Chicago Joe's

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Stuffed with memorabilia of old Chicago, this North Center spot is so thematic you'd think you were in some slick chain-owned restaurant. But you're not, you're in Chuck Kowalski's joint--a roll-up-your-sleeves-and-chow-down restaurant with a roadhouse feel. The menu trumpets everything from fish to ribs with historic references such as 'Mrs. O'Leary's Firehouse Chili' and Capone-style pasta. Tables come with a roll of paper towels, attesting to the fact of the large and sometimes messy portions. Oysters and clams on the raw bar menu are discounted from 3-6 p.m. Monday through Friday. The most atmospheric of rooms, the front room, is strung up with old sports paraphernalia, and an old streetcar fare box is installed on the bar.