Sunday, August 7, 2016

Bearish for a Burger

Got a trip planned to Chicago's  Brookfield Zoo?  It's a fun place to visit - we go a couple of times a year.  But what if you are hungry as a bear afterward?
Burger Colony on Ogden Avenue in Brookfield, IL.  Whether you're on the way to the zoo or heading up to O'Hare to pick up or drop off someone -  it's only a few miles East of the Wisconsin 294 tollway and worth a quick detour and stop if you are hungry.

Ogden is just just a couple blocks south of the zoo and is easy to access off of 55 running east and West and the Ogden exit off of 294 tollway.  If you are unfamiliar with Chicago, the Western suburbs are a safe place to take in one of the cities many parks or bike trails    You're more in danger of getting your bumper clipped by a soccer Mom in yoga pants with 45 bottles of Three Buck Chuck in the back of her SUV from the local Trader Joes, than see anything in the way of gang activity or graffiti.
Burger Colony is homed in the cozy former home of Chicago Burgerwurks which closed leaving many folks in the Western Burbs craving a good burger again. Burger Colony is a whole new business that opened in winter. having leased and totally renovated the Burgerwurks building. A short lived management change in March (with menu change to quicker and easier) resulted in a loss of business so the original manager came back with his special seasonings and hand cut fries and back and better than ever.  This project is "his baby" and he and his gourmet burger chef, Bilal Beniomar, are back in action.

part of the new menu from their Facebook page

Their specialties are burgers but they also have the famous Chicago dogs, prepared a number of ways, salad, homemade sloppy joes, chicken sandwiches and tenders and  two vegetarian offerings which the locals tell me are great. They have a counter with eats in front or you can eat outside on the picnic table. It's a small place,  look for the small bright yellow building on the south corner of Ogden across the street from Phoenix Liquor and Brookfield Eye Care.  They are also happy to serve up orders to go if you don't want to eat in.  

Everything is made fresh and to order with Manager Will Natsheh's (known as Will Nat to the regulars) special blended seasoning infusing each burger, which are then flame grilled by The master of the flame - Bilal. Both men have several years experience in food service, both in the US and abroad (Will is Israeli) and it shows. Each order, including the fries, is prepared to order and it's worth the wait.
Last time we stopped Partner in Grime had the Hawaiian burger with flame grilled pineapple rings, Swiss cheese and teriyaki sauce on an artisan bun.

The grilled pineapple on there looked good enough to eat all by itself.
Today he had the Cuban burger, a rift on a Cuban sandwich (which he loves).  It had smoked ham, lots of melty cheese, lettuce, onion, pickle and ranch dressing. The basket hides how tall this was, it was a very nice sized sandwich.

I had a special today, a double cheeseburger  I ended up bringing half of it home in a "to go" box but it was incredible, dressed simply with lots of cheese, fresh lettuce, a tomato (I declined onion and pickle) and "colony sauce" on the artisan buns (seriously if I could buy a bag of these buns somewhere I'd be happy - (maybe I can bribe Will with brownies to tell me where he gets them).
The fries are worth the trip, hand cut then flash fried, they are crispy on the outside, soft in the middle and don't taste like they lived their previous life in a freezer as most food chain fries taste like.  Plus they're not at all greasy like the tasty but messy Five Guys fries. I don't normally even LIKE fries but these are wonderful.

I'm not sure exactly what "colony sauce" is.  It's not a ketchup or thousand island clone and it's not mayo-like or sweet but it adds a hint of depth with spice and the barest hint of sweet that''s amazing on the burger. I bet their hand cut onion rings would be awesome dipped in some of that.

Even better - we had more food than we could finish, plus large drinks for about $10 per person, not bad for a meal cooked from scratch and not nuked and handed out a window to you.

We're going to find an excuse to come on back and eat on another weekend soon, these are by far the best burgers and fries I've had since moving to Illinois
Grrrrr, I wanted a Colony Burger!