich, marinated chicken breast served with sliced avocado, bacon, provolone and cheese ($8) or the BBQ pulled pork, smoked with hickory and served on a fresh ginger roll ($8). Health freaks would enjoy the Roasted Goat salad, served with roasted pears, walnuts and diced cranberries tossed with vinaigrette and goat cheese ($7).
Average cost: <$10
Centerstage Reviewer: Jacob Wheeler