Ladies Who Brunch

Tale of Two Burgers by Benjamin
July 1, 2010, 8:27 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized


Occassionally a craving begins to grow in the Ladies’ belly and we know that no one burger will be able to fill it. When that happens, it’s time to embark on a Burger Quest. Yesterday our quest took us to the brand new M Burger for lunch and old standby Moody’s Pub for dinner.

M Burger occupies a tiny space on Huron that was home not so long ago to the most luxurious dining space in town, the chef’s table at Tru. Now, the quick service M Burger kitchen abuts Tru’s prep space, making for some real cognitive dissonance.  After paying for our meal (about eight bucks for a double M burger and a chocolate shake) we stepped to the window to watch the brigade prepare for dinner service at true. While orders for burgers and fries were loudly called out on one side of the kitchen, an army of cooks in pressed whites worked in silence in the other, picking delicate herbs for bouquet garnie. We were amused to see a row of specially made glass serving pieces used for Tru’s signature dish, the caviar staircase, which at a cost of $250 is quite possibly the most expensive restaurant dish in town. We couldn’t help but wonder how Tru’s cooks, many of whom are probably working for free just for a chance to be close to cooking at this level, feel about sharing space with what is, for all intents and purposes, an especially boisterous McDonald’s franchise.

The food, unfortunately, did not deliver. While M burger seems to want to replicate the success of stripped down burger chains like In’N’Out and Five Guys, they fall far short of the mark.  The double “M” burger, two patties with bacon, lettuce, onion, cheese, and special sauce, was hastily assembled with an uneven distribution of ingredients.  The sandwich was far too salty, the combination of over-seasoned patties and nitrate-rich bacon overpowering any flavor from the veggies or sauce.  M Burger does earn points for its chocolate shake, which was thick without being sludgy and pleasantly rich.

An evening book club meeting took us to Edgewater, and we used the opportunity to try out Moody’s Pub, whose burgers and outdoor patio both receive frequents laudits on blogs and in outlets like Chicago Magazine and Time Out.  We can vouch for the patio, with it’s urban oasis vibe and gorgeous shade trees, but the burger alone is hardly worth a special trip.

Moody’s, which is after all a pub, offers pub burgers–pretty much the opposite end of the spectrum from M Burger’s thin, fast food patties.  We ordered the burger medium and it was cooked just right, but the meat was bland and somewhat dry, so perfect cooking couldn’t save it.  It wasn’t a bad burger by any means, but we couldn’t for the life of us figure out what made it any better than the thick burgers offered at any ” bar and grill” in town.

Two burger joints, two dissappointing burgers.  Any tips on where to get our next burger fix?