Posts Tagged ‘bacon cheeseburger’

 

Shake Shack at the Chicago Athletic Association hotel on Michigan Avenue near Millenium Park in the Loop was a Godsend on my recent visit back to Chicago. I had flown in to O Hare and made my way down the Blue Line to my hotel at the Club Quarters over on West Adams Street by about 9pm and I was in dire need of some food. It was getting late and a quick search on Yelp was showing me that places were closing fast downtown.

It was pretty cold out there, well below freezing, somewhere around 20F and I didn’t want to waste a meal, so when I saw that there was a Shake Shack that I had not been too nearby that was open until 11pm? well I had my hat, scarf, and gloves on and I was out the door to MyFoodHunt it down.

It was a bit hidden behind the doors keeping the cold out from the hotel, but inside it was a pretty impressive location that they describe pretty well on the Shake Shack website as;

“Knockout! The CAA Shack is located on the ground floor of the gorgeously, painstakingly restored Chicago Athletic Association boutique hotel across from Millenium Park. Where else can you chow down on burgers and crinkle cuts¬†surrounded by¬†stained glass, soaring ceilings, detailed millwork, and marble staircases?”

Lets move on and talk about some food though!

The Smoke Shack with Cheese Fries

I always seem to order the same thing at Shake Shack (well I have only been twice) and that was the Smoke Shack burger with a side of Cheese Fries.

This time I went for¬†the Double, so I had the “Cheeseburger with all-natural smoked Niman Ranch bacon, chopped cherry pepper and Shack Sauce” for $9.69.

Those crinkle cut cheese fries were another $3.99, and add to that the beer I ordered and there was not much change out of a twenty dollar bill! OMG! was it or is it worth that cash outlay?

I kind of think that it is.

Smoke Shack burger

There is something kind of magnificent about this somewhat overpriced burger sandwich. The meat patty on it’s own is pretty rustic, crumbly, moist, juicy and really quite chowable. Covered in molten cheese it takes on a whole new personality and becomes something that you kind of struggle not to gobble down like a mad man on a competitive burger eating mission.

That crispy thick sliced bacon is a demon addition, and the spicy cubed tomato relish packed with heat is just more genius added to the bun, you have to pause and breathe in between bites otherwise the moment passes to quickly and you could find that you have scoffed a classic meal without pause for thought. Please be restrained ūüôā

I loved this burger just as much as the last time I ate ‘exactly the same meal’ when I was last in Chicago over at the River North location (read more here) and I felt no guilt that I had chosen to do so once again, as I knew in my heart that it was a great decision on both occasions. Lets be honest, if it ain’t broke, why fix it?

Menu (well a bit of it)

CAA Shack in Daylight

The CAA Shack is located on the ground floor of the Chicago Athletic Association boutique hotel

is located across from Millenium Park at 12 S Michigan Ave in Chicago, IL 60603

Shake Shack Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Shake Shack in Chicago

Shake Shack in River North has been on my radar for ages, I really meant to come here on my last visit back to Chicago, but somehow I was distracted and didn’t make it. This time though it was to be my first meal off the plane, and as it was pretty close to my bed for the week at Hotel Felix, I was able to tick it off the list pretty quickly (within 30 mins after dropping my bags at reception to be exact).

This particular Shake Shack joint at Ohio & Rush opened in November 2014, and is one of two locations in the city area of Chicago, the second Shake Shack to open is on Michigan Avenue on the ground floor of the renovated historic Chicago Athletic Association Hotel at 12 S. Michigan just across from Millennium Park. That will have to wait for my next visit. I cant overdo these things.

SmokeShack on the Menu

 

smokeshack

Even before¬†I walked in the door I knew that there was only one thing I wanted, and that was a bacon cheeseburger, so¬†that meant that there was just one thing on the menu for me; the ‘SmokeShack’. This was described as a “Cheeseburger topped with all-natural applewood smoked bacon,¬†chopped cherry pepper and ShackSauce”¬†. I didn’t know what the cherry pepper was going to bring to the bun, and as I had never been to ShackShack before so didn’t know what their sauce was like. I did know that I like cheese, and I love smoked bacon, so I kind of figured I had made a sound choice.

SmokeShack Burger at Shake Shack with Cheese Fries

Shack Shack Burgers

I was really happy to be sitting in Shake Shack in River North finally dining on Danny Meyer’s concept burger. The burger was really good, a well made and well seasoned patty inside a nice soft fluffy bun, a potato bun I would have said. I loved the crispy smoked bacon, and the tangy melted cheese that combined with the spiciness of the cherry pepper. It was¬†all making my mouth¬†drool and my¬†taste buds tingle at the same time. I was ‘loving’ it. There is something else though in this bun that really makes this a great burger and a little unique, and that is the sauce. I am not sure what is in the sauce, but it seems to be that it is something along the lines of mayo, mustard, ketchup and some element of pickle. Whatever it is, I liked it and would not mind having a jar or squeezy bottle filled with it at home

I had also ordered myself a portion of the ‘cheese fries’ which turned out to be a stack of crinkle cut fries topped with “our special blend of cheddar and American Cheese sauce”. They are kind of great as you start to work your way through them, but after a¬†while I found them to be a bit too rich and I¬†struggled to eat them all. That could have been the impending jet¬†lag¬†though and the fact that my body clock thought it was 4am.

All in all it was a pretty good introduction to the world of Shake Shack burger and one that I would be keen to try again. ‘If only there were not so many other meals and burgers to try out?’ As I mentioned at the top there is another location in Chicago to try¬†over on Michigan Avenue, and now I find out that there is also another location, a third location in the Chicago area which is located¬†at Westfield Old Orchard in Skokie.¬†Perhaps I will head over there on my next trip home, that will be a good¬†excuse to ride the Skokie Swift, the yellow line on the El.

To add to that in the ShakeShack world, next time I am in NYC I will try another one from the home of the original in Madison Square Park.

I have no idea why I did not in the three years I was living just outside that city? My bad (as they say, these days)

This particular Shake Shack is located at 66 E. Ohio Street, Chicago, IL 60611

You can check them out on Facebook and on Twitter

Shake Shack Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Did I mention that they also have Beer?

Shack Meister AleMy Shakemeister Ale

The ‘Shackmeister Ale’ is apparently brewed ‘exclusively’ for ShakeShack by Brooklyn Brewery. Well I wanted a beer, So I thought ‘when in Rome’ and ordered a pint or rather a 16oz on draught as they call it in this part of the world. They say on their website that “We brew Shackmeister Ale as a hearty pale ale with plenty of malts to match the rich, griddled beef in every Shackburger. A bright burst of hops unifies the finish and invites the drinker to take another bite and accompanying sip” #Awesome and true

I have had Hamburger Mary’s on my radar for quite some time now but sadly I rarely seem to get over into Andersonville to eat at many of the districts varied and diverse resturants. Mostly I try to eat within easy reach of the elevated railway, and it is quite a distance between the nearest station stop and the main Andersonville drag along Clark Street. If I do head over there it is on the Damen 80 CTA bus which you can pick up from the Damen Brown line station.

I don’t know why but when I see the Hamburger Mary’s sign I think of the film “There’s something about Mary” with Cameron Diaz and that made me have a quick hunt around for film quotes. I was quite tickled by the following;

Mary: I want a guy who can play 36 holes of golf, and still have enough energy to take Warren and me to a baseball game, and eat sausages, and beer, not lite beer, but beer. That’s my ad, print it up.
Brenda: “Fatty who likes golf and beer.” Gee, Mary, where are you gonna find a gem like that?

I would be answering that advert, but before I did I would have to make sure that there was a table free at Hamburger Mary’s and some spare box tickets at the Cubs.

But I have digressed quite substantially once again, I should get back to the task in hand which was telling you about the food we ate at this somewhat quirky and unique Hamburger joint.

This is your basic house option from the list of Classic 1/2lb Burgers on offer. It is The “Mary” Burger which comes with lettuce, pickles and Mary’s sauce which is basically thousand island dressing. This one had cheddar cheese added to it and the Mary’s sauce on the side. It looks good but I didn’t eat this one so can only go by the diner’s review which was that it was really good.

My choice was the “All American” Burger. This was a 1/2 lb burger ‘stuffed’ with bacon and Worcestershire sauce, then topped with some more slices of bacon, some American cheese which had melted or rather oozed across the burger, a crispy bit of lettuce, some juicy tomato and plain mayonaisse. It was a great big juicy burger, lots of bread and when I cut it in half to show you the filling you can almost see the chunks of bacon bits with which it was stuffed. If you cannot see them, don’t worry I can vouch for their presence and not only that but you could really taste the saltiness of the bacon within the burger.

Often I am quite dismissive of the side options that come with my burger, but on this occasion the ‘Tasty Seasoned Fries” were really quite good. I have a very simple, basic and easy to follow rule to define if my fries are any good or not – “can I eat them without adding any sauce?” For these fries that answer was yes I could, I could have easily eaten the whole bowl without resorting to dipping them into a sauce to add flavour. That is no small feat these days when sometimes the sides seem to be just an afterthought or plate filler. The fries at Hamburger Mary’s are well worth eating.

Hamburger Mary’s is located at 5400 N Clark Street in Andersonville. Website: http://www.hamburgermarys.com/

Hamburger Mary's on Urbanspoon