Cost: $17 per person
When I moved to Lincoln Park over a year ago, the area that I referred to as The Crate and Barrel Triangle looked pretty different than it does today. First of all, the Filthy Libertine is now closed which means that I won't be coming home at 2 AM to any bar fights on my block. Next, Apple came to town. In one swift motion there was a new hipster magnet that also sells computers that weigh less than 3 lbs right near my place. On top of that they renovated the red line stop. Even more so this resulted in the closing of Bacci Pizza's location at the train stop. This may seem like a big hit to late night food, but ultimately there are less paper plates, pizza crusts, and piles of vomit on the street nearby. Finally, two new restaurants have opened up nearby. One of which just so happens to be cranking out some pretty tasty burgers. I'd been meaning to go for a while, but it took my friend Amanda demanding we go to finally get me out there. So last week Amanda, our friend Ashley, Schneider, and I braved the cold 2 block walk and had a feast at Burger Bar.
There are two large rooms at Burger Bar. One has lots of raised tables and a lengthy bar, while the other has a bunch of booths and low tops. Parking isn't very ideal in the area, but they do have some kind of valet service (I don't think it's free... we walked). It's also right next to the red line, so you can probably avoid driving. We didn't have a reservation and didn't need one. If you do have to wait, the bar has a decent beer selection to tide you over.
The server was a pretty cool guy with a hearty beard and a terrible towel in his back pocket. He had good suggestions and was pretty attentive. The deal of the day was pretty much any burger and a beer for $15. Otherwise you can build your own burger with a huge variety of add ons for around $9. It's a pretty standard burger price, and the portions are well worth it.
We would've gotten an appetizer, but we'd heard that the burgers were plenty of food to the point where it wasn't necessary. Ashley built her own Turkey Burger, Amanda built her own Cheeseburger, Schneider went for the Wild Bill, and I built my own burger. Ashley really seemed to like her turkey burger and chose to top it with a nice helping of banana peppers. The Wild Bill was grass fed bison burger with a tomato chutney and arugula on a pretzel roll. Schneider loved it, and it was gone in maybe 5 minutes. I topped my burger with roasted peppers, banana peppers, onion strings, and urban sauce (some mix of mayo, ketchup, and mustard). It was cooked a perfect medium rare, the sauce was nice, and of course I loved the onion strings. Schneider got the Sweet Potato fries, Amanda and Ashley got the Regular Fries, and I tried the Homemade Chips. The sweet potato fries had a pretty natural appeal and weren't doctored by any large amounts of batter or sugar. The regular fries were a bit strange. They weren't soggy or crispy or necessarily in between. I can't really place it, but they were delicious. The chips were good, but I'd get the sweet potato fries next time.
The Build Your Own Burger
(Onion Strings, Roasted Peppers, Banana Peppers, Sauteed Mushrooms, Urban Sauce)
The Build Your Own Turkey Burger
(Lettuce, Tomato, Jalapenos, Banana Peppers)
The Build Your Own Cheesburger
(Avocado, Red Onions, and Lettuce)
The Wild Bill
Now occasionally if someone sees me take a picture of the food they try to butter me up with a free dessert or something. This time, however, it was the irresistible charm of Jeff Schneider that led to a pair of free Pecan Brittle Milk Shakes. They were experimenting with them a bit, and we were happy to be guinea pigs. The brittle came in hefty chunks, and it was an excellent way to finish off the meal.
He will haunt your dreams!
The Pecan Brittle Milk Shake
I feel like when I was growing up, for the most part when I got a burger it was at some restaurant with lots of options and just very good burgers. Now there's clearly a blooming trend in the city of places that exclusively do burgers. It almost makes you feel like you can't get a regular burger at any other kind of restaurant. Well Burger Bar is no exception to this trend, and accordingly they're cranking out some excellent burgers with a variety of toppings from the pure to the practically insane (not that they're putting mac n cheese waffles on anything like The Fifty/50). I'm giving Burger Bar 4 out of 5 Pearls.