Mint Julep, Black Eyed Susan and Belmont Jewel cocktails

Restaurant Review – Celebrate Cinco de Derby (and so much more) at Wicker Park’s Mac’s Wood Grilled

Mint Julep, Black Eyed Susan and Belmont Jewel cocktails

Happy month of May, all! Despite a brisk start, May temperatures are promising a warm-up by the weekend. 

With that, Cinco de Mayo (May 5) and Kentucky Derby (May 6) celebrations can go on, full force! In fact, one upscale sports pub in Wicker Parkis celebrating both simultaneo 

Located in a former Schlitz Brewery Tied-House and designated a landmark in 2011, Mac’s Wood Grilled patrons should wear an appropriately garish hat for Mac’s Wood Grilled Cinco De Derby, serving all-day specials this Friday and Saturday, May 5 and 6. On Saturday, festivities begin at 11am with the Derby’s undercard race. 

For example, you can pair Mac’s Taco Platters with Maker’s Mark Mint Juleps. Enjoy Beer-Battered Whitefish Tacos with house-made, spicy poblano corn relish (made with poblano peppers, corn, garlic, red onions), tartar sauce and fresh lemon; or a Corona Beer with Wood-Grilled Steak Tacos; grilled skirt steak, made with cilantro and diced onions. Both platters include three tacos with a side of tortilla chips, pico de gallo and salsa verde.

Unique among pubs is their All-Day Brunch, featuring such specialties as Chilaquiles, a grilled skirt steak with tortilla chips, two eggs any-style, queso fresco, house-made salsa verde. Or, try their Breakfast Burrito, with scrambled eggs, breakfast sausage, cheddar jack, refried beans, house-made salsa verde, in a flour tortilla, and served with hash browns. 

Other options include Mac’s Baked Three-Way Chili, which is made with USDA Prime Certified Angus Beef, seven peppers, onions, kidney beans, cheddar jack, sour cream, and served with tortilla chips. For a less spicy option, try their house-made Tomato Bisque, served with garlic bread.

DID YOU KNOW… that May is also National Hamburger Month? Mac’s comes prepared with their special Griddled Burgers, made with USDA Prime Certified Angus Beef burgers. Try a Caramelized Onion Smash Griddle Burger, with caramelized onions, sharp cheddar, lettuce, tomatoes, and dill pickles. 

They also serve wood-grilled burgers, with fries. Or, you can substitute tomato bisque for no additional charge. Their Classic Cheeseburger includes dill pickles, lettuce, tomato, choice of cheese. For big appetites, Daddy Mac’s Burger offers two 8 oz. wood-grilled burgers, with house-made secret sauce, shredded lettuce, American cheese, dill pickles, and diced white onions on a double-decker brioche bun.

“Service was great and the guac burger was on point. I will be revisiting, “ said one recent Google reviewer. 

“Hands down the best Mac and Cheese I’ve ever had (homemade cheese sauce), chicken tenders in point, and just a solid/delicious/hearty burger,” wrote a RestaurantGuru reviewer. “Bloody Mary was great as well and great service. We will be back!”

Mac’s Wood Grilled is located at 1801 W. Division Street. The pub is open Monday-Wednesday, 3pm to 11pm; Thursday-Saturday, 11am to 12am; and Sunday, 11am to 11pm. For reservations and information, click here

Alison Moran-Powers and Dean’s Team Chicago