Murray Bros. Caddyshack scores with creative menu in a fun, relaxing atmosphere
Even the perpetually annoyed Judge Smails from "Caddyshack" might enjoy bellying up to the bar or sticking around for lunch at the new Murray Bros. Caddyshack restaurant in Rosemont.
This golf-themed sports pub pays tribute to the 1980 classic golf comedy film featuring Chicago native son Bill Murray as Carl, the gopher-chasing greenskeeper, and brother Brian Doyle-Murray as Lou, the caddy master. Altogether, there are six Murray brothers, including chef Andy Murray, who embarked on the restaurant adventure. And they apparently all love teeing off.
The restaurant opened recently in Rosemont's Crowne Plaza Hotel at the corner of Balmoral and River roads. It sits in the shadow of the concrete labyrinth of misery, also known as the Rosemont parking garage.
If you're unfamiliar with Rosemont, parking can be quite an adventure. Don't be scared off by the hotel/restaurant's gated lot. You will need to pull a ticket to lift the gate and park. Fortunately, in our experience, Murray Bros.'s staff was on top of making sure our parking expense was validated. Once you do find a spot and come in, the restaurant's menu, service and atmosphere should take your mind off the effort to get there.
After grabbing a table, booth or seat at the bar in Murray Bros.'s spacious layout, you'll probably notice the "Caddyshack" movie quotes on partitions high overhead. Golf weaves its way throughout the place, from movie posters on the walls to menu items that attempt to bring out the Masters eating champion in all of us -- green jacket not included.
Murray Bros.'s Signature Cocktails menu gets into the swing of fairway-influenced drinks such as the Back Nine, featuring orange vodka, Razmatazz, peach schnapps, and sweet and sour. There's also the Caddy-Rita with tequila, limeade, triple sec, and sweet and sour along with the aptly named Bloody Murray, featuring cucumber vodka and bloody mary mix with an olive and lime garnish. An ample beer menu is available, and being surrounded by all things golf, I couldn't pass up the Leinenkugel Caddy Lager draft -- a good pairing with practically anything.
During our Saturday lunch visit, we noticed several tables started off their round of eats with the Crispy Potato Golf Balls appetizer from The Tee Box section of the menu. These lightly fried garlic mashed potato balls filled with cheddar cheese and bacon come with horseradish dipping sauce. Other starters include more traditional sports bar items such as onion rings, quesadillas, George Calamari, buffalo Brussels sprouts and nachos.
While many sports pubs focus more on the surroundings and less on the menu, that's not the case at Murray Bros. For example, the chipotle lime quinoa bowl my dining partner ordered off the menu's Fairway section definitely scored a hole in one. It features red quinoa with jasmine rice, fire-roasted vegetables, cabbage, black beans and pico de gallo with avocado ranch sauce drizzled on top. You can also add chicken, steak or shrimp as options, but it's quite filling and delicious as is.
If you're in the mood for something lighter, the Greens offer salads like kale, beets & Brussels salad, cranberry pecan chicken salad and Spaulding's Hack salad (mixed greens, pulled roasted turkey, applewood smoked bacon, blue cheese, tomatoes, black olives, green onions and diced hard-boiled eggs). The Flats include intriguing options like fig and prosciutto and taco.
The Bunker offers up burger options like the Chicago Blues Burger (a half-pound burger topped with roasted garlic and blue cheese) and the bacon-guacamole deluxe (a half-pound burger smothered in housemade guacamole, bacon, pepper jack cheese, red onion, jalapeño, lettuce and tomato) among others.
Other notable main courses include the crab-crusted blackened redfish with roasted red pepper cream sauce and my pick for lunch, the beer-battered fish and chips -- crispy batter on the outside with flaky white fish on the inside. Ahh ... the way fish and chips should always be served.
Did I mention that you can also find beer brats, bang bang chicken, prime rib, jambalaya, baby back ribs, and chicken and waffles on the menu?
A menu of sweets and desserts is also available, but be careful not to overdo it and end up rolling off the green and into the rough.
Quite a few hits from the band Journey, as well as other tunes from the '70s and '80s, played overhead at a level where it was easy to carry on a conversation. The music and golf tournament coverage on flatscreens throughout the bar added to the place's relaxed vibe -- unlike many other sports-themed bars where blaring music and in-your-face big screens limit your ability to communicate.
Groups are welcome, too. During our visit, several parties coming from a nearby college graduation were having a great time with family and friends.
A couple of quirks worth noting: There is a room for private events and an in-restaurant shop featuring golf and movie souvenirs. However, there are no bathrooms in the restaurant. You'll have to walk through the adjacent entrance to the hotel and navigate your way through the lobby.
One more thing: Our host mentioned that if you're coming with a big party and plan on staying for a couple of hours or more, you might want to call ahead to make sure your parking will be covered.
Overall, if you loved the movie "Caddyshack" or even if you've never picked up a 9 iron in your life, Murray Bros. is a casual place to kick back and relax for a while -- a nice addition to Rosemont's growing restaurant, entertainment and shopping scene.
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Murray Bros. Caddyshack
9546 Balmoral Ave., Rosemont, (847) 443-FORE (3673), mbcshack.com/
Hours: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily
Cuisine: American comfort food
Setting: Golf- and movie-themed
• Restaurant reviews are based on one anonymous visit. The Daily Herald does not publish reviews of restaurants it cannot recommend.