Archive for the ‘Diversey’ Category

Kumas Too

Kuma’s Too at 666 West Diversey Parkway has all the same burgers as the original Kumas Corner, but it doesn’t quite have the down and dirty grunge that you had at the original location. Perhaps it is because I know that it is in the old space that housed the old Counter Burger which closed back in 2013, and perhaps it just seems that they have turned the lights down, put on loud music and stuck a whole load of heavy metal images all over the wall. Once you have Counter Burger in your mind, it is so hard to see past it. I did try but only for the sake of the burgers!

You have to look past all that for sure as they still have pretty dang good burgers for sale here, and another slight positive is that the wait to get a seat was much much shorter. It was still rammed full though and you could hardly hear yourself talk, but that was good as you also couldn’t hear the stomach groaning and teeth chomping either.

 The Kuma Burger

Kumas Burgers

Once again I found it too hard to resist taking the chance to eat the basic and humble ‘Kumas Burger’, well humble in relative to some of the other burgers that they have on offer. I only chose this for the fried egg on the top, which is something I struggle to resist ordering on a regular basis and something that I generally do end up being incapable of eating without spilling egg yolk all over my chin and T-shirt. I probably need some sort of intervention from my companions to stop me continuously ordering the fried egg topping, but then again perhaps that is one step to far as I have only just got out of ‘menu rehab’ for the chorizo and pulled pork addictions.

Slice of Kumas Burger

The ‘Famous’ Kuma Burger is essentially topped with bacon, sharp cheddar, lettuce, tomato, onion, and that slutty fried egg. It is a pretty huge affair and not a meal to attempt if you have planned a night out on the town drinking beer. Once you have eaten this (or any other burger here) you will be unable to eat or drink anything else for the rest of the day and most probably be looking for some sort of snooze situation, a gentle food coma will be just around the corner.

David Choi

OK so as I said it isn’t the iconic Corner, but it is still good and easy to get to from the El Train at Diversey .

You can follow Kumas Too on their Twitter Feed and also see what is happening on their Facebook Page


Kuma's Too on Urbanspoon


Etno Grill etno grill from the brown line

I very rarely have the time to go back to many of the places that I have written about on the El Stop Project, which is a little bit sad in some ways as there are some really great places that I could easily eat at every day. The Etno Grill is one of those places. I was on the Brown Line just before Christmas and a little lad was looking out of the window and shouted out “I can see a cow”. His mum began to chide him for being silly “There are no cows out there dear”. I was about to pipe up and tell her that it was the cow on top of Etno Grill that he had seen, but then she remembered . You see everyone sees that Cow as they ride past, but I wonder how many have sought it out to find out what lays beneath? I hope that it is lots of you.

Spicy Balkan Spicy Balkan Cross Section

I have had the hamburgers and the pork sandwiches here on a number of occasions and if you have been here I probably don’t need to tell you that they are excellent. If you have not then I am telling you now. Today though I was finally getting my hands or was it my mouth on one of their “Spicy Balkan” sandwiches. This is one of the sandwiches on their ‘build your own’ menu described as a “Pleska Patty (ground beef & pork) stuffed w/asiago cheese, bacon, onion & crushed red pepper”. I did not add to much to mine, I just had some of the Etno Spread, which is a mix of feta, sour cream, and chili peppers, some ‘spring mix’ salad leaves, and some red onion. I did not want to detract from the flavour of the patty, so was quite frugal with my selections. The patty is really delightful, there are small bacon chunks, and flecks of pepper throughout, it is mildy spicy, but the addition of the etno sauce also gave it an added kick. The addition of the crispy salad and onion was also borderline genius (can I really say that seeing as how it was my selection? probably not, but I just did) giving a nice fresh crisp bite to contrast the patty and also to help cool from the hit of spice that you get with each bite.

I am really glad that I took the time to try the Spicy Balkan, and If it was not for the fact that I really like their burgers, I would get this again, but if you have not tried it then I most certainly recommend it.

Thinking about it while I was sitting there eating my sandwich, I wish that I had been able to make Bourdain’s itinary when he did his recent ‘Layover’ program to Chicago as I would have sent him here. Maybe that would be too far fetched but how about you?

If you have not tried Etno Grill then I emplore you to do so, as soon as possible. You can read all about them on their website at you can also follow them on Twitter and Facebook, and I believe that you can even get their burgers delivered or even better get them to cater your office.

The i compute cafe

It does not seem so long ago that you could find a proper internet cafe on almost every corner. Nowadays everyone seems to have their own laptop, tablet, or pad and just lounge around on sofas in coffee shops. Who needs to print out something or even scan it? How old school or retro is that these days? Well today I found myself in that strange position “You mean you expect me to print this out, fill it in and then scan it back to you?” I don’t even own a printer or a scanner anymore. So that began the search for a good old fashioned internet cafe.

iCompute Cafe on Lincoln Avenue came up on the search list, but I still had to phone just to check that I could print AND scan, ‘I know actually speaking to someone on a phone!’ not even texting or emailing or IM. This could be way too sociable.

inside Icompute

Phew look at that! all the computer booths are empty so I don’t have to be too sociable after all 🙂

I only really needed to get in and out and it was just $3 for 30 minutes and a couple of dollars for my printing and scanning.

bites not bytes

But hey hold on, this is a cafe so can I get more than a byte? perhaps a bite to eat?

Yes there was a small selection of muffins, scones, and brownies, all of which looked freshly baked and quite appetising.

Cheese and Chive Scone

I got a cheese and chive scone which was really and quite surprisingly very tasty indeed. It was a light and fluffy scone with a well seasoned cheese and chive fillings Really quite unexpected but quite welcome. The Coffee and Tea were good too, I had a raspberry tea, the coffee was the locally ground Bridgport Cafe.

The whole place was quiet, yet easy going, the people running it were nice and friendly and most importantly I got my random print and scan done (and a bonus scone!)

icompute cafe is located at 2461 N. Lincoln Ave about 10 minutes walk from the Fullerton El Stop and aboout 10 mins from the Diversey El stop. You can find them online at and also follow them on twitter and facebook

Fatty’s signage – I like the pictures, am I going to like the food?

I have to be honest in that I am a little mixed in my opinion, although my burger was quite tasty, the fries were not to my liking, they were somewhere between twice cooked and dried out with no discernable reason left to eat them. I ate some of them in the vain belief that maybe they were supposed to be like this. Hopefully I just got them on a bad day at a bad moment, judging on a few reviews that I have read I think that I was just unlucky either that or I just don’t like their style of fries I guess.

Now as for the burger, this was the other side of the story. I had the “Slam Dunk Mushroom” burger, which was grilled onions, mushrooms and swiss cheese. I really want to say that I loved it, but really those fries just got in the way. It was a decent burger, but for the high price point $10.99 not sure it was the greatest out there, it wasn’t a “Slam Dunk” as they say anyhow.

The menu is quite imaginative name wise, but drill down to the ingredients and it is pretty much standard burger fare (of the large kind)

I sort of feel that I should go back and try again

Fatty’s Burgers and more is at 2665 N. CLARK ST, a decent walk away from the Diversey Brown line El Stop

Fatty's Burgers & More on Urbanspoon

I have to be honest I was really confused when I got over to the Wiener’s Circle. I thought that it was one of Chicago’s famous hot dog joints, but as you can see the sign outside proclaims that it is the “Home of the Char-Broiled Cheddarburger”

So what to do? I came here to eat a hot dog but the Char Broiled Cheeseburger is a self acclaimed speciality of the joint so I guess that is what I should be trying? Well that was what I did try. The guy in front of me was having both, perhaps I should have been splitting one of each with him, but I wasn’t sure that he was the kind of guy to be asking, having said that I did opt to take his lead on my toppings, cheese, mustard, and ketchup, good call.

So I was waiting watching the guys cook my burger on the charcoal grill, flames flashing as the fat dripped out onto the coals. Then I was pleasantly surprised when they checked how I wanted it cooking. Excellent that is the true test of a good place, even if they mess it up after that, at least they know what to do, good work guys!

It was really just about right, I know it is basic fare, but it is basic fare done really well. It is criminal that there is a McDonalds over the road. If it was me I would be in there dragging the fat kids over the road to get fatter on something worth being fat for.

After all that I still need to come back here to eat a hot dog, especially since they have some excellent signs to drool over.

Wiener’s circle is located at 2622 North Clark Street, check them out at this website for some interesting video clips

The Wiener's Circle on Urbanspoon


I quite like it when the local resturants put a stall outside their doors at the local festivals. At the Taste of Lincoln the Jade East Chinese Resturant had done just that. While I am not going to rave about them I am going to say that they had some nice snacks and they were really friendly and welcoming and they did their job which was to persuade me that maybe one day I would stop in and have a meal.


There was a simple selection geared up to the average American who likes the basic Chinese and that has no desire to know about any special dishes, “Chicken on a stick” yes please, “Dumplings with meat in them ?” thank you, “other stuff we have heard of?” yes thanks for that too, nothing scary, nothing expensive and stuff that they can munch easily. Slightly snobby yes, but remember I am eating this stuff too, and have no qualms, OK I like authentic and I mean really authentic, but just like I can eat a McDonalds on occasion I can eat Westernised Chinese food too, and I do love it when it is done well. I would be curious to see what they have to offer inside their resturant and if they have a secret menu with the good stuff on it.


As I said nothing scary here, the potstickers looked big and nicely seared, the other fried stuff looked , well fried, and the chicken on a stick was ‘chicken on a stick’.

For $7  you could get a plate of three selections from the menu, this seemed to be the best option so I went for the two different types of Potstickers (3 chicken and 3 pork) and the Teriyaki Chicken Skewers. We settled down to share this plate on the table alongside and the two ladies who were working the stall were very friendly and offered us some free crab rangoons and another skewer.

Cheerful and Friendly was my take home from this encounter, and the food was OK too, worth a late night order to fill a hole.

Located at 2511 N Lincoln with website

Jade East on Urbanspoon


Prost sits beneath the CTA Train Line at 2566 N Lincoln Avenue just between Sheffield Ave and Wrightwood Ave. It is a German style beer hall that recently re-opened on May 31st 2012. I was just passing by heading up to the end of the Taste of Lincoln Avenue on my way to Etno Grill, when I was distracted by a menu sign listing the Kasekrainer Sausage, well when I say distracted it was a stopping me in my tracks moment. I had one of these during a recent trip back to England, where I was checking out an Austrian sausage shop in Bakewell Derbyshire,  and I was hooked on cheese filled bratwursts after that.

You can sit outside the bar on the benches and drink good beer as the el train rumbles by overhead, well when I say rumble I really mean screeches, crashes, and roars by. just concentrate on the drink as you will not be able to concentrate on much else. It’s a great spot to drink with someone that you don’t want to have much of a conversation with or a place to practice your sign language.

Back to the task in hand, namely eating some Wurst. The Kasekrainer sausage is a variant of the Kranjska klobasa which is known in Germany as the Krainer Wurst. This typically contains small chunks of  cheese, it is best to  grill these on a low to medium heat otherwise the outside is burned and the inside is still cold. You also can’t pierce them when you cook them because the cheese just oozes out. This one that we got from Prost was almost cooked just right, but I could see a few places where they had committed the cardinal sin of pricking it as you can see the emmental cheese escaping the casing  in some spots. The sausage is essentially a wurst filled with a combination of a veal and pork. It was served with Bavarian Cabbage, Red Cabbage, Two excellent Mustards (the whole grain was the best), and a couple of pieces of Rye Bread. I was not too keen on the cabbage, the big bits were verging on the hard as opposed to crunchy, but really to be fair I was only really interested in the sausage and that was the star of the plate.

If you assume that you cannot persuade the driver to pause on the bridge to let you climb down to the bar, you will need to alight at one of the nearest Transit Stations which are at Fullerton (Brown Line, Purple Line, Red Line) and Diversey (Brown Line, Purple Line)

Prost! on Urbanspoon