Five bar perks
Ask and ye shall receive these off-menu items.
Eggs at Richard’s Bar Blink and you’ll miss it: Advertised on a teeny cardboard sign behind the bar for the bargain price of 75 cents, hard-boiled eggs are the booze soaker of choice at this River West bar. 491 N Milwaukee Ave (312-733-2251).
Bubbly at Rainbo When you’re raising a toast to, say, your new tattoo, you’ve got to do it proper (and no, the “Champagne of Beers” won’t cut it). Little-known fact: You can pop a cork at Rainbo. Bottles of J. Roget Champagne are available for $15 and splits of Freixenet sparkling wine for $5. 1150 N Damen Ave (773-489-5999).
Hot port at the Grafton When the weather’s cold (or when you catch a cold), hot alcohol springs to mind. This Lincoln Square bar puts a fresh spin on winter warm-ups with its off-menu hot port ($6). Doctored up with hot water, raw sugar and a clove-studded lemon wedge, it’s a sweeter, milder version of the standard toddy. 4530 N Lincoln Ave (773-271-9000).
Green River cocktail at California Clipper This retro spot declares on its website that it’s the only bar with grape soda on the gun. One concoction it doesn’t advertise is its $5 signature drink, the Double Deuce (christened after the bar in muscle movie Roadhouse). Made with the most nostalgic of nectars, Green River soda, along with amaretto and fresh lemon juice, its flavor is best described as liquefied lime lollipop. 1002 N California Ave (773-384-2547).
Free cheese balls at Ravenswood Pub Lots of bars set out community bowls filled with nuts or pretzels. But hidden behind the bar at this Andersonville dive is a herculean tub of fried cheese balls. Ask nicely and the bartender will deliver a personal portion of these addictive munchies. 5455 N Ravenswood Ave (773-769-6667).