I'll start with the good. At the time we went, the place had a decent crowd but service was still sharp. We were greeted immediately, and our drinks and beers came out very quickly. We decided to go with the onion rings as an appetizer. These were great. Thick-cut, hot, and amazing. This may have been the best part of our meal. For our burgers, we decided to go with the "Bronson" and the "Duke"; regular fries for me and bacon cheese fries for the lady friend.
The burgers were out quickly, almost before we finished the onion rings. First thing I noticed were the fries. Decently warm, but not as hot or fresh as the onion rings, and not house cut. Plain they aren't bad, but they are greatly improved by adding the cheese and bacon. The burgers themselves are big. They come with a knife in case you need such a thing. The burgers themselves were the main part of why I gave this place two-stars. I think that's reasonable for a burger joint. First off, my burger was cold. The beef patty, while cooked exactly how I like, wasn't hot. The cheese on top of my burger had already started to set. The "Bronson" comes with bacon, and my burger did...but not two strips. What I got was one clump of lukewarm bacon that, literally, had to be pulled apart and reset on top of the cheese. The buns were also cold. The bottom bun was because of the fresh pickles, tomatoes and lettuce, and that's fine...but the top? This led to an incredibly crumbly bun. One bite in and my top bun fell into three pieces. After two bites, the bottom bun was so soggy, it ripped in half. The other burger suffered the same fate. The patty itself tasted great, the veggies were fresh and crisp, but all put together...this burger failed to perform. The bacon cheese fries and onion rings, however, were great.
Another issue we had were fruit flies. I understand that a place that features such a prominent patio will have flies, but these weren't normal house flies. They were the small fruit flies...and there were more than a few buzzing around our corner bar table.
All in all, the service was good, the fries and rings were hot, the beers and drinks were cold...but so were the burgers. I'll try you again, Bronson Rock, but it won't be anytime soon.
I'll start by saying that I REALLY liked the vibe of this place. I liked the interior, the "patio", the bar, and even the look of the main dining room. Service was great, though a host seating people could probably alleviate some of the shocked looks servers when they noticed new tables. Service was prompt, orders were all correct, and questions about the menu were fielded without missing a beat (and my date asked a lot of questions).
It was happy hour when we got there and $2 beers always get my attention. It was also $0.50 wing night. Appetizers were looking promising. Since everyone else has talked about the way you build your burgers here, I'll talk about the sides. We tried the curly fries, the tornado fries and the battered fries. The tornado was the fave. The other fries were crispy and tasted fresh, but the tornado was awesome. I'll have that item again. Our burger was meant to be spicy, jalapeno mix-in and jalapeno bun, and it was. Though, it could have been more so. I also got some bacon and an egg as a topper. This is where I ran into my only complaint about the place. The egg was WAY overdone for a burger condiment and there were no veggies (lettuce, pickle, onion, tomato) brought out with the burger. Maybe I missed it on the build your own menu, so I won't fault them for that. Once I got the burger I asked for some and it was delivered very promptly. As for the egg, it looked great. So, we dressed the burger and cut into it to find...a solid, yellow disk of yolk. Other than that, the burger itself was great. The meat was excellent, the bun sturdy enough to handle the burger, and the house sauce was a welcome change from normal condiments.
We'll visit again. The service, atmosphere, and price are all great and for that, this place still gets four stars. Next time, we'll aim for that fifth one...and maybe I'll ask for the egg to be over-easy.
While visiting Chicago on business last week I stepped into Trader Todd's after a late dinner at an Italian place nearby and before meeting some friends a bit closer to the hotel. Needless to say...we never made it to the other place.
I liked this Trader Todd's because it reminded me of some of my favorite places back home. I seriously think this is the kind of place you could hang out in any day of the week. We walked in on a Sunday and the crowd was good, but not overwhelming. I'd love to go back on a Friday or Saturday! The night started pretty slowly, but the bartender, Suzie (Suzy?), was great. When we wanted some info or had questions about Chicago (things to see, places to go), she was spot on. When we were talking, she didn't interrupt. As time rolled along, we wanted to do some shots so we asked Suzie for a recommendation. I'll tell you now...she makes the best "painkillers" I've ever had. I'm going to have to go back and get the recipe so I can take it to my bartender back home.
The only things I didn't like were that I didn't eat any of the food (we just had dinner), and that I can't go back as often as I'd like. It's OK, though...Trader Todd's will be on my list when I do.