Michael’s Original Pizzeria & Tavern is a tremendous sports bar with satisfactory food. I visited this establishment on March 31 to watch the Loyola-Chicago Ramblers play the University of Michigan Wolverines in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Final Four. Michael’s had an electric vibe and it’s hard to envision that I could have selected a better location to watch the Ramblers compete on the hardwood. I sat at the bar, requested a menu and ordered a pint of Guinness ($6).
The bartender promptly served my Irish brew and I proceeded to ask for a nacho platter ($8.15) for starters. Within 10 minutes, my hors d’oeuvre arrived and it was delectable. The side was loaded with layers of savory melted Mozzarella cheese, fresh vegetables and mouthwatering chili. I quickly consumed the entire portion and thought I was on the brink of bursting. The portion was incredibly filling and I probably didn’t need anything else. Regardless, like a glutton, I asked for a bacon cheeseburger ($6.45) with jalapenos, mushrooms, lettuce, tomato and grilled onions.
My burger arrived in a short amount of time and it was grilled to perfection. The burger was juicy and incredibly tasty. Moreover, all of the vegetables were crisp. Although I didn’t need additional eats, my only complaint was that the burger wasn’t presented with complementary French fries.
In regard to ambiance, Michael’s is brimming with classic sports memorabilia. Chicago is one of America’s best cities for sports fans. Still, rather than strictly focusing on local teams, this watering hole showcases a wide array of athletic collectibles. As a huge fan of boxing and New York sports franchises, this made my experience all the more enjoyable. While Michael’s is a solid place, it’s not for everyone. The space is tad dingy and it somewhat resembles a college saloon. These minor issues notwithstanding, Michael’s Original Pizzeria & Tavern is an appealing location to eat solid bar food and watch a big game.
Michael’s Original Pizzeria & Tavern
4091 N Broadway Street
Chicago News rating: Three stars
Open: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 11:30 a.m. until 2 a.m. Saturday from 11:30 a.m. until 3 a.m. Sunday from 11:30 a.m. until 12 a.m.
Credit cards: A, DC, DS, M, V
Reservations: Needed on weekends or during a big sports event
Noise: This is a very noisy establishment
Ratings key: Four stars, outstanding; three stars, excellent; two stars, very good; one star, good; no stars, unsatisfactory. The reviewer makes every effort to remain anonymous