In this edition of "Grilled", we're talking burgers with Mark Estee of Burger Me! (Reno, Nevada and Truckee, CA).
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Of all the Cheap Eats guides I've put together, this was easily the most personal. I've lived in Logan Square for the past five years, so I feel like I've amassed some serious first hand knowledge of the affordable options.
When Jesse Divine first moved to Chicago, he lived in River North, but he much prefers the quieter, more laid-back scene in Logan Square.
I decided to take a ride on the Blue Line to O'Hare, tracking the options from the moment you leave the Loop to the point you arrive at your gate. There are more options than I could have imagined.
I scoured the city for superlative examples. And without any strong expectations, I came away very impressed by the variety and quality of muffins Chicago's bakeries, diners, and cafés are turning out.
If someone would have asked me last year about the best bagel in Chicago, I would have shrugged my shoulders and pleaded ignorance. But we are in something of a bagel boom and it's time to take stock. So, does Chicago actually have some bagels worth celebrating?
The Hook ($8.00) is comprised of house cured togarashi lox, thinly sliced cucumber, creamy avocado, artichoke cream cheese, and sharp and crunchy red onion, all piled high between your choice of freshly wood-fired bagel (I went with My Everything).
These new restaurants are literally all over the map, and come from both respected restauranteurs and hungry novices. The only similarity is that I was legitimately surprised by what I ate.
It's hard to believe how much I ate out in 2012. I probably ate out once a day, where I'd often try three to four different dishes. Then there were the occasions where I'd try one of everything at a restaurant, which immediately added dozens of options to the final tally. I thought putting together the list would be hard, but some very specific dishes jumped right out at me.
Written large on Reno's paper menu is "morning, noon, and night," and the restaurant certainly takes those words to heart. Sure, there is coffee and a full bar, but this is a place that puts obvious effort into everything, including its handmade bagels.
"Pitmasters here represent the entire nation." [Photographs: Joshua Bousel] I had the most perfect Labor Day planned, a lazy afternoon next to the smoker filled with pork, some beers, and close friends. That was until I received an invitation to visit the The Best in the West: Nugget Rib Cook-off in Nevada. After a second pause contemplating whether I wanted to alter my ideal holiday, I thought better of my reservations, and before I knew it, I was on a plane headed for a weekend of pure barbecue bliss. If you're an East Coaster like myself, the Nugget Rib Cook-off may not sound familiar, but for the pitmasters and attendees alike, it's the biggest event of the year. The six-day...
Clicking in to the AHT inbox recently, we've got this bit of juicy intel. Eat up! I notice you have no hamburger source in Nevada....until now. In the back of one of Reno's more funky casinos, The Nugget, is a...