Triple Cheezeborger and Fries, No Cheeps, at Billy Goat III
No, this isn't a doctored photo: that's a pile of fries, not cheeps, innocently sitting next to a Billy Goat Tavern Triple Cheezeborger. And no, I didn't sneak them in myself, either. Turns out that if you can suffer a non-subterranean lunch, Billy Goat III on Wells Street has you covered in the french fried potato department.
The Cheeseburger itself is well seasoned, and despite being three patties high, nicely balanced. I think it's due to the fact that they only add two slices of cheese, which is just enough. As Nick pointed out way back when, the bready kaiser roll is way too big for a single or a double, but for the triple, it's just right. Perfect, in fact. Topped with raw onion and thick, fresh pickle slices, this is the way Billy Goat burgers are meant to be eaten. At at just $4.20 on Fridays, it's a week ending lunch I'll be repeating often.
Not surprisingly, the Fries are nothing special: though fried to order, the from frozen spuds are immediately wrapped, unsalted, in white paper. By the time you dress your burger, they're greaseless and steamed—good luck getting any salt to stick. If you're hungry, you're better off doing what my buddy did and ordering one of their solid Italian sausage sandwiches to pair with the burger instead.
One last lingering question: can this location even hold a candle to the original? Put it this way: between the paper-hatted grillmen behind the counter, the loud Greek-accented shouting permeating every corner, and the barful of drunk old guys watching a DVD of Groundhog Day at 11:30 in the morning, I think they've got the 'atmosphere' department covered here. And given the impending (temporary) displacement of the original location, you might as well get used to finding your fix elsewhere. This spot will do just fine for me.