I love burgers which may come as a surprise to most of my friends, as they probably have never seen me eating one. We eat out often and unless The burger is meant to be the best dish on a menu I wouldn’t order it. But I had been massively craving one and Au Cheval was top of my list.
Au Cheval’s burger is ranked among the best in the US. A few days before the trip to Chicago I also heard newly opened The Loyalist is making a burger that rivals Au Cheval – so, when we went to Smyth for the 8 course tasting (same chef but upstairs from The Loyalist) we had to add it to our feast.
The Loyalist’s burger incorporates bacon in the patty and is topped with a mix with onion chutney, raw onions and some other type of onion. I was scared of it as I hate raw onions but they weren’t overpowering and we devoured the burger (I split it with Stewart). The bread was a bit too soft but the overall taste was delicious.
At Au Cheval (waits are long but you can add your name and they text you) we went for a single and a double, both with bacon.
What the waiter failed to tell us is the single has two patties and the double has three – a bit unnecessary in my opinion. We added lettuce and tomato which don’t usually come with it. The burger is rich and umami and perfectly seasoned if not a tad salty. The bacon is the same thickness as the patty and a mix of bacon and pork belly. The cheese is gooey and dripping melted.
We actually didn’t care for the fries, which were cooked in pork fat. They had a strange aftertaste and paled in comparison to the ones we had at Pump Room at lunch.
In sum: Au Cheval wins! Absolutely killer burger when in Chicago. My one slight criticism is that it was just a tad bit salty. Stewart, who loves anything pig also thought the burger was so good it didn’t even need the bacon!
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