Sunday, December 11, 2016

Green River -- The Verdict

Taking the elevator to a tall floor in a medical professional building for a burger is a bit incongruous.  The antiseptic building and a good greasy burger don't seem to mix.  But it is a pleasant surprise to find a clean, well-lighted place where even some of the medical professionals were indulging.  Our reviewers loved the bun, split of the flavorfullness of the beef, and gave kudos to the aggressive mustard-based house sauce, even if we all didn't love it.  Tall fries were a plus as well.  Board certified service.  If you need a colonoscopy and a burger in the same place, this is your place.  Just be sure to do so in the right order.  

Exhibit 70 -- Green River

Cochon Volant -- The Verdict

I think the pigs were in more of a seated, rather than flying, position for our lunch.  The double-patty Au-Cheval style burger is topped with a large, perhaps too large, wedge or bacon.  Reviewers differed on the flavor experience.  Proponents found the beef rich and satisfying, cooked to order, even if the handling was a bit awkward.  Detractors points to in-the-loop level pricing ($16.95) without the Randolph Street flavor. Points for the small plating.  Deduction for nubbin fries.  All in all, a "go" but not a "must go."  Low of 74; high of 80; average of 76.

Exhibit 69 -- Cochon Volant

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Doc B's Fresh Kitchen -- The Verdict

Crazy-attentive service, creative offerings, and keen attention to the little things -- quality ice and ice tea, unobtrusive refills, ample ketchup ramekins -- only heightened the experience.  More importantly, Doc B's got the big things right:  fun and creative offerings, good buns (including the gluten-free offering), quality beef.  Solid beef flavor, loosely pressed patty.  Structurally improbable stacking of cheese, onion rings, bacon, and burger provided a handling challenge, but one we embraced.  Minor deductions were found for a bit of excess char on one burger.  The burgers also tended to the pricey side (at least on the E. Grand location).  Low of 79; high of 92; average of 86.

Exhibit 68 -- Doc B's Fresh Kitchen

Little Goat Diner -- The Verdict

For a diner, great.  For a celebrity diner, perhaps a little underwhelming.  That said, there was nothing wrong with this burger -- perhaps it lacked just a little jazz.  But, of course, it's a diner, not a three star gourmand experience.  Cooked to order, great proportions, excellent service.  No question it was sloppy to ear, but so what -- extra napkins are easy to come by.  The bun required just force to squish out the contents.  The fries were a bit on small size, but they were tasty -- so use a fork.  We'd all go back!  Low of 76; high of 84; average of 81.

Exhibit 67 -- Little Goat Diner

Chicken and Farm Shop a/k/a Chicken Shop -- The Verdict

A pleasant surprise, for a restaurant whose primary metier is not the burger.  Good proportions of toppings, meat, and bun.  The Philly cheese steak burger with short rib, white cheddar and peppers, in particular, went over well.  The fries also were perfectly cooked.  Demerits for the little things:  Diet Coke bottles sized for the short-fingered vulgarian; charging for the fries a la carte; and bacon that threatened to overpower the flavor of the meat.  Overall, though, nicely done!  Low of 79; high of 90; average of 83.

Exhibit 66 -- Chicken and Farm Shop a/k/a Chicken Shop

Monday, April 18, 2016

Kuma's Too -- The Verdict

The volume is turned up to 11 at Kuma's -- both on the soundtrack and on the plate.   A head-bangingly good time starts with the menu, the choices, and the ingredients (including "anger").  Tasty apps and attentive tattooed service keep the set moving.  And then the burger: big, big, big.  Very well executed; tasty beef; cooked right to order. Those with lower reviews dinged the fries (soggy); the pretzel bun garnered mixed reviews (from "tough and tasteless" to "soft and chewy"); and two of the group seemed to lower their scores due to too much meat -- never seen that before.  Be prepared to take the house-made ketchup and mustard, but otherwise substitutes welcome.  Regardless, worth the trip -- even if you've never been to a Pantera concert.  Low of 79; high of 92; average of 84.

Exhibit 65 -- Kuma's Too

Sunday, March 13, 2016

RL -- The Verdict

If the ladies who lunched liked big, sloppy burgers, they would have a lovely time at RL.  A pretty, but cramped room was a warm an inviting escape from the tourist hell end of Michigan avenue.  We'd all go back for the room, but the the burger split us into two camps.  The negativists thought the burger was just okay, not worth the $19 charge, with unadvertised raw onion, tomato, and "thin and slimy lettuce." "And then there was the salt:  burger was super salty.  Fries lacked salt.  Which was hiding in the pickle."  The positivists thought the taste merited the two-napkin (two well-pressed crisp Egyptian cotton napkins, of course) messiness.  Nice ramekins on condiments.  We all agreed (1) the service was fantastic, not stuffy; and (2) the fries were on the nubbiny side.  Low of 66, high of 84; average of 74.

Exhibit 64 -- RL

Seven Lions -- The Verdict

While one of our group was disappointed by two sadly tasteless patties, the balance of our group thought this was a worthy addition to Michigan Avenue and Chicago burgerdom in general.  The fans found the burgers decision, the fried egg excellent, and side pickles enjoyable.  Those in support thought the beef flavor was well complemented by a quality American cheese.  "Boxy but good."  "Loved the first, fries, loved the service.  Punished only by a weak difficulty rating."  "Best burger I;'ve ever had in a former Bennigan's, hands down," said one.  I think even our detractors would say it compares favorably even to a current Bennigan's.  Low of 62; high of 88; average of 82.

Exhibit 63 -- Seven Lions