Chicago—As a young adult in the late 1960’s I lived in Chicago’s trendy, Old Town Neighborhood. Just a few blocks West of me on Sedgwick at Eugenie Streets stood a neighborhood bar and restaurant, Twin Anchors. I was told they served up the best BBQ ribs anywhere. Yes, they did! It was a cozy place where young professionals gathered after work. Many people found their spouses there. As a Chicago cop it was a great choice to bring my dates. (Back then women were nearly all, meat eaters unlike today.)
It was a marvelous place to dine especially for their BBQ pork ribs. Cooking ribs is a real art. Most people try hard and wind up with a greasy mess. Fortunately for those pretenders a decent sauce can cover up a culinary disaster, but heartburn is sure to `follow. Twin Anchors made tasty ribs that weren’t greasy or too heavy. Their ribs were heavenly.
While you were waiting, your server would bring you two slices of tasty black bread with butter. You of course could begin with salad. For a side, a baked potato was the favorite.
The place was so popular parking was always a challenge. The servers were prompt and friendly.
I moved away from Chicago to open my detective agencies in Arizona and California. I’d return to the Windy City often and visit the best restaurants of anywhere on the globe. I was last at Twin Anchors (with a boss I had as a teenager) before the China Virus was unleashed upon the world. It was just as I remembered.
At the end of April of this year I returned with a lady friend I dated and took there many years ago. She was living in the Southwestern suburbs and the geography made returning to Twin Anchors all but impossible for her but she was excited to have dinner with me there after two decades.
When crooner, Frank Sinatra came to Chicago and wanted ribs, he knew to go to Twin Anchors. You could sit in the actual seat where he sat, and perhaps even farted if you so desire. Also, the delightful, Bonnie Hunt movie, Return to Me was filmed there. They rearranged the place into an italian restaurant for the film
What’s changed since my last visit you ask? A lot! It’s now a dining failure loaded with lamest excuses, ever.
A host seated us at a table he claimed was Sinatra’s favorite. However in the past I was told it was the large center booth at the bar area. Why the unnecessary subterfuge?
Our server came took our order telling us they didn’t get their delivery of potatoes that day. I guess they’d also claim if we asked that all of the local grocery stores had the same problem.
While we waited, no black bread or any whatsoever came to our table. Their excuse? The bakery they bought it from has gone out of business more than a year earlier. Chicago must have run out of all their bakeries too! Again, the lamest of excuses.
I ordered baked beans as a substitute for the baked potato. It had some slimy mystery ingredient that tasted strange. I skipped it.
As for the ribs themselves, we both ordered half slabs but they were unusually small. The ribs and sauce were very good but left us hungry for more. Our complaints fell on deaf ears. This was and will be our last visit to Twin Anchors.
What happened to this place? My first thought was the place has new and very incompetent owners. Or perhaps the owners retired or passed away leaving it to their children that hate the business. Whatever happened it has been fatal, Twin Anchors, may you, Rest in Peace.