Chicago Beer & Burgers

With the grandiose plan of craft beers and burgers, things were shaping up to be a noteworthy day.  May and I drove to Logan Square and walked on into Revolution Brewing.  They were busy, and we didn’t feel like waiting.  Some brisk walking and a short jog took us to the site of their actual brewing just in time to make a tour.  Things started out on the right foot with a citrus tinged IPA, and then we were led through the production & packing floors.  All was good, but we were ready to start sampling their offerings.  We tried the Rosa, Triple Fist, Fist City, and 1ZEnuf, with the Triple being our mutual favorite.  I’ve been assembling a collection of glassware from the different breweries I visit for my bachelor pad, so I snagged one from here, and then another from Half Acre Brewery, our next stop.IMG_0074IMG_0091

This brewery is certainly smaller than Revolution, but their Daisy Cutter IPA is a favorite of May’s.  Their smallest sizes are a larger 8 oz size for only 3 dollars, which makes sampling a bit more substantial – much better than the tiny sips most places offer up.  We opted for the Daisy Cutter of course, and also Akari, Vallejo IPA, and some 4 others whose names are not coming to me.  We reminisced back to our early days in Chicago, and then set out for dinner.  The artwork for each of the beer labels was consistent only in their absurdity.

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Not too far away was a burger restaurant I’d seen named as being one of the top 5 in the US.  I’m not much of a foodie, but this was the sort of meal I could get excited about.  We got there and were told it would be a 30 minute wait, and unlike most restaurants they weren’t overestimating the time.  We went to the dingiest saloon around to wait and order some brews on the lower end of the spectrum – ‘I’d recommend Special Import Lager, it’s neither special nor import’.  Sold!  We needed to reset our baseline flavor profile to as near zero as possible, so as to fully realize the dynamics of our upcoming burgers.

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We were finally seated in a haze of smoke coming off the nearby grill, and blaring heavy metal music.  I wouldn’t call it the ideal dining environment, but with such a reputation, they can do as they please.  45 minutes had passed, and May was on the verge of stepping out.  The smoke and her extreme hunger were both eroding her patience.  At just the last moment, these masters of suspense swooped in with our two glorious burgers.  I went with the Plague Burger.  Most burgers that claim to be spicy are no sweat, though this one left me panting.

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Our eyes grew enormous, and at this point we chose to pause any attempts at communication and just focus on our food.   May isn’t generally the biggest of eaters, and I can usually rely on getting to eat whatever she can’t.  We shared some bites back and forth, but I was impressed that she put that whole thing away.  May also earned a few respect points by ordering her burger medium rare.  This meal was the ultimate in umami, and by far the best burger that either of us could recall.  We’ve both come to enjoy how Chicago offers so much with which we can fill our weekends: food, fun, and whatever we’re in the mood for.

jaymaya

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