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“Redfish etoufette will make you cry!”
Review of Maple Tree Inn

Maple Tree Inn
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Ranked #1 of 51 Restaurants in Blue Island
Price range: US$21 - US$30
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Restaurant details
Good for: Groups
Dining options: Reservations
Reviewed October 29, 2016 via mobile

GO EARLY! Spend some time and enjoy the ambience...invest in a Killer Mai Tai! Then, for starters, do the Charlie's oysters. They set the stage for an incredible meal! The oysters were fabulous, and my evening did not stop there. The service was great. Emily really lnew her way sriund the menu and was very attrntive. The appetizer and entree were played hot from the oven the blackened redfish in the main course was cooked perfectly and matched with excellent crawfish...WOW.
The portions were good, which means I did not even consider dessert. Shame on me! I'll just have to come back. Very soon!

Thank John E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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34 - 38 of 104 reviews

Reviewed October 12, 2016

My wife and I were born and raised in Blue Island, Chicago's closest south suburb. In the 1950s and 1960s, one of the most popular restaurants was Helen's Old Lantern, owned and operated by a Damon Runyon-type character named Helen Sadunas for nearly 50 years. The restaurant began as a roadhouse in the 1800s, then became a neighborhood tavern. There was a trap door to hide evidence during Prohibition. Highlights of the menu were mushroom barley soup, roast duck with sauerkraut and the signature cocktail, the Golden Cadillac. In 1975, the business was sold to a self-taught chef named Charlie "The Walrus" Orr, who renamed the restaurant Maple Tree Inn and introduced a Cajun/Creole cuisine. Today, all of the food is prepared in-house, from Smoked Andouille Sausage to Jambalaya to Etouffee to Hickory Buttered BBQ Shrimp and Grits to Southern Fried Catfish. All this in an old-time setting beside the Cal-Sag Canal at 13301 Olde Western Avenue, which has become a popular restaurant/bar destination akin to Chicago's Division Street. But is it haunted? Is Helen Sadunas' ghost lingering in the basement or behind the bar? Charlie Orr and some employees insist they have experienced some "strange" things over the years, like a tap on the shoulder when nobody is there. Orr claims Helen hasn't forgiven him for changing the cuisine and turning Helen's Old Lantern into a Louisiana Brasserie. See for yourself. The menu is unlike anything you have seen this side of New Orleans. If you have dined at a restaurant along the Great River Road in Louisiana, you'll feel at home at Maple Tree Inn. For starters, choose Hickory Buttered BBQ Shrimp or Fried Crawfish Tails or Fried Crab Cake or Jalapeno Cornbread Muffins. If you're into oysters, this is the place. How about seafood gumbo or smoked oyster and bacon chowder? The smoked salmon and strawberry salad with feta cheese is highly recommended. Entrees? You've got to try the Maple Tree "Tower of Pork," two 2 1/2-pound beer and Creole vegetable braised pork shank served with house smoked Andouille sausage, Cajun ratatouille and cornbread dressing. Where else can you get something like that? Other hot and tasty options are Hickory Buttered BBQ Shrimp, Crawfish Etouffee, Blackened Redfish Etouffee, Hickory Smoked Spare Ribs, Jumbo Blackened Sea Scallops, Trout Almondine, Shrimp Creole, Southern Fried Catfish, Blackened Prime Ribeye, Seared BBQ Beef Brisket Cakes and Chicken, Sausage and Seafood Creole Jambalaya. Dessert, anyone? My wife and I shared peach cobbler but there are several other delicious options, including Mississippi Mud Cake, pecan pie, sweet potato cheesecake, bread pudding and the quintessential French Quarter experience, Beignets, traditional French-style with powered sugar. Sorry, Helen, but it beats a bowl of mushroom barley soup.

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2  Thank Taylor B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed September 28, 2016

The service was very helpful & well informed. Food was hot and delicious! It's one of my go-to spots.

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Thank Vanessa B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed August 26, 2016

The food and service is always good. Very accommodating. My husband does not like mussels and they left it out of his dish. We always get the 2x2x2 oysters but I wish they still served the toast points with this. There are just to many good juices to sop up.

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Thank Debra J B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed July 9, 2016 via mobile

Getting a chance to see the woodwork behind the bar is worth the visit alone. Beware the bar stools, they weigh a ton. So get comfortable before you sit. This pub has a cool old euro feel with some NO charm. I especially enjoyed the dressed alligator on the ceiling. I ventured along in the draught beer selection and mis-fired on only one, the Berliner weiss (in full disclosure I had been warned). My friend went with what he said was the house cocktail. It tasted like grapefruit to me (there was no grapefruit) but he thought it was amazing. I will return to this bar again and taste the food which seems to be fetching rave reviews.

Thank Greg C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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