“Easily the best restaurant for flavor and ambiance on the South Side.”
“The baked oysters, crab cakes, crawfish etouffee, blackened scallops and Dixie Doorstop Porkchop are all fantastic, too.”
“The bar area can get smoky, but I recommend upstairs dining or on the deck in the summer.”
“Not only the best cajun food in the Midwest, the best restaurant on the South Side”
“Excellent cocktails, delicious appetizers, and a huge selection of microbrews make this one of the best "date spots" on the south side.”
“Not only the best cajun food in the Midwest, the best restaurant on the South Side”
“Great service with a unique style, all the way down to the wine bottles being used as serving pitchers.”
“O.K., ambience, but average, pricey food”
The best creole/cajun EVER!.
My husband and I went here last night for the first time in years... and after our incredible dining experience, I wish we wouldn't have waited so long to go back.
The food was AMAZING. We started off with the 2x2x2 baked oysters which were huge and soooo delicious and the caramelized onion souffle with jumbo lump crab and gruyere cheese melted on top that our server recommended and was equally as good. Last night, too, was $1 off all their beers - 30 on draft I think?? - so my husband was in heaven... All craft beers, too, which is really hard to find on the south side.
For dinner I had the Hickory Buttered Barbeque Shrimp, which I remember having in the past, but I swear it has never tasted better. My husband ordered the Tower of Pork, a huge monstrosity of meat that was so tender and delicious. Even if I hadn't been stealing bites off of his plate, there's no way he would have been able to finish this thing. The next Man vs. Food episode?? Maybe...
For dessert we shared the mud cake with mud mousse and it was easily the best chocolate concoction/dessert I have ever eaten.
The ambiance, the music, the food, the beer, ALL incredible. We will be back for sure.
So disappointed and offended....
Having just come back from a couple month move to New Orleans I was left with a SERIOUS craving for some creole comfort food. On a recommendation we made the 30 minute trip to Blue Island with high hopes. The menu looked amazing! I was so excited. Fried okra appetizer: really great. Pecan pie: rivals my great great grandmothers recipe. Everything in between: GAG! Im not a picky eater and I have no problem forcing down some not so appetizing things in order to feed my hunger, but this meal was inedible. The duck and andouille gumbo had a giant puddle of clear grease sitting on the top that took more than several spoons full to clear off. The cornbread dressing had a sweet vomit taste to it and the only thing I can say they ALMOST got right was the red beans and rice. I know comfort food is suppose to heavy and filling but this stuff was so heavy so greasy and the flavors where so muddled together I couldn't swallow more than a few bites. I live and die by authentic Cajun and Creole cuisine and I'm so sad to say this just wasn't it.
Oh, I forgot to mention the cherry on top of the pie. The bathroom is located down stairs across the hall from the dishwashing station. As I was coming out of the bathroom I saw the dishwasher leave his station and head toward the staircase after me. I turned around and saw him just standing there at the bottom of the stairs, watching me walk up. I was wearing shorts and heels. Real smooth guy.
great food, service, atmosphere.
Imagine a square building with windows all around...ok that's not this place!
We went with our friends tonigiht. the place was great. the food was great (pork tower). My wife had the jumbo shrimp boil, great.. we snacked on some crawfish(great). And did I mention the drinks? Hurricane's that actually were good omg!
I'll be back to this place for real.
Not only the best cajun food in the Midwest, the best restaurant on the South Side. The Maple Tree Inn is located in a quaint area on the South Side of Chicago in Blue Island in a little nook that overlooks the river - yes, the Metra train goes by occasionally but it is hardly noticeable - fantastic ambiance, especially in the summer out on the veranda; I remember it when it was in Beverly and the quality of the food and service is still outstanding. The original chef, Tom, still prepares all the food and it is top notch. Easily the best restaurant for flavor and ambiance on the South Side. Try the Hickory Buttered BBQ shrimp or scallops - perhaps their best dishes; the seafood is extremely fresh. The baked oysters, crab cakes, crawfish etouffee, blackened scallops and Dixie Doorstop Porkchop are all fantastic, too. Interesting dishes with alligator meat and ox tails, as well. Sometimes on Sundays the owner has a deal with live jazz and and an all-you-can-eat special. Completely worth the trip time and time again. As close as you can get to New Orleans, if not better... no crackers or steak sauce needed...
Okay Cajun food, kind of close to authentic....
Overall, I would say that the food was very flavorful. I started out with the country gumbo. It had a decent taste, but I did not like that all of the ingredients such as the sausage, chicken, and seafood was cut up so small to the point where it all kind of blended in and I wasn't sure what I was eating. It was served with rice, but not with crackers, which I did have to ask for. I also ordered crawfish etouffee. The roux was redder than I preferred (I like it a little more orange), but it did have a good taste. I would just recommend that they serve it with rice rather than risotto and make it a little more thinner since it seemed a bit to thick and chunky. It had a boiled whole crawfish on top, which was cute, but when I broke off the tail and tried the tail meat, it was old and bland. I guess it was really just meant as a garnish/decoration and not to eat. the $22 steak was very tender, but was not seasoned and there was no steak sauce. The cornbread dressing was bland and had the taste of something that had been in the refrigerator too long.
The atmosphere/decor was more like a makeshift sideroom that was added on to the original building and had large couch-like side chairs that were a little too low and hard to pull up to the table.The original dining/bar area is nice, however.
Basically, if I had not been from Louisiana and been so used to how food is cooked and prepared down there, I would have been more impressed. Close to the real thing if you haven't had Louisiana food in Louisiana before. The flavors were good, but there were some little things here and there that took away from the cajun experience.
O.K., ambience, but average, pricey food. Had great expectations after reading other reviews and finding the establishment sits in a charming and historical building at the end of a quaint, old downtown Blue Island street. The entranceway is curtained and makes you feel as if you are walking out onto a stage, but presents you to the front of the beautiful, old bar. The main restaurant area is rather small, but you can be seated in what they call "the veranda", which is basically an added on porch area with plexiglas windows that overlook the river, Metra tracks and arching steel bridge. The room decor was tacky and the room could have used more heat on a cold winter's night. The big stuffed chairs were old, but comfy. I had to ask for another single candle to be lit and put at our table because the lighting in the veranda was awful. The waitress was elsewhere mentally and I got the feeling she could have cared less if we were there. At $22 for a plate of 3 scallops and a handful of too-salty sweet potato fries, I thought the prices were way out of line. Salad was extra and looked like a handful of bagged spring mix topped with a slice of red onion and a few chunks of grueyere cheese and they must have been hoarding the salad dressing in the kitchen because it was barely there. The scallops were not very tasty. My husbands jambalaya at $17 was mediocre. To sum it up, over-priced food in what could be a neat location if they would drop a few of the bucks they made from their profit into sprucing up the place.
Best Cajun ever. The food had fantastic heat and flavor and the service was impecible. I will definitely go again. Compliments to the chef!
Not worth it.. I did not enjoy my experience at the maple tree inn. The food was not very good and it was a bit over priced. I will not go back.
User review by hemmybubb. I have been a happy patron to the Inn for years, now it is one of my husband's favorite local places. The food and atmosphere are a new orleans-style treat. The bar area can get smoky, but I recommend upstairs dining or on the deck in the summer. Chances are you'll get something good off the menu, but there are some "loser" dishes. Service is run of the mill.
Southern Hospitality. Nothing beats the atmosphere. Its just like being back home in Nawlins. Food is great 2x2x2 a must. After Katrina I just wanted to fell like i was back home Maple Tree's owner gave us some "Southern Comfort" at his friendly resturant. Benefit for N.O. Oct 2, 2005 4pm $25 buffet live N.O. music stop on in at The Maple Tree.
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