Man Issue deserves a dining page that focuses on Man Food, and so we take this opportunity to spotlight three brawny burgers. We revisited the restaurant that won our “Best Burger” competition in 2005, took a peek at Oprah Winfrey’s favorite burger, and sampled a few burgers — traditional and not — at one of the newest burger places in Chicago.
333 S. Wells St.; 312-566-9100
This excellent Loop burger was overlooked in our June 2005 roundup, but not in the July 2005 issue of GQ, where writer Alan Richman declared it one of “The 20 Hamburgers You Must Eat Before You Die,” an article that gathered additional currency when Oprah Winfrey pal Gayle King visited all 20 places for Oprah’s show. Whoever’s raving about Poag’s burger, they’re right. It’s a juicy, nine-ounce hunk of prime sirloin, served on a firm, eggy bun that holds up to all that weight and beefy juice. Poag’s burgers, even at medium-rare, are thoroughly charred, maybe a bit much for some (but not for me). And the menu includes a “Burger Eater’s Bill of Rights” that includes the right to fresh meat, hot fries and a cold pickle spear. Fries are an extra $1.85, but the burger’s only $6.30 ($6.80 with cheese); $8.70 for a cheeseburger with fries is a bargain for such top-notch quality. Not bad for a restaurant whose name is actually a vulgar expression in Gaelic.