First Friday Burger & Fries

February 6, 2009 12:14:50 PM PST
Over the past few months, we've talked about chains from both coasts, coming to town and attempting to tackle the Chicago market. This month, the origins are a little closer to home. Meatheads started downstate in Bloomington and recently opened its second location in a Naperville strip mall. Unlike most of its competitors, they take pride in hand-cutting their fries right before your eyes.

Finding a burger joint is easy. But the folks behind Meatheads Serious Burgers and Fries think a little differently. Located in a brand new strip mall in Naperville, they wanted to add another element to the burger experience.

"Just wanted to come up with something unique, put our own little twist on the concept," said Kurt Petterle, Managing Partner at Meatheads Serious Burgers & Fries.

Part of that begins with the meat, certified angus, and also, the fries, cut right before your eyes in the open kitchen, blanched and fried-to-order. Thinner than most, they're light, crispy and addictive. They also offer a number of unique dipping sauces, like barbeque, honey mustard and horseradish dijon.

Even the decor is something they put considerable thought into.

"First of all, the first step when you walk in the door, it's all about your first experience - the atmosphere. The decor would be quite different than any other burger joint that you'd come into. And it's all about the burgers, the certified Angus beef that we use, the fresh-cut Idaho potatoes," said Petterle.

The basic Meathead burger arrives with two patties and is topped with ketchup, mustard, mayo, lettuce, tomato, pickles and onions, you choose grilled or raw. Some other meathead options include the Cajun Sunrise, containing a single patty, but also bacon, a fried egg, Monterey jack and sliced jalapenos. A blue cheese sauce coats the bun. The Californian has the same Monterey jack, but also fresh avocados and sautéed mushrooms. Its buns are topped with a cucumber wasabi sauce.

Petterle says at first glance, the concept looks familiar. But he hopes after people have a meal here, they'll realize this is no ordinary fast food operation.

"The simplicity of it may be similar, but in the end, the atmosphere and the execution that the Meatheads executes will be far superior," said Petterle.

We should also mention the shakes, thick and creamy, the coffee version was definitely one of the highlights.

2555 W. 75th St., Naperville

Also mentioned:
Thursdays at Blue Bar
$4 Burgers, $4 Craft Beers & DJ starting at 6 p.m.
160 Blue
1400 W. Randolph

Previously featured on "First Friday with Fries":

Five Guys Burgers & Fries
1115 Lake St., Oak Park

2140 N. Clybourn

15100 LaGrange Rd., Orland Park

Hamburger Mary's
5400 N Clark St

Epic Burger
517 S. State St.

The Counter
666 W. Diversey Pkwy.