Since moving to Morton Grove about a year ago, we still haven’t ventured out and tried that many restaurants within the city limits. We’ve been to Pequod’s in Chicago a bunch of times, but still have yet to try the Morton Grove location. And as terrible as it is, we still have yet to try Burt’s Place, but we’ll get there… don’t worry.

On this particular night though, we decided on burgers for dinner, and instead of our usual venture out to Culver’s or Portillo’s, we decided to give Boba Burger a try.

I had never even heard of Boba Burger until my wife brought it up, but I’m always down to try a new burger joint, especially when it’s so close to home. Boba Burger is tucked back inside of the Classic Bowl off of Waukegan/Caldwell in Morton Grove. And when I say “tucked back” it’s not really hidden within the bowling alley (you can see it from the road), but you have to go into the bowling alley in order to get into the restaurant, but it’s literally just a few steps inside the doors.

The restaurant space is pretty much what I was expecting. It’s not super small, but it’s not sprawling either. There are plenty of seats if you wanted to go in and have a burger in the restaurant. When I went in, it was pretty empty in the actual restaurant, but I did see a number of people coming in to order food and then take it out in the bowling area.

Even though the space isn’t super small, I still wouldn’t say it’s great for a large party of people. But it should be enough room for a group of 4-5 to comfortably have a place to eat. I think there were 6-7 tables spread about, if I remember correctly (I could be wrong). On this particular night though, I was just picking up our burgers to bring home to eat.

Oh, and I apologize, I took absolutely no pictures of the food. So if you’re looking for pictures of the food, just head over to their Yelp page.

Burgers, Chicken Tenders, Fries, Thai Iced Tea

The Boba Burger menu may seem pretty generic at first when you see that they basically have burgers, hot dogs, and fries, but upon closer inspection you’ll see that the burgers and hot dogs aren’t quite as they seem.

Sure, you can be lame and get just a plain bacon cheeseburger like I did, but most people would opt for one of their speciality burgers instead.

The speciality burgers are definitely Asian inspired. You’ll find things like kimchi, kalbi glazed bacon, and lechon as toppings on different burgers. And yes, they are probably pretty delicious, but for my first time here I wanted to see how the burger itself was, with nothing special to mask the flavor of the beef.

My cheeseburger was super basic. I got a Boba Burger which consists of a 5 oz. beef patty w/ cheese (American, Pepperjack, or cheddar), lettuce, tomato, grilled onions, and mustard. But of course, that’s not what I got on mine. Mine consisted of a 5 oz. beef patty w/ American cheese, bacon, ketchup and mustard.

I can’t eat tomato or onions, so those were off the list, so I decided to substitute bacon instead. I should have probably gotten a fried egg and/or a mozzarella stick, added to the top as well, but there’s always next time.

The burger itself though was delicious. A lot of these burger places these days are serving up super thin 4 oz. patty’s (usually a double), but Boba goes for the 5 oz. and doesn’t smash it down on the griddle like those other places. This made the burger very juicy, and the perfect size with the combination of toppings.

I would definitely go back for a burger again… but maybe not some of our other choices.

Hawaiian Burger

My wife is way more adventurous than I am, so she went with the Hawaiian Burger which consists of a 5 oz. beef patty w/ cheese, teriyaki glazed pineapple, fried spam, sriracha aioli, lettuce and tomato… without the pineapple though. Kind of defeats the point if you ask me, but I think she really wanted the spam (she loves spam).

She thought her burger was really good and said she would definitely go back for the burger itself. She also go the Thai Iced Tea, which she seemed to enjoy as well.

Now for the not so good…

I thought the french fries were decent, but I wasn’t a huge fan of the cheese they used for cheese fries. I would much rather pay a little extra for some Merkt’s cheddar melted on top of my fries, or something other than just a nacho cheese sauce, but unfortunately that’s what we got at Boba Burger. I actually kind of reminded me of Shake Shack’s cheese sauce for its fries… which I also don’t really care for.

I would get the fries again, but I think I’d steer clear of the cheese sauce and instead just go with good old fashioned ketchup the next time around.

Now, the wife and I both got burgers, but usually it’s a giant waste of money to get a burger for a 3 year old, so we usually end up getting her chicken tenders, which is what we opted for on this occasion…. and it was a mistake.

I wouldn’t say they were bad, but they weren’t really what we were expecting. I will say though, for $4 you get like 8 chicken tenders, which is a steal, however the chicken tenders were extremely flat, which made them a little tough, and they were breaded in something that was a little spicy.

And when I say a little spicy, I had no problem with the spice, but the kid was having none of it. And, in addition to the slight spiciness of the breading, there was some other weird seasoning going on that I couldn’t put my finger on, but I know I didn’t want to eat them and we ended up just throwing them away and making the kid some homemade chicken nuggets, which is fine.

I wasn’t too upset about it cause, as I said, they were $4 and we had never been there before, so now we know. But I thought the choice of seasoning and the flatness of the chicken tenders was weird. And I know it’s not just me in this case, since my wife (who loves everything) also didn’t care for them.

With that being said, we’re still absolutely going to go back to Boba Burger and try out the other burgers on the menu. Being married to a Filipino woman, I think it’s only right that I give the BBQ Lechon Burger a try next time. It comes with a 5 oz. patty w/ cheese, lettuce, tomato, lechon, bbq sauce, and fried onion strings.

Obviously I’d have to leave off the onion strings and the tomato, but everything else sounds like it would be amazing. So we’ll definitely be back, but we’ll probably stay away from the chicken tenders and the cheese fries. Probably opt for mozzarella sticks and just a regular order of fries instead I’m thinking.

But if you’re looking for a solid burger in Morton Grove, definitely give Boba Burger a try. The burgers are good, the prices are right, and it’s conveniently located down the street from our house… can’t ask for anything more!

[image of Lechon Burgers above courtesy of Anthony T. on Yelp]

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