Burgers continue to be the crowning glory of a midwestern restaurant menu. It’s no surprise that in the middle of comfort food season, in a year where simple pleasures are more welcome than ever, the burger continues to reign as a crave-inducing bit of two fisted eating glory. These new entries to the pantheon of great burgers bring the beefy goods, with custom ground meats, oozy American cheese, and a veritable Jenga tower of toppings. These are the new burgers that demand meat-lovers attention, offered here in no particular order.
Monello has switched to a pop-up menu filled with sandwiches constructed for a serious case of the mega-munchies. There are potato chips as a condiment, monolith-sized cheesesteaks, and a big ol’ burger. Considering Dirty Sam’s is kin to other beef-forward restaurants like Parlour and P.S. Steak, means this comes from a company that appreciates the meat. Dirty Sam’s Dirty Double is built from custom ground patties stacked one on top of the other, draped in American cheese, dressed in burger sauce (a close sibling of a major chain’s “special sauce”), and served on a sesame seed bun for $15. Order online for curbside pick up or delivery.
Burgers and ice cream go together like summer days and bike rides. It’s a bit of nostalgia that works perfectly for pandemic weekends and short winter days. This popular ice cream shop has added a pop-up outside serving crackling crusted smashed burgers for just $5.95 for a single. When the pop-up is happening, the burgers are available starting at noon until 7 p.m. — or until they sell out. The catch is that this is a pop-up, ephemeral in nature, so check the Bebe Zito socials before heading out the door. Considering the worst case scenario is a burgerless burger run, but coming home with a pint of peanut butter puppy chow, the odds for happy decadence remain good.
Petite Leon is a stitched together family of industry vetrans, so it’s safe to expect an epic burger from a bunch of pros with strong opinions on the matter. Le Petite Leon burger is double stacked Peterson Craft meat patties luxuriating under a blanket of sweet caramelized onions, crisp pickles, drippy queso blanca, and a swipe of Duke’s mayo on squooshy, toasted milk buns for $15. Order online.
This burgeoning local chain isn’t new, but its Victoria Street and Selby Avenue spot still is. The Del Gordo burger is a skinny little slip of a patty topped with a kitchen-sink level of toppings that is a welcome wonderful burger experience. Between those buns exists and avalanche of flavor with shredded lettuce, skinny little slivers of raw onion, avocado, ham, mozzarella and cheddar cheeses, pickled peppers, mayo, ketchup and mustard: the result of flavor alchemy. Pair with the just-cut, hot-from-the-fryer fries for around $13. Order online.