Every once in a while, we need to get back to the basics. Don’t get me wrong—I love a burger piled high with toppings, and some of my favorite burger restaurants specialize in such delicacies. But this diner’s take on the cheeseburger is a magical formula so old-fashioned and American that it will turn you into Dwight D. Eisenhower.
Twice now I’ve had the privilege of enjoying the cheeseburger recently crowned the “best burger in America” by the Food Network.
I dedicate this blog post to cheeseburger lovers everywhere.
Don’t be fooled. Au Cheval’s “Single Cheeseburger” comes with two quarter pound patties. For the real meat-lovers out there, you can get a “double,” which paradoxically has three patties. Each glorious patty is topped with a slice of Kraft American cheese (don’t knock it ’til you try it). The bun is lightly toasted. The burger comes dressed with Dijonnaise and a few large pickle slices.
You can add bacon, a fried egg, or foie gras, but you don’t need to. Seriously this burger is so delicious it will increase your self-worth.
Au Cheval is small. Especially considering it’s popularity. In true diner style, I would guess it seats a maximum of 50 people—including the bar. It’s a great vibe once inside; it just usually takes a while to get in there.
Located in the Chicago’s West Loop, it’s easily accessible but isn’t really walking distance to anything except more restaurants, which—as the
hunger burger pangs set in—can make your inevitable wait a little harder to cope with. I can recommend a latté at La Colombe just a couple blocks West on Randolph.
Good things come to those who wait
Both times I’ve eaten at Au Cheval were at lunch time. The first time was on a Sunday and the wait was close to two hours. The second was a Tuesday and we still had about an hour wait. They don’t take reservations so you just need to plan on a long wait.
One time Emily and I went on a Friday night and we were told it would be a four hour wait.