Kuma’s Corner “I’ll take the check and a bypass, please”

Dare you to finish.

Say what you will about the lines at Kuma’s Corner.  If you go on a Thursday, Friday, or Saturday around actual dinner hour, chances are you will be waiting an hour or possibly more (especially if you want to sit out on the patio).  But go early (say, around 5) on a Wednesday and have a beer at the bar first.  Or, if it’s a cold afternoon, you might want a whisky, which they have ON TAP (contain yourself though, there’s a lot of eating to be done).  Bottom line, if you get there early for dinner, you’ll be able to sit down without much of a problem at all.  Lunch is murder.  I say don’t even attempt it.

And why go in the first place?  This heavy metal-themed spot in Avondale serves up arguably the best burgers in town.  Usually, I am opposed with the force of religious conviction to the idea of complicated burgers.  Give me something with lettuce, tomato, onion, and ketchup, and I’ll be good to go.

But that’s because accouterments are expected to mask a sub-par burger.  If your friend is mixing chopped onions and tomatoes into ground meat, chances are she is afraid to let the burger stand on its own.  The thinking is often: if you can put enough sh*t on the plate, people will forget what the beef is actually supposed to taste like.

Not so at Kuma’s, where it’s still about the beef–even if it also happens to be about the bacon, cheddar, avocado, jalopeno, mushrooms, onions, and pork barbecue (yes.  The “Led Zeppelin” is a burger topped with pork barbecue).  Nor is this a place for the carb-conscious.  Burgers come with waffle fries, and are served on pretzel rolls.

Any other ideas on the best burgers in Chi?

How to get there: Blue line to California.  52 Bus north to Belmont.  2900 W Belmont (at the Northwest–duh–corner)

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