Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Western Burger - Poag Mahone's - Chicago, Il

 I'll get right to the point on this one. This was one stinking good burger! WOW!
So here's the story. Melissa recently took a new job down in the city and I was checking out the location on google maps. One of the nice things about google maps is that they show restaurants and banks and atm's and all kinds of things on their map. I saw that Poag Mahone's was about a block away from her new place. So with my usual curiosity I went to their website  to check out the menu. I could tell right away that this was my kind of joint. I figured that this would be a good place for her and I to do lunch someday, but to my surprise she wanted to go downtown and find her new building. An opportunity for dinner and a date.
So we took off walking to the train station in the early evening and caught the 6:40 to Chicago. The primary reason for this trip was to time it so that she could set her alarm clock for the right time. We needed to know the rail time and walking time, I had a stopwatch going for the majority of the trip.
I couldn't tell you the last time I was in the city in the evening. It's like sunsets were made just to light up the buildings and the river.
So we took our hike down Jackson for a few blocks and before we knew it we were there. Now it was time for a burger, but I didn't see the place where I thought it was. Now that is the disadvantage to Google maps. It doesn't always show the exact location of a place. We stopped in the building where I thought it was and talked to the guys at the desk. I figured I would start with a little small talk and complimented them on the super cold AC in the lobby. Well it turned out that one of the guys was the head engineer for that building. He saw that as a compliment. Nice. So it turns out the restaurant was around the corner and he offered to walk us there. On the way he explained to us the meaning of the name "Poag Mahone's". He said it was Gaelic for "Kiss my ass"! I was pretty sure at this point that I would like it there.
The restaurant is right there on Wells and every time the "EL" goes by you can feel the old wooden booth seats rattle. Kinda fun. This place draws a typical Chicago businessman, after hours crowd. The guys at the table were loud and obnoxious and they even cheered when their food came out, but thats the kind of atmosphere that makes a place like this. We put in our order and waited anxiously for our burgers.
So now the Burger.
They use 100% US grass fed beef and hand pack a half pounder. All burgers come with coleslaw (which was cool and creamy) and a very crunchy pickle spear. Melissa got a burger with mushrooms, grilled onions and thousand island dressing, while I went for my favorite. The Western Burger. This burger has cheddar cheese, sweet and rich BBQ sauce, and crispy onion strings on top. (you've heard it from me before, but I love this combo) A piece of lettuce and a slice of tomato also come with every burger. I ordered the burger medium well and thats how they cooked it. It had a nice crust on it, and was still very juicy. TONS of flavor! The BBQ sauce was sweet and tangy and stuck to everything while the onion strings added a nice bit of saltiness.  The bun was firm and toasted. It never showed a sign of getting soggy.
The price here is just right ($$). the only thing I didn't like were the fries. They're promoted as being "crispy" but were just average. That though shouldn't be enough not to go. Just don't get them.
As I said when I started, This was one stinking good burger. I would go back in a heartbeat, and with Melissa working nearby, I just might.

Friday, June 3, 2011

BBQ Bacon Burger - Falco's - Burr Ridge, Il

OK, I know, It's been a while. But it's been a busy month. Work has been crazy and I've been busy moving... but that doesn't mean that I haven't had time for a burger or two. I just haven't had time to write about them.
So my birthday was back on May 7th and being the birthday boy, I get to choose where we go for dinner. So I chose Falco's Pizzeria in Burr Ridge. Falco's has a great pizza with an awesomely flaky crust. If you order a hot dog, you automatically get fries with it.  They have a garlic bread with spinach and mozzarella cheese on it. I'm drooling, Hang on...
Now that I have that cleaned up, I can continue.
We went with my parents, my brothers family and my aunt and uncle's family. Unfortunately my in-laws couldn't make it.
Falco's is a fun place to eat. They have a very open atmosphere with big screen plasmas on the walls, always showing a few different games at the same time. They have all kinds of sports memorabilia and vintage albums (with covers) all over the walls. The owners are friendly and have a great sense of humor. At one point the owner was bring out a burger and he asked who had ordered the anchovy burger. We all kinda got quiet and thought "do they really have an anchovy burger? Gross!" He was all straight faced, but then quickly cracked a smile and started laughing.
So since I'm all about the burger, I decided to try the BBQ Bacon Burger. Now as I've said before, the BBQ bacon style of burger is my favorite. If we were to go out together and get a burger, you could probably order for me knowing that that is my favorite. This was a good one.  They start with a 1/2 slab of ground beef and grill it. The grilling gives it a strong charred taste. Reminiscent of outdoor, backyard grilling. They use a sweet and sticky BBQ sauce and then add mustard. You'd think that BBQ sauce and Yellow mustard wouldn't work, but they do. The mustard adds some bite to the sweet BBQ sauce. They give it a slice of American cheese, and then add a perfectly cooked smoked bacon chopped into large pieces. Finally you get lettuce, tomato and red onion (another favorite) to put on top. This is all placed on a soft sesame seed bun.
I think I had to use about eight napkins for this burger, but it was worth it. I do highly recommend this burger, but don't feel restricted to the burger only. Go ahead and try the sandwiches or the pizza. Even the salads are good.
So then, being that it was my birthday, my wife went and got me a desert. I highly recommend, can not express how delicious it is, get out and go try the chocolate chip cannoli. YUM!