I had heard a lot of talk about Kuma’s Corner and it’s infamous burgers. “Big burgers”, “Hard Rock music”, “Long waits, but worth the effort” seemed to be the general theme of those conversations. So with my Mum in town and knowing that she likes a good US Style hamburger I figured it was a good place to take her for lunch. I thought I would casually forget to mention the rock music part. We rode here on the 77 CTA bus which stops right outside Kuma’s, very handy to know. That bus runs between the Belmont El Stops Blue and Red.
It was quite busy inside for 2pm on a Wednesday but not too bad, there was a 15-20 minute wait for a table or we could get seated straight away if we sat at the bar. We sat at the bar, why not that is where the action and the beer lives. Also you can watch them making your burgers if you sit there. Plus you get a good chance to peruse some of the more random art work.
Seeing as we were at the bar I felt that it was best to forgo the water option and get myself a beer. After a chat with the barmaid I got a Sankaty Light lager from Nantucket. This is a light American Golden Lager, light bodied with a good balance and a distinct hop character. I quite liked it, just about right for a lunchtime drink.
Once again I am failing dismally in my duty to tell you about the prime reason for my visit here, which was to sample their burgers.
I played it basic and opted for what they describe as “OUR FAMOUS KUMA BURGER” this is basically a burger covered with Bacon, Cheddar, and a Fried Egg – for $12. Selected mainly as I just cannot resist those fried egg toppings. I guess I have mentioned that enough times in multitudes of pages. The burger was a huge 10oz as promised and almost too big to contemplate eating. Once the top pretzel bun lid was placed onto the burger it was so large that you cannot even see the fries behind it. I decided to tackle this one head on and take no prisoners. First bite released the egg yolk creating a nice juicy layer that helped to lubricate the bun. Despite the fact that by now my hands and chin were getting covered in meat juice and egg, I plowed on mission, the tomato and onion fell out, but too late no time to stop to pick up stragglers if they cannot keep up. I was still trying to get through the burger. On occasion I paused briefly to sip beer and eat one of the fries. Finally the job was complete the plate was cleared of burger, and I was so stuffed I could not even finish my second beer.
My Mother went for the Kaijo Burger, again a mammoth 10 oz beef patty, this one covered in Bacon, Bleu Cheese, Frizzled Onions for $13. This was also consumed but minus the top bun, we all have to make some minor sarifices in the quest to consume big burgers. I understood that this burger was excellent but I was too stuffed to even try a bite.
So the verdict on these burgers was that they are good, way too big though, if you eat one you will not need to eat for the rest of the day. I can kind of understand the hype as there is some novelty value here. Am I crazy if I say that they would be perfect if they were maybe just a 6 oz burger. Perhaps but then I could have had some room left for their build your own mac ‘n’ cheese which you can make choosing from Bacon, Prosciutto, Andouille, Chicken, Roasted Red Peppers, Caramelized Onions, Sun Dried Tomatoes, Broccoli, Peas, Mushrooms, Scallions, Sweet Corn, Garlic, or Jalapeno. Now I feel slightly sad and that I might have missed out.
Still I have the memory of that fried egg topping to sustain me until next time.