It’s true, there’s a National Hamburger Day. You know, because Americans need an excuse to eat hamburgers. Really, Americans need any excuse to eat hamburgers. So National Hamburger Day – May 28 – it is.
This National Hamburger Day the excuses abound. First, it’s a long weekend so chances are you’re not working on Monday, May 28. Second, the long Memorial Day weekend is the unofficial start of summer, and what better summer food than the hamburger? Third, after slaving over the grill on Sunday, and maybe feeling none too chipper after having all those grill-side adult beverages, Monday is the perfect day for someone else to make a hamburger for you. Finally, there are several places in the Chicago area that are celebrating National Hamburger Day that want to share it with you.
Benny’s Chop House
Chef Jonathan Lane of Benny’s Chop House (444 N. Wabash Ave., Chicago; (312) 626-2444) has decadent burgers on special in celebration of this most holy of holidays. They do say a rich meal is one of the best hangover cures. Try a burger with blue cheese, port wine onions and a huge order of truffle fries for only $9.99 (pictured above). Another scene stealer is Benny's Fried Egg and Truffle Oil Aioli Burger, $10.99, topped with delicious house-made aioli and crowned with an organic egg, accompanied by decadent black peppered-bacon fries.
Or maybe you feel like something “Chicago style,” but you don’t want to blaspheme on National Hamburger Day by having a hot dog or an Italian beef. Try Benny's Chicago Style Burger, $9.99, topped with Italian sausage, peppers, onions, and served with tangy parmesan fries. Finally, if you're a burger purist, you'll love the Classic Burger, topped with your choice of cheddar, provolone, or blue cheese and served with hand-cut French fries, $9.99.
Elate (111 W. Huron, Chicago; (312) 202-9900) Executive Chef Michael Noll’s specialty is contemporary American fare made from primarily locally sourced, organic, and sustainable ingredients.
His Elate Burger doesn't disappoint – it's one of the most delicious and generously sized burgers in Chicago. The Elate Burger, $14, is topped with creamed leeks, Applewood bacon and served with a generous portion of hand-cut truffled fries.
Elate doesn’t leave out vegetarians, even on National Hamburger Day. The Vegetarian Black Bean Burger, $11. is topped with a whipped avocado/piquillo pepper spread and served with seasoned fries and house made pickles.
Maxwell’s at the Club
Maxwell’s at the Club (East Bank Club, 500 North Kingsbury, Chicago; (312) 527-5800) is where you can get some burger decadence at a health club – how very Chicago.
Maxwell's Prime Steakburger, $11, made from ten ounces of prime beef, topped with lettuce tomato, onion, and pickle and served with your choice of sweet potato fries, fresh-cut fries or seasonal fresh fruit makes “healthy” options possible.
Sliders are burgers, right? Certainly they can help with the National Hamburger Day celebration. Max's Minis, $10, can. This trio of sliders includes a mini prime steakburger, a mini Santé Fe chicken burger and a mini Yellowfin Tuna Steak burger, all topped with crispy onion strings. Minis can be customized as well. If you're in the mood for steak sliders, try Mini Tenderloin Sliders, $14, a trio of seared mini filet mignon sliders finished with lemon and basil.
Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar
Whether you’re in Chicago proper (25 E. Ohio, Chicago; (312) 329-9463) or out in the ‘burbs (960 Milwaukee Ave., Lincolnshire, IL; (847) 793-0333) you can celebrate National Hamburger Day at Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar by having a Prime Burger, $14, with Wisconsin cheddar cheese, peppered bacon and their signature onion rings.
The Prime Burger is only available in the Fleming’s bars, which isn’t a bad thing at all. Since you have Monday off anyway, make your way to either of the Fleming’s locations and plop yourself down in the bar before 7p.m. The Prime Burger is on the special "5 For $6 'Til 7" bar menu, which means you can get a choice of five premium cocktails, five distinctive wines by the glass, and five generous appetizers or the Prime Burger, each for only $6.
Prairie Grass Cafe
Prairie Grass Cafe (601 Skokie Blvd., Northbrook, IL; (847) 205-4433) offers an award-winning burger. Chef/owners Sarah Stegner and George Bumbaris offer a delicious burger dubbed the #1 Sirloin Burger, $15, so named when Chicago Magazine honored it the best burger in town.
The #1 Burger is a 10 ounce top sirloin burger with a mild Amish blue cheese topping, warm beefsteak tomato, grilled onions and crisp potato wedges without a bun. Because it’s National Hamburger Day, not National Hamburger Bun Day.