If the entire marketing of a restaurant rides on claims of authenticity, it ought to be held to a high standard. My girlfriend and I, recent transplants from NC, visited Merle's hoping to find a spot we could return to for a ""home"" fix. We were sorely disappointed. The bbq isn't even close, the bun way off, no extra sauce, and the ultimate offense: no sweet tea! The wait staff was less than helpful, mocking my handwritten suggestion that sweet tea be added, asking each other why we moved to Chicago if we wanted ""real Southern food."" (They were standing five feet away!) My fried chicken was brown instead of golden, causing me to question how often they change their oil. I waited months to write this review, and I still get angry thinking about it. We'll drive 30 miles to Red Hot + Blue before ever eating there again.
Pros: Neat decor
Cons: Average food, Poor service, Rude wait staff