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Walter Payton’s Roundhouse
205 N Broadway Ave
Aurora, Illinois
(630) 264-2739
Visited on June 23, 2008

When you’re driving across the country and spending the night near Chicago, why wouldn’t you go to a brewery/steak house owned by one of the greatest football players to ever live? It’s been quite a while since I was there, but here’s what I remember.

The Roundhouse is a giant place with several different establishments along its circular structure. In the middle is a nice field with a patio where some folks were playing cornhole when I sat down for dinner. The interior is very nice and extremely classy. The food is the same – high prices and fancy dishes. The beer was a bit of a let-down, however, which put this place in the solid “meh” range.

And now that I’m looking up the contact information, the place apparently is now the “Two Brothers Roundhouse,” which means that it was bought by one of the best and most well-known microbreweries in the Chicago area. I definitely need to return…

Original Review

The Roundhouse is exactly what it says, a huge, cavernous, round building with a steepled ceiling and more real estate than most malls. There’s a comedy club, a museum, the brewery, the restaurant, and a huge courtyard where you can eat or even play cornhole. The restaurant is immaculate. Two stories fit under the big top and a giant painting of bears dominates the dining room. Large, cushioned chairs sit at tables for two. The woodwork, and the entire location, is extremely impressive.

Payton's RoundhouseThe food, though, is way overpriced. This is just my opinion, but a brewpub should be a place where anyone can come and enjoy some beer and some decent food. I wasn’t a huge fan of the menu featuring steaks and tenderloins for at least $20 a plate. That being said, I did enjoy my tenderloin plate with orange mashed sweet potatoes and fried plantain slices. A bit fancy, but good. The tenderloin was supurb, but the sweet potatoes were a little too orangy for my tastes.

About eight beers adorn the list at any one time. None of the ones I sampled were outstanding, but all were above average. My favorite was the Sweetness Stout—a nice, creamy, smooth oatmeal stout with a good amount of sweetness.

Good service. Nothing great. Glass went dry and I had to slow down on my food so I didn’t have an entire beer to finish without any grub.Payton's Roundhouse 3

Location: 20
Food: 15
Beer: 15
Service: 15
Overall: 16
Total: 81