Having heard lots of good things about the burgers at The Bad Apple in Chicago, we decided to finally make our way over there this weekend. The Bad Apple is located on Lincoln a block south of Montrose. When we arrived at the restaurant/bar we were greeted happily by the very first parking spot on the street, although if you’re worried about the street parking, don’t be, there was plenty.
The first thing we noticed when pulling up was that the place was packed! Celeste went in ahead of Nick and I to put our name down while we walked back to find a parking pay station. When we got back to the restaurant Celeste informed us that it would be about an hour wait, but we had nothing else to do so we decided to stick it out. We ended up lucking out and stole some seats at the bar once another couple had left, so we didn’t have to stand the whole time. The only issue with sitting right at the bar was that a huge group of people decided to show up after us, and the group was so large they couldn’t close the door… so we were freezing. But either way, we had seats where we could comfortably order drinks from.
After having too many drinks the night before, and waking up with a terrible headache, I decided to keep it simple. I went with the Tieton Cider that they had on draught, Celeste had some fruity looking beer thing I’d never seen before, and Nick and an oatmeal stout that looked so thick and dark it could have been a meal in itself. The Tieton Cider was “ok”, I like my ciders a little more on the sweet side than the dry side, and this one was pretty dry for me. That of course didn’t stop me from ordering another one when we sat down, but I was thirsty and too lazy to dig through their enormous beer list to find something else.
It only took about 40 minutes or so before our table was ready, but by that time we were definitely ready to eat. I knew the burgers were going to be a little “different” than I’m used to (meaning none of the burgers were just straight meat and cheese), but I told myself I would find something that I thought I’d like, and just order it as-is… that wasn’t a problem. As soon as we opened the menu I scanned around to find foods I knew I liked… eggs, cheese, breakfast… all of those words jumped out at me immediately and I knew what I was going to order. The “Easy Like Sunday Morning” Burger consists of a burger topped with a house made breakfast sausage patty, bacon, fried egg and white cheddar cheese; all things I enjoy separately, so they had to be delicious when combined. Celeste went with the “Never Better”, which is Pickle, Onions cooked in dry aged beef fat, and swiss cheese, along with a side of brussels sprouts. And after deciding that he would go with whatever the waitress said was good, Nick ended up with the “Grizzly Adams”, a burger topped with braised short rib, caramelized onion, and an ale, stone ground mustard, jalapeño and sharp cheddar sauce on a pretzel bun. You also get to choose what seasoning you want on your fries; I chose minced garlic, nick got chipotle and I think Celeste got truffle. Mine were delicious, but I didn’t try anyone else’s.
When the burgers finally came I think we were all pretty impressed. My burger had a sunny side up egg beaming at me from atop a blanket of straight meat. My burger was like heaven and hell wrapped into one… a delicious, delicious hell. The egg sitting there, smiling at you with all its glory, waiting for you to cut into it so it can ooze all over the heart attack waiting below it. It was the ray of sunshine masking the dark cave of meat that lay below it. As I cut the burger in half to unleash the gooeyness onto the meat, I couldn’t wait to get it into my mouth. Yes, I was actually kind of excited to see what this thing tasted like. Upon first bite the thing that stood out to me the most was the flavor of the breakfast sausage patty. Yeah, the burger itself was pretty good, but there was just something about the breakfast sausage that caught my attention. I think it’s cause I’m used to having a burger with bacon on it, so the addition of the sausage just added that slight difference that made me stop for a second. Was it the best burger I’ve ever had… probably not, but would I go back and order it again… absolutely. We all enjoyed the burgers that we ordered, or at least I’m assuming we did considering everyone ate all of theirs.
So as I said, not the best burger I’ve ever eaten in my life, but it’s up there, and we’d definitely go back again to try some of their other offerings. The restaurant itself is pretty cool on the inside too, the bar area can get a bit crowded on a Saturday night, but that’s to be expected, and the wait for a table could have been a lot worse, so no complaints there. And on top of that all of the staff was very friendly and helpful, so really, I have no complaints at all about this place. Hell, I was even surprised at how much the bill was for 3 people in the end… So seriously, no complaints. If you’re looking for a good burger in the North Center area, check out The Bad Apple.