On The Road: Burgerdelphia Eats Chicago

Whilst traveling to Chicago for work last week, I had two goals: to have a drink at the Signature Lounge on the 96th floor of the John Hancock Center per Laurence's recommendation, and more importantly, to eat the best burger in Chicago.

Known for steaks and deep-dish pizzas, there were no guarantees that the city's burger cuisine was even noteworthy, and finding the best non-steak beef in Chicago took some time. A few Google and Yelp searches yielded Rosebud Prime as the top candidate, a member of a chain of respected local steakhouses. Reviews were good, although not glowing, and there wasn't anything exceptional about their burger foray. Honestly, it sounded bland. That being said, the bill would be on the company dime, so I was wildly enthused to eat it. Free things taste better.

After checking into our hotel, my coworkers and I decided to grab lunch. Tavern at the Park is universally known the world over as the first restaurant we saw when we left the hotel, as good a reason as any for us to stop in. Hunkering down for lunch, all I could think of was slipping away for a romantic dinner-for-one at Rosebud Prime.

That's when I met Big Mike.

Two 5 oz. beef patties. Four strips of applewood bacon. Cheddar. Provolone. Tomato. Lettuce. Onion. Pickle. 1000 Island dressing. And a fried egg on top. My coworkers read the description, gaped, laughed, wondered aloud who would ever want to eat such a thing, asked why anyone would ever put it on a menu and what kind of person could possibly think ordering it was a good idea.

The Big Mike burger at Tavern at the Park

And here I had planned on getting a salad.

How was it? The best description of the meal came after I finished the 7" tall Frankenstein, when someone at the table said, "That was amazing. And almost disgusting." The burger is sick. It made me sick. Looking at it now is making me sick. I will be sick for the rest of my life. Later on, that same coworker told me, "You'll go down in history for that," which I now realize is a courteous way of saying, "You're going to die from eating that."

Completing my other objective was considerably easier.

A Manhattan in the Signature Lounge