Monday, December 30, 2013

Etno Village Grill

Location: 2580 N. Lincoln Ave., Chicago, IL 60614
Etno Village Grill on UrbanspoonEtno Village Grill on Foodio54
A Quick Word:
After driving by Etno Village Grill several times and always noticing that huge cow, I decided to buy the Groupon that gave a 50% discount.  I had heard mixed reviews so I figured a Groupon would help. I knew they had free parking in the back, but when I arrived, noticed new construction and a blocked off parking lot... worst luck--they are expanding.  Eventually, some street parking opened up and my friend and I ordered our burgers.  Everything is made to order, so it does take some time, making it better than fast food.  The burgers are pricey and the sizes vary.  I recommend the larger size because it still isn't as big as many of the burger joints in the city.  The toppings are fresh, but rather than their topping bar they used to have, you now have limits on what to put on your burger with increasing price on each choice.  The burgers were average and the fries subpar.  Staff was friendly, but without the Groupon, probably wouldn't be back too soon.  Its an OK burger place so an OK rating of 3-miles was given.

What We Ate:

The Cason Burger

With not too many burger choices, besides the build-your-own, I decided to try the cason burger.  The main reason was the poached pear on top.  Served on a pretzel roll (despite asking for the other option), the burger was a little overcooked from my requested medium rare.  It was topped with camembert cheese, the poached pear, applewood smoked bacon, and supposedly some dijon mustard.  In terms of size, the burger is big, but nothing compared to Kuma's or those other specialized burger bars.  The toppings were also subpar compared to Kuma's.  But, I will say, the burger was fresh with a nice meat taste to it.  The bun was great and the cheese a little pungent, making that part fantastic.  The burger did lack condiments so I ended up dipping my burger heavily in their Ketchup 78 Spicy.  Best Ketchup I have ever eaten.  It runs about $10 without any fries, so it can be pricy for a lunch.

The Classic Burger

My friend ended up getting the classic burger.  This burger (also the large version) was topped with cheddar cheese, bacon, tomato, onion, homemade pickles, and a mayo-ketchup sauce that everyone claims to be their "special" or in their case "fancy" sauce.  As you can see by this version, their sizes do vary... this burger didn't even fill up the entire pretzel roll.  The burger was juicy and the toppings kept with tradition.  Nothing too fancy here... not even that plain sauce.  Must dip in either the spicy ketchup or dijon mustard that each table offers.

Parmesan French Fries

Wow!  I was EXTREMELY disappointed with this side.  The cashier recommended the parmesan fries and said these are something special.  I thought their would be some kind of oil or sauce with these fries, but the dish was just french fries with a little parmesan cheese sprinkled on top.  The bottom fries didn't even get parmesan.  I would never recommend this because you end up dipping the fries in ketchup which masks all the parmesan cheese.  Waste of money here.

The DOs/DON'Ts:
- Do look for a Groupon or Livingsocial Deal.  I wouldn't be back unless I had some kind of coupon.
- Do try their Ketchup 78 Spicy.  It is incredible... in fact, I found the original company in Pilsen neighborhood and bought some for home.

- Don't count on parking to be available.  We drove around for several minutes before finally finding a spot.  They are expanding so their free parking is not available anymore.

How far would I walk for this food?

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