What’s not to like about Edzo’s Burger Shop? Imagine a hamburger joint that offers not one, but two different options for sustainable and humanely raised beef. Or “Old Fries” for those that like our frites extra-crispy. Or Angry Fries, dusted with “four kinds of spicy.”
Although next time, I’m getting the Garlic Fries because when the pile landed on the table next to us, drizzled with garlic-parsley butter, me and my dining pal Louisa both turned and began engaging our neighbors in a conversation, perhaps with the hidden agenda that they’d be so kind as to offer us a bite. She and I never said anything, but the looks passing between us made me pretty certain she was thinking exactly the same thing that I was thinking.
Imagine a neighborhood burger joint, completely unpretentious but using quality ingredients like Marcona almonds and Nutella in their milkshakes. Or blending peanut butter cups, bananas, and chocolate together, creating an Elvis shake. Edzo’s is exactly the kind of place I like – and wish I lived closer to. (Yet it’s probably better that I don’t.)
Having worked in upscale restaurants for a number of years, jovial chef/owner Eddie Lakin starts each shift by trimming and grinding his own beef every morning, then lords over the vaguely vintage dining room, taking orders and chatting with customers at a leisurely pace. And no one was complaining because the burgers and fries are worth any wait.
A few folks have mentioned that I should be enjoying the more upscale places in Chicago, of which there are many. And I’m sure they’re really good. But I don’t fly 4128 miles to eat croissants, French onion soup, or even a salad with baby greens. (Although after working my way through various burgers, carnitas tacos, chips and guacamole, a nice salad is beginning to look a little more appealing.)
But what’s neat is how Chef Lakin has simply modernized the food of the traditional American burger joint, keeping all the classics (even offering four vegetarian options plus a turkey burger) yet updating them with top-notch ingredients without one whiff of elitism. Can’t argue with that.
We split two burgers; a 4 ounce griddled Swiss cheese burger, lightly pressed down to crisp up the corners of the bun – and makes the burger come out a bit more cooked than rare – and a heftier 8 ounce char burger stacked with raw onions and pickles. I always forget how much I like raw onions, which aren’t often served in France; they’re always cooked or marinated. But there’s something especially wonderful to me about vinegary pickles and breath-busting raw onions and you can hold the mayo and other sauces – it isn’t a burger without them.
The shakes were great, too and next time, I’m goin’ with Elvis, although I wasn’t complaining with my chocolate malt. I didn’t see it, but thinking about it a day later, I’m now dreaming of a chocolate-mint shake. I offered to come back during the summer and blend up shakes with the chef during their annual A Taste of Chicago event, so perhaps I’ll be back. After this trip, however, I’m stocking up on Spanx for Men.
The only drawback is that Edzo’s is in Evanston, a 40 minute “L” (subway) ride from Chicago. That said, if it was in Chicago, there would be lines around the block, day and night. Just be sure if you go, you get there before 4pm, as that’s when the kitchen closes. But you can arrive as early as 10:30am, which would give you plenty of time to come back later in the day.
Edzo’s Burger Shop
1571 Sherman Avenue
Tel: (847) 864-EDZO (3396)
Open Tuesday-Sunday, 10:30am to 4pm
Related Posts and Recipes
Behind the Scenes at Edzo’s Burger Shop (Sky Full of Bacon, Video)
Edzo’s Burger Shop (Facebook)