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Deep Fried Chicago: The Point

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[Photograph: Joe Roy]

The Point is as its name promises: it's located at the chocolate chip aired intersection where Milwaukee barrels dead into Kinzie and Desplaines. Inside, the brick-lined bar mimics the restaurant's peninsularity, bartenders scurrying within to serve the customers fanning around its confines. The food here is on point (sorry) with its trendy beer list, and you won't be sorry looking past the daily flatbreads and burgers to the fried items on offer.

The Short Rib Nachos ($14.00) are exactly what you want in a barroom version (read: cheesy and big enough to share). It could use a little acidity, though. I kept looking for something pickled and/or spicy, but all I found was a never-ending mound of finely shredded braised beef. Said beef is served atop translucent, just fried chips, plenty of melted cheese, and is sprayed with a confetti of chopped tomatoes, green and red onions, and sautéd corn. All in all, this is a solid, if not particularly revelatory, version.

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On the other hand, the Shrimp Po' Boy ($14.00) arrives to the table triumphantly, its glistening top bun perched gently on the soldier line of crispy, curled shrimp. The undersides of the Italian baguette are toasty, while its squishy exterior ensures that all its housed ingredients stay put. The shrimp themselves are crunchy and plentiful, and while the briny sweetness of the squeaky bread and butter pickles threatens to overwhelm, it never does. Come to think of it, no one player sticks out in what is a surprisingly balanced take on the NOLA classic.

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While not especially crispy, the skin-on Hand Cut Fries (included with sandwiches or $4.00 as a standalone side) are shockingly well seasoned. I mention this because so many bar versions... aren't. But these are great, and dipping them into a requested side of Sriracha aioli makes them even better.

If you come to The Point looking to be wowed, you'll probably be disappointed. But if you set your sights on a comfortable, inviting space with solid food and plenty of beer on tap, you'll leave happy. Expecting much more of the place would really be missing the point.

The Point

401 N Milwaukee Avenue Chicago, IL 60654 (map)
312-666-1600
pointbarchicago.com

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