Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Eleven City Diner

Eleven City Diner
1112 S. Wabash Ave.

You didn't think TOC was ACTUALLY going to eat 55 hamburgers did you? The mag connivingly created a list that included 35 actual hamburgers, 5 non-beef meatburgers, 5 veggie burgers, 5 FRIES places, and 5 SHAKES places. Eleven City was our first venture into the world of shakes.

Nat and I are no strangers to Eleven City. The hype surrounding its opening last year had us poised to spend our next thousand weekends there, eating bagels at all hours and chatting with moody Columbia College girls about Yoshitomo Nara and how to use a ring flash and shit like that. A couple of subpar visits, the discovery of a third slice of bread in their pastrami on rye, and this ultimate kvetching smackdown on LTH really started to kill the dream. But it was the testimonial of chicagoburgerproject correspondent, Aaron Blazer, that really put the nail in the coffin:

I ordered the World's Greatest Macaroni And Cheese. Yes, I know, not a good choice. But remember, I cannot eat sandwiches because of my teeth. Turns out by "World's Greatest" they mean replication of Kraft. It was totally reconstituted day-glow-orange cheese with wheaties sprinkled on top of it. Gave me a fucking head ache. Uncle David and I even talked to the manager about what sort of cheese they used and he assured us that though it was not Velveeta brand it was a mixture of stuff that included a cheese substitute. Fuck. Last time I did a half sandwich and soup and noticed how small the sammy was. I think this place is about on par with Clarke's with a better lay out and a faux-Jewish deli thing going on.

So, whatever, fine, Eleven City is on our list, and it's REALLY hard to mess up a shake...except for one problem: I'm not really a shake guy. I'll eat malts in any weather under pretty much any circumstances, but shakes just seem like the cheaper soupier version of them. Now despite our general lack of enthusiasm toward this particular stop on the tour, I have to admit, this was one of the best shakes I've ever consumed.

Even Nat, self-proclaimed shake-greenhorn really enjoyed his.

The wafer cookie and whip cream were a bit much, but this thing was really hard to put down.

As I alluded to above, my main problem with shakes (as a genre) is their general thinness. Eleven City surprised me by producing a confection that was nearly at malt-level consistency. We'll have some heavy pondering to do in the coming months to decide whether Eleven City's achievement with this treat may have saved their reputation with us once and for all.


Unknown said...

Can't wait till you get to Scooters. I live down the street from there and it is the only place in the city to get real frozen custard.

masur said...

Damn. Bringing back bad memories of that place and my "bad teeth" episode. Eleven City is the only place in Chicago that could probably fuck up an order of bread and water. So much demand, so much promise, yet such terrible execution. A shandeh, if you know what I mean.

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