Take one iconic American foodstuff, available all over Chicago— but rarely done well. Go back to the basics of the preconvenience-food era, and add a contemporary spin with exotic toppings. Watch lines form out the door.
It worked for Hot Doug's and the Violet Hour, and to judge by the excitement that greeted Edzo’s Burger Shop in Evanston when it opened last month (including a hat tip from the New York Times), it may be about to happen for former fine dining chef turned burgerpreneur Eddie Lakin, too. What got Lakin so much attention before anybody actually tasted one patty from his spatula was the fact that he blogged every step of the process of opening his restaurant, from dealings with the health inspector to his research trips into all-American burgerdom in Wisconsin:
Wisconsin has its own thing with burgers. The crispy griddled kind are most common, with buns that have been slathered with butter and plenty of cheese, usually American. I'm not generally a fan of American cheese, but with the thinner burgers, stacked up as doubles or triples, American is the best choice because of the great melting qualities it offers.
Lakin is serious about making classic, freshly ground burgers, fries, and shakes with a 2009 spin— his fresh-cut fries can be combined with a gleefully exotic array of toppings, from truffle salt to the juice and giardiniera of an Italian beef. The Reader will review Edzo’s in the next few weeks, but in the meantime, in this Sky Full of Bacon video, he grinds beef and talks about how he tinkered and experimented to create the perfect burger and fry, and what it's going to be like when life as a burger guy really sinks in.
Edzo’s Burger Shop, 1571 Sherman, Evanston, 847-864-3396