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Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Bar #53: Frank and Mary's Tavern

2905 N. Elston Ave.
12:30pm, Friday, May 4
Price of Old Style: $2.00 bottles

This is THE place to go for lunch.  Forget Hot Dougs.  Forget Kuma's.  Forget your Grandma's house.  The rotating lunch menu at Frank & Mary's blows them all away and is a also great deal.  I had the following plate and two Old Style's and it was less than $15.

Frank and Mary's has been at it's location on Elston Avenue since the early 1970s, and contrary to what you may think, Frank and Mary are brother and sister.  They are like the White Stripes of the dive bar world, except both Frank and Mary are important parts of the operation -- Mary cooking the food and Frank behind the bar.  Wait, you mean that Jack and Meg White weren't brother and sister?

I was joined for lunch this Friday by my friend Mike the Firefighter.  Unfortunately, Mary wasn't there because of some recent hip surgery, but her food was, and it was damn good.  We ordered the roasted pork with potatoes, gravy and steamed carrots.  As I mentioned before, this heaping pile of goodness and two beers was less than $15, and there is an option to order a half-plate as well.  They only serve lunch...usually from 11am to 2pm.

The crowd was made up of regulars.  Frank knew everyone by name (except us), so of course he engaged us in conversation, just because we were the newbies.  We had a good talk about the local baseball teams (Frank doesn't have a favorite) and then the phone started ringing.  Yep, to-go orders.  A few people came in soon after the phone calls to pick up their food (including a cabbie), and Frank knew them all.

Frank and Mary have a great business plan: keep it simple and be nice to your customers.  It doesn't get much better than this.  Frank and Mary's Tavern is a true gem of Chicago.

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