I have to be very careful about what I do and do not disclose in this review. Ordinarily I like to give as much context as possible. However, the possibility bar has been lowered for this particular restaurant. You see…I’m a spy. Being a spy I’m expected to keep certain things confidential. Things such as how to get into said restaurant. Things such as the decor of said restaurant. Things such as…well, I’ve probably said too much.
Safehouse is an espionage themed restaurant in Chicago that is the perfect adventure/meal destination for a group. Or a weird solo business traveler like me. I’m always a bit worried about the potential awkwardness of dining alone. It’s not so much that I think it’s weird for people to eat out by themselves, it’s just weird for me to do so. One of those “what do I do with my hands?” sort of moments. I needn’t have worried with this experience. Once I gained entrance to the restaurant I was welcomed like I was part of a larger group.
In a way, I was. To truly enjoy the Safehouse experience you have to buy into the concept as much as the servers and host. You are a spy. This is a spy hideout. There are expectations to be met. I wouldn’t say that the theme is overly pushed on you, but if you don’t accept it you’re just not going to have a good time. I had a good time.
Their menu isn’t revolutionary, but their focus on upscale burgers (and salads for the weak-hearted) is both an appropriate pairing to their theme and also well-executed. My burger, Mission Impossible, came with bacon, some good sauces, and a jalapeño relish. Ordinarily it comes with onion rings on the burger, but they were out. Would have been better with the rings, but it was still tasty. More importantly, my order of Camp X Poutine was top shelf stuff.
The fries clocked in at 5mm. That’s skinny. However, they were fried well enough that they maintained most of their crispy texture underneath the portobello mushroom gravy. I don’t really like mushrooms but I liked this gravy. Gravy’s one of the unobjectionable uses for mushrooms in Daryl’s book of fungus etiquette. It was savory, and hearty, and rich. The cheese curds were also the perfect mix of melty and squeaky. So good! The poached egg on top wasn’t the prettiest I’ve ever seen but the runny yolk added to the creamy richness of the dish. I ate the whole thing and had zero regrets.
If you’re fortunate enough to both locate this restaurant and gain admission through their rigorous screening process you’ll have a good time. Besides the good food there are also activities. That’s all I’ll say. The poutine gets an easy 8 out of 10 on my rating scale.
Visited on July 17, 2017