Billy Goat Tavern
430 N Michigan Ave
Chicago, IL 60611
Date of Last Visit: Friday, July 24, 2009
The Victim: Me
The Damage: $4.50
The Background: I’ve spent ages trying to find you a video of Jim Belushi doing “Cheezeborger cheezeborger” on Saturday Night Live. But I can’t find anything. For most Americans of a certain age (read: mine) these days, that’s what Chicago’s subterranean Billy Goat is best known for. Although its history pre-Belushi is perhaps even more illustrious. I won’t go into details–you can Google those–but it’s all about a man, a goat, a curse, and a baseball team that never quite seems to get anywhere.
At the point of my visit, I’ve been in Chicago five full days and I’m still jet-lagged. So I drag my weary self over (under?) to the Billy Goat for breakfast, just after it’s opened at 7 a.m. And I’m not alone. The locals are pouring in and the accents are cracking me up.
The Billy Goat is old school. Check out the tables. Yes, that’s red-and-white checked formica. But look how neatly the bar stools are arranged!
Would you like a beer with your breakfast? Now seriously, Chicago liquor laws are quite strict so I’m sure they don’t serve beer in the morning. Maybe…
The Food: Bacon egg and cheese on a roll. The bacon is crispy. The roll is toasted. The bun is tasty. (Really. I walk away thinking, “Now that was a good bun.”) The locals are funny. (Guy walks in to the Billy Goat and says, “Two slices of wheat, toasted please.” The guy at the Billy Goat doesn’t even look up and shouts, “Wheat toast? What WRONG with you?”
The Verdict: I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve been here. I’ve been here so many times I don’t even remember the first time anymore. Always fun. Always random. Always cheap. Always good times. And this, my friends, is my last Chicago post for another year or so. Thanks for reading.