I went to Harry Caray’s Tavern for dinner when I visited Navy Pier in Chicago. It was one of the places I ate at while in Chiacgo purely because of its convenience. I was at Navy Pier for a least a couple hours, and this place seemed busy the whole time we were there so we took that as a good sign.
Dinner time was the busiest, especially during 4th of July weekend, when Navy Pier was packed with tourists like myself. I waited 30 minutes to get a table here.
The menu was your average American food: burgers, pizza and sandwiches. Between my friend and I, we shared a Shrimp Cocktail, Pulled Pork Sandwich, and a Smoked Beef Brisket Sandwich.
We started our meal off with the Shrimp Cocktail ($13.95). There were six large pieces of shrimp along with a generous helping of cocktail sauce. I was expecting more volume based on the pricing and there was nothing great about it so it was passable at best.
The Pulled Pork Sandwich ($10.95) was basically pulled pork, BBQ sauce, and crispy string onions in a bun, with a side of coleslaw. No wow factor here. The sandwich had a nice BBQ flavor, and the pork was fairly tender. The “crispy” string onions didn’t live up to their name at all as they were pretty dead and soggy.
After eating the pulled pork sandwich, I had really low expectations for the Smoked Beef Brisket Sandwich ($10.95), because they basically looked the same. The smoked beef brisket sandwich was much better than the pulled pork though. The beef was really tender and it had a smokey flavor. There is something about Chicagoans and their beef sandwiches. They know how to make the meat tender and flavourful. (Another tender beef place: Luke’s Italian Beef)
We were seated at the patio, which I thought was nice until I sat down. Forget about enjoying the view of the pier. The tables were packed so close together, that our table constantly got bumped by the waiters and other diners. There was one waiter that bumped our table really hard when he walked by, he turned to look at us, but didn’t apologize at all.
Overall, I just have to say, average American food, under staffed (although our waitress was really nice, it took a long time to refills on water or cutlery), and overcrowding that compromised diners’ comfort. Don’t be fooled by the amount of diners in there, because I would consider this place as a tourist trap at Navy Pier.
Harry Caray’s Tavern – Navy Pier
700 E. Grand Ave.
Chicago, IL 60611