501 N Ogden Ave
3365 N Clark St
To be perfectly honest, the Twisted Spoke burger is kind of the burger I always want. Simple, ungreasy, generically spiced so as to canter one step beyond being mere meat, many toppings are included for the regular price, comes with crisp salty fries, bun is adequate and kinda garlicky, and it's not too humongous. Couple all that with sitting on the rooftop patio on a sunny Chicago evening (as Nat and I did at the Ogden location) drinking a Bloody Mary, and I pretty much could not be happier.
[NOTE: Twisted Spoke wasn't our first choice for the evening's dinner. We wanted to hit up Naha or the May St. Market for their mini-game-burgers, but--as with David Burke--those burgers are only served on the lunch menu at those venues. Again, the purpose of this project is not to persecute TOC for every single little shortcoming, but this is the type of information that is kind of essential for burger-pursuers.]
The Bloody Mary was actually the only disappointing aspect of the evening. Hailed as "the best in the city" by Chicago Magazine, I expected a little more flair. Ultimately the drink erred on the watery side, the garnish seemed to be nothing more than cleverly folded lunchmeat, and the Worcestershire sat at the bottom of the glass, even after a brief stirring. Perhaps Kuma's has raised the standard too high, but I expect more out of my favorite burger-accompanying alcoholic beverage.
The burgers, as stated were delicious. Mine came with bacon and grilled onions, Nat's with bacon, grilled onions, Swiss cheese, and barbecue sauce. Nat had a mildly different experience from me, noting that his bun fell apart at the end and that the BBQ sauce tasted like cocktail sauce. Nothing could really faze us though. Night was dope and the atmosphere is the type where you could easily kill a whole Saturday (a la Moody's).
Upon leaving, however, we were forced to question the purpose of Twisted Spoke's motorcycle motif. Yeah yeah, I'm sure there is some history/tradition that squares like Nat and I don't really understand, but the whole motorcycle thing in addition to TS's cheeky "smut and eggs" porn brunch seem kind of superfluous to the whole operation. I mean, not to state the obvious, but I've seen more babies in that place recently than harborers of badassitude. And not that the place should change its image to accommodate a new clientele, but I'm just saying, there is quite a bit of dissonance between form and function of the establishment.