Geez I love to be surprised at a restaurant, especially one that has got a rep for burgers – you know, that’s what I write about. Like I was supposed to be amazed at Los Angeles’ Umami Burger, but wasn’t. Across town in West L.A., tho, I was blown away by the burger at Golden State Cafe. Go figure.
I am delighted to say I was surprised at the Elgin Public House, a massive bar in downtown Elgin, IL. They’ve been open eight years, and have an incredibly deep menu for hand prepped items. They have a big selection of burger choices, including two Wagyu, two veggie options, a turkey, and bison. The beef burgers come in a lot of pre-determined configurations, or you can start from scratch, pick your protein, bun and toppings. All burgers are served with a choice of a side from a very long list of options.
Mrs BurgerDogBoy went straight for the “The Bleu Horse,” a burger crusted with blue cheese and horseradish, onion straws, and she added pickles and a tomato slice to the brioche bun. She chose Cajun fries as her side. I didn’t try one, but she reported they had a little more heat than she expected.
I went with something way off the usual path for me, their “Saltimbocca Burger,” topped with prosciutto, fresh Mozzarella and bruschetta. It was served on a ciabatta roll slathered with red pepper aioli. I went with their regular fries, which they call “pub fries,” and they are somewhere between a shoestring and a steak fry in size and texture.
We both ordered our burgers medium rare, and they came……medium rare! The hand-formed patties had a nice little char on them and a smash treatment. Tough to get a smashed burger medium rare, kudos to chef.
Anyway, I was blown away by my burger. These elements come together so perfectly I am at a loss to describe it. The mozz and bruschetta were chilled, and the aioli brought it all together. Hot protein, chilled vegetable, great bread durable enough for a heavily topped burger, and a little spice with the aioli. Magnificent.
Add over the top service from Molly to the experience. Two burgers, two soft drinks, $24.95.
If there’s a ‘next time,’ I’d give the Wagyu with garlic Boursin a shot. I’ve no doubt it would be superb.
Here’s their lengthy menu.
Elgin Public House Reviews