Monday, October 15, 2007


4337 N Lincoln Ave.
Chicago, IL 60618
(773) 935-2255

One of the most forgettable meals of my life, not because the food was all that bad, but because it literally lasted about 12 minutes. There was nothing memorable about my first trip to Jury's, leading me again to pose the question: what does the 5th best "classic" burger in Chicago really mean? Perhaps this project has spoiled me, and perhaps I no longer just want a classic burger. But it seems like a burger should have to do *something* more than simply present itself to earn top 5 status in anything.

Quick review of the food: I ordered a burger done medium with bacon and no cheese. The patty came back medium well, with a single strip of bacon, for which I paid $1.50. Nat ordered a patty melt, also medium, which oddly was served looking mighty pink in the corner, yet felt somehow hardened, not rare as it would appear. Nat also ordered the onion rings, which were reportedly terrible...and there were only three of them! (cue Annie Hall). Our eating companion, Andrew Walter, ordered a burger with Jalapeno cheese (sorry, I'm just not up to search for the "enye" on my computer right now). Consensus seemed to be that the burgers were average, and the steak fries were the only real standout item. Should mention as well that the bun was kind of terrible, really just a non-factor...I expected more as it was listed as a "gourmet bun" on their menu.

[Eating companion Andrew Walter received clarification that Jalapeno cheese = essentially Pepper Jack.]

[If you click on this photo to blow it up, you can see the weird pink nub on the right side of the patty.]

Everything in addition to the food at Jury's seemedcompletely pleasant, with a friendly staff and a clientele that resembled a northside equivalent to the crowd at the delightful Petey's Bungalow. They also apparently serve good coffee, advertising both Intelligensia and Illy, the latter of which has proven somewhat difficult for me to find around the city. Bottom line, though, was that this was a completely unmemorable meal, which sort of invoked an angst in me directed toward the fact that places like Jury's get by on Chicago meat-and-potatoes kitsch alone. What's the point if you can't back it up with at least some hearty substance?

Oh, also, as we were about to leave we heard a loud sizzling coming from the kitchen that was literally about 30 feet away. This was some seriously blaring sizzling, like an egg placed on the sun. It was so intense we weren't sure whether it was actual cooking or some sort of piped-in spooky sounds intended to compliment their early Halloween decorations. A quick peek behind the kitchen door revealed it to be actual sizzling, but it was not clear exactly what was being cooked. Needless to say, if I ever return to Jury's, I will do so with the purpose of ordering whatever the sizzling thing is. Guesses are welcome in the comments section below.


avant/chicago said...

Oh i love Jury's - but not a burger! Time out for food, not so much -

Chaviva Gordon-Bennett said...

Jury's is the second most delicious burger, in my opinion, in Chicago. Second only to Kuma's. Though, in truth, I guess the two cannot be compared since the Jury burger is virgin in its style, while Kuma's is dirty and messy and sexy in its style.

Lovely review!

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