Chicago >Food & Dining > Folklore
2100 W Division St, Chicago, IL | Directions 6062241.903267 -87.679857
Neighborhoods: Wicker Park, West Side
Argentina likes their steaks crispy – Whenever a successful restaurant opens location 2, always cringe. For all you know, like Argentinean politicians, Tango Sur could be Nestor tagging-in Cristina's Folklore. But they came through well enough.
We arrived at 7:15 for an 8PM reservation. Usually we only do a half hour advance but since this evening we picked up an additional couple and did not change the reserved total we figured 45 minutes would be courtesy enough. It was. The host, upon being told of our party’s growth, did not whine, roll his eyes, or gesture as though we had stuck him with a used syringe. All reactions typical of “too-cool-for-thou” restaurants. Instead he pleasantly said that we shall be seated promptly.
So off to the bar we went and ordered a bottle of wine thinking we’d be there a while. We weren’t. 10 minutes before our 8PM reservation time, the host informed us that it was time to close out. Now getting the bartender’s attention became difficult. Then it became comedy. The manager (or someone acting like one) approached me twice suggesting I close out. Time 2nd I told him that I was trying my best after which he closed me out himself and probably kept the tip.
Folklore’s menu is fairly authentic. Surprisingly so. Dishes like tongue and brain were not expected this far west on Division Street and for this reason had to be tried. The sweetbreads were amazing. On par with any I’ve had at MK. The tongue however, although pretty good, fell victim to Bucca syndrome by having so much garlic that breathing on others that evening would have been cruel. It was also served cold. With every bite I could not help but wonder how it would have tasted warm. I even tried to warm it in my mouth but got creeped-out by thoughts of French-kissing.
Had the main courses held up as well this review would have been prefect. But they didn’t. Does Argentina really like their steaks burnt? A great shame indeed. The waiter told me honestly that the only thing they could do rare would be the lamb chops. When you hear advice like this, do yourself a favor: take it and don’t argue. Rare or even medium-rare requires a top-notch cut of meat. Perhaps Argentina orders such cuts but then defaults on the invoices. You want to avoid any question of quality that can be blamed on tradition so be nice to the waiters and they will usually spare you the trouble. All told, the lamb-chops were still overcooked (very slightly) but still good. However, the steak shared by the party-joining couple was unacceptably well-done. To me.
It’s hard to take seriously people who claim to like sushi and then order California Rolls. I’m not sure if I should blame Folklore or Argentina entirely for claiming to like steak – and then burning it to death.
Terrible service – Went to Folklore for dinner with 3 friends a few weeks back. Had reservations for 9.30 pm. When we arrived the waiter told us they were running late and that our table wouldn't open for another 45 min. No apologies, no attempt to compensate or rectify, just a stuck-up waiter at the door feeling a little too good for himself. We left.
Citysearch Editorial Review – Carnivores converge over Argentinean-style steaks at this rustic double storefront in Ukie Village. Dark leather and wood seating, farmhouse-style tables and forged accents are an appropriate match for the meat-heavy, primitive-feeling menu at this hip sib to Lakeview's Tango Sur. Parrilladas--mixed meat cooked on tabletop grills--are a group-friendly choice, especially for the double-daters who canoodle in the narrow dining room. A handful of organic and grass-fed options, including a hefty grilled steak, are on rotation, too. Meanwhile, seasonal cocktails, plus classics like the pisco sour, steal the show in the lively, casual bar.
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