Restaurants & Bars

A Complete and Total Barf-a-Rama: Jimmy’s Charhouse, Elgin

David Hammond | Dec 4, 200312:36 AM     8

Tonight, around 5:30 PM, I found myself in Elgin walking out of a meeting with a client. We were hungry. Glancing to our left, we pondered the glowing white line of cars on the expressway, and to our right, the glowing neon red sign of Jimmy's Charhouse. We decided to eat.

What a mistake!

I ordered a steak. It was the most amazingly tasteless lump of animal muscle I’ve ever masticated. Truly remarkably awful; a lot like chewing sinewy air or a moist sponge. It was seeping what I suspect to be water, although I thought I detected a hint of pineapple, which might have been injected as a kind of tenderizer.

After eating, I felt like a guy who had cheated on his loving wife/girlfriend with some sleazoid barfly, or an alcoholic who, after a heartfelt AA confession, leaves the meeting only to trade punches with Jack Daniels and go down for the count. In other words, I felt I had betrayed some article of faith, violated some fundamental life principle by eating this completely worthless “food.” It was a shame the animal had to die to yield up this unfathomably vapid slab.

There was a gnawing blob in my belly as I left the restaurant, and when we got to our cars, I told my client that I needed to use the john and went back in where I actually weighed the possibility of hacking up dinner. You know, how in the old Tex Avery cartoons, when the cat or dog sings or screams, there’s that little hangy-down thing that quivers in their open throats. I figured, if I could tickle that little thing, I was home free. I felt it was the only honorable thing to do. I chickened out.

I hesitated to make this post, not only because it deals with an unpleasant subject, is negative, and the dinner still makes me queasy when I think of it, but because I’m afraid people might confuse the abysmal, horrific, tenth ring of gustatory hell that is Jimmy’s Charhouse with the very simpatico and desirable Jimmy’s Place (location for next Wednesday’s Maxwell Street Video Party). Please don’t confuse the two, but more importantly, and for the love of all that is holy and delicious, please do not, DO NOT go to Jimmy’s Charhouse in Elgin.

Here’s where to find it, so you can avoid it:

Jimmy’s Charhouse
2290 Point Blvd.
Elgin, Illinois 60123

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