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Freshly ground burgers, fresh cut fries?

Freshly ground burgers, fresh cut fries?
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  • Freshly ground burgers, fresh cut fries?

    Post #1 - February 27th, 2009, 8:40 pm
    Post #1 - February 27th, 2009, 8:40 pm Post #1 - February 27th, 2009, 8:40 pm
    I did some searches, but it became way too cumbersome, so I'm starting a topic.

    I'm trying to compile a list of places quick-serve places that grind their own meat for burgers and also feature fresh-cut fries. I'm working on a project where those are going to be an important feature, and I'd like to see what else is out there--who's doing what well, what's being done badly, etc.

    I would like to humbly request the collective knowledge of the group; please list places anywhere in the chicagoland area. I'm happy to do some driving to chase these places down, especially if they come highly recommended.

    Not sit-down restaurants, though. Nothing with a waiter.

    Thanks!
    http://edzos.com/
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  • Post #2 - February 28th, 2009, 12:51 pm
    Post #2 - February 28th, 2009, 12:51 pm Post #2 - February 28th, 2009, 12:51 pm
    The meat at Charlie Beinlich's is ground fresh and delivered every morning from Lakeside Foods in Winnetka and it is outstanding making for a great burger. Unfortunately their FF have always been their achilles heel, definitely food service variety. Check out their website for pictures.

    Charlie Beinlich's Food and Tap
    290 Skokie Blvd
    Northbrook, IL 60062
  • Post #3 - February 28th, 2009, 1:23 pm
    Post #3 - February 28th, 2009, 1:23 pm Post #3 - February 28th, 2009, 1:23 pm
    There are several places around town that offer fresh-cut fries: just go to GNR Wiener and Still Champion and see the sacks of potatoes for yourself. In fact, I think many of the GNRsthat serve fries offer fresh-cut versions. Unfortunately, I don't know of places that are noted for both grinding their meat and cutting their own potatoes (doesn't Custom House grind their own burgers?)
  • Post #4 - February 28th, 2009, 3:10 pm
    Post #4 - February 28th, 2009, 3:10 pm Post #4 - February 28th, 2009, 3:10 pm
    Chicago is the land of the frozen hockey puck. Below the upscale bar level, fresh burgers are very difficult to find. No, that's not true, they're not hard to find. Just look for the sign that says "Wendy's."
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  • Post #5 - February 28th, 2009, 3:30 pm
    Post #5 - February 28th, 2009, 3:30 pm Post #5 - February 28th, 2009, 3:30 pm
    That's-A-Burger has traditionally ground its own steak, but I'm not sure about the fries. I'm also not 100% positive that with the economy these smaller joints haven't resorted to bulk ground, but can guarantee they're still hand-forming the patties.

    2134 E 71ST St
    Chicago, IL 60649-2116
    Phone: (773) 493-2080

    Goldyburger in Forest Park also claimed to grind down its own beef back in the heady burger-ranking fad days, I just dislike the end result, and there's no chance in hell they're cutting their own fries.

    7316 Circle Avenue
    (between Belvidere Ave & Franklin St)
    Forest Park, IL 60130

    Five Guys comes close for a chain, with handformed patties and handcut fries (I suppose you could quibble with WHERE these are handformed and handcut), but no beef is being ground on premises.

    Mike and Michele have a key insight - steakhouses. House-ground beef, and a few may be cutting fries (especially if you count house/homestyle fries).

    The best unsung burger in the city IMO is still Duke of Perth.
  • Post #6 - February 28th, 2009, 4:48 pm
    Post #6 - February 28th, 2009, 4:48 pm Post #6 - February 28th, 2009, 4:48 pm
    TAB cuts potatoes into fries when you order, in my observation.
  • Post #7 - February 28th, 2009, 4:58 pm
    Post #7 - February 28th, 2009, 4:58 pm Post #7 - February 28th, 2009, 4:58 pm
    Top Notch in Beverly grinds their own meat and has awesome fresh cut fries. Sadly the Top Notch in Oak Lawn has gone downhill big time the last year or so. The burgers taste like cafeteria burgers and have that pre-formed look and they smell terrible also. Blah...

    http://www.topnotchbeverly.com/
    Hot Dogs, Hamburgers, Spaghetti and Meatballs! (Beauregard Burnside III)
  • Post #8 - February 28th, 2009, 6:52 pm
    Post #8 - February 28th, 2009, 6:52 pm Post #8 - February 28th, 2009, 6:52 pm
    thanks. looks like i'm going to have to take a field trip to the south side.
  • Post #9 - February 28th, 2009, 10:12 pm
    Post #9 - February 28th, 2009, 10:12 pm Post #9 - February 28th, 2009, 10:12 pm
    Yeah, I don't think you can avoid the south side.

    I'm not at all sure that That's-A-Burger (see here and here) grinds their own meat but it's still a very good place. Aren't both Beinlich's and Goldyburgers sit-down restaurants/bars? Top Notch Beefburger Shop (see here) is also sit-down but they definitely grind their own beef and cook the fries in beef suet. Does counter service (sit on spinning stools) disqualify a place?

    Another good one on the south side is Hand-Burgers (see here and here). Not sure if they grind the meat there but the burgers are hand formed (I suppose you already guessed that) and the fries are fresh-cut.

    Is Connie's Place (see here) still around? The "Home of the Chunky Burger" is another one similar to That's-A-Burger and Hand-Burgers (but not as good). I'm not sure about the beef and potato status but it's possible they're fresh.

    I think you might be a little late for Wonderburger (see here and here), a 55-year-old southsider. They used to grind meat daily but I have a feeling that's a thing of the past. They still make fresh-cut curly fries though. You might want to call and find out what the burger situation is these days. Note that Wonderburger has counter service.
  • Post #10 - March 1st, 2009, 8:17 am
    Post #10 - March 1st, 2009, 8:17 am Post #10 - March 1st, 2009, 8:17 am
    It's been several years since I've been to a Fuddruckers. Some seem to have closed, but I thought they ground their own.
  • Post #11 - March 1st, 2009, 8:26 am
    Post #11 - March 1st, 2009, 8:26 am Post #11 - March 1st, 2009, 8:26 am
    Cant speak for the fries but Select Cut Steakhouse has their butcher shop next door and they grind their own meat for the burgers.

    Select Cut
    2808 N Halsted St
    Chicago, IL 60657
    (773) 244-1500
  • Post #12 - March 1st, 2009, 8:27 am
    Post #12 - March 1st, 2009, 8:27 am Post #12 - March 1st, 2009, 8:27 am
    thanks, all, for the suggestions. i've made note of them and will try to get to as many as i can. keep 'em coming!
    http://edzos.com/
    Edzo's Evanston on Facebook or Twitter.

    Edzo's Lincoln Park on Facebook or Twitter.
  • Post #13 - March 1st, 2009, 9:21 am
    Post #13 - March 1st, 2009, 9:21 am Post #13 - March 1st, 2009, 9:21 am
    I have the carry out menu for Poochie's, which reads "fresh never frozen," and I assume that means the burgers. The fries are definitely hand cut.

    Poochie's
    3832 Dempster
    Skokie, IL
    (847) 673-0100
  • Post #14 - March 1st, 2009, 9:32 am
    Post #14 - March 1st, 2009, 9:32 am Post #14 - March 1st, 2009, 9:32 am
    Rene G wrote:Aren't both Beinlich's and Goldyburgers sit-down restaurants/bars?


    Beinlich's is a bar. It is a sit down restaurant too.
  • Post #15 - March 1st, 2009, 1:18 pm
    Post #15 - March 1st, 2009, 1:18 pm Post #15 - March 1st, 2009, 1:18 pm
    Da Beef wrote:Cant speak for the fries but Select Cut Steakhouse has their butcher shop next door and they grind their own meat for the burgers.

    Select Cut
    2808 N Halsted St
    Chicago, IL 60657
    (773) 244-1500


    Although Select Cut has waiters and I don't believe they have fresh cut fries.

    I've been to Select Cut twice and both times had to salt the burger. It really didn't have much taste.
  • Post #16 - March 1st, 2009, 2:08 pm
    Post #16 - March 1st, 2009, 2:08 pm Post #16 - March 1st, 2009, 2:08 pm
    Mhays wrote:There are several places around town that offer fresh-cut fries: just go to GNR Wiener and Still Champion and see the sacks of potatoes for yourself. In fact, I think many of the GNRsthat serve fries offer fresh-cut versions. Unfortunately, I don't know of places that are noted for both grinding their meat and cutting their own potatoes (doesn't Custom House grind their own burgers?)


    Yes, WASC definitely has fresh-cut fries, but you'd have go ask Gus if they fresh-grind their burger-meat too, I wouldnt know.

    However, I think its important to have fresh beef, yes.. but fresh-ground-on-premises is overrated IMHO. Ive had quite a few supposedly fresh-ground burgers that really were not much good at all. OTOH, fresh-cut fries are markedly different (and far far superior) to non-fresh-cut fries.

    Two of the best burgers fitting the above category in the Chicagoland area, IMHO, are Paradise Pup in Des Plaines and WASC in Evanston. I dont know if either is fresh-ground.. but they are better than most other burgers in the Chicagoland area, despite it all.

    I didnt know Top Notch had fresh-ground burgers - their burger, IMHO, is very good.. but not *quite* as good as Paradise Pup and WASC. For fries however, IMHO Top-Notch has *the* best fries in Chicagoland, bar none. I like WASC's fries a lot (maybe #2 for me), Ive tried Hot Doug's famous duck-fat-fries several times now.. IMHO, after trying them all, the best fry of them all is still Top-Notch when theyre on, fresh-cut, fried in beef-fat, crispy outside and creamy inside, near-perfect. Top-Notch has booths and a counter (like WASC, Paradise Pup or Hot Doug's), but does have servers unlike the others.

    c8w
  • Post #17 - March 1st, 2009, 2:18 pm
    Post #17 - March 1st, 2009, 2:18 pm Post #17 - March 1st, 2009, 2:18 pm
    c8w wrote:I didnt know Top Notch had fresh-ground burgers - their burger, IMHO, is very good.. but not *quite* as good as Paradise Pup and WASC.

    Well, we're talking about completely different styles here, so I'm not sure the comparison is meaningful. PP and WaSC are both Char burgers, Top Notch are cooked on the flat grill. I think they're all great. It pretty much comes down to mood, as to which is best at any given moment. :wink:

    =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 #18 - March 1st, 2009, 2:41 pm
    Post #18 - March 1st, 2009, 2:41 pm Post #18 - March 1st, 2009, 2:41 pm
    yeah, i like both styles as well, and am interested in trying all highly-recommended fresh-beef burgers, whether char-grilled or griddled.
    http://edzos.com/
    Edzo's Evanston on Facebook or Twitter.

    Edzo's Lincoln Park on Facebook or Twitter.
  • Post #19 - March 1st, 2009, 2:53 pm
    Post #19 - March 1st, 2009, 2:53 pm Post #19 - March 1st, 2009, 2:53 pm
    Patty's is another don't-miss place for both burgers and fresh-cut fries - it's my favorite burger, anywhere - bar none. I'm not sure of the burger-making process, but I'd be shocked if the burgers were anything but made-to-order.

    It's important to note that some places that serve skin-on fries aren't using fresh-cut ones: they come both frozen and pre-cut in water from the supplier. Being a fry snob, I notice the difference.

    After WASC, the most obvious place for fresh-cut fries is Hot Doug's, but they don't offer burgers...
  • Post #20 - March 1st, 2009, 3:45 pm
    Post #20 - March 1st, 2009, 3:45 pm Post #20 - March 1st, 2009, 3:45 pm
    This thread makes me sad that Kuma's doesn't have fresh cut fries anymore. :cry:
  • Post #21 - March 1st, 2009, 5:19 pm
    Post #21 - March 1st, 2009, 5:19 pm Post #21 - March 1st, 2009, 5:19 pm
    gtomaras wrote:This thread makes me sad that Kuma's doesn't have fresh cut fries anymore. :cry:


    They still have those awesome potato chips though
  • Post #22 - March 1st, 2009, 5:36 pm
    Post #22 - March 1st, 2009, 5:36 pm Post #22 - March 1st, 2009, 5:36 pm
    Mhays wrote:After WASC, the most obvious place for fresh-cut fries is Hot Doug's, but they don't offer burgers...


    Actually, to me anyway, the most obvious place for fresh cut fries are Jimmy's and Gene & Judes, neither of which serves burgers (fresh or any other kind).
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #23 - March 1st, 2009, 9:03 pm
    Post #23 - March 1st, 2009, 9:03 pm Post #23 - March 1st, 2009, 9:03 pm
    Patty's are clearly handformed on the premises, I've only had one, but given its shape, there's no other way it was made. I was apparently too stunned by the quality of the hamburger to be clear that the fries were fresh cut- I did notice that they were really delicious but my mind couldn't take in how great the burger was and still fully notice the fries, apparently. (This is a total testimony to the burger, because I am fanatic about freshcut fries, please tell me Patty's is open on Monday so that I can go and remedy my oversight with the fries tomorrow!) (Also, as I recall, I was running late to a meeting in Waukegan and wolfed the whole thing down a little too fast, what was I thinking.)
  • Post #24 - March 1st, 2009, 9:46 pm
    Post #24 - March 1st, 2009, 9:46 pm Post #24 - March 1st, 2009, 9:46 pm
    stevez wrote:
    Mhays wrote:After WASC, the most obvious place for fresh-cut fries is Hot Doug's, but they don't offer burgers...


    Actually, to me anyway, the most obvious place for fresh cut fries are Jimmy's and Gene & Judes, neither of which serves burgers (fresh or any other kind).


    Good call on Gene & Jude's. I know they (the fries) aren't your favorite, but this reminds me of Superdawg, which does cut its own fries, and also has burgers. F & M could tell you on the spot if they grind their beef or not. Tastes pretty damn good to me.
  • Post #25 - March 1st, 2009, 10:43 pm
    Post #25 - March 1st, 2009, 10:43 pm Post #25 - March 1st, 2009, 10:43 pm
    Judy H wrote: . . . please tell me Patty's is open on Monday so that I can go and remedy my oversight with the fries tomorrow!)

    Pretty sure they're closed on Mondays. Please, don't shoot the messenger. :(

    =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 #26 - March 2nd, 2009, 12:28 pm
    Post #26 - March 2nd, 2009, 12:28 pm Post #26 - March 2nd, 2009, 12:28 pm
    Yeah, you are right, and today is the only day I am in the area, so I am going to have to wait for the weekend... so sad. :(
  • Post #27 - March 2nd, 2009, 12:50 pm
    Post #27 - March 2nd, 2009, 12:50 pm Post #27 - March 2nd, 2009, 12:50 pm
    c8w wrote:Yes, WASC definitely has fresh-cut fries, but you'd have go ask Gus if they fresh-grind their burger-meat too, I wouldnt know.

    Gus uses fresh-ground burgers from a very good purveyor, but he doesn't grind the meat on premises.
  • Post #28 - March 3rd, 2009, 3:47 am
    Post #28 - March 3rd, 2009, 3:47 am Post #28 - March 3rd, 2009, 3:47 am
    Tonight, I thought I was going to grab a burger at Susie's, but opted instead for the place next door - Beef & Burger. The burger was fine (char burger is not my thing). The fries however were really great. Fresh cut big and perfectly cooked. If only they used beef tallow instead of Butcher Boy they'd take 1st prize.
  • Post #29 - March 5th, 2009, 12:07 pm
    Post #29 - March 5th, 2009, 12:07 pm Post #29 - March 5th, 2009, 12:07 pm
    I had lunch earlier this week with My Bride and her daughter at Heaven on Seven downtown and noticed they mentioned on the menu and the menu board that the burgers were fresh ground.

    Image
    Voodoo Burger Cooked perfectly medium rare.

    The seasoned fries were good but not fresh cut. Toppings were nice and fresh.

    Also I will second the vote for Patty's. Maybe the best burger I had this year!

    Image

    Heaven On Seven
    111 N Wabash Ave #700, Chicago
    (312) 263-6443

    Patty's Diner‎
    3358 Main St, Skokie
    (847) 675-4274‎
    "Very good... but not my favorite." ~ Johnny Depp as Roux the Gypsy in Chocolat
  • Post #30 - March 6th, 2009, 7:41 pm
    Post #30 - March 6th, 2009, 7:41 pm Post #30 - March 6th, 2009, 7:41 pm
    Rene G wrote:I'm not at all sure that That's-A-Burger grinds their own meat but it's still a very good place.


    Had a burger at TAB today that really blew me away- was tempted to post on "Best Thing You've Eaten Lately", but this thread has been in play, so here it is. I'm not a big burger guy, but my buddy and I were enroute to Spring World for the lunch special today with hangovers in tow, when he (a true burger enthusiast) suggested we may need a beefier and cheesier lunch. As this was a splendid day for a drive we headed south, although took a wrong turn and couldn't find any burger joints at Oakley and 71st. Hunger mounting, we traversed 71st to find a 25 minute wait at TAB. Worth the wait is was, even my partner was psyched, though slightly crabby and adverse to dining al trunko (he is very particular about his ketchup setup). The fries were good- apparently freshly cut, but not as crispy as also-had-this-week Jimmy's (BTW, their hot sauce is killer, homemade?)). This burger though, man, the best I've had in a long time. I'm in the camp of I guess what you'd call the 30's style- griddled crisp, kinda greezy, with minimal toppings. It was succulent and oozing with grilled onions and cheese. I think that the secret to a really good burger is an appropriate seasoning with salt and pepper, which really brings out the flavor of the fresh meat, and they nailed it. It was so well worth an hour+ of misadventure, a buddy road trip of sorts on a nice day, with such a juicy, indulgent treasure at the end of the journey!

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