Edzo's Single with Cheese ($3.59)
The day was started with this griddled burger from Edzo's in Evanston. George Motz ordered the burger with caramelized onion, pickle, and American cheese. I had no real choice but to follow suit. The burger was incredibly well seared, the bun toasted, the cheese melted, the onions sweet, and the pickles crisp. A fantastic start to the day.
Burger Maker Meets the Burger Evangelist
Eddie Lakin, the owner of Edzo's, chatted with George Motz about the inspiration behind the burger joint. The two had never met, but Lakin admitted to using Hamburger America as a resource before opening.
This Lettuce Entertain You burger joint has been sprouting up in various location around River North and the Loop for a while now, but this location in Water Tower Place just opened a week ago. Compared to the minuscule first few locations, this one is absolutely gigantic.
Behind the scenes
I was initially kind of surprised by this pick. While I've always been a big fan, I was intrigued why Motz would be so into it. Turns out, before it opened, M Burger spent a lot of time talking with Motz about burger basics. Motz's advice was to keep it simple and do the little things right. Each burger gets a great sear on the griddle. It's so fast that M Burger had issues with melting the cheese. So each slice is honestly placed on the griddle for a few seconds before being placed on the burger. (I am obviously upset I didn't get a picture of this.)
Single M Burger ($3.29)
George Motz takes a picture of the signature M Burger wrapped up in paper.
Top Notch Beefburgers
Though located in Beverly, Top Notch Beefburgers feels a world away from M Burger in the Gold Coast. (It is, in fact, about 16 miles away.) Motz ordered a King Size with caramelized onions and cheese ($5). As always, it was pretty awesome.
Top Notch Beefburgers
2116 West 95th Street, Chicago, IL 60643 (map)
Top Notch's Patty Melt ($4.15)
But I had learned something from my last visit to Top Notch. On a crazy food tour with Ed, Carey, and Robyn—in town researching for the Serious Eats Book—we stumbled upon the patty melt. Featuring toasted rye bread, loads of cheese, one patty, and loads of butter, it was an unexpected hit. Turns out it was actually better than I remembered. Though, once again, I forgot to specify Swiss cheese. Oh well, I guess I have another excuse to make the trek down.