Burger 21 creativity makes it special. 01222012

Burger wars now moves to Burger 21 and we may be held hostage for a long time here.  Now you may think B21 has an advantage being that one of mine works there but lets get past that now. Burger 21 is high on our list because they have a creative and eclectic assortment of well thought out Burger combinations.  Are they flawless no, but the deliver on flavor, interest and atmosphere.

B21 is designed much like an old soda shop which makes it a pleasant place to sit and eat, you can belly up to the shake bar, sit at a table or even dine in the fresh air. Customer service at the register was well up to par and the cashiers seem to know the burger menu pretty well. Keep up the good work.

 So lets start where I have in the past the French Fries, if figure I would cover them first as they are very good but probably my least favorite of everything I have had.  Now I will reiterate the fries are good so why am I not thrilled.  The fries they server are thin cut like the old McD’s fries and some will love this, I just happen to like the thick cut fries better. However unlike most places that serve thin fries these hold up to dipping. Crisp enough to crunch but still have meat in the middle of the fries.  Speaking of dipping one of the Signature Sauces you have to try the Thai Catsup.  Additionally, they have Sweet Potato fries while I will not usually order these I did find one in my order of fries and I have to say it tasted pretty good.  Visit the Signature Sauce bar to find just the right dip for your fries. I do not have the complete list but the range from Thai Catsup, Cajun, Marshmallow(for the sweet potatoes).

 Like the old fashioned soda shop they have hand mixed milk shakes in very creative flavors like a Chocolate Malted Milk Ball, Chocolate Cherry Bomb and and Ybor City Double Espresso.  I recently had the Espresso and I normally do not drink coffee but this was an absolutely great shake. Try one of these or any of the 10 combinations they have. Every month they also have a flavor of the month this month is a Greek theme  so it is the Baklava shake give it a whirl.

On to the meat of the place. This is a burger joint, while you can get a salad and they are well thought out Garden, Chopped Cob, Super Burger Bowl, Sonoma Valley, Ceaser, and side house or caeser.

I am going to move right to the burgers and dogs.  The burgers are not your drive-in burgers at all. As they have Patties made from Seafood, Veggie, Chicken, and Beef.  Every 21st of the month they offer a specialty burger for the month and this months even adds a new patty to the list. Starting yesterday they added a Gyro Burger for this month and the patty is Beef and Lamb.  I had a chance to taste this burger and I will say it may slap the face of some Gyros shops in the area.  This patty has enough lamb in it that it may even be able to baaaaa! But it by far is one of the best Gyro Burgers I ever had. It was not just a patty with tzatziki added to it. It tasted like the real deal a Gyros on the bun the patty had their unique blend of herbs, spices and lamb and beef blended and cooked to perfection with just a little pink in the middle.  Another very special ingredient in their kitchen is the Brioche Bun.  This bun seem to be able to with stand the stacking of there signature condiments, what I am saying here is that the burgers don’t fall apart.

I have had the opportunity to try several of the burgers including the Tex-Mex Haystack which includes cheddar, guac, onion strings, and great chipolte-jalapeno sauce (caution some people think this is a little warm). On the unusual side I have also sampled the Ahi Tuna patty dipped in panko and lightly fried. I would describe it as a cross between a piece of sushi and a salmon patty (but it was tuna). Out of this world or at least from the sea would be my rating on this sandwich, they really upgraded a burger by serving the tuna patty.

I have not tried the chicken or turkey burgers yet but they have some cool combinations here.  The chickens are dressed in there fines in the Mediterranean, Chicken Parmesan, Cobb, and Buffalo Chicken. Turkey burgers make their appearances in the Skinny and BLT.

A Burger joint in Chicago is not complete without its Dogs and Burger 21 is not different, they are slinging the Hebrew National Beef dog.  I have been eating these most of my life and along with Vienna this are the dogs to eat. A little spicer than a standard hot dog and is just waiting to be flavor up in signature combinations like B21 has created. The 101 Dog also known as the plain Jane or you name your condiments. Additionally they have the classic Chili Cheese Dog, a Danish Dog, and a Ruben. Sadly they are missing the Chicago Classic dog, I hope this will stir and idea to add a few missing ingredients to their condiment list. Also  they may want to add a Slaw Dog as this was a new thing for me when I came down to Florida from the north.

Time out to mention the Chili.  I am a lover of Chili and I will have to say they have a very unique blend of Chili and it seems to be slightly different every time I have it. I am not sure if that is me or it is their blend, but I like it and it has a really nice kick to it.This is not a blah no flavor chili it is Bold and has a very tasty blend of spices and peppers.

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A few last items to talk about or to be completely amazed by. While I have never seen it yet they make an OMG burger

On Thursdays the run a 2-pack of sliders with fries for Five. Unfortunately this is one of my disappointments on the burger front with B21. The sliders are a nice idea but a little small when only 2 are in the basket. Taste is fine but a little hardier patty or a third would make it a better package, and add the soda to the deal.  It is a nice lunch break from the drive thru’s but I want to be full, if I wanted that hungry in a half hour feeling I would eat chinese.  But even these little sliders back a decent flavor, as a four pack snack you might want to add a dollar to the price and include the fries in the basket. This would also make your sliders in line with some of the competition like your Chilis, and Applebees as they include the prized fries with the sliders.

Checkout B21’s full menu here.

Ratings: 1 Byte – Low to 5 Bytes – High:
Burger 21 gets 4.9 Bytes

A fun review of the Burger 21 from the techies at www.end2endsupport.com.

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