Deals, Dares & Reviews To Help You Savor Your World.
Such is the case with BadHappy’s iconic logo. Long before Chef Tom Kern’s gourmet poutine shop opened its doors in Chicago — while the whole concept was still swirling around in the planning stages — his wife sketched a grinning, horned face on a napkin with a Sharpie, and gave it to him.
“It was perfect,” he recently told Salut! “It completely summed up what I wanted BadHappy to be. That sketch became our logo exactly as she drew it — I didn’t change a thing.”
That evil little face now smiles at you from the walls of BadHappy, where Chef Tom’s crew of rascals dishes up heaping platters of poutine (that carb-laden, booze-soaking feast of french fries, cheese curds and gravy.) Wildly popular in Canada, poutine has become something of a national dish for our peaceful, polite friends to the north, and it’s the food they miss most when they move away (perhaps to Chicago.)
Poutine pops up on a lot of menus in Chicago, but BadHappy makes it even more badass by pairing simple frites with gourmet ingredients in a hip, open kitchen. We recently tried The RedNeck: BBQ pork, mac-n-cheese, fried okra and Carolina cole slaw; and The Good, the Bad and the Happy: pork belly, braised veal cheek, fromage beaucronne, truffle mayo, foie gras mousse & gravy, and sunny egg. (Both were spectacular, but the RedNeck was hands-down our favorite — we demolished every bite!) And, because BadHappy is happily BYOB, we discovered that poutine pairs especially well with a six-pack of PBR tallboys and, oddly, a bottle of La Finca Malbec. For dessert, we splurged on the slap-your-mama good Birthday Cake Shake, which turned out to be a delightfully lumpy, delicious mess replete with sprinkles and whipped cream.
We’d fully intended to be good, my friends and I – to not stuff ourselves with carbs and sugar and booze. But with its comfortable vibe and creative menu, BadHappy made it much too easy for us to sin. And the affable Chef Tom Kern soon became like that little cartoon devil on our shoulder, poking us with a pitchfork and urging us on to greater depths of depravity. Two hours passed before we finally staggered out into the sunlight criminally full, more than a little tipsy, and already planning our next visit.
BadHappy Poutine Shop lives by the credo that sometimes you gotta be bad to be good. And we at Salut! hope they don’t change a thing. Like its gleeful demonic logo, BadHappy is perfect just the way it is.
939 N. Orleans, Chicago Illinois