For those of you who aren't familiar with our mission, www.ChicagoBurgerBible.com seeks to identify the city's best burgers with our growing list of burger reviews and rankings just reaching 85! We are the most knowledgeable resource for Chicago's burger game because nobody has eaten and documented nearly as many burgers as we have. Since we've heard a lot of praise about some newer burger establishments in the city, we dedicated a few of our recent "meatings" to exploring two of them: Butcher & The Burger and Three Aces. Check back to www.ChicagoBurgerBible.com regularly because a handful of new reviews are in the works.
Butcher & The Burger
As proponents of Duchamp's burger, our taste buds have eagerly awaited Butcher & The Burger, an establishment headed by Duchamp's chef, Allen Sternweiler. Duchamp offers one delicious burger option, the "Duchamp Havarti Cheese Burger," and elaborating on their sound burger fundamentals with "B&B" seemed like a recipe for success.
B&B offers a variety of options for every aspect of their burgers. Patrons are given the choice of bun type (wheat, pretzel, croissant, lettuce, or split top egg butter), patty (several beef blends, pork, turkey, vegan veggie, portobello, salmon, steak, elk, fish), patty seasonings, toppings, and "extra" (extra $$$) toppings. This offers a great variety to the customer, but their focus on providing a myriad of options seemed to limit perfecting the quality of some.
Our patties were a comfortable size, large enough to fill the appetite but not ½ lb gut bombs. Our beef burgers were seasoned with "Chicago Steakhouse Greek" and "Grandma's Onion Soup" while topped with a handful of the usual suspects. Both seasonings and the toppings were pretty good, but none of them really stood out to us. We also complemented a turkey burger with "Curry-Coconut Creek Bottom Game Mix" and a handful of spicy toppings to match the theme, which came together nicely. Pretzel, wheat, and split top egg butter buns held our orders together, and again all were good but nothing superb. The fries were an enigma- one serving was crispy, soft and very tasty. The other serving was soggy, overly white in color, and just not that good. We believe the good serving was more representative of what to expect.
Overall, we were satisfied with our experience at Butcher & The Burger. It's not competitive with the city's best burgers, but it's still worth a trip. There was a decently long wait to eat there and a shortage of dine-in seats available. Neither of these issues affects a burger's quality, but hopefully they will address them as they sharpen their operation.
If we hadn't visited Three Aces on a burger mission, we would have spent a long time trying to decide which of their tantalizing dishes to order. But since we were there to critique the reputable burger and there was just one burger option, it made tonight's ordering process civil. Three Aces is a dive bar with a great beer list and an eclectic menu offering pastas, pizzas, mussels, and a handful of bar dishes, and snacks (duck fat chips, Bolognese fries, etc.).
High praise on "Check, Please!" and a few tips from our followers made us hopeful that The Ace Burger would be worth its $13 price tag and the trek to Little Italy. The burger was topped with aged cheddar, bacon jam, aioli, garlic and hops pickles, spinach, and onion. Although all of these toppings sound sexy, none added enough flavor to distinguish the burger. The patty was a heavy, quality piece of meat. Its flavor was subtle, but even with the aiolis and bacon jam it wasn't enough to drop our jaws (well, any more than necessary for the sizeable burger).
The highlight of the meal was definitely our side of Bolognese fries (what we came to describe as an Italian version of poutine). The Bolognese sauce was thick, meaty, and a great addition to the fries. These fries were much better than the duck fat chips, which did little to impress us as they tasted minimally different than a bag of greasy potato chips.
"The Great Burgerelli" loved it, but he hasn't eaten many burgers. He also prefers his mama's pasta when dining in Little Italy and is just a bad, bad man. Three Aces is worth a visit if you find yourself in Little Italy, but it's probably not worth going out of your way.