Christie's Pub and Grill is South Side's hidden gem
A friend's recommendation led me to Christie's Pub and Grill, 3261 S. 13th St., a hidden gem whose exterior blends so easily into the stretch of 13th Street at Ohio Ave. that you've likely driven by the long-time, family-owned pub for years without even realizing it was there.
Without the head's up, I would likely have continued to drive by, never realizing what I was missing.
Places like Christie's represent a Catch-22 for me. Part of me wants endearing places like this to remain "off the radar," so that I am always guaranteed a prime spot at the bar, where I can be surrounded by the people I've come to know (yes, you eat at the bar here, with a custom-made oak tray that fits over the top for easy, comfortable dining; and no, they don't allow smoking). The other part of me wants to share places like this by screaming from the mountaintops so that fellow lovers of good food, company and ambience can also find and enjoy them.
Jason Schultz runs the tiny bar and restaurant along with his mother, grandmother and girlfriend Jackie. In addition to the cozy bar seating, Christie's offers a few small booths and cocktail tables. Dim lighting, a deep, comforting palette of colors, a tastefully mirrored wall, and original Pabst and Schlitz memorabilia that has been handed down for generations intermingle with a collection of family photographs from the pub in the 1950s.
Jason proudly shows off a photograph of the then-Christie's Inn's 1950's Blatz emblazoned menu reflecting 35-cent hamburgers and quarter tappers, while Jackie, who does all of the cooking with assistance from mom, Eileen, busily places breathtaking vases of flowers from the backyard garden on the bar in between prepping items for dinner in the kitchen.
The family classifies food here as "Gourmet Pub Food" and indeed it is. The star of the daily menu is fried squid. For $8, savor fresh tentacles and rings with a Thai influenced dipping sauce. Another menu favorite pairs prosciutto wrapped scallops over pears and drizzles all with a balsamic reduction sauce for $12.
But the magic doesn't end with the appetizers. Christie's features a two-sided sandwich board at the door that offers another half-dozen options, and Jason carries a list behind the bar with another four or more entrees and an abundance of sides including mashed or au gratin potatoes, vegetable offerings like sautéed garlic spinach or grilled asparagus and pastas with various sauces.
Recent visits proved relaxing and delightful. At Christie's, the family doesn't forget your name or your drink once you've wandered in once. The kitchen hums with the constant work of family hands working together. The result is a warm, welcoming environment with nearly flawless food, and a chef who obviously has no fear -- and with good cause -- with influences across various cuisines and an emphasis on simple, well-executed preparation, she never goes wrong.
A tomato, basil and fresh mozzarella salad ($6) delivers a punch with balsamic over the classic Italian trio. And like all dishes at Christie's, the portion is plated to share, and priced so reasonably it's nearly irresistible. Specials of bacon wrapped, barbecued shrimp ($13) drip with a Southern influence which is also reflected in a Jamaican Creole medley of grilled jerk chicken kabobs with pineapple, zucchini, yellow squash and red onion over red beans and rice ($13).
A fried lobster dinner ($16) perched one fried 6-ounce tail over a mound of buttery mashed potatoes that had been just slightly twice baked, and garlicky spinach to balance the tail, which was pure divinity with a splash of melted butter. A shrimp po' boy ($12) layered a crunchy roll with fried shrimp dressed with lettuce, tomato, onion and mayo, and a generous side of homemade fries that are so well-seasoned you'll never want pre-made fries again.
As if the entrees weren't enough, sample Christie's ingenuity with fried wontons ($5) for dessert. They feature homemade wonton dough stuffed with chocolate, fried, and garnished with more melted chocolate and a sprinkling of powdered sugar. The simple, flawless end to a flawless meal.
VERY DISAPPOINTED - After hearing how great the food was my husband and I went there for a bite to eat - ya right - we walked in and proceded to find a stool at the bar - the bartender asked us if this was our first time here, we said yes - then he asked us if we were wanting to have something to eat - again we said yes - he proceded to tell us that the kitchen was reserved for his "REGULAR" customers, but we were welcomed to stay and have drinks, at fisrt we thought he was kidding....we didn't know what to think at first, my husband asked him if he was serious and her said "as serious as heart attack", and then he said that we were welcomed to stay had have drinks. We asked what it tool to become a "REGULAR" but he didn't answer the question. He also told us that he was the owner and that they have been in business for over sixty years - well I wish him luck - I will not recommend his place to ANYONE, as a matter of fact I have already talked his place DOWN -
I also ate there on Friday night, but had a completely different experience than 'tosafoodie'. I also live in tosa and love the offerings in town, but I have to say that Christie's was magnificent! Yes, there was a bit of a wait, but this was disclosed to you upon walking into the place (did you see the sign?). The tomato, mozzarella, basil salad was delicious and the red snapper...good God, you have to try the red snapper. I didn't know that fish could taste so good! My husband and I were very pleased and can't wait to come back again. Christie's definitely lived up to this review and I have already recommended it to all of my family and friends!
Very Overrated! Had dinner there last night, sat down and waited 1.5 hours before we even got our order! Had the fish fry which was average at best, service was average. Would not go back, so many other nice places in town.
5 of us went and ate after we read this article and ooooooh myyyyy Gosh!!! The food, Jason behind the bar, the FOOD!!!! Unbelievable will go back again and again. Go check it out. every fri and sat he does seafood....and try the egplant parmasan holy crap!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
My fiance and I went for appetizers last night, and we were SO suprised. What I nice place! The food was great, the no-smoking policy was great, and tab was more than reasonable. Jason told us all about the history of the place, and he made one of the best Old Fashion's we have ever had!
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