Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Gage

24 S. Michigan Ave, Chicago IL 60603

The Gage is a gastro-pub across from Grant Park. I ordered "The Regular" burger, medium rare with bacon and blue cheese. It was really good, and quite pink (almost but not quite cooked to the correct temperature.) My notes say, "quite good, though not in the running for BBE." That stands for Best Burger Ever, in case you were wondering.

The patty was pre-formed, but the meat was very tasty. They also had "The Gage" USDA prime burger on the menu, for an additional $6. The regular burger, was good, but the Gage was better-I stole a bite of someone else's. Higher quality beef just taste's better. I don't know if it was worth extra $6, but it was definitely good.

As for the accompaniments, the bun was fine, though a little too buttery, and a little too big. I ate the whole burger, but left some bun on the plate. The fries were fine, and came with some sort of curry sauce. Enjoyable, but not memorable.

I doubt this is the best burger in the Windy City, but it is probably up there.


Washington DC

Disclaimer--I did not seek this one out. I was out in DC with my brother, Kevin, we'd had several beers, and no dinner, and I succumbed to a moment of weakness. I think there was a lot of nostalgia at play, since I was out with my brother, and we used to beg our parents to take us to Fuddruckers when we were kids.

So, I ordered my bacon cheddar burger medium rare. As I was waiting for it to come out, I started to get really worried. Looking around Fuddruckers in Dupont Circle or wherever we were, at 11pm on a Friday night, I all of a sudden realized I didn’t want my burger to come out that pink. I was praying they would mess the order up. Lesson learned—don’t order a burger medium rare if you are worried about the beef. Really, the lesson should be, just don’t order a burger.

In the end, the burger came out totally predictably mediocre. The bun was too buttery and overwhelming. But it actually wasn’t really a detractor, because the burger was so average. The beef was actually OK. Nothing to write home about, but better than I was expecting. And the patty was uniformly pink, all the way through, which was nice. Medium pink, not medium rare pink. I probably should have taken it off the bun, and then I would have been able to enjoy the burger more. Maybe. I don’t think I will be going back for another burger at Fuddruckers anytime soon. And I can’t really tell why Kevin still likes them so much…

The James's Gate

5 McBride St. Jamaica Plain MA 02130

I have to be honest, I was not all that impressed with this burger.

I ordered it medium rare, with cheddar. It came out way overdone. More like medium, medium well. The patty seemed almost pre-made, but not quite. The beef seemed like it could have been good, but there was so much pepper in there, it was hard to really tell. It made me question it, because I would only put that much ground pepper in a burger if I was trying to hide something. Overall, mediocre.

The fries, on the other hand, were delicious! Lots of fries cut from the actual potato, so you could see and taste the skin. If it's any indicator, I ate all the fries, even though I left some of the burger.

Bottomline, if this was my first burger here, I wouldn't go back, at least not for the burger. And it's worth noting, word on the street is that the burgers here have gone way downhill over the past couple of years. But, as a neighborhood bar, it is great. And as the burger at your neighborhood bar, it'll satisfy a craving if needed. I've had other burgers here. Never earth shattering, but definitely better. Not a burger to seek out, but not one you need to avoid, either.