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Hold the Beef: Grab a Bite at Burger Bar

By John DiGilio in Food on Feb 18, 2011 7:40PM

2011_2_DiGilio_BurgerBar.JPGHold the Beef is a monthly series exploring Chicago’s vegetarian burger scene. If you know any veggie burger joints that we should check out, post them in the comments!

This month our quest to find Chicago's best meat-free burgers took us to the nerve center of the North and Clybourn shopping corridor and the popular Burger Bar. Ok, it was actually a dying hard drive and the new Apple store that took us there. But you know what they say. When in Rome, eat where the Romans do . . . or something like that. Let's just say that when all was said and done, we had a new drive in the laptop and full bellies on which to rest it.

Opened under the name Urban Burger Bar, this bustling nook has since been rechristened with a shorter moniker to offset its growing fan base. The menu offers an eye-opening selection of burgers, craft beers, salads, and "hand-spun" shakes that sound almost too decadent to be eaten. The list of "stackers" features a series of burgers piled high with everything from veggies to other meats. Your eyes almost have to be bigger than your stomach to consider ordering from this list. Of course, diners are free to design their own burgers by choosing from a long list of toppings and cheeses. All of Burger Bar's burgers are served with a choice of homemade potato chips, fresh cut fries, sweet potato fries, or even truffle fries for a little extra.

For those who have a beef with beef, there are several alternatives, including our choice du jour - the Powerhouse Veggie Burger. Though the menu failed to say exactly what was in the patty, the promise of arugula, avocado, goat cheese, and chipotle mayo was enough to twist our arms into giving it a try. The burger was thick and savory and paired really well with the sweet Banana Nutella Shake. We also opted to upgrade to the truffle fries. They were a tasty addition to a meal that was definitely too big for us to finish. The only complaint we had was that the oversized veggie patty was a touch on the dry side. The fresh avocado and moist goat cheese saved it. Perhaps a bit more chipotle mayo was in order. Next time we will certainly ask. Oh yes, a next time is definitely warranted.

Burger Bar is located at 1578 North Clybourn Avenue.

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