Sunday, March 20, 2016


Sometimes you just want a burger.  If it's a good and unusual burger, all the better.  I had heard of BopnGrill a few years ago when it opened and it sounded pretty interesting, a burger place run by a Korean family featuring Korean flavors.  I didn't remember having anything planned for the weekend, so I decided that one of the things that I was going to do was to make a point to get to BopnGrill.  It's located in Rogers Park which is in the Northeast corner of Chicago, so while it isn't phenomenally far, it's more than just biking to the corner so it takes a little planning.  I realized later that I actually had some theater tickets at the time that I was planning to go to to Bopngrill so I wrote off that trip and started looking around the theater to see where I might be able to grab some food before the show.  I was happy and surprised to discover that BopnGrill had recently opened a new shop close to the theater that I was going to, so the trip to BopnGrill was back on.  The space itself doesn't really look like much more than any other hot dog/burger/taco/gyro joint around town.  It's a small counter service place with a grill in back, a tile floor, cheap dining furniture, and a counter facing the window.  It's only when you look at the menu that you get an idea that it might be something other than your standard burger joint.  Other than their Signature Burgers, they also feature Bop Plates that have Rice, a Side Salad, and Kimchi with a variety of proteins including Bulkogi (Korean BBQ Beef, BBQ Chicken, Tofu) or even Bi Bim Bop which includes Vegetables, Chili Sauce, and a Fried Egg.  While several of the Bop Plates sounded good, I decided to go with their namesake burger.  BopnGrill has been widely recognized as having some of the best burgers in Chicago, so I figured, if I was going to go, I should try one of these great burgers.  The bNg Burger came with Lettuce and Tomato, like every other burger in the city, Thousand Island Dressing, which wanders into Big Mac territory, and Jalapeno, American Cheese, Caramelized Onions, Bacon, and a Fried Egg, which brought the burger into solidly interesting territory.  The beef used was very good and the flavors used with it made it very good.  The egg was sunnyside up, so it was good to break the yolk before trying to eat it, unless you weren't bothered about wearing egg yolk.  It had some sweetness, savory flavors, some tartness, and just enough spiciness.  There were bottles of Sriracha available for those people that didn't think it was spicy enough.  I did add some Sriracha to part of my burger and while it did make it spicier, and was still good, I will not necessarily say that it improved it much.
A standard side with a burger would be fries, so of course, I had to have some fries.  In addition to the standard fries, they also had Cheddar Fries and Bacon Cheddar Fries, which are also fairly standard, but they also had Kimchi Fries.  This was a pretty different idea, so I had to try them.  The first thing that I will say is that the fries themselves were very good.  They were very crisp on the outside and soft on the inside like Belgian Frites and were well salted.  They were topped with Kimchi which was sour and spicy, and also with Scallions, Bacon, and Cheddar Cheese Sauce.  It had a variety of flavors including spicy, sour, and salty, and while you could pick at the outside of it with your fingers, a fork was helpful to finish it.

I really enjoyed what I had here.  It was good and interesting and would definitely keep me coming back, but there are several other things on the menu that I have not yet tried that I will definitely have to return for.  

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