333 E. Benton Place. 773-234-3449
Rating: !!! (out of 4)
Sometimes a great burger can be hard to find. In the case of recently opened Eggy’s, it is actually the restaurant itself that can be tricky to locate. This new diner is located in the Lakeshore East complex hidden away just north of Millennium Park, which one can find by following these simple instructions: Walk east on Randolph Street past the Aon Center, veer left at the sign for Village Market, descend to the lower level at the end of the plaza and then walk out onto the sidewalk to find Eggy’s. To award you upon arrival, the menu features two burgers: A classic hamburger ($9.50) as well as the Eggy’s burger ($14.50), an double cheeseburger dressed with diner staples such as pastrami and a fried egg.
The burger: Eggy’s cooks its peppery patties to medium-well, but they remained plenty juicy enough for my taste. I do appreciate the fine craft of a hand-packed patty, but more attention could be paid to the uneven shape. After all, there is nothing more disappointing than one’s last few bites being all bun and no beef. This issue is compounded in the case of the Eggy’s burger, as two irregularly shaped patties do not make a sound stack.
The bun: A classic egg bun is just thick enough to support the basic burger, but on the bigger Eggy’s burger, the bottom bun is crushed into submission.
The fixings: On the classic hamburger, I was delighted to find especially thin wisps of sliced onion and discs of sweet heirloom tomato. A generous smear of mayonnaise-based, relish-dotted Eggy sauce negates the need for ketchup or mustard, or even cheese, for that matter. The Eggy’s burger, on the other hand, is no question indulgent but suffers from insurmountable structural issues. Besides the before mentioned uneven patty problem, a wad of pastrami and fried egg make grasping this behemoth a slippery endeavor. I had no choice but to cast aside the shredded lettuce, tomato and onion on the top in an attempt to keep it all together.
Everything else: For a side dish, one has the choice of a side salad (I never), chips (warm from the fryer) or, for $1 more, a tin cup of crispy hand-cut fries (worth the upcharge for fry fans). Soda fountain classics such as milkshakes and ice cream floats ($5.50) make proper sidekicks. There are few establishments these days serving the classic egg cream ($3.50), and though the anomaly that this creamy seltzer drink is made with neither egg nor cream has plagued me eternally, I cannot deny that the maple version provides a pleasantly sweet counterpoint to the salty burger.
The bottom line: The signature Eggy’s burger could benefit from some tinkering, but there is little to improve upon when it comes to the simple hamburger.
The Great Burgerelli is a fearless seeker of fine burgers. Send him ideas for his next burger adventure at firstname.lastname@example.org.