Urban Burger opened July 30 in Old Town. We were there the day they got their liquor license, and helped them christen their outdoor seating area with tasty local craft beer. The beer selection includes highlights from Metropolitan and Goose Island and they expect to expand the offerings in time.
We shared our seating area with their parking lot, but comings and goings of the valet service wasn’t disruptive in a neighborhood that’s high traffic. So far, so good.
We started things off with an order of mac + cheese. Though the bacon mac and the triple cheesy mac looked good, we settled on the green chili mac. It had a good amount of heat, and was crunchy on top and creamy down below. It lacked seasoning, however, and we lacked salt & pepper until our Irish waiter unearthed some for us. We cleaned the bowl after that.
We ordered a half-pound burger and topped it from their extensive list of items. You’re free to add as much of the non-protein, non-dairy things to your burger as you like. However there is a $1 charge/ingredient for cheese, bacon or fried eggs so don’t go too crazy.
They have custom-made burgers called stackers that come with specialty meats like short ribs or prosciutto. We ordered the High Hog with the BBQ pork, bacon and ham and topped with apple-cabbage slaw. Sauces are listed as extras, but like the toppings, most of these are free and optional for your burger. The BBQ sauce that we got turned out to be Sweet Baby Ray’s & was the most flavorful part of that sandwich.
For the non-meat eaters, the Urban Burger Bar has salads but we were in a sandwich mood and got their “powerhouse” veggie burger. Still not sure what makes it a powerhouse when the strongest flavor was from the arugula. It was dry and fell apart after one bite.
Of the sides, we tried the sweet potato fries, house-made chips and the chipotle lime corn and felt they were universally bland. Once chef figures out where his salt shaker is and evens out a few dishes, this place will start competing in Chicago’s burger wars.
Expect to pay about $20/per person.
1578 N. Clybourn Ave.
Chicago, IL 60642