Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Sepia -- The Verdict

Rich, flavorful beef.  This must be a custom blend from a talented butcher/chef combo.  A real artist.  A beef-ista, if you will.  We loved the flavor, the Red Dragon Cheddar, and the duck-fat fries on the side.  Very well prepared; all our burgers were cooked perfectly to order.  The flavor and presentation meant that condiments were not needed.  Also, professionally served by warm, friendly, but not cloying staff.  It's hard to find faults here.  Perhaps our buns could have used 30 more seconds on the grill, but c'mon man, this was a wonderful experience.  The quality and even distribution of reviews shows that Sepia knows its burgers.  Low of 87; high of 93; average of 90!

Exhibit 33 -- Sepia

Saturday, October 6, 2012

25 Degrees -- The Verdict

We Chicagoans are welcoming folks.  So, we welcome this West Coast import to our midst.  This boĆ®te brings a baroque bordello brassiness to the burger bar battles.  It also brought a wide range of opinion from our reviewers.  25 Degrees offers pre-designed creative burger options, as well as a build-your-own selection, drawing from some 16 cheeses, 14 toppings, and 13 sauces.  We all agree on the helpful service, cool vibe, and a pleasant generosity with refills.  I think we also would say you get a hefty burger for the $9 base price.  Advocates appreciated the interesting combinations, careful preparation, and flavorful cheeses and toppings.  Detractors derided a certain messiness in some of the combinations, questioned whether the $1 sauces added value, and disliked the herbed fries and bacon-wrapped-dates.  Our modal reviewer summed it up:  "Plenty of burger and interesting variety for the price; I just wished I liked it better."  Low of 62; high of 89; average 79.

Exhibit 32 -- 25 Degrees