Northwest Herald

Mystery Diner in Huntley: Parkside Pub a great choice beyond festival fame

Parkside Pub, 11721 E. Main St. Huntley, is a year-round choice – not just during the annual Turkey Testicle Festival.

If you haven’t been to Parkside Pub in downtown Huntley for its annual Turkey Testicle Festival, you really should give it a try.

Just about every Northwest Herald staffer makes it there at some point during their tenure, and I was no exception.

But on a recent Saturday, I ventured out looking for a solid lunch option, and Parkside Pub more than delivered. Even during the day, it has a definite bar feel, although I saw a family or two, and the food options lend themselves to older kids. It’s an appealing place to watch the game or just catch up with friends.

The menu is quite extensive with a long list of appetizers: traditional or boneless chicken wings with a choice of sauce ($12.95), quesadillas ($11.95 plain, add $2 for chicken or $3 for steak), fried green beans ($10.95), spinach and artichoke dip ($10.95), soft pretzels and dips ($10.95), potato skins ($10.95) and the list goes on.

We were there for lunch, so we got right to the entrees.

I ordered the fire burger ($13.95), which, as the menu puts it, comes “smothered with jalapeños” and topped with melted pepper Jack cheese.

It was juicy, filling and spicy – just what I was looking for. I also opted to upgrade my side to the sweet potato fries, my go-to.

My choice was the fire burger, which came "smothered" -- the restaurant's term -- in jalapeños and topped with melted pepper jack cheese.

Parkside Pub offers all sorts of burger, chicken and sandwich options. The classic burger includes your choice of cheese for $12.50, and most of the burgers come in around $13.95.

The exceptions are the Parkside burger – the menu advises it is for the “hearty eater” – which, for $14.95, includes 1 pound of Black Angus chuck topped with cheese, and the 3 Little Piggies burger, prepared with pulled pork, sliced ham, bacon and cheddar cheese, also $14.95.

I’d been tempted by the chicken and waffles ($14.95) and the Cubano sandwich with pulled pork, sliced ham, Swiss cheese, pickles and Dijon mustard on a pressed steak roll ($13.95).

My fellow diner ordered the brisket tacos, one of four taco options on the menu.

My fellow diner order the brisket tacos, which came with sliced barbecue brisket topped with fried onion straws. All of the taco options came with side of esquites, which is Mexican street corn served off the cob and in a cup.

Parkside Pub’s classic street tacos present four corn tortillas filled with a choice of steak, chicken, chorizo, carnitas or chicken tinga, and topped with chopped onion, cilantro and a wedge of lime for $14.95. They also can be served American style with shredded lettuce, tomatoes and cheddar cheese for the same price.

The other variations include grilled shrimp, hand-battered cod or grilled tilapia with red slaw and crumbled queso fresco; and sliced barbecue brisket with fried onion straws.

All tacos come with a side of esquites, which is basically elote, Mexican street corn, but served off the cob and in a cup.

My fellow diner was a big fan. There were no leftovers.

The menu also offers salads, wraps, chili and soups, and some seafood and grill items, including fish and chips ($14.95), a rack of ribs ($16.95 for the half slab, and $23.95 for the full), pork chops ($20.95) and arrachera ($20.95).

Parkside Pub is a great choice for lunch or dinner when you’re looking for hearty, tasty food – and not just at festival time in November.

• The Mystery Diner is an employee at the Northwest Herald. The diner’s identity is not revealed to the restaurant staff before or during the meal. The Mystery Diner visits a different restaurant and then reports on the experience. If the Mystery Diner cannot recommend the establishment, we will not publish a review.

Seeking reader suggestions: We welcome readers to share their recommendations of places they would like the Mystery Diner to visit. Email ideas to tips@nwherald.com.

IF YOU GO

WHAT: Parkside Pub

WHERE: 11721 E. Main St., Huntley

PHONE: 847-669-8496

INFORMATION: parksidepub.com