Sunday, March 2, 2014

25° Restaurant

There are any number of bars and grill where you can get a burger.  Most of them aren't bad but most are also not memorable in any way.  There are a few places though that step things up and offer something more than the standard burger.  Kuma's Corner is the best of these but there are a few other places that do a good job offering there own take on gourmet burgers.  I went to 25° recently because I wanted a good burger and was looking for something new.  While technically a chain, there are four in the world, two are in Southern California and the other is in Bangkok, so I will give it a pass.  The burgers offered at the Chicago location are also slightly different than the other three.  The name 25° comes from the difference in temperature between medium rare and medium well.  The restaurant is located in River North and is actually kind of small considering its location.  It isn't too hard to find though, because it's painted black with a white 25° painted on it.  Inside, the space is dominated by the bar in the center of the room.  Seating is on all sides of the bar with tables on the outside of the room next to the red velvet walls.  There are several TV's in the room playing ESPN although I would not call it a sports bar vibe.  Lighting is from hanging lighting including two chandeliers inside the bar.  For food, the restaurant does four burgers with an option to build your own.  They also do a variety of hard floats, shakes and sodas.  What makes their burgers special besides their high quality meat is the wide variety of cheeses that are available.  They offer 15 different cheeses ranging from the standard American,  3 Cheddars, Mozzarella, and 2 Blues, to such things as Vella Toma, Grand Cru Gruyere Surchoix, and Cardona Goat Cheese.  The burgers are also put in a Brioche Bun.  For my burger, I ordered the creatively named Number One.  The Number One had (besides the ground sirloin and the Brioche Bun) Aderkasse Reserve Cheese (a soft, mild, pasteurized cow's milk blue cheese), Vella Toma Cheese (a soft slightly-ripened cow's milk cheese), Caramelized Onions, Bacon, Arugula, and Thousand Island Dressing.  This was a big, very good, and very flavorful burger with the onions, the blue cheese, the funk of the Aderkasse reserve all adding something.  The only thing I would say on the down side would be that it needed a little more bacon.  The bacon did add a textural element but the flavor was kind of lost with everything else.  It was a very good burger but with a little more bacon to bring the flavor out, it would have been much better.
 For sides, there are a lot of the bar and grill standard sides with standard and sweet potato fries, onion rings, chicken wings, and salads, but they also have spicy tuna, bacon wrapped dates, charcuterie and cheese, fritters, and tempura fried green and yellow beans.  I decided to go with the standard french fries which were well crisped and salty, but as far as taste was concerned, not that different from any other order of good french fries.  They were served in a container like a Chinese take-out box that was spilled over a long plate.  It was a good presentation that elevated the dish.

I finished things off with a Spiked Shake.  There were eight shakes on the menu that would have been good without the booze but the alcohol added something extra.  I ordered a Salty Caramel Shake which came with Makers Mark, Vanilla Ice Cream, Butterscotch, Red Hawaiian Sea Salt, and a lot of Whipped Cream.  This was very good, if a little dangerous.  It was easy to forget the alcohol.  It was sweet, salty, and buttery, and oaky, and a great finish to the meal. I enjoyed my meal and will definitely return to try more cheese and more shakes or floats.   

No comments:

Post a Comment