Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Au Cheval

Location: 800 W. Randolph St., Chicago, IL 60607
Au Cheval on Urbanspoon
A Quick Word:
Several months back, I gave a list of top burgers in Chicago.  This was a premature list... especially since I never had the Au Cheval burger until now.  I know there are still others out there, but honestly, this is the best burger in Chicago.  With a burger description of "a single being a double and a double being a triple"... its a no brainer, this place knows their burger.  The diner is located on Randolph and Halsted and gets packed during the lunch hour.  They open at 11AM and I highly suggest arriving when they open +/- 15 minutes.  Arriving close to 11:30am, you WILL be greeted with a long line and a wait.  The atmosphere is like a diner.  Their menu is all a la carte with a huge array of entrees an appetizers.  But you will see, everyone arriving orders their burger.  With such a perfectly cooked piece of meat and high quality ingredients and attention to detail, I can easily say I would walk more than 5-miles for this burger!  It is perfection.

What I Ate:

Single Cheeseburger w/ Bacon and Egg

It was burger time.  I knew before I walked in, before I saw the menu, and when the waiter came to our table.  I ordered the single cheeseburger and added both thick sliced bacon and a sunny side up egg.  It had cheddar cheese and was served on a brioche-like bun.  I requested for tomatoes, lettuce, and onion as well.  Food-wise, the burger was HUGE.  the single burger actually is made with TWO patties!  The thick cut bacon is no joke... THICK.  I swear, the bacon was close to 1/3-1/2 inch thick.  The egg was cooked perfectly and that runny yolk may have been the richest/creamiest yolk I have ever had.  Make sure to ask for those veggies because it gives a little more freshness to the burger.  Just for pricing purposes... the burger by itself costs $10.95.  The bacon costs an additional $3.95 and the egg $1.00.  If it is your first time, get the bacon and egg... you will realize the bacon is great, but not necessary.  Second time around, just get an egg.  The meal will easily be $20... and that is if you share an order of fries.  Not a cheap place, but without question, the best burger in Chicago.

Au Cheval Fries

The second time I came to Au Cheval, I was convinced by the waiter to try the Au Cheval fries.  These hand cut fries are topped with a cheesy mornay sauce, garlic aioli, and a sunny side up egg.  First word that comes to my mind is RICH.  Wow, these are packed with flavor and are probably some of the unhealthiest fries you can eat.  The yolk adds to the creaminess already given by both that béchamel and the aioli.  These are over the top and need to be shared by 3 or more people.  It is way to much for just two people.

French Fries

If you weren't feeling a cholesterol check after ordering the Au Cheval fries, a great alternative is just a cone of their hand cut fries.  These are served with a side of the garlic aioli and nothing else.  Each batch of fries is hand cut and fried to order so these arrive piping hot.  A cone is good for 2-3 people so definitely share.

The DOs/DON'Ts:
- Order bacon if it is your first time.  The price is expensive for an additional topping on the burger, but it is a one-time thing you just need to do.
- Get there early.  We arrived at 11:05am (open at 11AM) and the restaurant was already half full.  10 minutes later, the restaurant already had a line out the door.  No reservations are taken.

- I've heard the rest of the menu is great... but don't miss out on the best burger in Chicago.  When we ate at Au Cheval, the travel channel was filming about their burger.  It's that amazing.

How far would I walk for this food?

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