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Congress Street Social Club

Talk about getting royal treatment: I was the only guest lunching at the new Congress Street Social Club.

Lunch service had only begun a few days earlier. The past weekend had been rocking, but this sleepy Tuesday left the large courtyard, the cool, dark dining room and the downstairs game room wanting for a gang of folks enjoying business lunch.

I suspect that once the word is out, it'll be a different picture.

The core of the menu is bar food, but these creations have decidedly upscale improvements. Salads, burgers (beef, chicken, turkey or veggie), wings - the usual suspects have been dressed up for Congress Street Social Club's debut.

My blackened chicken social club was a perfect sized grilled chicken breast filet on a right-sized bun. It was hot and flavorful, and then the topping kicked in with a chorus of texture and added flavors.

Of course, nothing is bad topped with hand cut smoked bacon. Then add caramelized onions, guacamole, cheese, lettuce and tomato for a fully satisfying sandwich.

I added sweet potato fries and a soft drink, and the check still barely squeaked past 10 bucks.

I need to revisit to sample some other good looking burger combinations, and I'll have to take a guest to sample the house dessert. The giant, skillet baked chocolate chip cookie is topped with two layers of French caramel, Swiss chocolate, two scoops of French vanilla bean ice cream and whipped cream.

Good beer and wine list - and above average bar food at fair prices. In all, a welcome addition to the downtown scene.

11-3 a.m., kitchen hours 11 a.m.-11 p.m./ 411 W. Congress St./ 238-1985