November 26, 2013

The Dam Cooks Up Delicious Bar Food in South City

Actually, the Dam’s raison d’etre is soaking up the booze- and adrenaline-fueled hunger that comes over ravenous soccer fans at the adjacent Amsterdam Tavern. Seeing a need for edible offerings at the Tavern, owner Michele Coen-Racanelli (formerly of the now-defunct Big V’s Burger Joint in the Loop) partnered with the bar’s owners to provide food service for its patrons. The result is what is best described as a burger shack — customers order at the counter, usually from Coen-Racanelli herself, and either sit at the stools lining the windows or wait next door in the bar for their order to be delivered. What distinguishes the Dam from other bar-food spots is that it lives by the motto “slow food fast,” using antibiotic- and hormone-free local meats and seasonal, organic produce grown by local farmers. It’s not health food by a long shot, but at least patrons can rest assured knowing that the burgers taking a year off their lives were at least sourced from sustainably raised cows.

Keep reading: Cheryl Baehr's review of The Dam.

Photos by Jennifer Silverberg for the Riverfront Times.
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"The Dam" is two patties with American & Swiss cheeses, and the Dam's special sauce.
"The Dam" is two patties with American & Swiss cheeses, and the Dam's special sauce.
"Double Dutch Fries" are served with with garlic mayo & scallions.
"Double Dutch Fries" are served with with garlic mayo & scallions.
The build-your-own-burger option shown here is a double burger with cheese, bacon, pickle, onion, lettuce and tomato.
The build-your-own-burger option shown here is a double burger with cheese, bacon, pickle, onion, lettuce and tomato.
Chili topped with cheese and onion.
Chili topped with cheese and onion.
"The Shy Dog" is a Chicago-style hot dog with mustard, onion, sweet relish, tomato, kosher spear, sport peppers and celery salt.
"The Shy Dog" is a Chicago-style hot dog with mustard, onion, sweet relish, tomato, kosher spear, sport peppers and celery salt.
The cherry-lattice pie, a seasonal special at the Dam.
The cherry-lattice pie, a seasonal special at the Dam.
Prepping pumpkins for the pumpkin pies and cookies.
Prepping pumpkins for the pumpkin pies and cookies.
Executive chef Matt Galati and his mother, Sharon, do all the baking for the Dam.
Executive chef Matt Galati and his mother, Sharon, do all the baking for the Dam.
Cook Sean Fruin preps peppers for roasting.
Cook Sean Fruin preps peppers for roasting.
Executive chef Matt Galati.
Executive chef Matt Galati.