Monday, May 30, 2011
Burger Bar has been on my list since it opened about a year ago. The fact that a friend recommended it, it was National Burger Weekend, I had recently eaten at Kuma's Corner, and I was tired after having biked 80 miles. In theory, Burger Bar operates in the same class as Kuma's. They are essentially a beer bar that offers "gourmet" hamburgers so I will have to compare them. If I am going to compare the two, I will have to describe this place. Burger Bar is located in SoNo in the Clybourn Corridor. It's pretty big with a window wall along Clybourn. It also has cement floors and an unfinished industrial look. Two of the walls are chalkboards and the beer list and specials are written there and the music was alternative rock. There is a menu for the table (as well as a beer list that actually describes the beers) but the special is only on the wall so you have a place to look after the waitress tells you what it is. The burgers are about half a pound with some signature burgers and a build your own option. The prices are pretty comparable to Kuma's as well. The burger pictured was the special. The name wasn't phenomenally imaginative, The Memorial Day Burger. It is a half pound burger with white cheddar, smoked brisket, fried pickles, and cole slaw. The fries were homestyle truffle fries. It was as huge as it looks and I had a hard time getting my mouth around it. I was able to manage and it was very good. Now, the fact that there is no line is a big advantage. The beer lists are comparable but the fact that Burger Bar describes the beers is an advantage. While the list of burgers isn't as big as Kuma's, the build your own option is an advantage. The waffle fries that Kuma's used to make were really good and their homestyle fries are good but the fry options for the Burger Bar: homestyle, sweet potato fries, homemade chips, side salad, truffle fries for a $1 premium, and sweet potato tots for a $2 premium is an advantage. The burgers themselves are comparable but the pretzel roll at Kuma's is much better. Burger Bar is very good and it has some big advantages over Kuma's but I like the atmosphere, the pretzel roll, and the choices at Kuma's are better. If given a choice between Kuma's and Burger Bar, I would probably choose Kuma's but Burger Bar pulls a close second.