The Cottage is one of those places most people would describe as a “neighborhood bar” and it fills that role nicely, perched on the edge of downtown Crystal Lake, Illinois, within walking distance of a number of residential neighborhoods.
Although a “bar,” it serves as a full restaurant as well, with a very lengthy menu and nightly specials. The specials are value priced.
What brought me in is the fact that any night of the week in this area, you can find a hamburger special, and it’s Wednesdays at the Cottage. Burger and a side, $5. You pay a little bit more for add-ons like bacon and fancy cheeses, but it’s still a deal.
The sandwich is advertised as a half-pound, hand-pattied, char-grilled burger, and it lives up to the promo. It’s very flavorful meat, on a bakery roll that is soft enough to be enjoyable but substantial enough to hold any toppings you desire. Unusual for me, I ate the burger absolutely plain, I enjoyed the beef and bun so much.
I upgraded to rings for the side, and they don’t do justice as a side equal to the entree. They are a beer battered ring, which I doubt are made in-house. With so many interesting food items on the menu, the Cottage could easily do better on the rings.
Complimentary peanuts in the shell (yes, toss ’em on the floor) and tasty popcorn for every table. Don’t see peanuts much anymore, of course. I was personally delighted.
Large outdoor seating area can be covered during inclement weather. The Cottage is also known for having some large music events on-site, generally with rather proficient tribute bans. Check their site for dates.
Server Ravan was spectacular.
The Cottage Review