Hours: Lunch, dinner: seven days
Open late: Saturday till 3, other nights till2
New place from the owner of Pizano's, serving bar food and lots of specialty burgers and chicken sandwiches, plus hot dogs, Polishes, and brats.
Housed in an awkward space down the street from its parent restaurant, Pizano's, Rudy's Bar & Grille has a high-ceilinged bar out front that leads into ever more compact dining recesses in the back. Seated in the far corner, we felt the table shake against the wall from some unseen nearby dynamo throughout our dinner. Yet the food somehow overcame that, as well as the cliche olde Chicago photos on the walls. The Tallgrass Beef burger was lean and subtle, fine in spite of being unevenly cooked. (We asked for rare, but it came in a mixture of medium and medium rare, an unfortunate if common fault with grass-fed beef.) Yet that only served to set off the Plain Jane, which was anything but, with its fatty juices in the end fighting the ample pretzel bun to an uneasy draw in a battle of order versus chaos. The turkey chili was a bit sweet, not just from the corn kernels tossed in, as was the New England clam chowder on a subsequent Friday visit (albeit a bargain $5 as soup of the day), but the Caesar salad was enormous and damn decent, complete with anchovies. For bar patrons, the drinks are reasonably priced by Loop standards, and Cub haters take note: the front room devotes walls to the White Sox, Bulls, Bears, and Blackhawks, but the Cubs are tucked away around the corner in the first dining nook.
— Ted Cox