Patty Burger: A Chicago In-N-Out

Patty Burger has finally opened right off Michigan Ave at 72 E Adams. I had interviewed the owner last year when the fast food joint was originally supposed to open for a piece in Chicago Magazine. The store opened just recently and it turns out to be relatively close to my office so at lunch today two coworkers and I strolled over. There is some construction going on in the building so there is no exterior sign hanging out front, be on the look out for the day-glo orange interior.

We got there right around noon on a Friday and the line wasn’t deep, but every table was filled. There were seats for only 22 people and at least a dozen were either ordering, looking at the menu or waiting for their food, while every seat was full. We managed to get a 2 person table and an extra seat and were happy with the cramped arrangement because we didn’t want to walk with takeout all the way back to the office cafeteria. The space is cramped even if it wasn't so crowded with the drink machine, napkins and trash all placed inconveniently.

I ordered a single with cheese and grilled onions. The burgers come with lettuce, tomato, regular onions and special sauce and are affordable, a single is $3.49. Cheese is extra. I was expecting something very much like an In-N-Out burger but the patty was really thick; probably thicker than a Chili’s burger but not as big all around. My buddy got a double and that looked almost impossible to eat it was so big. I also got fries and a small drink and the total was under $8. Next time I’ll probably skip the grilled onions and perhaps opt for bacon, but that was $.99 more!

The fries were good. Can’t really think of a competitor, but if Burger King had made good fries these would be them, they have a similar consistency to those fries. The burger patty itself was heavily seasoned as Chicagoist recently pointed out and I don’t think the burger needed so much since the special sauce was also filled with spices. I disagree with the “ists” of Chicago though and think the sauce had more going for it than just ketchup and mayonnaise. The bun was really good (soft and sweet) and the cheddar cheese I ordered melted nicely.

Afterwards I was more than full. It was like a burger you’d get at a sitdown restaurant but at a fastfood joint and it did come out fast. They make the burgers from fresh meat, not frozen and I didn’t think they were overcooked (read well-done). They weren’t pink but there was still flavor there. I prefer medium-rare but a place like this probably has to avoid that. Also, the burgers are messy! Make sure to get napkins.

My two coworkers really liked it, probably more than me, and I love a good burger (best in town in my opinion is Northside on Damen). We’ll definitely be going back to Patty Burger and hopefully when its less crowded. When we left the line was twice as long.