Don’t get me wrong, comrades. McDonald’s, Burger King, and all the other nifty burger joints are nifty, and they provide some pretty close impressionist copies of edibility. But you’ll also find McDonaldses in Kentucky, India, Madagascar, Chile, Death Valley, the bottom of the Marianas Trench, Hoth, Klingon, Isengard, Gallifrey, Tatooine, and Mordor.
So, what about the ones we haven’t heard of yet? Because that’s kind of what this blog is about.
NUMBA FREE: Hop Häus – Various Chicago locations, just Google it.
It’s a bit on the expensive side, and all too often on the loud side – since it’s mainly a bar that just happens to serve burgers. But they’re good burgers, otherwise they wouldn’t be here on the #3 spot, now would they?! You jerk.
The customization options and sheer amount of how many burgers there are can be a wee tad intimidating, but once you get what you order you likely won’t regret it.
It’s not #2 or #1 because, as I mentioned, it’s expensive and loud – and all too often packed with yuppies, regardless of the location.
NUMBA TOO: Five Guys – Various Chicago locations
Who are these five guys anyway? I’ll bet it was created by four guys, but there are enough quartets out there – the Fantastic Four, the Beatles, the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, just to name a few – that they had to go the extra mile and take pride in being different.
The main thing they take pride in, however, isn’t so much their fivefold manpower, but their massive amount of awards and great reviews. From the looks of all the praise lining the walls, you’d be convinced that their best-burger-in-the-goddamn-universe status is a self-fulfilling prophecy.
And you know what? It probably is a self-fulfilling prophecy. I’ll bet they started with a couple of phony quotations and waited for the real praise to roll in. “Gosh oh gee, I’d better not piss people off, they really like this place.”
But the above theory is dependent on how good these burgers actually are. And they’re not bad at all!
I dare say it’s one of the finest-tasting, mealiest hunks of organic meat I’ve tasted in Chicago. It is a bit on the dry side, but that’s better than being greasy as all hell.
One drawback: if you are allergic to peanuts and you’re suicidal, then by all means pay the good people at your local Five Guys a visit. But if you’re allergic and you value your life, I’d recommend keeping a sixteen-mile radius away from this place, as they serve bulk peanuts for free in their shell.
DA NUMBA WUN BURGA IN DA SHEEKAGO ARRY-YUH: Lucky Platter: 514 Main St., Evanston
Expensive sit-down place? Yes.
Kuh-razy metal fish decorations staring at you while you’re trying to eat? Yes.
Damn good burgers? A THOUSAND TIMES YES.
Look comrades, Lucky Platter, just off the Main street Purple Line stop north of Howard, is plain-and-simply amazing. They let you put feta and sun-dried tomatoes and other wonderful ingredients on meat that’s been custom-tailored
by angry Russian butchers with severe obsessive-compulsive disorder about their craft, who were raised by domineering Soviet cheeseburgers who raised their adopted children with the sole purpose of manufacturing the amazing cheeseburgers that they never turned out to be in their own prefabricated lives to perfection.
There’s not much else to say about these gourmet little things other than the customization options are simple, yet endless. Definitely give Lucky Platter a try.