Neighborhood: River North
Address: 736 N Clark St., Chicago, IL 60654
Phone Number: N/A
Price Range: $10-20
Our Rating: 2 out of 5
What We Tried: Number One Burger (Caramelized Onion, Vella Tomato, Aderkasse Reserve, Bacon, Arugula, Thousand Island), Craft Your Own Burger (Caramelized Onion, Portobello Mushroom, Cottonwood River Cheddar, Garlic Aioli), Craft Your Own Burger (Caramelized Onion, Roasted Red Pepper, Avocado, BBQ Sauce), Fries, Onion Rings, Sweet Potato Fries
Our Take: If there is one thing that this place has going for it, it is a decent vibe (repurposed garage, exposed brick, etc.). The buck pretty much stops there, though. Let’s start with drinks. The menu suggests you ask your server about the month’s “craft beer” selections. Now I am a loyal Michigander and celebrate Oberon Day like it is birth of my firstborn, but I don’t think having Oberon on your way-too-short-for-a-burger-bar beer list along with Stella and Miller Lite makes it a “craft” beer list. We ended up settling on a few Revolution Rosa Hibiscus Ales (one of like 2 legit craft beers), which was not exactly what we were looking for when asking the waiter but whatevs.
Then we got to the burgers. I asked the waiter for a smoky cheese suggestion (my favorite’s gouda). To my surprise, he didn’t suggest the smoky mozz (too obvious), but a cheddar instead. I went with it because he’s the expert, right? Wrong. It was tangy and way overpowered the other flavors in my burger (not that there were many). Instead of long strips of deeply caramelized onions and a marinated or seasoned portobello, I got a few chopped up and quickly sautéed onion bits and some flavorless shrooms. Then there was the meat itself. Word to the wise: While sirloin is a great cut of meat for a burger, it’s also very easy to butcher (hehe). As in, you can’t just leave it on the grill as long as you want. My medium burger didn’t even have a trace of pink. The bun was a non-factor.
Finally, sides. The fries were just okay. They had good flavor and crispiness, but with the skinny kind you have to either go limp and greasy or dark and crispy. These fries were a very unappetizing pale shade. The sweet potato fries and onion rings were fine, I guessss. Sorry for the diatribe, but I felt strongly about this one. We thought about going back to try the boozy milkshakes, but just poured bourbon over our Ben and Jerry’s instead.*
*This actually happened.