BBQ Restaurants

Pulled Pork Nachos and Pokemon on the Chicago Riverwalk

pretzel bites potato chips pulled pork nachos tiny hatt

Another summer weekend in Chicago has come and gone, but not without another venture into the big city to hang out with some awesome people.

We had such a great time last weekend heading into the River North area early Saturday morning for Yoga in the Park and food, that we decided there was no reason not to do it again this weekend. I mean, there’s no reason not to when we only have to be awake like 20 minutes earlier than we normally are, there’s no traffic going to the city from Evanston at 7am, and we can jam a whole days worth of activities in before 2pm. Plus we get to spend time with some of the people that mean to the most to us.

The day started just as it did the previous Saturday with the girls doing Yoga in the Park while Iman and I took the kid and wandered around Millennium Park and Maggie Daley Park in search of rare Pokemon. I don’t think we managed to catch any rare ones, but we did gain some experience and looked like idiots in the process… But don’t worry, we absolutely were not the only people walking around the Chicago parks with their phones in front of their faces looking for imaginary creatures. However, we were probably the oldest… I’d say there were at least a dozen other people hunting the beasts, Nick was not one of them.

Once the girls finished yoga, we all went back to Iman and Jillian’s place and Iman cooked an awesome breakfast of bacon, eggs, sausage, and fruit. We decided that this week we would do breakfast at their place and then venture out to the Riverwalk for a few drinks and appetizers instead of spending our money on breakfast somewhere and then not getting any sort of food around lunch time. There are only really a few options for food on the Riverwalk, which lead us back to Tiny Hatt.

pokemon chicago
Pokemon Everywhere!

Appetizers and Drinks at Tiny Hatt

Tiny Hatt is where we ended up last week for a drink, but left without trying any of their food, which kind of bugged me. I know I don’t necessarily like food, but I know I like pulled pork and I know I like nachos, so I was kind of upset we didn’t try their pulled pork nachos the last time we came through. This week I was determined to try them… and that we did, but not right away.

pretzel bites tiny hatt chicago
Pretzel Bites with Four Cheese Sauce

We started off with the Pretzel Bites as a warm up. The pretzel balls came smothered in a four cheese sauce that was pretty good. I’ve had some pretty good pretzels in the past so I don’t think that these quite lived up to those other ones, but they were definitely solid. I like when my pretzel has just the right amount of salt on it and just the right amount of cheese. The pretzel itself also can’t be too hard. The pretzel bites at Tiny Hatt got almost all of these things right, my only minor complaint was that the cheese sauce was poured all over the top of the pretzels. Sometimes cheese and I don’t get along so I like to be in control of the amount that I put on things, and with the cheese already dumped on top of these pretzels, it was hard to do that, but obviously that doesn’t change the taste of anything, just my preference in terms of how I like to eat them. I would definitely order them again if we went back.

We hadn’t even finished all the pretzel bites yet and we just dove head first into the next round of appetizers by ordering the Rub Me Tender Potato Chips and, the reason we were there, Chicago Pulled Pork Nachos.

rub me tender potato chips tiny hatt
Rub Me Tender Potato Chips w/ Basil Aioli Sauce

I’ll be honest, I did not even try to the Rub me Tender Potato Chips. The basil aioli sauce turned me off a little bit, but also, why would I eat potato chips when I could be eating nachos with pulled pork on them?

The Chicago Pulled Pork Nachos were a perfect balance of chips, meat, cheese and bbq sauce. I could have done with out the giardiniera, but that’s just my preference. I just scraped them off of my chips and we were good to go. They used the same four cheese sauce that was used on the pretzel bites, but didn’t over do it, a very sweet bourbon bbq sauce which I enjoyed, and topped it all with their apple smoked pulled pork, which was delicious. Unlike the pretzel bites, every last bit of these nachos was devoured before the next appetizer was ordered… and honestly I think it ruined the next plate that came out.

pulled pork nachos tiny hatt chicago
Pulled Pork Nachos w/ Four Cheese Sauce, BBQ Sauce, Pulled Pork and Giardiniera

The nachos had so much flavor and tasted so damn good, bringing me a plate of Seared Black Angus NY Strip with bourbon mustard and bleu cheese sauce is like telling me to have a McDonalds burger after eating at Au Cheval… Even though the McDonald’s might taste good on other days when it’s the only option, it’s going to taste like hot garbage after eating one of the best burgers I’ve ever had.

steak strips tiny hatt chicago
Seared Black Angus NY Strip w/ Bourbon Mustard and Bleu Cheese Sauce

Sorry Tiny Hatt, maybe the steak strips are good when ordered on their own, but I just wasn’t feeling them this time. I don’t know if it was, like I said, because they followed the deliciousness of the pulled pork nachos, or if they were just kind of bland. The kid seemed to like them a lot, they were the easiest thing to feed her without making a mess, so that’s a positive. But I probably would not order them again if/when we come back, especially not for the $22 price tag when the nachos are $11… I didn’t even realize that we could have just gotten two plates of the nachos for the same price as that steak… now I’m sad…

All in all it was another perfect Saturday in the city with good food, good drinks, and great friends. Can’t wait until we do it again. And I’m sure we’ll end up back at Tiny Hatt this summer at some point, but we’ve gotta switch it up next time and try somewhere else, it’s unfair to the other great restaurants in the city. It’s just so hard to beat sitting right on the water watching the boats float by and checking out all the people wandering around. There’s nothing quite like a summer in Chicago.

 

About the author

Tom

I'm a married man in his 30's who doesn't really "like" food. If it weren't for my wife I would be living off of pizza and cheeseburgers for the rest of my life. Follow me as I venture slightly out of my comfort zone to try different foods and restaurants.

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