Every year my wife and I go to a nice restaurant for my birthday. We don’t necessarily go on my birthday, but close by. This year my birthday fell on a Wednesday. So we decided to go on the following Saturday. For the last two years we had gone to BOKA, a fine dining restaurant in Lincoln Park. I love the pork belly and the great service. It is a spectacular restaurant. We even had reservations this year. At the last minute, I decided to change to a different place. I had seen Silver Palm featured on No Reservations with Anthony Bourdain. The Silver Palm is a set in an old railroad dining car. I grew up riding on trains and dining in dining cars. I always enjoyed the elegance of the dining car. It was fun to look out at the countryside going by. The scenery doesn’t change on the Silver Palm but there are other items of interest. There is a sandwich called Three Little Piggies. It features a breaded pork cutlet, smoked ham and bacon. It is served on large brioche bun. On the bun is gruyere cheese and a gigantic onion ring. Oh yeah, there’s a fried egg on top too. I had to have it. Sure, I looked at the menu and there are many fine choices on there such as walleye pike and baby-back ribs. But had to have it. Margie ordered a burger. She is a conservative eater. She doesn’t order the weird things that I do. We talked for a short time and then the sandwiches came. Her burger was the regular burger that you would get anywhere. It was a 1/2 pound of prime beef surrounded by a mountain of fries. It was very good.
I, on the other hand, had in front of me a very unusual sandwich. It was everything Anthony Bourdain had promised. The first thing that hit me was the smoky aroma of the ham. I immediately cut it in half. I vowed to have the other half on the following day. With a sandwich this large you could hurt yourself. It was extremely flavorful. It had crunch, smoke and moisture. I want to comment on the service as well. Everyone at the Silver Palm was very friendly and cordial. You don’t get that at every restaurant.
One more cool thing about the restaurant; the wine list is a nice variety of California favorites. On the Silver Palm, wines by the glass are 1/4 the price of the bottle. This made my Beckmen Cuvee le Bec a tidy 9.00. In Chicago, that’s pretty good for a fine glass of wine. I would go back to the Silver Palm anytime, but I need to be very hungry.