297 S. McLean Bl. - Elgin, IL

Date & Time: Friday 07/23/10 - 1: 00 pm
Atmosphere: Empty Beer Garden
Bartender: Diane

After four days of recovering from the Minnesota weekend in which we made an unplanned stop for lunch in Wisconsin Dells on the way home, an ended up partying till sun-up, I finally was well enough to venture out of the house just in time for the weekend.  Making plans to meet the ex-wife for lunch & a cocktail, we met at JB's Grill & Bar in Elgin as it was a beautiful day, and I knew there was a beer garden to enjoy.

Sadly, the beer garden was the only thing I really enjoyed, so I'm going to keep this one short, as I wasn't too impressed...


I went on a weeklong bender partying in three different states to come home & find my computer is on the fritz.(just another thing to add to my list of unforeseen drama in the last few months)  Since I'm currently using some free-wi & have a bunch of kids yelling behind me, I'm going to wait until the new modem arrives sometime next week before updating this thing.

Rest assure, I'm still drinking bloody marys & will be sharing my thoughts soon!


480 Snelling Ave South - ST. Paul, MN
Date & Time: Saturday 07/17/10 - 4:45 pm
Atmosphere: Bar, Grill & Beer garden
Bartender: Alex
Price: No idea

I know this place technically isn't  in the Chicagoland area, but being I was up north to catch the Whitesox/Twins series (which being they lost 3 of 4 I should have saved the money on tickets & just watched them at a bar), I thought I'd see what Minnesota brought to the table as far as a bloody mary.  

After getting "iced" (Iced is a game where one is ridiculed & made to get down on one knee & chug a Smirnoff Ice if presented with one unexpectedly)  by the bartender Alex by means of a discreet phone call from one of my buddies before we arrived, I asked if he made a good bloody mary....


5223 Torque Rd - Loves Park, IL
Date & Time: Wednesday 07/13/10 - 8:30 pm
Atmosphere: Sports Bar mixed with Little Rascal Decor
Bartender: Didn't bother to ask
Price: Free (father paid)
I found myself getting my next bloody mary at this out of the the way joint after watching my nephew's little league baseball game with some of my family.  Deciding to grab a late dinner to celebrate my nephew's good game, as well as one of my young niece's dolls birthdays, (don't ask, but you'll know I'm not making this up if you look closely in the picture's background) I ordered a bloody mary from the cute waitress, waiting for some surprisingly affordable pizza, and hoped for the best.

Looking around, there is a nice atmosphere of a sports bar, with the added bonus of some old-school Little Rascal decor on the walls. I could see this place being a fun place to catch a game during football season, or even a weekend hangout to party with the locals. That said, anytime you go, skip the bloody mary & grab a beer or cocktail....


231 Douglas Street - Elgin, IL
Date & Time: Sunday 07/11/10 - 6:45 pm
Price:  $5. 00
Atmosphere: Sports Bar 

After yesterdays fantastic bloody mary, I tried to go into this establishment with an open mind.  I had been here a couple times in the past couple months ever since I heard about everything being half-off on Sundays.  While I had yet to try their bloody mary, I knew that even if it wasn't up to yesterday's standards, that I would at least enjoy the tasty wings I've had previously - and that it wouldn't cost too much too boot.

It was rainy, so drinking out back on the patio was out, but being I was still content to hopefully catching some sports highlights from the earlier WhiteSox game where they blasted 5 home runs to take a hold of first place. 

After ordering a bloody mary from the waitress at the bar, I found myself annoyed that the sports highlights were being drowned out my someone who decided to play a Marilyn Manson song that blared out of the speakers.  I took a hearty swig of my drink, and my annoyance continued...


1320 S. Main Street - Algonquin, IL

Date & Time:Saturday 07/10/10 - 6:15 pm
Price:  $5. 00
Bartender: Jaime
Atmosphere: Screen Patio 

This Bloody Mary made my day, so I'm going to call it a night, write my review tomorrow, and dream about the yummy goodness this Bloody Mary provided in the meantime. 

Check back for a more in depth review, but trust me, if your hankering for a damn good Bloody Mary...get your ass over to RiverView right now before the cute waitress Jamie that served up this delicious concoction leaves for the evening!

UPDATE:  Getting back to the review of the best Bloody Mary I've found since starting my quest....


7 S. Main Street - Algonquin, IL
Bullwinkle's Metromix

Date & Time: Saturday 07/10/10 - 5:30  pm
Price:  $6. 00
Bartender: Steve
Atmosphere: Dive Bar

After leaving Port Edwards we decided to walk across the street over to Route 31 to check out what a dive bar could offer us as far as a bloody mary.  To say this was a mistake would be an understatement...

After asking the quirky bartender Steve if he made a good bloody mary, we sat down on the stools underneath a real stuffed moose head, and checked out the scenery.  The whimsical decorum of painted Rocky & Bullwinkle art brought about a smile, but this was quickly turned upside down when I saw the Hawaiian Punch looking drink that was placed before me.  

Not having ANY garnishment, and basically just some well vodka mixed with Clamato juice & a splash of Worcestershire sauce, the bloody mary - if you could call it that - was pretty disgusting.  

Not wanting to waste anymore time drinking this concoction, I held my nose & slammed it down.  Luckily Steve offered up some freshly popped popcorn to kill the taste in my mouth, and needless to say that if I were to return, beer would be the drink of choice.


Satisfaction: YUCK
              Rating: 0 OLIVES (out of 5)


20 W. Algonquin Road - Algonquin, IL

Date & Time: Saturday 07/10/10 - 4:45  pm
Price:  $7. 25
Bartender: Beth?
Atmosphere: Nautical

After giving my taste buds a little rest from the tomato concoctions the past couple days, I woke up to another beautiful Chicagoland summer day anxious to make up for lost time.  

Knowing my sister & cousin were going to be in the area for a baby shower,
I made plans to meet them in the Algonquin area to continue my search for a good Bloody Mary. I was not disappointed....

We started our quest at a restaurant I have visited multiple times over the years, and knowing that their Alaskin King crab legs dinner was top notch, I had high hopes that their Bloody Mary would be the same.  

Since a rain cloud decided to time it's arrival to the area the exact time I pulled into the parking lot, the plan to sit next to the Fox River under the umbrella covered tables to imbibe was thrown out the window.  Not going to let that stand in our way of getting our drink on, we ventured inside the nautical themed restaurant & headed to back bar that gave us magnificent views of the river safe from the rain.

After ordering a round of Bloody Marys from the bartender wearing a white sailor outfit, we sat back and caught up while watching her go to work on our cocktails.  Immediately the anticipation rose tenfold when we saw a huge stick filled of a array of garnishments was placed into each one.  Being the only meal I had at the time was breakfast, my stomach growled with appreciation....


300 W. Main St. - St. Charles, IL
Date & Time: Thursday 07/08/10 -12:30 pm
Price:  $5. 50
Bartender: Mandy
Atmosphere: Nice
Another beautiful summer day in Chicagoland area had me in search for an outdoor patio to find & hopefully enjoy that elusive perfect bloody mary.  Having the Filling Station still on my mind from last week, I asked my future ex-wife if she wanted to meet me there for lunch.  As I drove to the destination via scenic route 31, I hoped to myself that it wouldn't be as packed as last time I drove by. 

Finding the place busy, but not too crowded, we walked through the dimly lit building to the large outside patio that's located right on Main St.  After picking an umbrella covered table off to the side, we were immediately greeted by a cute young waitress wearing cutoff jean shorts, and small stud earring in her nose.  I ordered the obligatory bloody mary, and started looking over the many menu options offered as she went off to put in our drink order.

After deciding on getting some Cajun wings, and a chicken salad, we sat back and listened to some of the classic rock playing on the radio.  The likes of ACDC & Led Zeppelin was intermixed with the loud traffic flying by next to us, as my lips licked in anticipation for some bloody mary goodness.  Unfortunately for me, this anticipation was meet with yet another let down....


702 Water Street E. Dundee, IL
Rosie O'Hares Metromix
Date & Time: Monday 07/05/10 - 6:15 pm
Price:  $5. 00
Bartender: Brian
Atmosphere: Cozy
After leaving disappointed from my experiences with today's first establishment, my sister & I drove across the river to visit one of my old stomping grounds from back when it was called The Catfish Club. (which they still reference on the glass etched in the front door.)  Asking the bartender if he can make a good bloody mary, he replied that he could, and asked us if we wanted it spicy.  Neither of us being one that shy's from the spice, we told him sure, and watched him go to work on his creation.

Our attention was immediately raised (in a good way) when after putting a couple drops of both red & green tabasco sauce, he went to the tap & poured a little Guinness beer into each glass.  I pretty much knew right then & there that this was going to taste better then the one we had at the earlier establishment....


125 Washington Street - W. Dundee, IL 
Date & Time: Monday 07/05/10 - 5:30 pm
Price:  $5. 75
Bartender: Lavon
Atmosphere: Comfortable 

After being extremely hung over yesterday from Saturday's festivities that went well past sunrise, my quest for drinking one bloody mary every day failed before my first week into it.  Having to re-think things, (and realizing there may many other days of not being fit to get off the couch) I slightly changed my mission to incorporate days like these, and give myself a little leeway by drinking multiple on some days to make up for it.

Sticking to the Dundee area, I enlisted my sister to go with me to give a second opinion, and started by going to an establishment that has been operating since the year I was born - The Village Squire.  Famous for Mai Tais & Rum Barrels - trying one of their bloody marys had me wishing I would have made my quest to drink either of those. 

Coming with a stalk a celery, as well as celery salt around the rim for the first time of this journey, my first thought was that it had potential - unfortunately this was far from the case....


10 N. River Street - E. Dundee, IL 
Bandito Barney's FaceBook Page
Date & Time: Saturday 07/03/10 - 3:15pm
Price:  $5. 50
Bartender: Erin
Atmosphere: Can't Be Beat
I need to preface this review with full disclosure.  I've been going to Bandito Barney's beer garden ever since I was 17 years old & got my first fake ID.  Located in the heart of downtown Dundee, this hidden oasis is in my opinion one of the finest establishments in the Chicagoland area. I have yet to find another place in the area where you can go out back & immediately feel like you've been transported to another place - one that brings to mind sipping on a pina colada with Jimmy Buffet playing in the background. (who if Urban Legend holds true, once did an impromptu concert in the beer garden out back years ago) Being this is a place I hold dear to my heart, I have to say I was a bit disappointed with today's bloody mary....


11721 E. Main Street - Huntley, IL 847-669-8496
Parkside Pub FaceBook Page
Date & Time: Friday 07/02/10 - 12:45pm
Price:  $4. 50
Bartender: Gloria
Atmosphere: Relaxing
I woke up not hurting nearly as bad as I did yesterday to find that it is absolutely gorgeous outside.  Looking outside the window to find not a cloud in the sky, I immediately decided that my quest to find the perfect
bloody mary should entail spending the time drinking it in a beer garden. Knowing I had to meet my future ex-wife in St Charles to discuss some things, I figured I'd try hitting The Filling Station to see what they had to offer.  

This plan was quickly discarded when I drove by the establishment to find that the beer garden was filled to the brim with people that had the same idea as mine.  Not yet ready to bust out the camera in front of so many people, I decided to go with plan B, which was to check out a beer garden I saw on the way home from Mott's yesterday - The Red Ox in Hampshire.  Unfortunately, this plan was too jettisoned when I drove all the way there, found a vary sparse parking lot, and when I went into the establishment to get my drink on, was informed by a girl that couldn't be older then 10 that they didn't open till 4pm.    

Not wanting to wait around for 4 more hours, I racked my brain to come up with another beer garden close by, and remembered that Parkside Pub in Huntley had a pretty nice one from what I remembered, and started heading off in that direction.... 


195 Main St. - Burlington, IL 847-683-2180
Date & Time: Thursday 07/01/10 - 4:45pm
Price:  $5. 50
Bartender: John
Atmosphere: Mello

Ever since this old lady that smelled of cigarettes told me years ago that Mott's served the best bloody mary she's ever had, I've wanted to try one.  Today being the first day of this blog, it seemed like the perfect place to start.

I pulled up in the gravel parking lot behind the bar next to a nice sandpit volleyball setup.  Walking through the back door (after first trying to open the locked door directly next to it) I came into a small room & immediately saw one of those old-school bowling arcade games.  The ones where you sling a heavy little metal puck at pins that fly up into the top of the machine after  triggering sensors on the games surface.  This immediately brought back fond memories of my youth when my father brought me to bars in Wisconsin. 

Climbing up a couple stairs, it opened up into a large long room with a huge bar on the right.  The only patrons I see are a couple blue-collar guys at the far end of the bar near the front entrance, and a nice looking M.I.L.F that reminds me of a middle-aged Sophia Loren sitting on a bar stool in front of me.  Behind the bar is gruff looking older gentleman that looks like he's probably made his fair share of Bloody Marys - I take this as a good sign....