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  • Post #451 - August 27th, 2009, 10:13 am
    Post #451 - August 27th, 2009, 10:13 am Post #451 - August 27th, 2009, 10:13 am
    Mike G wrote:
    So I have a rare reason to be in NWI (Hammond, but we'll drive for food) on Saturday, and my wife is cravin' burgers. She's a big fan of Top Notch, so what's my best bet for a 30's to 50's style burger in the region? Johnsen's Blue Top? One of the Schoop's locations? Miner-Dunn?


    Yes, yes, and yes.

    Schoop's most consistent, least atmosphere (80s plain, kinda like the Byron's on Lawrence). Is there a Schoop's that has a more authentic atmosphere? There might be, I've only been to a couple of different ones.

    Johnsen's, most over the top classic atmosphere, 50s drive-in with a splash of Greek pimp living room. I'd probably go here just because it's such a total slice of its times.

    Miner-Dunn, a little seniorish feeling, and for me a notch below the other two, but certainly better than 97% of Chicago puckburgers. See notes in my old post about the relish issue (very wet relish which tends to soak your bun).

    I've tried one other place in that area, called Dari-Topper. Grody cheap-tasting beef, I took one bite and did a Pigmon and tossed it in the trash.


    There is no reason you couldn't visit all three. :)

    Often I am in this dilemma and will split a dinner with My bride just to get them all in.
    "Make Lunch, Not War" ~ Anon
  • Post #452 - August 27th, 2009, 10:35 am
    Post #452 - August 27th, 2009, 10:35 am Post #452 - August 27th, 2009, 10:35 am
    I agree with Panther's post. I wanted to like Johnson's more than the burger would let me on my 2 tries. Star Wars pinball machine is cool, though. Schoop's nails it every time, burger-wise.
  • Post #453 - August 27th, 2009, 10:47 am
    Post #453 - August 27th, 2009, 10:47 am Post #453 - August 27th, 2009, 10:47 am
    I think Panther's idea is best. Try all of them! :wink:
  • Post #454 - August 27th, 2009, 12:11 pm
    Post #454 - August 27th, 2009, 12:11 pm Post #454 - August 27th, 2009, 12:11 pm
    Mike G wrote:Is there a Schoop's that has a more authentic atmosphere? There might be, I've only been to a couple of different ones.


    The Schoop's on Ridge in Munster has a more 50's diner feel to it and the one on US41 in St. John has working mini-jukeboxes at all the booths. More ambiance than the Highland one, at least.

    Schoop's Hamburgers

    215 Ridge Road
    Munster, IN 46321

    9401 Wicker Ave
    St John, IN 46373
  • Post #455 - August 27th, 2009, 4:14 pm
    Post #455 - August 27th, 2009, 4:14 pm Post #455 - August 27th, 2009, 4:14 pm
    Does anyone know where in Chicago I can find a burger made with a "cheese skirt." Where they pile a ton of shredded cheese on the burger and it gets crispy on the flat top? I read about a place the other day, but can't remember the name of it or where I read it.
  • Post #456 - August 27th, 2009, 6:30 pm
    Post #456 - August 27th, 2009, 6:30 pm Post #456 - August 27th, 2009, 6:30 pm
    So why didn't Patty's Burger make the list? Please don't tell me because that she might be closing, we know that ain't happening.
    Why am I not shopping where Mrs. Hanson is shopping?
    Isn't Wishbone the greatest restaurant of all ?
    Hey some of my best friends are little diners.
  • Post #457 - August 27th, 2009, 6:39 pm
    Post #457 - August 27th, 2009, 6:39 pm Post #457 - August 27th, 2009, 6:39 pm
    foodmex wrote:So why didn't Patty's Burger make the list? Please don't tell me because that she might be closing, we know that ain't happening.


    Because at the time the list was created, Jeff Ruby thought the restaurant wouldn't be open at press time.

    dropkickjeffy wrote:Why no Patty's? Aaron Deacon wins the prize. I had heard rumors that the place was not long for this earth, and the last thing I wanted to do was anoint a place as one of the best only to see it close in the meantime. I'm glad I was wrong, and it's still open. I took a chance on That's-A-Burger, which was having problems with its landlord, and that has been nerve-wracking enough.


    Is that good enough?
    Ed Fisher
    my chicago food photos

    RIP LTH.
  • Post #458 - August 27th, 2009, 7:22 pm
    Post #458 - August 27th, 2009, 7:22 pm Post #458 - August 27th, 2009, 7:22 pm
    gleam wrote:
    foodmex wrote:So why didn't Patty's Burger make the list? Please don't tell me because that she might be closing, we know that ain't happening.


    Because at the time the list was created, Jeff Ruby thought the restaurant wouldn't be open at press time.

    dropkickjeffy wrote:Why no Patty's? Aaron Deacon wins the prize. I had heard rumors that the place was not long for this earth, and the last thing I wanted to do was anoint a place as one of the best only to see it close in the meantime. I'm glad I was wrong, and it's still open. I took a chance on That's-A-Burger, which was having problems with its landlord, and that has been nerve-wracking enough.


    Is that good enough?

    Didn't foodmex already acknowledge this in this post?

    foodmex wrote:Oh well, my conspiracy theory didn't materialize, not that I thought there ever was one. But they are fun.
    Till next time enjoy your burgers.

    =R=
    Gardening is a bloodsport --Meghan Kleeman

    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #459 - August 27th, 2009, 7:23 pm
    Post #459 - August 27th, 2009, 7:23 pm Post #459 - August 27th, 2009, 7:23 pm
    pigOut wrote:Does anyone know where in Chicago I can find a burger made with a "cheese skirt." Where they pile a ton of shredded cheese on the burger and it gets crispy on the flat top? I read about a place the other day, but can't remember the name of it or where I read it.

    The restaurant you're probably thinking of is Clutch, a new bar & grill in West Town. Here's the thread. If you go, be sure to let us know how it was. I've been meaning to get over there once a night where I can comfortably sit outside presents itself.
  • Post #460 - August 27th, 2009, 8:08 pm
    Post #460 - August 27th, 2009, 8:08 pm Post #460 - August 27th, 2009, 8:08 pm
    Good lookin out Geno...hopefully I can get out there soon.
  • Post #461 - August 27th, 2009, 8:12 pm
    Post #461 - August 27th, 2009, 8:12 pm Post #461 - August 27th, 2009, 8:12 pm
    ronnie_suburban wrote:Didn't foodmex already acknowledge this in this post?

    =R=


    I thought so, too, but now he/she is bringing it up again, like it's still some big unknown.
    Ed Fisher
    my chicago food photos

    RIP LTH.
  • Post #462 - August 27th, 2009, 8:19 pm
    Post #462 - August 27th, 2009, 8:19 pm Post #462 - August 27th, 2009, 8:19 pm
    gleam wrote:
    ronnie_suburban wrote:Didn't foodmex already acknowledge this in this post?

    =R=


    I thought so, too, but now he/she is bringing it up again, like it's still some big unknown.

    I'm with you, Ed. :?

    =R=
    Gardening is a bloodsport --Meghan Kleeman

    Why don't you take these profiteroles and put them up your shi'-ta-holes? --Jemaine & Bret

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #463 - August 27th, 2009, 9:23 pm
    Post #463 - August 27th, 2009, 9:23 pm Post #463 - August 27th, 2009, 9:23 pm
    The Schoop's on Ridge in Munster has a more 50's diner feel to it and the one on US41 in St. John has working mini-jukeboxes at all the booths. More ambiance than the Highland one, at least.


    Schoop's = Mickey burger, cheese fries, and a chocolate milkshake....make it happen 8)
    Fundamentals are a crutch for the talentless
  • Post #464 - August 28th, 2009, 7:28 am
    Post #464 - August 28th, 2009, 7:28 am Post #464 - August 28th, 2009, 7:28 am
    pasta pronto wrote:
    Schoop's = Mickey burger, cheese fries, and a chocolate milkshake....make it happen 8)


    Schoop's Mickey
    Image
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #465 - August 28th, 2009, 11:09 am
    Post #465 - August 28th, 2009, 11:09 am Post #465 - August 28th, 2009, 11:09 am
    gleam wrote:I thought so, too, but now he/she is bringing it up again, like it's still some big unknown.


    Groundhog Day?
    Objects in mirror appear to be losing.
  • Post #466 - August 30th, 2009, 7:30 pm
    Post #466 - August 30th, 2009, 7:30 pm Post #466 - August 30th, 2009, 7:30 pm
    Had most of 3 burgers yesterday along US 41 in NWI:

    First up:
    Mickey burger at Schoop's, Saint John, IN
    Image

    This was the best burger of the day, with a crispy exterior and moist interior.


    Next:
    Cabela's blazin' buffalo burger
    Image

    This is 8oz of bison, pepper jack cheese, deep fried jalapenos, and three applications of chipotle mayo. The bison actually got a decent crust on the outside from the griddle while remaining medium inside, but the bun disintegrated and the only real flavor the burger had was of chipotle mayo. I suspect that if I'd gotten one of the regular, smaller, beef burgers that it'd be pretty good.


    Finally:
    "Big Ben" burger at Johnsen's, Highland, IN
    Image

    The best atmosphere and the prettiest burger, but the edges were chewy, not crispy, and the patty was dry.

    The end result? I'm not convinced Schoop's burger is much better than Culver's, and I think Top Notch is considerably better, with a much richer, beefier taste. Great for a chain, though.
    Ed Fisher
    my chicago food photos

    RIP LTH.
  • Post #467 - August 31st, 2009, 5:09 am
    Post #467 - August 31st, 2009, 5:09 am Post #467 - August 31st, 2009, 5:09 am
    gleam wrote:The end result? I'm not convinced Schoop's burger is much better than Culver's, and I think Top Notch is considerably better, with a much richer, beefier taste. Great for a chain, though.

    Had a Culver's Butter Burger this weekend, I'd take your crisp edged Schoop's burger any day of the week.

    Culver'sButter Burger w/side of cheese curds

    Image

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    One minute to Wapner.
    Raymond Babbitt

    Low & Slow
  • Post #468 - August 31st, 2009, 7:30 am
    Post #468 - August 31st, 2009, 7:30 am Post #468 - August 31st, 2009, 7:30 am
    My feeling is that Culver's is much more variable than Schoop's. The one near Winnebago, IL is the standout in my experience, and I'd put its mastery of the smashed patty close to Schoop's. Others, they're like a better than usual Rally's. Overall, Schoop's is consistently better and truer to the old school paradigm; Culver's virtue is somewhat like In-N-Out's-- when you find yourself somewhere that you're only going to have fast food choices, if one of those choices is Culver's rather than all of them being Wendysbarrtacobellkfcsubway, you lucked out.
    Watch Sky Full of Bacon, the Chicago food HD podcast!
    New episode: Soil, Corn, Cows and Cheese
    Watch the Reader's James Beard Award-winning Key Ingredient here.
  • Post #469 - August 31st, 2009, 7:33 am
    Post #469 - August 31st, 2009, 7:33 am Post #469 - August 31st, 2009, 7:33 am
    That is a particularly sad butterburger, Gary. We mostly eat at the ones in northeastern wisconsin (on the way to/from Marquette, MI) and they very consistently have a nice crust and crispy edges.

    I'll put it this way: if I lived in Highland and had Schoop's and the Blue Top within a mile of me, I'd still drive the 25-30 minutes to get to Top Notch. But, for fast food, NWI is lucky to have it.

    edit:

    This looks more like what I'm used to getting from Culver's (not my pic):

    Culver's double butterburger by mellowynk
    Image
    Ed Fisher
    my chicago food photos

    RIP LTH.
  • Post #470 - August 31st, 2009, 8:12 am
    Post #470 - August 31st, 2009, 8:12 am Post #470 - August 31st, 2009, 8:12 am
    Image

    By the way, I went to Flub-A-Dub Chub the other day with the kids, one of the few places on Ruby's list that I didn't know. It's a little subterranean joint on Broadway presided over by an efficiently friendly grandma and turning out, well, a pretty damn good imitation of the Kuma’s burger. They have the pretzel roll, the egg on top (though it was cooked hard, which somewhat spoiled the effect) and a big slab of pretty good quality beef. I should be impressed (although the fact that it was cooked well was another drawback)… but after having consumed that huge thing for lunch, I felt like a man who’d swallowed an entire gopher. It was just too, too much. Give me, most of the time, the moderation of the 30s-style burger. Your mileage may vary.

    Flub a Dub Chub's
    3021 N Broadway
    Chicago, IL 60657
    (773) 857-6500
    Last edited by Mike G on August 31st, 2009, 8:22 am, edited 1 time in total.
    Watch Sky Full of Bacon, the Chicago food HD podcast!
    New episode: Soil, Corn, Cows and Cheese
    Watch the Reader's James Beard Award-winning Key Ingredient here.
  • Post #471 - August 31st, 2009, 8:20 am
    Post #471 - August 31st, 2009, 8:20 am Post #471 - August 31st, 2009, 8:20 am
    My Fondest Memory of Culvers
    Image

    Culvers isn't too bad for a chain. I've eaten there on occasion. Even Shakes the Clown loves it (just don't let any mimes in or there'll be an ass whoppin').
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #472 - August 31st, 2009, 8:24 am
    Post #472 - August 31st, 2009, 8:24 am Post #472 - August 31st, 2009, 8:24 am
    I can't stand Culvers, because they had the world's most annoying ad campaign several years ago. I still can't get that stupid, doofy dude dressed in a chicken suit out of my head, with his horrible chanting: "Chicken, chicken, chicken, chicken, chicken, chicken, chicken, chicken, CUSTARD. Chicken, chicken, chicken, chicken, chicken, chicken, chicken, chicken, CUSTARD. Chicken, chicken, chicken, chicken, chicken, chicken, chicken, chicken, CUSTARD. Chicken, chicken, chicken, chicken, chicken, chicken, chicken, chicken, CUSTARD. Chicken, chicken, chicken, chicken, chicken, chicken, chicken, chicken, CUSTARD. Chicken, chicken, chicken, chicken, chicken, chicken, chicken, chicken, CUSTARD."

    AAAAHHHHH. Make it stop!
    ...defended from strong temptations to social ambition by a still stronger taste for tripe and onions." Screwtape in The Screwtape Letters by CS Lewis

    Fuckerberg on Food
  • Post #473 - August 31st, 2009, 8:40 am
    Post #473 - August 31st, 2009, 8:40 am Post #473 - August 31st, 2009, 8:40 am
    stevez wrote:My Fondest Memory of Culvers
    Image





    An LTHforum gathering? :D
    Hors D'oeuvre: A ham sandwich cut into forty pieces.
    - Jack Benny
  • Post #474 - August 31st, 2009, 9:31 am
    Post #474 - August 31st, 2009, 9:31 am Post #474 - August 31st, 2009, 9:31 am
    The parents wanted to go to Hot Chocolate this past Friday evening, so it was an opportune time to try their burger for the first time. I'd estimate at least 1 of every 2 dishes served while we were there were burgers (and that's probably low-balling it), so it seems the Chicago Magazine Effect has begun. It was indeed an excellent burger - the best I've had in recent memory. Nice solid bun, flavorful patty served a perfect medium rare as requested. My lone complaint would be that the fried egg had broken before it ever reached me, and most of the yolky goodness was pooled on the plate next to the burger. Disappointing, and a bit surprising at Hot Chocolate's price point, but the burger was so darned good that I didn't mind after the first bite.
  • Post #475 - August 31st, 2009, 9:35 am
    Post #475 - August 31st, 2009, 9:35 am Post #475 - August 31st, 2009, 9:35 am
    Mike G wrote: the egg on top (though it was cooked hard, which somewhat spoiled the effect)


    We were at Flub a Dub's on Friday and had the same issue. Still a damn good burger though (and we got to watch a bunch of paternity test results on Maury Povich, which is really a priceless experience).
    -Josh

    I've started blogging about the Stuff I Eat
  • Post #476 - August 31st, 2009, 10:58 am
    Post #476 - August 31st, 2009, 10:58 am Post #476 - August 31st, 2009, 10:58 am
    G Wiv wrote:
    Image

    Enjoy,
    Gary


    Gary - WOW! that ain't right. I've never seen a burger so poorly prepared at Culvers. That looks like something out of a freezer. I'm not sure why you got shafted on your order or why it looks gray instead of brown, but give it another go. they consistently put out a great burger whenever I've gone to Culvers.
  • Post #477 - September 3rd, 2009, 7:31 pm
    Post #477 - September 3rd, 2009, 7:31 pm Post #477 - September 3rd, 2009, 7:31 pm
    I do think that billy Goat's may be a little too hyped but its still good in my book. As long as you order a triple with a fried egg on top and happen to love pickles on your burger like I do. You cant really beat the fact that you get to dress your own. Not a bad 30's style either. They also always taste better at the original location.

    Image
    Billy Goat's with fried egg
  • Post #478 - September 4th, 2009, 12:31 pm
    Post #478 - September 4th, 2009, 12:31 pm Post #478 - September 4th, 2009, 12:31 pm
    Had the Capital Grill burger yesterday for dinner (Rosemont location) and it was off the charts. I was told by the bartender that it would take a little time since they cut the meat for the burger per order. It was certainly offered some of the most juicy, beefy freshness I've ever had in a patty. It was thick withtout being absurd, and with a simple spicy mustard atop onions, pickles and tomatoes, the total package tested the limits of my gaping mouth. Cooked to a perfect medium rare, glorious rivulets of bloody beefy goodness ran down my chin and onto the plate at first bite.

    The onion rings were jumbo vidalia rings that were sweet, with heavy coating. They could be eaten with a knife and fork and I literally only ate 2 of them as they were so filling.

    Overall, this burger cracks my top 5 in Chitown, and will be a regular stop on my way home from work. Usually I'd go a block north and grab a ribeye sammy or a very good burger at GIbson's on River Rd, but I will make space for this offering.

    Ghazi top 5 Burgers in Chitown
    Paradise Pup
    Patty's Diner
    Capital Grill
    Kuma's
    Gibson's
  • Post #479 - October 26th, 2009, 5:26 pm
    Post #479 - October 26th, 2009, 5:26 pm Post #479 - October 26th, 2009, 5:26 pm
    jimswside wrote:I enjoy these "best of" lists, looks like a pretty good list IMHO with the exception of Capital Grille, and 5 Guys, I wouldn't have either on my list.

    Happened to be out by Yorktown just after the lunch hour and decided to try The Grille's Signature Cheeseburger.

    An “almost too big to wrap your hands around it” chopped sirloin burger blended with onion, smoked bacon and Havarti cheese. A toasted onion roll completes the journey from All-American Classic to all new sensation.


    Image

    Image

    Image

    Wow! There was a lot going on with this burger! between the onion, smoked bacon and Havarti cheese blended into the patty and the mountain of toppings (of which I had to eat half of to get it to fit) it was hard to find the taste of the meat. It was very juicy though and cooked a perfect medium rare with a very nice char. The homemade onion bun's outer skin did a great job of holding it all together. A healthy slathering of the aioli that was on the side added a nice additional touch but further masked.

    The fries were thin...

    Image

    ... with a nice crunch but were almost too firm. I have been on a 'fries with gravy' kick and was served a thickened au jus.

    A top level burger hidden by the garden. Next time I will leave the salad off.
    "Make Lunch, Not War" ~ Anon
  • Post #480 - October 26th, 2009, 5:52 pm
    Post #480 - October 26th, 2009, 5:52 pm Post #480 - October 26th, 2009, 5:52 pm
    Had a burger at The Depot American Diner last week that, while very basic, was prepared perfectly medium rare and tasted much better than I honestly thought such a simple burger could (tomato, onions, mustard - no cheese, bacon, fried egg, or any other toppings I've gotten increasingly used to). Definitely added to the rotation for my frequent DAD stops.

    Have a visit to Labriola in Oakbrook Terrace planned tomorrow to try the burger that's tempted me ever since the first picture showed up on this forum. Going with the parents though, and if it's too crowded in the evening we may have to audible, so fingers crossed.

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