Chicago blues legend Buddy Guy has had an undeniable influence on some of the world’s most iconic guitarists. Guitars adorn the walls of his blues club and restaurant, Buddy Guy’s Legends, located at 700 South Wabash Avenue in Chicago’s South Loop. These guitars have been played by musical greats like: Carlos Santana, Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughn, B.B. King, and the list goes on and on. One cannot place a value on this collection of guitars given to Buddy Guy – priceless instruments representative of musical royalty spanning all genres of music. One Sunday evening, The Black Foodies headed out to enjoy an evening of food and music at this iconic establishment. When we arrived, jazz singer Trayce Eileen and her band were performing their first set, serenading a captivated audience. We were greeted with a warm smile by Buddy’s son, Greg, and he directed the staff to escort us to a table. With Buddy Guy being born in Lettsworth, Louisiana, we were not surprised to see the huge Cajun influence on the menu. Our server gave us a few suggestions on what to order, and we were off to the races.
Our appetizer was the Grilled Jumbo Shrimp, which included simple white rice, with the choice of one of two dipping sauces: sweet and spicy bourbon or Cajun butter garlic. When asking which sauce to get, our server winked at us and said, “Go for the bourbon sauce, trust me.” What a great suggestion! That sweet and spicy bourbon sauce needs to be bottled and sold! It was the perfect balancing act of different flavor profiles. Nothing overpowered anything else. It was perfectly sweet, having the ideal amount of heat, with a subtle back note of bourbon. The jumbo shrimp were cooked flawlessly; yet, the star of the show was the rice doused in the bourbon sauce. Prior to cooking, some of the starch was rinsed from the rice and, consequently, the rice was not sticky, allowing the bourbon sauce to coat each grain. This ensured that each bite was full of flavor and hugely delicious. We could eat that combination every day . . . sinfully good!
Miss Coretta’s chosen entrée was Chicken Creole Linguini, which came with a side of cornbread. A grilled chicken breast cut into strips, along with sautéed spinach, topped a heaping portion of linguini set in a red Creole sauce. Prepared masterfully, the chicken breast displayed beautiful grill marks and was tender and juicy. The red Creole sauce had a broth-like viscosity and tasted Louisiana-authentic. It was tomato-based with notes of garlic and included the Cajun trinity of celery, bell peppers, and onions, along with other spices. This was an Italian/Cajun fusion that really struck a chord with us. For the record, I not only want (but need) their baked cornbread recipe. The cornbread was light and fluffy with a hint of sweetness – absolutely spectacular. It was so good, we didn’t realize that we hadn’t slathered on the butter (as we usually do), until after we had eaten it. This cornbread is cornbread perfection! If ever entered into a baking/cooking competition, it would, no doubt, receive countless accolades.
I had the Jumbo Gumbo, which was prepared with shrimp, oysters, crab, and crawfish tails, served with white rice and that amazing, signature cornbread. When my gumbo first arrived, I determined at first glance that it was not a traditional gumbo. I am used to a slightly thick, dark brown variety of gumbo with all the ingredients afloat in a broth (like in most soups); instead, an array of seafood was perched atop the tomato-based roux. After sampling, I was very pleasantly surprised with the success of Buddy Guy’s Legends’ novel rendition of this dish. All of the seafood was coastal fresh and moist which compensated for the minimal amount of roux. What I appreciated, as well, was the lump crab meat versus the shelled crab which, though delicious, can be a pain to access. Like with most superior gumbos, each bite just got better and better. We tip our caps to the chef . . . great gumbo!
We capped off our meal with a slice of their southern classic Bourbon Street Pecan Pie. We definitely tasted notes of a New Orleans praline in the mixture and, while sweet, it was not toothache sweet, which bode well with us. There were plenty of pecans and the dessert was topped with freshly whipped cream. The pie was spot-on and a nice ending to our very nice meal.
People from all over the world descend on Buddy Guy’s Legends for top-shelf live musical performances by critically acclaimed musicians and vocalists. Some of the best local talents also grace the stage at Buddy Guy’s Legends. The kitchen prepares a variety of fresh, delectable plates for you to choose from. We recommend any one of their delicious Po-Boys, the Crab Cakes, or the Smothered Catfish. There are wonderful spaces for private events, as well. So, take advantage of this Chicago institution – it’s truly a destination spot. Who knows, you may be lucky enough to catch a Buddy Guy performance!
We rank restaurants based on number of kisses (one thru five). One…two…three…four, with five being the best. Buddy Guy’s Legends receives 5 kisses. Check out the video of our review https://youtu.be/Un6fKcod3fM
The Black Foodies are food bloggers/vloggers and husband and wife of 26 years. We are also home cooks who believe in group economics and LOVE great food. We write the food blog “Let’s Eat,” where we review Black-owned and other ethnic restaurants. FOLLOW us on Instagram and Twitter @theblackfoodies, SUBSCRIBE to our YouTube Channel “The Black Foodies,” where we review restaurants, share recipes, and give cooking tips. https://youtu.be/f1fsSQ24wgQ. Also LIKE us on Facebook and join our Facebook group, “World Wide Black Foodies.”
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