Let’s play a game of word association. When we say Gold Coast, what are the first few things that come to your mind? Our answers: large sunglasses covering the entirety of women’s faces, small hairless dogs in expensive fur coats, and that orange Lamborghini you’re likely to see in front of Le Colonial 95% of the time. Generally speaking, sports, beer, and bar food aren’t in that mix, and if this was a game of Family Feud, those three answers might not earn you any points. And that’s why Jake Melnick’s earns a few points in our book.
Melnick’s is a little out of place on the corner of Wabash and Superior, but we are glad it’s there. Let’s be clear - we don’t think Melnick’s is winning any awards for an all around phenomenal restaurant anytime soon. But they do have phenomenal wings, a lot of TV’s, and a solid beer list, all of which make it enough of a reason to have on the radar.
The wings are where it’s at, and we like to eat them when trying to catch a game. They are big, meaty, usually pretty crispy, and you get a good wing-to- price ratio considering the area of town. On top of that, it’s the sauces that put them on a high level. The traditional buffalo, super hot, PB&J;, and whatever the rotating special wing of the month is are all good. But it’s the firecracker wings that keep us coming back for more - a lot more. Even if you’re the kind of person who prefers a traditional hot wing, the balance of the sweet Thai chili and Sriracha in the firecracker sauce is almost always the move. Order them. And then maybe order some more.
In terms of everything else, we don’t love the food. It’s mainly a BBQ menu, but we think it’s average BBQ at best, and that might be a little generous. There are better barbecue joints in town, so don’t come here just for that. Come here for the wings, and to maybe catch some sports on TV.
This is why we come to Jake Melnick’s. The sweet and spicy balance on these meaty wings makes them great. A single order is a pretty solid size for one person, although, if we’re being honest, we usually want an order and a half.
Back to the wing basics, and another strong order. We’ll judge you a little you if you opt for these over the firecrackers, but it’s an acceptable decision.
Standard nachos made not so standard with barbecue sauce and smoked brisket or pulled pork. Get an order of these nachos as an appetizer to share as a warm up for the wings.
If you’re set on ordering something on the barbecue side, then may we suggest this pulled pork sandwich. We could go without some of the other major barbecue platters, but this sandwich and a side of fries isn’t bad.
We also happen to enjoy their skillet corn bread. It’s thick, sweet, and buttery, and usually hits the spot for a little extra side.
Sometimes this is a special. A burger between two grilled cheese sandwiches as bread.
A $50 burger that weighs in at eight whole pounds. Sweet sweet lemonade. Good luck out there.
It’s good, so why not?