Last weekend, I flew up to Chicago to celebrate my friend's birthday, and his wife, knowing our love for food, organized the event at Publican, a restaurant known for all things pork and beer related.
When we arrived, I started with a delicious glass of Three Floyd's Alpha King pale ale, and we ordered a small cheese plate of Big Ed's, a raw cow from Wisconsin, and Summer Snow, a sheep from Vermont.
We sat down to dinner in large communal dining hall tables. Our first courses were Publican's famous house-made spicy pork rinds, and their Little Gem salad which consisted of lettuce, pig ears, basil, radish and a buttermilk vinaigrette.
The pork rinds were still warm, served in a brown paper funnel. I could not get enough of them.
We then ordered the house charcuterie plate. This included head cheese, a pork pie, a guinea hen gallantine, warm morteau sausage, and sliced bresaola. I loved the head cheese.
My friend, Chupacabra, told me to get a glass of Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier Urbach, a smoked beer from Bamberg, Germany. Its smokey flavor pair perfectly with the charcuterie plate.
For our main entree, we ate the roasted farm chicken with summer sausage and frites. It was a simple dish, but all parts were good. Great fries.