By The Black Foodies
Situated in an unassuming strip mall in the Village of Matteson, Illinois, Hay Street Bar & Grill reminded Miss Coretta and me of the 80’s NBC sitcom, “Cheers.” Everyone was having a good time and everyone seemed to know everyone’s name. Located at 4129 211th Street, Hay Street is spacious with several pool tables, a chic lounge area, a bar serving great cocktails and a dance floor where any ‘stepper’ can get their groove on. Co-owner Chuck Simpson told us that Hay Street Bar & Grill caters to the ‘grown and mature’ crowd, offering live music, steppin’ classes, line dance classes and is a great space for any type of party. But, you know The Black Foodies, we are all about the food.
We began our nibbling with one of Hay Street’s signature appetizers, their chicken wings. The wings come tossed in several mouthwatering sauces. You can order parmesan garlic, buffalo, honey hot, BBQ or honey BBQ. Let us start off by saying we enjoyed every flavor offered, but two flavors really stood out to us – the BBQ and the buffalo. The BBQ Wings were nothing short of amazing. The wings were dredged (not naked) and fried perfectly. The BBQ sauce had a smoky/tangy quality – precisely how we like it – with just the right amount of sweetness. It’s a tight sauce, meaning it wasn’t runny and clung nicely to the wing. In a play-on-words from the Ohio Players’ hit, “Sweet Sticky Thing”, we would go one better and declare, “sweet sticky wing.” The Buffalo Wings had a nice, spicy kick to them, while not being over-the-top hot. We really enjoyed the full flavor of the buffalo sauce and the crunchiness of the wing. We had our wings dredged, but for a more authentic buffalo wing, have them naked just like they do in Buffalo, NY. When you go to Hay Street Bar & Grill, you can order any of their delicious flavors and can’t go wrong.
Miss Coretta and I really enjoy and appreciate jerk flavors, so we were really looking forward to sampling Hay Street’s Jerk Turkey Sliders. These sliders certainly did not disappoint. They were delicious! Three sliders topped with grilled onions and butter pickles are nestled in the softness of a yummy sweet bun. The sweetness of the caramelized onions and the sweet bun pair well with the spiciness of the jerked ground turkey. The butter pickles add tartness and texture, the end result being a very satisfying bite. The heat from the habanero slowly sneaks up on you and definitely adds to this smorgasbord of flavors. These sliders are money in the bank. We also had the Garlic Butter Fries with our sliders, and they were pretty darn good. They were tasty and full of flavor but lacked the crunch of a superior French fry. Overall, we would order them again.
The St. Louis Toasted Ravioli with house-made marinara sauce caught our eye on the menu, so we gave them a try. “Mama Mia!” this appetizer had us wanting to book a trip to Italy. The ravioli were stuffed with ricotta cheese and spinach. They appeared to be deep-fried…a really delightful bite! The ricotta was smooth and creamy, while the spinach added freshness. The marinara sauce was as good as it gets. Nothing tasted canned, and the fresh herbs gave the marinara a true Italian authenticity. We can’t wait to return for more.
Hay Street’s Shrimp Tacos were also a big hit with us. Three flour tortilla tacos are stuffed with chili lime shrimp – either fried or grilled – with chipotle mayo and topped with fresh pico de gallo. These shrimp tacos took us back to Old Town San Diego. The one word that best summarizes them is: fresh. Beginning with fresh ingredients will always lead to the solid foundation of a good taco. The flour tortilla was grilled perfectly, while the fried shrimp, pico de gallo, and the spicy chipotle mayo co-existed with the specific intent to have you take a bite and satisfyingly moan, “Oh yeah.” Hay Street Bar & Grill makes some really great tacos…a true tastee-bite!
Hay Street’s menu can be summed up as bar food done right. We also suggest sampling their Beer Battered Onion Rings, any of their delicious Burgers or Sandwiches, and have a Cocktail, or two (remember to be responsible). Hay Street Bar & Grill is warm and inviting, with food that we are sure you will appreciate, being the perfect spot for your next birthday party, baby shower or any event you may be having. When you go, tell them The Black Foodies sent you!
We rank restaurants based on number of kisses (one thru five). One…two…three…four, with five being the best. Hay Street Bar & Grill receives 4 kisses. Check out the video of our review https://youtu.be/3b378El_2s4
The Black Foodies are food bloggers/vloggers and husband and wife of 25 years. We are also home cooks who believe in group economics and LOVE great food. We write the food blog ‘Let’s Eat’, where we review Black-owned and other ethnic restaurants. FOLLOW us on Instagram and Twitter @theblackfoodies, SUBSCRIBE to our YouTube Channel ‘The Black Foodies’, where we review restaurants, share recipes, and give cooking tips. https://youtu.be/f1fsSQ24wgQ. Also LIKE us on Facebook and join our Facebook group, ‘World Wide Black Foodies’.
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