“The New Healthy” is the tag line for Beatrix restaurant in the Fulton Market district of Chicago, which is pretty much the exact opposite of what I look for in a tag line when choosing a restaurant to eat at, but you gotta branch out of your comfort zone sometimes.
Oh, what’s that you say… they have a burger on the menu? Oh, well in that case I’ll be just fine.
And I was, but surprisingly I did not end up getting said burger, and was much happier with the choice I did make.
Beatrix Fulton Market
About a month ago, my mom threw out the idea of doing an ‘adults night out’ without our kids, to celebrate my brother and my dad’s birthdays, which fall in the middle of September. A chance to go into Chicago without our kids? Yes please.
Don’t get me wrong, we love our children, but it’s been a while since my wife and I have gone out to dinner with just adults. I think the last time was when we went to Ella Elli. And while that wasn’t that long ago, time slows down when you’re chasing a 3.5 and a 1 year old around, so we jumped at the chance.
So with babysitters confirmed shortly after the initial email was sent out, it was time to decide on a place to eat. My mom sent out a few emails asking for ideas and suggestions, but pretty much nobody responded. Thankfully at some point my brother and his wife just decided to step in and make a reservation at Beatrix in Fulton Market, which is fairly close to their place in the West Loop, so it was perfect.
I had no clue what kind of food it was, since I didn’t bother to look at the menu, but since I wasn’t about to make any suggestions of my own, I was good with the choice.
When we arrived at the restaurant I was 99% sure I was going to get the cheeseburger that was on the menu. I had briefly looked to see what sort of food they had before we left the house, but once I saw the burger listed, I just sort of glanced past everything else with no intention of even thinking of going another direction… but that sort of changed when we sat down.
I don’t know if it was the 2 glasses of wine (on an empty stomach) I had at my brother’s place before we grabbed an Uber to the restaurant, or or just the fact that I was feeling good, and adventurous, but I decided that I was going to step a little bit out of my comfort zone and try something else, as well as whatever appetizer the group chose.
Also, I’m sure anyone that reads this site is pretty bored of me just reviewing burgers at some of these nicer restaurants.
So after we sat down and ordered drinks, we had to decide on what appetizers we wanted to try.
I chose to sat back and let everyone else decide on what they wanted, because most of the time what everyone else wants is not something I’ll eat. And honestly, outside of the fries that were on the appetizer menu, I probably wouldn’t have eaten anything else… well, I definitely would not have been the one ordering anything else, that’s for sure.
But keeping in the spirit of keeping an open mind and trying everything, I told myself I would try whatever they ordered…
They ordered the Kung Pao Brussels Sprouts (pictured at top) and the Local Burrata w/ tomatoes and kale pesto.
Since I can’t eat tomatoes, and I didn’t really want to go crazy with the cheese, I did pass on the burrata, but only for the sake of keeping my stomach in check, not because I thought it would be gross.
As for the Brussels Sprouts, I have tried them before, and they aren’t my favorite thing in the world, but I’ve never had the “Kung Pao” variety, so I gave them another shot.
Yeah… I still don’t care for Brussels Sprouts, but the Kung Pao sauce was pretty good, albeit a tad bit too spicy for my taste. I tried a couple of them just to ensure I got the full flavor, but yeah, I would not order Brussels Sprouts on my own, nor would I order this “Kung Pao” variety from Beatrix if I ever go here again. They were just too spicy for me to enjoy, although there was a bit of sweetness that was ok when you first bite into them… but the overpowering spiciness comes through as an afterthought and not what I was really looking for.
Will I try Brussels Sprouts again in the future if someone orders them? Maybe, but it’s definitely not at the top of my list.
As for the burrata, since I didn’t eat it myself I can’t really comment on it, but the plate was cleaned by the time everyone else was done with it, so I can’t imagine that it was bad.
So with the appetizers out of the way it was time to dig into the entree menu and try to figure out what I was going to eat that wasn’t a burger.
Short Rib, Chicken, or Filet Mignon?
As you scroll down through the list of entree items, apparently the food goes from lightest to most hearty. That didn’t really mean anything to me, but if you’re looking at the menu online ahead of venturing to Beatrix, it might help you make your choice.
After looking over the menu a little more closely, I was able to find a few items that I thought would be pretty good, as well as safe for my stomach, but now I couldn’t decide between three of them.
The Szechuan Chicken, which brings back memories of Rick and Morty, was at the top of my list for a good 10 minutes while we ate our appetizers. But after the spiciness of the Kung Pao Brussels Sprouts, I wasn’t sure if I was ready to order another Asian inspired dish for my entree, not to mention I don’t like mushrooms, and there were a lot of mushrooms associated with this dish. Not sure if it would have been worth the risk.
The Wagyu Pot Roast Filet Mignon kept popping up as well. It comes with horseradish mash, sugar snap peas, and steak jus, most of which sounded pretty good… The horseradish was the only one that I wasn’t too keen on, but the other two I knew I would eat. It was a top contender, but then I saw the Slow-Braised Short Rib.
I can’t say that I was instantly sold on the Short Rib, but that’s the direction I was heavily leaning towards once I came across it. The short rib is served with a side of Brussels Sprout Leaves (go figure) and celery root mash puree. The short rib itself has a citrus chili glaze on top, which I was told was not spicy at all.
So seeing as how I had already tried Brussels Sprouts, and wasn’t feeling them, and I can’t really eat celery due to the FODMAP diet, I wasn’t sure that the short rib would be the right choice…
But that’s what I ordered anyways, and I’m glad I did.
The short rib came out and with the first bite I was sure I made the right choice. The citrus chili glaze on top was the perfect amount of sweet, which complimented the meat as it just fell apart with every fork full. I think I would have been super disappointed if I had ordered that burger.
As for the Brussels Sprout leaves… well, those didn’t get eaten. And while I did try to the celery root mash, and it was ok, I did not finish all of it for fear of a stomach reaction, as well as the fact that it was super celeryier… yeah, that’s not a word. It tasted way too much like celery than I would have liked, but I wasn’t sure what to expect since I’ve never had celery root mash, so…
Sides aside though, the short rib was awesome. I would highly recommend ordering it if you’re on the fence about what to get. It was just what I was looking for in a “not a burger” menu item.
Chicken, Skirt Steak, Ahi Tuna Crudo
As for the rest of the table, I did try a piece of the Chicken Bebe that my mom ordered, and it wasn’t bad, but I’m glad I didn’t order it. It came with a parmesan crust, white wine, and roasted asparagus, but was a little too soupy for my liking. It also had some lemon slices in said soupiness, that were super overpowering when I took a bite. I don’t mind lemons, but this was a bit too much… still happy with the short rib choice.
My wife ordered the Ahi Tuna Crudo appetizer as well as the Thai Chopped Salad entree and she seemed to love both of them. I think she liked the Ahi Tuna Crudo a bit more than the salad, but she took 1/2 the salad home and ate it for lunch, so it definitely wasn’t bad.
My dad and brother ordered the skirt steak chimichurri which came with kennebec fries and grilled shishito peppers. My dad ordered his with the chimichurri on the side, but apparently they didn’t hear him and put it on top of the steak, as it is normally served. But rather than complain about it, he just pushed it off the side and dug in. He didn’t seem to mind the chimichurri too much, as both he and my brother finished their steaks.
In addition to the skirt steak, that my brother and sister in-law shared, they also ordered that burger I mentioned way back at the beginning.
I mean, it looked like an ok burger, but nobody really raved about it or even said anything about it, like they did the other food. So it definitely solidified my choice in the short rib as the right one.
Dessert – Caramel Pie
Since we were celebrating two birthdays that night, the server brought out a piece of caramel pie and a piece of chocolate pie (I think it was pie, but their menu only mentions chocolate cake, so I’m not sure). The caramel pie was definitely the better of the two, but neither were bad by any means.
Either would be a solid choice if you were looking for something sweet after your meal.
And that was that.
After our dinner at Beatrix we walked across the street Emporium Fulton Market to check out some pinball machines and have another drink before heading home for the night.
I will say though, I was pretty disappointed in the video game select at this Emporium location. How do you have an arcade bar and not have Mortal Kombat 2? That’s just blasphemy.
Sure, they had Mortal Kombat 1, but the low kick button sticks and you can’t do Liu Kang’s bicycle kick… lame. I lost to Raiden in the 3rd round and was too embarrassed to put more tokens in, so we just played out the 13 credits that someone left in the Austin Powers pinball machine near where we were standing and called it a night.