Tuesday, October 23, 2007


22 W Hubbard St
Chicago, IL 60610
(312) 645-6000

In the interest of full disclosure, I went into this meal fully prepared to absolutely hate it. I'd never been to Rockit, but friends of mine have for various reasons (that weren't necessarily born out of an actual desire to go), and the summary judgment hadn't been all that positive. (Check their website with your speakers on and tell me this is a place you'd actually like to have serve you a meal.) Adam had been there before, and found their regular burger ($11) to be satisfactory.

Time Out, of course, didn't choose that burger...they chose Rockit's $19 offering, a "Kobe" joint with brie, shallots, and "date aioli," served with "truffle fries." (Having to use that many scare quotes is a bad sign.) My impression was that this (like every other restaurant that serves purported-Kobe as low food) was a place that got by on business from the kind of uninformed diners who take their Champagne advice from rappers.

Regardless, we had to do it. We started the meal with a bloody mary apiece. They were simple but really pretty good, and they hit a great heat level, but the small, ice-filled glass and lack of significant garnish (two olives) didn't justify the $9 tag (that's $9 each, mind you).

Rockit Burger

You do not get to keep the glass.

Standard orders; mine medium-rare, Adam's medium.

Rockit Burger

Rockit Burger

This larger version is probably more helpful.

For all this stuff, it was remarkable how undistinguished the entire package was. The brie was very mild. The date relish (which was, for some unknown reason, applied to the bottom of the bun) provided some sweetness on the finish, but there wasn't enough to make much of an impression. The meat was really just meat (albeit meat correctly cooked to our specifications); so we're one more burger away from a New York Times trend piece on backlash against fake Kobe. I can make no claim as to the whereabouts of the shallots. My bun crumbled; Adam's held up okay (maybe mine wilted under my obvious lack of enthusiasm). The fries had a slight truffle taste, but I lost track of it after a few bites. Points are deducted for a weird airy consistency. I dunno; I guess this was a decent-enough hamburger, and maybe if it cost $8 I could get behind it, but it didn't and I can't.

I walked by someone eating the regular burger on my way out, and it really looked like it might be the better beast, at least from an aerial view: the pretzel bun looked like it could handle meat better than this one could.


eric said...

I told you this place was shit
24mo ago they sold me a "kobe beef hot dog"
I asked the waiter, he swore it was authentic.
Apparently their target demo are idiots.

eric said...

I just went the their website... they have an "executive chef"
(is there an acronym for "no comment needed")

Remember when Rick Bayless was in those Burger King ads?

Melissa said...

LOL!! Of course they cater to idiots! IT's in the loop! No self loving Chicagoan whould eat in a tourist trap like that! SERIOUSLY!

Zach said...

I have to say that their regular burger at half the price is WAY better. I would not normally go there but have been taken there for business several times.

Tim said...

The regular burger on the pretzel bun is MUCH MUCH better. It's one of my favorites downtown. I've tried the Kobe burger and, like the reviewer, was unimpressed.

And for those having trouble with Chicago geography, Rockit ain't in the Loop.

Paul said...

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EatWisconsin said...

The place is really douchey but the regular burger was awesome. Seriously it was one of the best pub burgers I have eaten, though my comparison is Milwaukee pub burgers not Chicagos. Though not included in my article was the fact that I had a pretty healthy buzz on when I wandered in there.

Here is my take.


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