Oh you know, after only a two (er…three?) year hiatus of doing this segment, I thought I would bring it back from the dead. FRIDAY FIRSTS! While I might not be doing something new every week (hey it is hard to balance work, life, and blog!) I still am trying to better myself and actually get out and do new things. I have been here in Chicago for two years and there is SO much to see, do, and of course EAT. So, I will be taking you on an adventure throughout Chicago, and more than likely it will involve lots and lots of food!
Chicago is definitely a foodie scene. Don’t be fooled by our deep dish pizza, hot dogs, and Italian beef (all amazing, byt the way!). There are lots of amazing restaurants, and if you get bad food in Chicago, something is definitely wrong. When I moved to the city after living in Hong Kong, I heard of some awesome burger places, such as Kuma’s Corner, DMK Burger, and of course Au Cheval.
Au Cheval has been on the top of my list for quite some time, but it is located kind of in the Near West Side neighborhood (800 W. Randolph Street) and I live on the northside of Chicago. Sure 4 miles isn’t a big deal, but with Chicago traffic that can take some time, so I tend to stay in my neck of the woods. Au Cheval is surrounded by some delicious and famous restaurants in this neighborhood, such as Girl and the Goat, The Aviary, and The Publican, to name a few. It’s is a small restaurant-diner often has a line out front, so it is hard to miss!
Au Cheval is a burger joint and best known for its burgers, but also offers a few tasty pre-burger snacks and egg dishes. Yes, that is right, egg dishes. As Au Cheval stays open until 1am Monday through Saturday, this is a great place top stop after some drinks. Egg dishes like hash and duck heart gravy, or frois gras and scrambled eggs are a bit hit at that time of night. I, of course, went in for the burger!
What’s fun about Au Cheval is it is an open kitchen, right behind the barm which means you can see and watch everything. I ordered the single cheeseburger with an egg, because I was told that I just HAD to order an egg on top (thanks Joseph!). Joseph got the cheeseburger with bacon. If you are expecting thin, crispy bacon on your burger, then Au Cheval is not your place. Instead, you will get a thick, beautiful slice of bacon, similar to English-style bacon. You can watch the chefs cooking lines of yummy bacon, eggs, and burgers while sipping on your cocktail.
As Au Cheval is a burger-making machine, we didn’t wait for our food very long and those 10 or so minutes we waited were SO worth it. I mean look at these beauties:
I tend to have an issue with thinking places or things will be overrated after people rave about them so much, like New York, San Francisco, Japan, etc. And until this point I thought burgers were just burgers. Well, Au Cheval did NOT disappoint. I don’t know what it is – the herbs and spices they use, the egg, the bun, but MAN was it good! I never trust a place where I don’t get to choose how I want my meat cooked, but Au Cheval has changed my mind! It is worth all the praise it has been given and I would definitely go back.
We snacked on some tasty fries and ended the meal with a root beer float, as they have their own root beer on draft. It was such a great way to spend a Friday in the summer and my mouth is already watering thinking about the next burger I get. I think this time I will definitely add the bacon!
The nitty-gritty with numbers:
- Single cheeseburger w/egg: $12:95
- Double cheeseburger w/bacon: $15.45
- French fries: $6.95
- Root beer float: $7.50