12/5/11 Update: BIG & little’s has moved to 860 N Orleans St, Chicago, IL
I heard that Chick-fil-A opened in Chicago and it got me thinking about fast food. I remember liking it back in the day but would I like it now? It’s like when you have a favorite movie from your teenage years and you go back and watch as an adult and are so disappointed because it’s really bad and not bad enough to be good, just really bad. I am rambling but in between thinking about going to Chick-fil-A and missing In-N-Out Burger my friend April suggested we check out BIG & little\’s in River North/Near North Side.
It is a tiny place with about 10 counter spaces to sit. Seems the majority of people take the food to-go. Parking isn’t the easiest now since they are redoing the street and it’s in a part of town that is probably not on your usual path if you are walking around the Near North side. Stepping inside you are immediately hit with the smell of seafood being fried and burgers being cooked — it was a great. Reggae music was playing and it made me feel like, “where are we??” It was a good feeling though, nice to be out of a comfort zone as they say and have a new experience.
Chef Gary Strauss welcomed us and gave us some recommendations. He didn’t mind me taking pictures and had a very laid-back vibe. We went with the Whitefish Po Boy and truffle fries.
While waiting for the food I noticed BIG & little’s has won a few awards for cheap eats and chef Tony was on the reality show Hell\’s Kitchen. Also they will be on the TV show Diners, Drive-Ins & Dives on Monday November 7th. All really great, but not as great as the smell of the truffle fries when I opened the to go bag (pictured above). I had to dig right in instead of waiting until we got home. These were some of the best fries I have ever had. Crispy on the outside and soft on the inside and perfectly fresh. No ketchup needed, in fact it takes away from the fry. YOU NEED TO EAT THESE FRIES.
The White Fish Po Boy was huge, can be split even if you have a healthy appetite. I’m not the biggest fan of fried fish but this sandwich did not feel too heavy or greasy. There was a bit of spice to the sauce and the bread was fresh. I recommend eating the food there (if there is room) since it does lose a bit of the crispness over time. The fries were still great but by the time we were home there was difference.
I will be back, for the fries obviously but to try their fish tacos. I’ve heard they have some of the best Fish & Chips around. So if you are looking for seafood (or burgers/fries) and don’t feel like a sit down place like GT Fish & Oyster or Shaw\’s Crab House come here. Especially if you work in River North and want something new or need a snack break when you’re shopping downtown. Oh, it is cash only.BIG & little’s – 939 N Orleans, Chicago, IL 60610