Every single food recommendation from friends who have been to Chicago has told us to eat in or around the Fulton Market District. It’s where Alinea, Blackbird, Girl & the Goat, Duck Duck Goat, Sawada Coffee and Green Street Smoked Meats all intermingle within Soho House’s range, and just a quick ride westward on the El’s Pink or Green line from the Loop. Too bad the wait for some of these places aren’t as easy as hopping on the El! So, here’s a little tip for you – download the nowait app and when you’re within a 5-mile radius of the restaurant, you’ll be able to add your name to waitlist. Some places like you to check-in in person as was the case with Au Cheval but the 60-minute wait on a Sunday evening wasn’t so bad compared to the hours of waiting most people encounter (up to three).
After checking-in, we tried to grab drinks to bring to the outdoor standing bar shared with other hanxious (hungry-anxious) carnivores, but after a few minutes of getting the runaround from the bar and wait staff to: “Order here, oh no I mean someone will come up to you.”, we gave up on pre-dinner drinks at Au Cheval. Fortunately, Lone Wolf is right next door, a dimly-lit bar with tufted booths and a big bar with big cajones to serve you a $16-18 old-fashioned and $4-6 hot dogs. Good thing they have other offerings from awesome Chicago breweries for us parched plebes while we wait for 45 more minutes until burger time with 28 parties ahead of us.
rounds of cocktails Pokemon were caught while we luxuriated in our enormous booth and sipped our canned beer into some fine mock lead crystal glasses. The crowd was a mixture of bartenders and people getting sloshed while waiting for their table next door. As soon as we finished our brewskis I receive a text that our table was ready and we were off! We were seated at the counter right in front of the chef who was in charge of the bacon, roasted marrow bones, bratwurst and other non-burger foods. It smelled heavenly and we got a great view of the hard-working crew.
We both ordered a single cheeseburger (2 patties/10.95 usd) with thick-cut bacon (3.95 usd), root beer on draught (3.00 usd) and shared a side of fries with aioli (5.95 usd). Witnessing two rounds of burgers getting made became a hangry game of, “Is that mine?” with eyes wide open and mouth salivating. Slap, slap, slap down the beef patties, toast the buns under the salamander, flip and cheese the patties x2, swap the buns, and put it all together with a final squirt of that secret sauce we all know the ingredients of but can’t really make. Into my mouth hole the bacon cheeseburger goes! I look at Jon while I chew and we both grin like fat
We do regret ordering the fries – it tasted fine but we ran out of stomach space. The burger never fell apart even when I handed the last two bites over to Jon. The cheese hugged the patty like they were BFFs for life and was never messy or overwhelming. The bacon was thick and you can bite through it along with the rest of the burger and it wasn’t hanging out like a messy bessy. The aioli was so creamy, my fries scooped it out like tiny bites of ice cream (mayo is my ketchup). Happy we were until the last bite!