Checkered Flag Tavern 5725 W. Morris Street.
Well Ladies and Gentlemen, this is a bar. A bar that dates back to the 1940’s. A bar that was redone about a year ago. A spacious bar with pool tables, about a dozen beers on tap and a grand out-door seating area with a fire pit. It also is a bar with some of the best tavern food I have had. They offer blackened catfish and frog leg appetizers, as well as real deal smoked pork sandwiches. We ordered some breaded mushrooms to start. Fresh breaded ‘shrums are always a bonus and they offered theirs for $5.50, with a horseradish sauce. Nothing prepared us for the monsters we were given.
We received 5 mushrooms that were in excess of 3 inches in diameter. Each one was impeccably breaded in a thin breading reminiscent of a cornmeal breading usually reserved for catfish. The horse-radish dip that came with the mushrooms matched well; as did the one buck pints of Pabst Blue Ribbon.
As for our “entre” Pat and I were both conflicted. Pat for the “Big Ass Bacon Burger” and the “Big Pig”. Me for the catfish special and the “Big Pig”. Pat decided on the Burger. A 1/2 pound burger topped with 8 slices of bacon and cheddar cheese. He substituted pepper jack cheese and ate the whole thing. With fries the “Big Ass Bacon Burger was $7.50.
They offer a catfish sandwich for 8 bucks, choice of fried or blackened. This day the lunch special was a fried sandwich, with fries for $5. Now I love bargains. But the lure of smoked pig drew me to the porcine side. The “Big Pig” is a toasted bun with smoked ham, smoked pork and smoked bacon. Now is that not a pig tri fecta?
The bun is nicely toasted. The ham appears to be a buffet ham exposed to extra smoke and then cooked on a griddle. The bacon looked as if it were deep-fried. No matter it was still pretty good. What carried it over the top was the pulled pork. They have a large smoker out back attached to the back of the kitchen. That way you can access the product without having smoke in your joint. Of course on the down side you must go outside to load and stoke. But heck artists must suffer for their craft.
This imaginative sandwich is only $8.50, with fries. It is worth every darn dime. When Pat and I went to Squealers, Pat had the smoked pork. After tasting a piece of my pork sandwich he was ready to declare Checkered Flag better. I don’t know about you but I think that is pretty good for a Westside bar.
We don’t think you can go wrong with this joint. It is simply a neighborhood bar with some outstanding food.