Downtown Algonquin’s restaurant scene is a beacon for those looking for something new, no matter what you have a taste for. There’s Mexican, Italian, barbecue, American and pub fare all within a few blocks.
And when dinner’s over, there’s a coffee and ice cream bar just steps away, and if you are lucky, someone will be playing live music there.
Also among downtown Algonquin’s restaurant row is Cattleman’s Burger and Brew at 205 S. Main St., which was our latest stop.
Cattleman’s is a tight fit on a busy night, but has a vibrant Western atmosphere and a long beer list. It also features a mammoth menu that includes, of course, burgers as well as ribs, wings, sandwiches, burritos, salmon, mac and cheese bowls and charbroiled chicken and steaks.
After ordering some of our favorite drafts, we selected one of the Cattleman’s signature starters, poutine ($12.60), beer-battered french fries topped with melted cheese curds, brown gravy and a house-made, four-cheese sauce. You could get Italian beef and giardiniera on the side, but we decided on the original serving style. We ate the poutine with a fork to make sure each bite had the complete concoction of fries, cheese curd, gravy and cheese sauce. This was very tasty and filling for an appetizer. We ate about half, saving the rest to take home.
Our first meal was a half slab of ribs ($19.40 for the half slab and $26.20 for the full) with a salad, baked potato and broccoli, the night’s seasonal vegetable. The ribs were slow-cooked and tender, with a healthy slathering of a tangy barbecue sauce. The salad, potato and broccoli were a decent match for the ribs. Overall, the ribs were a rich, flavorful dish.
Cattleman’s says its steak burgers are “made from hormone- and antibiotic-free prime Angus beef, never frozen and hand-packed daily in house.”
Arriving cooked medium, exactly as it was requested, it’s a fine burger.
We chose the Breakfast All-Day Steak Burger ($17.30) with tater tots on the side. This burger is topped with smoked bacon, American cheese, maple syrup and a fried egg. It’s all served on a brioche bun. This is a powerful burger packed with bold tastes.
One recommendation we’d make on this specialty burger: While the sweetness of the maple syrup is appreciated, a layer of jam could be substituted as a welcome touch that’s a tad less messy.
Cattleman’s is a fun restaurant with a nice ambiance and a solid menu. We will be back.
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IF YOU GO
WHAT: Cattleman’s Burger and Brew
WHERE: 205 S. Main St., Algonquin