The Waterhouse, an erstwhile Mexican restaurant recently redesigned with a more American flair, peaks out from underneath Paulina brown line stop in West Lakeview. The menu offers little to distinguish it from the legion of similar North Side bars with modern American cuisine. A quartet of burgers, including the titan Waterhouse burger, which at a half-pound still clocks in at only $5, present themselves as an inexpensive way to fill your belly. The veritable jungle of wraps and paninis give you a number of ways to eat with your hands without putting a cow on the chopping block, ranging from $6 to $8. The garbage salad, quite possibly the trendiest thing to hit restaurants since silverware, highlights a list of six low-calorie, slightly pricier alternatives to the sandwiches listed above.
The appetizers are perhaps the most important item, because the food merely exists to give guests a reason to drink. The Waterhouse is primarily a bar, with dozens of cocktail tables, plasma TVs, a small patio and a wide open front window space contributing to an atmosphere that was made for boozing. The friendly staff and comfortable brick-and-maroon-painted interior add to the social atmosphere. The drink specials don't hurt either; the bar offers $5 martinis on Friday and half-price beer, wine and well liquor on Thursday, making it easy to make any night a wet night at the Waterhouse.
Average cost: <$10
Centerstage Reviewer: Patrick Corcoran