192 E. Walton St.
Of all the burgers on TOC's list, Rosebud's is the one with which we are the most familiar. Though their actual steaks have gotten fairly shady reviews on lthforum.com , the burger--as a basic burger--is hands down the best I have ever eaten. Rather, this was the mindset we entered the venue with a couple Fridays ago--the truth was neither Nat nor I had eaten at the Rosebud in months, and were worried that after an interim Kuma's-heavy diet, the Rosebud burger would not be as good as we remembered it. Walk with me...
The first good sign of the evening was that immediately upon showing up, I was surprisingly greeted by the patron saint of the Chicago Burger Project and the man that IS to the Rosebud what Jack Nicholson is to Laker games: Uncle David. David is the actual uncle of the mutual best friend of Nat and I, but his status holds so much weight that even the waiters at the Rosebud refer to him as "Uncle David." The second sign that we were in for a good night was that after some cursory kibbitzing with David, he pointed us to the second most notable person in the room, Katie Couric who was working the room and dining with a CBS bigwig. Couric is stunning in person, charming, and was willing to talk to everyone who wanted to chat. Our only regret was that we didn't see what she ordered.
We ordered some drinks (NOT recommended for the price) and placed our orders: the plain burger for me, the blue cheese burger for Nat and our out of town guest, Evan. Given that the burgers are amazing value--$11.95 for the plain burger and a dollar extra for cheese--Nat and I have frequently wondered the degree to which the Rosebud waiters feel angst when yet another young customer orders burgers instead of steaks (although the staff serving us was perfectly stonefaced).
When the burgers arrived, it was like coming home to family. Just as we remembered, each burger was an embodiment of perfection. A huge flavorful slab of meat, a taste that evokes a fine steak as much as it does a hamburger. A delicious ripe tomato ("During the Winter in Chicago, there is NOWHERE other than this place that you can find such a fresh tomato" --Nat), and fries that are worthy of their own accolades. Seasons change, the economy fluctuates, girlfriends leave, and dictators fall--yet the one constant in our lives is the supremacy of the Rosebud hamburger. For 13 bucks or less, you can enjoy a meal that is truly the best of its kind. And if you see Uncle David at the bar, order him a drink and tell him we said hi.
All of our photos got lost in a horrific flickr accident. This is the only one that was salvaged, proving we were there. Really, the loss of photos is a blessing in that it will hopefully inspire you to visit the Rosebud to get a glimpse and a taste of this burger in person.