Monstrous burgers, Jack Daniel's on tap, and the feeling you're on the set of Wayne's World; Chicago's Kuma's Corner has them all. The lure of this holy trinity was just too much for me to resist, so when Mrs. Nibbler and I were in Chicago recently we found ourselves making the trek to this small grungy restaurant and bar located about 6 miles northwest of the city centre.
Lady Gaga's had to wait for a burger here), with waiting times of 2 hours or more a not uncommon occurrence. Sure enough, about fifteen minutes after we were seated, a growing queue (well, more like a scrum) started to form.
|"Pardon me, do you have any Grey Poupon?"|
Food at Kuma's is all about burgers. Great, big, unholy patties of ground beef. There are a few token appetisers and sandwiches, and there's even a vegetarian "garden burger" on offer (stop sniggering at the back), but the main attraction here is Kuma's selection of 22 beef burgers, all named after heavy metal bands. As tempted as I was by the modern sounding "Goatwhore" burger, I went for the more classic "Led Zeppelin" burger ($13). What arrived was almost 300g of medium-rare ground beef, topped with smoky pulled pork, cheddar cheese, pickles and, for good measure, some crisp bacon. The whole thing was served in a soft pretzel roll. Schwiiing!
|"Do you smell bacon, Garth?"|
As I wondered how to go about eating it, I almost decided to venture into sacrilegious "knife & fork" territory but quickly thought better of it. My only concession was to cut the beast in two before grabbing one half firmly with both hands and trying to eat it as best I could. Hardly very metal.
The beef was of good quality, tasty and well seasoned. I loved their use of pretzel rolls; they add more flavour and a lovely soft texture. The only disappointment was self-inflicted, as I felt the addition of pulled pork was totally unnecessary; its sweet BBQ flavours threatening to overwhelm the beef. As far as burgers go, the simpler the better. You live and learn, I suppose.
Mrs. Nibbler chose the simpler "Kuma Burger" ($10), which came with bacon, cheddar, and a fried egg. This was a much better combination, which she proclaimed as "one of the best burgers I've had". And, unlike me, she had remembered to say "fries" when ordering. These were fresh, local, hand-cut fries and although they were fine, there wasn't really anything that special about them.
|"I definitely smell a pork product of some type"|
|Asphinctersayswhat? The toilets at Kuma's Corner|
Food: 7 / 10
Service: 8 / 10
Ambiance: 9 / 10