Interesting place. We finally made it to Firkin, an "English-type" pub, at least according to their website. The offerings here would not be seen in England, however, maybe close to the border with Mexico, but more about that later.
In downtown Libertyville you must walk into the back door, the front on the street shows that on a Saturday night around 7ish it is packed. Parking in the back, take the back door down a long hallway from there to the dining area, with a long bar on the left, and some 20-25 tables well spaced. Interesting decor, the posters particularly, mostly from China? Weird stuff hanging from the high ceiling. Nice look, lots of middle aged folks enjoying themselves.
Our problems started as we sat at the bar waiting for a table. The bartender gave us several tastes as we weren't sure we what we wanted. That was good and appreciated. The problem as it turned out was that they were out of 3-4 offerings of the 25 or so listed. Upside, on cask there were 2, but the red ale wasn't that good (didn't try the IPA on offer, probably a better choice). We ended up with a nice Dortmunder from Two Brothers, a Kasteel Red, and a few other nice choices. The website says it's mostly micros (or was it the menu) but many Belgians on offer as well.
The food menu has many pages, a mix of Mexican, bar food, and lots of seafood. Unusual. Best appetizer was the special pork tacos. Guacamole just ok. The burger was loved, the fish tacos so so, the Cuban pork sandwich was very good. But we would not go back for this food if not for the beer list, and that was an issue.
Another bigger problem, lack of response from the wait staff. We had some missed requests on food, the worst of which happened near the end. We didn't like the look of the desserts, so we chose the Fantome Chocolate as our dessert. It came, seemed nice, no chocolate notable. We asked the waiter, he said he didn't know, we said we'd like to speak to their "beer guy". Instead of this guy, the waiter came back and told us that the Chocolate had run out, that it turned out it was the regular Fantome, and that it has "Chocolate notes" so we should like it. We did, but I protested, told him we wanted the Chocolate, especially as I've tasted the regular Fantome before, and for the $27 we paid (about twice retail) we should get what we ordered. We didn't stay for satisfaction, and it's very offputing that the manager would tell the waiter just to placate us. I'm still pissed and doubt we'll return.
Their home website says that our country is thirsting for this kind of English pub. Well, not this type with crappy people who think customers are idiots. I'll take Rock Bottom or Goose Island any day, and maybe these Canadian's haven't heard we already have some nice pubs. Grade this a C+, just for having a nice tap list, but not worth the drive or aggravation.