One of my favorite places to go have a beer and something to eat when I would be out in the Schaumburg area in the Western suburbs of Chicago was the Prairie Rock Brewing Company, even though it had a been a few years since I'd last been there. Two years ago, Prairie Rock Rock Brewing Co. went out of business and it was replaced by a upscale steak house/restaurant based out of Evanston called Pete Miller's. I never went into Pete Miller's and, obviously, not a lot of other people did either as they eventually closed that location earlier this year. However, this summer a new place went into the old Prairie Rock/Pete Miller's location - Westwood Tavern. I took a couple guys who work for a dealer I call on in nearby Hoffman Estates there for some drinks and snacks recently.
Westwood Tavern, located on N. Meacham St. near Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg (see map), is what I would call an upscale sports bar. It's actually takes up about half the space of what the old Prairie Rock Brewing Company had. (A place called Wildberry Cafe - a restaurant that bills itself as a gourmet breakfast cafe - is located in the other part of the building.) The interior is very classy, there's a large, three-sided bar as you walk in and there are a flat panel televisions throughout the main floor. Upstairs is a large dining area that features big tables with linen table cloths. It's definitely not your typical sports bar.
But the most unique feature of Westwood Tavern are six booths on the main floor that have four beer taps that come up through the middle of the table. People who sit at the booths have their choice of four different beers they can pour (as long as one of the four is either Miller Lite or Bud Light) and can choose from four other upscale beers from their beer list. Westwood Tavern employs a computerized system for the six booths that measure the pours of the given beers that are sent to the taps at the table. I'm still not quite sure how all that happens or how the changeover occurs if someone wants different beers from the previous patrons. All I know is that I've never seen anything like it in my travels.
Westwood Tavern was packed when we got into the restaurant. The booths with the taps one of the guys was telling me about were all full. In fact, it was going to be a 30 minute wait just to get a table. We found a couple seats at the bar and my guests sat there while I stood until a seat opened up next to one of the guys.
We were having drinks and the waitress asked if we wanted to take a look at the menu for some appetizers. The top of the menu featured a number of sushi items including California and Spicy Tuna Rolls. While there wasn't an extensive list of either sushi or even appetizers, for that matter, all of it sounded pretty good.
The entree list was pretty shallow with just four items - pot roast, ribs, a ribeye steak and a miso-glazed salmon. One thing that caught my eye on the menu were mahi-mahi grilled fish tacos. I'm a sucker for grilled fish tacos. But the guys were talking about the flat bread pizza Westwood Tavern has. In fact, as they were talking about it, one was brought out to a lady sitting next to one of my guests. It did look good - it was very thin and rolled out in a somewhat oval/rectangle. The one the lady had was the pepperoni flat bread pizza. It was brought out on a flat wood board, topped with ample amounts of pepperoni and sprinkled with fresh herbs. It looked pretty good.
The guys were more interested in drinking than eating food, so we ended up ordering a couple flat bread pizzas - one just pepperoni, the other with sausage and pepperoni. Oh, well. Fish tacos can wait until my next visit.
When the flat bread pizzas were brought out, they were somewhat lukewarm like they'd been sitting for a while before they brought them out. And while the dough was very moist and chewy, unlike most thin crust pizzas that are usually a little more crispy, especially around the edges, it had a somewhat disagreeable taste of wood to the dough. It was like the dough had sucked up the wood flavor from the flat board it was served on. I don't mind the taste of cedar in a salmon filet that's been cooked on top of a plank, but for some reason this was like they had gone down to Menards, got some boards off the shelf and that what's they served the pizza upon.
Other than that, the toppings were fresh and tasty. I had a few pieces and called it quits. I just couldn't get past the woody taste of the dough. It highly detracted from the overall taste of the pizza.
Still, Westwood Tavern would be a place I'd go back to if I was in the area and wanted to catch a sporting event. I saw their burger brought out to a guy near us and it looked interesting. I still want to try the fish tacos at some point. And it's a rather unique place with the beer spigots in the booths. I'll go back, but I won't have the flat bread pizza.