Pretty much everyone has a memory of their favourite ever burger – maybe it’s a double-double from LA’s late night hot spot In-N-Out Burger, the iconic Bogan Burger from Melbourne’s Napier Hotel, or maybe even the monstrosity that is the Do-Nut Burger from PYT in Philadelphia – either way, you always remember the good ones.
So it comes as quite a surprise that the so-called “Best Burger in America” comes from a humble little restaurant in Chicago that hasn’t really made a spark on our burger radar. Until now.
The restaurant is Au Cheval, and you’ll probably want to remember that name the next time you stop by the windy city as it’s now home to the best burger in America.
The Double Cheese Burger served at Au Cheval featured on The Food Network’s Top 5 Restaurants recently in their Best Burger episode, which saw the American show travel across country to try five of the most famous burgs in the country. Alongside Au Cheval were burgers from the Brindle Room in NYC, Pie ‘n’ Burger in California, Sid’s Diner in Oklahoma and Mission Bowling Club in San Francisco.
The Top 5 Restaurants hosts Geoffrey Zakarian and Sunny Anderson claim Au Cheval deserve the winning spot because of its “perfect burger-to-cheese ratio”.
Probably the most surprising part of this whole crowning is the Double Cheese Burger is an exercise in simplicity. The patty is just plain ol’ prime beef – no wagyu, pulled pork or delightfully exotic cut of meat. Secondly, there’s no Swiss, Jarlsberg or feta in sight – Au Cheval uses Kraft American cheese.
While this might all seem like blasphemy to fancy burger fans, the lady behind the Double Cheese Burger, General Manager Erika Golz, says its all about the basics. Speaking to the Chicago Eater, Golz says Au Cheval makes up to 400 of these bad boys on a regular day, with that number increasing on the weekends.
The buns, sourced from a local bakery, are toasted on both sides using a salamander grill, “so you (don’t) just get a soppy mess at the end. If you toast it, then it gets crispy and (adds) extra texture.” The burger is then dressed with Dijion mustard, mayonnaise, lemon juice and housemade pickles.
For a little extra fancy hit, you can add a fried egg, bacon and even some foie gras for $9 a pop.
Whether you agree or disagree that Au Cheval serves up the best burger in America, you probably can’t deny that you’re pretty hungry after reading this, right?
(All images: Au Cheval)