Chicago: Excellent Bar Burgers at Revolution Brewing
2323 N Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago IL 60647 (map); 773-227-BREW (2739); revbrew.com
Cooking Method: Grilled
Short Order: For any restaurant, these burgers are good; for a bar, they're excellent
Want Fries With That? The crisp and soft spuds are good, but the gluttonous cream cheese garlic mashed potatoes are even better
Price: Workingman Burger, $11; Forest Burger, $12 (both w/sides)
Things have only gotten better for Revolution Brewing since I reviewed the place for Slice six months ago. The folks behind the place recently leased a new production facility that will enable them to expand distribution. That's still about a year away, but in the meantime a second floor brewpub has opened at the home office, adding well over a hundred new seats along with a performance space.
While the emphasis at Revolution remains, as it should, on the beer, the kitchen continues to put out very good food, which includes a selection of burgers. As with the pizza, there's no build-your-own option available, but there are five different burger to choose from.
The Forest Burger offers a double-shot of umami with the half-pound hand-formed patty sitting on a healthy pile of cremini mushrooms and topped with gorgonzola and fried shallots. The fried shallots don't impact the flavor all that much, but the added crunch is a nice touch, especially given the soft mushroom and cheese.
The burger came out acceptably medium-rare, as ordered. Although the juicy patty doesn't burst with beefiness and is underseasoned on its own, it's still good. The lack of salt on the patty isn't detrimental to burger as a whole, given the excellent flavor bomb of toppings.
The most traditional burger on the menu, the Workingman Burger topped with cheddar, "beer onion," and bacon, suffers a little bit in comparison to the more adventurous and boldly flavored Forest Burger. The thick, enjoyably chewy bacon is an excellent burger bacon though, in that it's smoky enough to stand out but not so much that it overwhelms. On the other hand, the beer onions, which are cooked in one of Revolution's brews, I could do without. They're really sweet—too sweet for my tastes.
We ordered the Workingman rare and got something a little closer to medium rare. Like the Forest Burger, this was a very juicy half-pound of beef with a nice crust around the fairly dense patty. The excellent housemade poppy seed-topped bun—which tastes like a mildly eggy challah—is soft and has little problem holding up to the large juicy patties and heavy toppings.
Although the golden hand-cut fries are very good specimens—quite crispy on the outside, with a clean potato flavor—the the garlic cream cheese mashed potatoes stole the show. Loaded with garlic and ridiculously creamy, the mashed potatoes were the most memorable part of the meal. That said, they're so rich that eating more than half an order is probably a bad idea.