Umami Burger opened in Wicker Park. There spin, as it might be guessed, is to create especially umami burgers. In addition to the burger, ingredients such as truffles, parmesan cheese, bacon, tomatoes, and onions. Everything is served a la carte, so while you can get fries with your burger, you have to order them separately. While I did say that everything is a la carte, they do have a combo called the Trust Us Combo. It comes with a burger, fries, and a drink (beer or soda, depending on the combo you order), but you don't get to choose which burgers, fries, or drink you're getting. There were many things that looked good on the menu so I didn't think it was a big stretch to order it. The Fries were not quite thin enough to be called Shoestring Potatoes, but they were Thin Fries. Ordering them a la carte, you could get them as is or Umamified for an extra charge. The choices for Umamification were to be Truffled with Truffle Cheese and Truffle Salt, Smothered (Poutine Style) with Short Rib and Brown Gravy, Make 'Em Manly with Beer Cheese, Bacon, and Onion Strings, or Sloppy with Lentils, Mushrooms, Tomatoes, Crema, Cheddar, Jalapeno, and Onion Strings. With the Combo (or at least with my combo), I got plain fries. I was a little disappointed at first because, while I like fries, the Umamified Fries looked much better to me. With the fries though, came a bucket with dipping sauces and spoons to try them in. Featured in the sauces were their House Ketchup which had Soy and Jalapeno flavors in addition to the standard sweet tomatoes, a Hot and Spicy Sauce which was exactly that, a Garlic Ranch, and a Truffle Aioli. It was fun to try the separate flavors, but my favorites were the Ketchup and the Truffle Aioli.
While the burgers at Umami burger are good, they are kind of one note, focusing on umami to the neglect of everything else. As far as how they compare to the other burger bars in Chicago, they are not the best, but they are very definitely not the worst. I would return, but it isn't a place that I would make a special trip for.