Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Naha

Naha
500 N Clark St
Chicago, IL 60610
(312) 321-6242

Naha. Our white whale. We had literally been trying to get into this place for three years, the difficulty stemming from Naha's resoluteness in only serving the burger during lunchtime. And who really who has time to go to Naha for lunch? Certainly not us, and certainly not on the same day. But finally, we made it. And to our surprise the burger is still on the menu, for reasons that aren't entirely clear.

The theme of Naha is Mediterranean, I think? I don't know. A lot of stuff on the menu looked pretty good, but we were there for business (quick note: for some reason, Google Maps has this place listed in the South Loop, which is not the case...). Nat ordered his burger medium rare with bleu cheese, I ordered mine medium without cheese. They both came out done about the same...medium-rare-ish, and a tad on the juicy (read: drippy) side.


Nat's


Mine. Boring. Also, note the sun-dried tomato. Nat correctly noted that if we were served a tomato that looked like that [during summer] at a lesser venue, we probably would have been disgusted.

Well before the burgers came out, the condiments arrived (Is this getting to be a common practice?): some mayo, ketchup, and grilled onions, which, I'm sorry to say, just looked like worms.

I also requested "yellow" mustard, which I meant as in, distinct from "grey" mustards. Something of the Chicago hot dog variety. Is that pedestrian of me? At any rate, what they brought out was below, certainly fancier/grey-er than I expected, and certainly not worth getting into with the very competent waiter:


Is this yellow?

The burgers, all told, were good, above average, a solid "B" grade. Nat reported that the bleu cheese was stellar. And we both really liked the sea-salted buns. A nice touch. I mean, they're certainly not worth the pricetag, but I understand they have a reputation to keep (Naha). It's not exactly clear why the burger is on the menu, amongst seemingly far superior/more interesting options, but perhaps they're protecting themselves against the pickiest/least adventurous lunchtime diners. The burgers came with standard fries that were sort of--wait for the triple-mixed metaphor--peppered with parsely, which these days is sort of a red herring for me. Just give me fries, no funny business.


Oh, we also ordered this house-made hibiscus raspberry tea, which ended up completely stealing the show. It was perfectly sweetened and very fresh-tasting. Pretty much made the entire visit worth it.



And these candies (strawberry gummy thing and chocolate tofu?!) presented with the bill were a nice touch.



Can't say we'll be back, but it was a nice visit as a one-off.

45 comments:

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Splotchy said...

I was thinking about chronicling my search for the perfect burger, but I see you have already done so! Bravo!

I had a really nice Bleu Cheese and Bacon burger at Elephant and Castle downtown, if you haven't been there yet. Keep on burgerin'!

tagskie said...

hi.. just dropping by here... have a nice day! http://kantahanan.blogspot.com/

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Nick said...

This story made me think of meatheads. Its my favorite burger place EVER!! www.meatheadsburgers.com

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