Burgers at the Trenchermen

June 26, 2013 (CHICAGO)

That means from the buns to the pickles and even the condiments. This one is in an unlikely space, in a noteworthy restaurant's bar.

The Trenchermen prides itself on cooking new American cuisine; it could almost be described as progressive and modern. The opposite of that philosophy would be to make a cheeseburger, but in the restaurant's bar, tucked in among a menu featuring duck broth ramen and sticky pork ribs, there's a cheeseburger I would be happy to eat any day of the week.

Just because the menu at Trenchermen leans toward the avant garde, doesn't mean you can't stop by the Wicker Park restaurant for a bite; it just might mean having your meal in the bar.

"Just to be able to walk in, for the neighborhood, and not be obligated to sitting down for dinner for a couple hours; just grab a burger or the pork ribs or ramen and a couple of beers and be done for the night," said Patrick Sheerin, who runs the restaurant with his brother, Michael.

Sheerin says even though the sandwich is relatively simple, the ingredients are all thought-out.

"Starts with a great bun, which we do here, the sesame seed; kind of like those - trying to strike a nostalgic chord so we do the sesame seed bun," he said.

They grind their own Midwestern, grass-fed chuck, hand-form the patties, then sear them in a blazing hot cast iron pan. Each of the four-ounce patties gets topped with a slice of Tillamook cheddar, and goes under the broiler for a minute. The buns are griddled with a bit of butter, then the entire stack is assembled.

"A little bit of Eastern European blood so, you gotta have that acid and the crunch so we make bread and butter pickles in house too," said Sheerin.

Sheerin says it may not be the most challenging dish on his menu, but still, he and his staff want to make it the best-in-class.

"As a chef, sometimes creatively you go 'oh, I don't want to do a burger' but then you eat a really good one and you're like, 'yeah, we'll do a burger, what the hell,'" he said.

And here's a secret: if you stop in for brunch, they have a brunch burger that's not listed on the menu. It comes with bacon and a fried egg on top.

2039 W. North Ave.

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