Duff ’s has been consistently serving up quality fare in the Central West End since the early 1970s. The landmark restaurant has weathered many ups and downs over the years, and through it all, has managed to maintain its stellar reputation for quality, eclectic fare. We were overdue for a visit, so we recently made our way back to the corner of Euclid and McPherson avenues to check in.
On our latest trip to Duff ’s, we started off with a cup of the French Onion Soup Gratinee ($4) from the list of Small Plates and Salads. This proved to be one of our favorite versions of this classic. Topped with a toasty cap of melted cheese, it was complex and savory with just a hint of sweetness. It also was a substantial portion. We have a feeling a bowl ($5) of it would have been a meal in and of itself!
We ordered the Turkey Mole Enchiladas ($16), from the Dinner Entrees section next. The enchiladas were served with a pumpkin-seed salsa verde and white bean chili. While the salsa was flavorful enough, we wish it would have packed a bit more heat. The dish also was missing cheese, a vital enchilada ingredient in our opinion, which would have been a nice add and made for a bit more depth.
From the Sandwiches and Pizza selections we chose the Edamame Falafel ($8). This interesting variation on the Middle- Eastern meze favorite was made with quinoa and golden flax and tahini and served with a warm cabbage salad. The soybeans made for a tasty alternative to the usual chickpea filling.
For dessert, we opted for the 1554 Ice Cream ($7), ice cream sauced with New Belgian 1554 Enlightened Black Ale, sprinkled with candied pecans and served with a taste of said beer on the side. Desserts made with adult beverages are nothing new, but more often than not, the featured libation is a sweet liqueur of some type. Kudos to Duff ’s for recognizing the versatility of fermented hops as an ingredient in after-diner treats!
One thing we really appreciated about the Duff ’s menu was the fact that there were plenty of healthy options, and dishes featuring reduced calories and cholesterol were clearly marked, making the decision process easier.
Not only does Duff ’s have a varied food menu, it has a wide-ranging beverage program, as well. The restaurant is a perennial winner of Wine Spectator’s Award of Excellence, and also has an impressive selection of bottled beers.
If you plan to make it down to Duff ’s, though, better do so soon. The restaurant is currently up for sale, as owner Karen Duffy looks to get out of the restaurant business to spend more time with her family. The eatery will remain open during the sale process, and there also will be a new menu coming soon, featuring some of the favorites from Duff ’s first year. We’ll definitely miss the cozy, inviting interior, the ample outdoor seating, and of course, the food.