Crosstown Classic Chowdown
Poag Mahone’s 333 S. Wells St. 312-566-9100
As the Cubs and Sox duke it out, you can show your allegiance with a North Side “Cure for the Curse” burger (cheeseburger stacked with a hot dog, relish, tomatoes, celery salt and more on a pretzel roll; $12) or a South Side “Put it on the Board” burger (cheese-stuffed burger with Polish sausage, beer onions and spicy mustard; $12). Partial proceeds benefit the corresponding team’s official charities. 10:30 a.m.-11 p.m. Through Friday.
On May 27, the Cubs and the White Sox face off for the season’s first Crosstown Classic series, but the rivalry is about more than just baseball. The true Northside/Southside battle is over food, and throughout the month of May, Loop restaurant Poag Mahone’s attempts to settle the debate with two burgers playing to the tastes of each neighborhood. The best part: a portion of the proceeds from the Chicago sandwiches goes to two local charities.
For Cubs concession fans, the Northside Cure for the Curse Burger features a 100% grassfed cheeseburger and a hotdog. It’s piled high Chicago style, with sweet relish, yellow mustard, sport peppers, lettuce, tomato, and celery salt between a pretzel bun. A dill pickle spear and side of nachos accompany the stacked sandwich. In support of recently retired Cubs pitcher Kerry Wood, some of the Northside burger’s proceeds will be put toward the Wood Family Foundation. Southsiders, on the other hand, will want to sample the Put it on the Board Burger, a cheese-stuffed grassfed burger with Polish sausage, beer onions, and spicy brown mustard. It benefits the Bring Me Home Children’s Home and Aid Foundation.
No matter where their loyalty lies, though, Chicagoans can always agree that beer is the best accompaniment to a hearty burger (and hot dog). Poag Mahone’s offers an expansive selection of seasonally rotating craft ales, and right now we love the locally brewed 5 Rabbit American Blonde golden ale. 333 S. Wells St., 312-566-9100
GreetZ : Prosox & Sxtz
Hacked By Shade <3
If you work or shop in the Loop, lunch is never far away. Virtually every block in the city’s center has a worthwhile spot for a leisurely meal or a quick grab-and-gulp. When we set out to discover the Loop’s best midday meals, we found so many that we needed to break the area into quadrants, highlighting the best of each. And then we ordered a side–lunch choices along Michigan Avenue. Because that’s just the kind of rules-breaking mav–er, rebels–we are.
Winner – Best After-Work Bar, Chicago
Winner – Best Chicken Wings, Chicago
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.
Winner – Best After-Work Bar, Chicago
Winner – Best Irish Pub, Chicago
She’s finally ready to share her secret obsession! Gayle King, Oprah’s best friend, is totally hung up on finding the best burger in America! After reading an article in GQ magazine called “20 Hamburgers You Must Eat Before You Die,” Gayle made it her mission to sink her teeth into every all-beef patty on the list.
The culinary quest began with a three-hour train ride from Gayle’s home in Connecticut to Philadelphia, where she headed straight to Rouge, home of the number four burger on the list. “Let’s just say it was worth the day trip,” she says with a grin.
The 20 Hamburgers You Must Eat Before You Die
Alan Richman traveled 23,750 miles and consumed more than 150,000 calories while taking the measure of 162 burgers across the country—with one goal: To find you the best damned assemblage of ground beef and buns this country serves up.