i was residing in evanston for about 5-6 years before moving to chicago a year and a half ago and i'm ashamed to say i've never had edzo's burger shop which a lot of people and friends swear by as the best burger place they've had. well, that was true until a few months ago, when i've finally made my way to evanston to try this place out myself. even the chicago reader critics agree when they awarded edzo's burger shop as best new burger for their charburger.
a beautiful saturday afternoon, i met up with christina (her favorite burger place - she would go so far to say that it even tops kuma's burger) and lyle around noon and the place already had a line almost out of the door. the first comment when i saw the place was "whoah, this is really like an original american diner" which i thought was really cool. edzo's is the creation of eddie lakin, a former fine dining chef who promises all-american beef burgers, never frozen and is freshly ground in house daily.
while waiting in line, you've got some time to figure out what kind of burger you would like to try. christina recommended griddled burger which is served between a brioche bun and all i had to do was to choose the topping. eddie lakin was at the counter taking order and he was really friendly. it took me more than a couple of minutes going back and forth with different ideas until i finally went ahead with the idea of a mushroom swiss - so i ordered a single griddled burger with mushrooms and swiss burger. the single is at $3.59 while additional cheese is $0.75 and the other toppings are either $0.50 or $1. to complete my whole american diner experience, i ordered a bottle of coke (although i guess milkshakes would have been the traditional pairing but oh! the calories -.-)
the burger itself was delicious - a bit of char from the griddle and you could really taste the moist well seasoned meat while the brioche captures its juices.i have to say that i made a great choice with mushrooms and swiss cheese and didn't even need any ketchup or mustard. needless to say, it was a burger done right in all its essence with freshest ingredients. it was a tad messy to eat but sooooo worth it - all you need is just a couple extra napkins..
speaking of milkshakes, christina ordered the almond milkshake which she kindly offers to me to try. the milkshake itself had a thick, smooth, creamy texture with occasional bits of almonds with huge almond flavor all around - in a good way. i was kinda like a small kid in a candy store as i watched the person make the milkshake at the machine which i thought was so cool. similarly, you could also watch the cooks make your burger at the counter if you wanted to. :)
of course, burger meals feels incomplete without fries. edzo's serves only twice fried, hand cut fries in many different ways. christina ordered "old fries" ($3.29) to share which are extra brown and extra crunchy. she mentioned that this was the only one she really like because the fries are crunchy unlike a few of the other renditions she's tried here. they were what they promised - fresh and crispy and was salted just enough. one of the better fries i've had here in chicago.
my experience at edzo's somewhat reminded me of my fond memories at hot doug's. there are a few similarities between hot doug's and edzo's - you get to meet the friendly owners as you order your food at the counter, both adopting the diner concept (although one takes on more of a traditional decor) but most importantly, they are awesome at what they do - dishing out amazing food. not only edzo's does the burger perfectly, it comes with the whole american diner ambience as a plus :)
disclaimer this is written based on my personal experience and opinion. experiences and taste buds may vary for others.