Posts Tagged ‘burgers’

The Good Stuff eatery down in the Loop is another one of those spots that you really should keep on your burger munching circuit. I sometimes feel that it is a bit overlooked as it is kind of hidden away in the shadow of the elevated railway one street away from the hustle and bustle of State Street.

I have been here before back in 2015 not long after it opened when I sampled one of their awesome Prez Obama Burgers (read more here “Good Stuff Eatery comes to the Loop in Chicago”).

I would have had another one of those Obama Burgers, but I had my eyes on a different prize, one still just as ‘close to home’

The “Michelle Melt”

This time I was focussed on the sandwich celebrating our last but not least First Lady Michelle Obama. I was I suppose collecting the set to complete the collection as it was.

Just like her husband, Michelle has her own special at the Good Stuff Eatery in Chicago called the “Michelle Melt”.

It is kind of a little bit healthier, however it is still one quite delicious beast in it’s own right.

Officially it is described as a “Free Range Turkey Burger” topped with “Caramelized Onions, Swiss Cheese, Ruby Tomato, Lettuce” on a “Wheat Bun with Southlawn Herb Garden Mayo”

I liked this sandwich a lot! I was worried that the Turkey might be dry, but it was not, it was juicy and tasted much lighter that a solid beef patty. The Caramelized onions were perfect in my mind, verging on amazing, the blank canvas of the turkey was an excellent partner that blended together with that Garden mayo featuring parsley, cilantro, garlic, lemon, dill, rosemary and thyme.

It is a pretty healthy option and it does taste good too, they mix both aims together well. The mayo features herbs that are grown in the South Lawn White House Garden. I tell you this it was really tasty and I will probably try to replicate that this summer when we start grilling in earnest in the back garden

If you want to, you can find recipes for both the Turkey Burger (on ABC network) and for the Garden Mayo (on the Rachel Ray show) online. That was a great find as I always had wondered how to make a decent Turkey burger!

I feel torn now though as I loved both the Michelle Melt and the Prez Obama Burger. What is a glutton to do? Answers on a postcard please

Nashville Hot Chicken

I know this was a bit greedy, but I really had to try the Nashville Hot Chicken sandwich that they had recently added to the menu. They bill it as “Fried Chicken Breast, Ted’s Bread and Butter Pickles on a Brioche Bun, drizzled with spicy pepper oil” but despite all of those spicy sounding things, I didn’t find it to be that hot.

True Nashville Hot Chicken will burn your face off, this was just a spicy chicken sandwich. In some ways that was quite a good thing as it is nice to be able to actually eat the sandwich, as opposed to feeling like a competitor in spicy food challenge.

I liked the chicken, and I liked the brioche bun, but the I like the other burger sandwiches on the menu much more and maybe I would prefer to travel to Nashville for a Hot Chicken sandwich

Good Stuff Eatery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

The Good Stuff Eatery in Chicago is located in the Loop at 22 S. Wabash Avenue, Chicago, IL 60603

I like it a lot and not just because I am a fan of Top Chef Alumni Spike Mendelsohn!

Check them out on Facebook and on Twitter



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

Rock BottomWeber Grill

When you jump off the train at the Grand CTA station and come up above ground you will find yourself either right next to the Weber Grill or right next to the Rock Bottom brewery. These were the first two places that I ate at when I first arrived in Chicago hunting for a place to live. I was staying in the nearby Hampton Inn hotel and these were my first go to places. Over the next few years I was to return several times, but I had almost forgotten them until I alighted at the Grand Station recently looking for a snack

Rock Bottom Brewery Resturant

Rock Bottom isn’t the sort of place that you come to when you reach that place in your life, no it is the sort of place you come too when you want a good beer and a nice safe plate of bar food. I try not to just get a burger, even though they are quite decent, as that is just too safe and easy. Even though the 2am Burger which is a all day breakfast type variant topped with ‘hash-browns, American cheese, smoked bacon and a sunshiny fried egg’ is always very tempting.

I always seem to end up having one of their sandwiches either the Hickory Bacon Chicken sandwich which is basically “Grilled chicken topped with bacon, cheddar and bbq sauce, served on a soft burger bun.” or the Reuben Sandwich which is “Corned beef or turkey served on caraway rye with Swiss cheese, Russian dressing and sauerkraut.”, although to be honest I usually end up pulling most of the sauerkraut out.

I also love that they do more than one type of Mac n Cheese, apart from the Classic, you can also have a Bacon, Chicken Mac ‘n’ Cheese, and a Blackened Shrimp Mac ‘n’ Cheese. Too tempting by half!

The other bonus about this place, and probably the reason I first walked in, is the good beer selection especially some of their craft beers.  They do a type of kolsch, which is always a good choice. They describe it on the menu as being ‘golden, straw-colored ale is light in body with subtle fruit flavors and a crisp, floral hop finish.’ They also have the sport on the TV so you don’t have to worry about coming in on your own.

The one warning is that if you come in through the wrong door, then you end up being in the front restaurant which is a bit fancier, with white tablecloths etc. The first time I walked in, I nearly walked out again, until they directed me to the back room where the bar is.
Rock Bottom Brewery on Urbanspoon

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Weber Grill Resturant

On the other side of the road on the corner is the Weber Grill, this is a place I prefer to eat at on a free downtown lunchtime. It is better in the summer when you can sit comfortably out in the sidewalk covered seating area. I do like to sit inside where you can see the chefs grilling away especially for the smelt of charred meat, but it gets a bit warm in there.

They do a good special at lunchtime usually there is a variation of one of their house made burgers, the kettleburger. If they don’t have one that tickles my fancy then it would be the Wisconsin Burger which is topped with De Mill Cheddar Cheese, and Applewood Smokehouse Bacon, so basically a bacon cheese burger for $13.50. If it wasn’t a burger then the other good thing I ate here was off the $10 lunch menu which is The “Smokey Joe” a bun filled with Brisket Burnt Ends, and their own Hickory BBQ Sauce.

Weber Grill Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Both the Weber Grill and the Rock Bottom brewery are on the corners of Grand and State as you emerge from the underground red line Grand CTA station.

The Claim Company

If you like a nice cheesy Western-themed resturant, and I do, then you cannot do much better than The Claim Company out at Northbrook Court in Northbrook. It is attached to the Shopping Mall and has been one of those places that we have used for Team lunches, or just lunch time getaways over the years. After a while you tend to learn what you like off the menu, and I have to say that I have been drawn slowly into realising that my best option is the ‘Build you own burger’.

Here this called the “THE MOTHERLODE” which they describe as “Our Gourmet, Build-Your-Own-Burger!” They invite you to “Stake your claim on the best burger or un-burger on either side of the Rio Grande!” and gee you up by telling you that “You know you’ll love it because you create it yourself“. You know that much is true, I have always managed to make a good selection.

The Motherlode

In general I get the cheese burger, with a fried egg, mushroom, and or sometimes bacon. It is not a bad burger, certainly it is large enough and it will probably make you snooze all afternoon. From the different bun options (Multi-Grain, Egg Bun, Onion Roll, Pretzel Roll, Black Bavarian, or Ciabatta) I usually get either the egg bun or the pretzel roll. It is always Cheddar cheese for me, but you can get other ones (Mozzarella, Swiss, American, Goat, Bleu, or Pepper Jack). I am not going to list all the free toppings which include many salad type items like lettuce and tomato, I tend to restrict myself to one or all of the following;  Grilled Mushrooms, Sautéed Onions or Fried Onions, and Bacon. I am getting hungry now writing and I have just got in from eating this burger as well.

They encourage you ‘to be a little different’ by adding a fried egg, nothing unusual about that for me, it is almost obligatory these days.

Claim Company is not just about the Motherlode though, they do have a really good salad bar and yes I have eaten from it. Mainly since  is not just lettuce leaves, it has pasta salads and meats too.

OK so it is a bit of a trek out to Northbrook to eat here and I am not suggesting making a special trip, but if you are out this way and want a little extra ‘Cheese’ on your Cheeseburger, you could do a lot worse.

Located at 2000 Northbrook Court, close or rather adajcent to the Macy’s store end of the Shopping Mall


Check out their menu here

The Claim Company on Urbanspoon

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

If ever there is a guilty pleasure heading my way then this place fulfils it. Cheap Dogs and Great Signage, enough to draw you in and prices that walk the food away.  At the end of a sunny October Chicago day with temperatures flirting with the low 70’s,  it was impossible to resist the temptation of a Chicago Dog  in the sunshine on the benches outside Budacki’s.

  Crazy low price for a dog! $2.50 with fries and a drink

Add to this some great graffitti or mural in the carpark, it is hard to find any genuine reason not to take an opportunity to expand the waistline or alternatively embrace a Chicago tradition.

Located just a few minutes from the Damen Brown line stop walking east to 4739 North Damen Avenue, only downside is that it closes early, well before the closing time rush at 8pm

Budacki's Drive-in on Urbanspoon