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.... 
Of course Route 47 is completely undergoing a ridiculous amount of road construction, but after all my driving, I was determined to make it happen.  I finally pulled into the gravel parking lot off Main St, and park next to another sandpit volleyball court which immediately brought back memories of my day before.  

I opened the big green door in front of the building to find a dark & a bit dreary room filled with people.  After the obligatory looks form the locals to see who just walked in, I went up to the bartender whose wearing a bright pink stripped shirt, an ordered a bloody mary & a water.  She looked around & asked where I was sitting - there not being that many available spaces - and I told her that I would be drinking it out in the beer garden.  She told me she'd bring it out, and I walked over to the side door that led into the back, passing numerous people eating a Friday fish fry that looked absolutely fantastic.  I made a mental note to definitely come back to try that in the future.

Upon opening the door, the bright sun screams at me in direct contrast to the dark dungeon inside.  The huge beer garden is surprising sparse of people, with only a couple tables of businessman eating lunch, a guy & girl couple that I'd guess were in their mid-thirties, and an elderly couple that I would imagine made their way over from the Del Webb retirement community down the road called Sun City.

Off to the right side against the wall was a nice wooden bar with a friendly waitress & big flat screen on the wall behind it.  After I informed her that I wasn't aware she was out here, and that I already placed my order, I went to the far back and sat down on a small wood deck stage that currently had a handful of umbrella covered tables.  

After sitting down, I took the opportunity to look around.  Through the wrought iron gate you could see truck & motorcycle traffic from Main St slowly moving by, which surprisingly provided a relaxing ambiance.  It was only then that I noticed in the middle of the beer garden was a huge beautiful tree that shot up into the sky, an acted as a canopy to provide shade. It gave the whole place the feeling of being in someones backyard, and I could definitely envision myself spending many hours out back here in the days to come.

The waitress comes over to the back with my drinks, and it's time to get down to business.  At first glance I'm thinking that this might have potential.  Served in a medium sized plastic cup with the Miller Light logo on the side, it has a nice amount of garnishment protruding from the top. Speared on the yellow tipped toothpick is a long pickle, a fresh looking lime wedge, a medium sized green olive, and a dainty looking celery stick.  I use it all to stir the drink, and take a nice swig from tall black straw.

My first impression that it tastes pretty good.  It was obviously made with a bloody mary mix, (which I found out later was called Zing Zang) but it was nicely spiced & had a decent aftertaste.(even if it was more 'tomato' then heat)  I pulled out the pickle to take a bite, and it was crisp in a good way.  I've had better olives, and the celery stick left much to be desired, so I chucked that aside, and went back to drinking the liquid.

There really isn't too much more to say about this particular bloody mary.  While it was tasty at first sip, the more I drank the less satisfied I felt.  It wasn't particular bad, but it was nothing to write home about either.  To sum things up, I wouldn't go back specifically for one, but on another beautiful 83 degree day with no humidity like today - it would make due in a pinch.


                                                               Look:  APPETIZING
                                                           Garnish: ADEQUATE
                                                     Satisfaction: UNEVEN
                                                             Rating: 2.5 OLIVES (out of 5)

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