Sunday, June 16, 2013

Bijan's Bistro

Location: 663 N. State St., Chicago, IL 60611
Bijan's Bistro on Urbanspoon
A Quick Word:
Late night meals have become extremely popular in the city, especially on the weekends.  Some places are starting to serve late-night menus, but Bijan's Bistro has been doing this for years.  This American bistro, located in the River North area, is open until 3AM on Mondays - Friday's and 4AM on Saturdays.  They have a huge variety of food, so everyone will find something they want to try.  Unfortunately, as I was eating, I found a flaw or two in every dish.  They try to put a contemporary twist on some dishes and fall short. The cost is definitely a little higher, which is difficult for student budgets.  The staff is extremely friendly and patient with the more intoxicated crowds.  Regardless of the amazing atmosphere and late night options, the food was just above par, so I gave it a just above average review of 3.5 miles.

What We Ate:

Spinach Artichoke Dip

After searching through the extensive list of appetizers, the spinach artichoke dip stood out as the best for sharing.  Made simply with spinach, artichoke, and cheeses, this dip was spruced up a little by serving it with lavash style crackers rather than pita bread.  The dip was great... lots of flavor from garlic and of course the artichoke.  It came out piping hot, but that didn't stop anyone from taking a huge bite.  Dipping everything into this dip was always a possibility.  We used the chicken sandwich and the french fries as vessels.  Unfortunately, the lavash-like crackers were not good.  They were way too thin to support the heavier dip.  It was next to impossible to scoop with the crackers.  I wish they just kept it simple with sliced french bread or pita bread.

Macaroni and Cheese with Applewood Smoked Bacon

One of the main entrees we all shared was the mac and cheese.  Here, they make it with applewood smoked bacon and plenty of different cheeses.  I am unsure exactly which cheese, but a sharp cheddar was definitely the dominating flavor.  Unfortunately, we were a little disappointed in the amount of bacon used... it was just way too much.  Some of the bites were 100% bacon flavored while others had an OK balance.  The dish has a little bit of a breadcrumb topping.  A lot of people love this mac and cheese... I think the bacon was just a little too much.

Grilled Marinated Chicken Breast Sandwich

We decided to share a sandwich as well.  This grilled marinated chicken breast sandwich had the typical toppings of lettuce, tomato, and onion.  It also had a pesto mayonnaise.  The sandwich was delicious, but the bun was on the disappointing side.  It was simply a hamburger bun that was lightly toasted.  I really enjoy pesto and it was heavily basil, less garlic flavored.  The chicken was moist and well seasoned.  It came with some amazing french fries.  I loved dipping the extra fries into the spinach artichoke dip.

The DOs/DON'Ts:
- Great late night spot.  Open till the earliest hours.  It does get packed pretty fast.

- Don't expect to leave with a cheap bill.  It is pricier for late night food.

How far would I walk for this food?

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