Twisted Burger Review – Barrington, IL

Twisted Burger Review

With a few locations around the Northwestern suburbs of Chicago, Twisted Burger is a growing chain with designs on serving the quality fast food audience.  Just five years old, they have been getting rave reviews with each new location they open.

The menu has a lot of customized burger choices, as well as chicken sandwiches, hot dogs, (well, it IS Chicago), Italian beef, appetizers, wraps and salads.

I went with the “Captain America” – beef patty (you can substitute veggie or turkey) topped with  cheddar cheese, bacon, apple BBQ sauce, lettuce, tomato and a giant onion ring. I had them hold the sauce.  Patty was flavorful and lean, toppings were crisp and fresh.  Bakery style roll, soft to chew, but firm enough for the toppings.

Also ordered the small size fries – garlic and parmesan style, which were really excellent. I wasn’t looking at the menu carefully enough, so I didn’t see a quantity option was “Side.”  Would have been better for one person, the “small” will keep the table happy.

There have been more than a few restaurants in this location over the 30+ years I’ve been coming around this town.  Most recent was a Mexican eatery. Before that, another casual burger place, which then moved across the street and has now moved to the adjacent suburb. Reviewed that one before.

I’m sure I’ll be back to “Twisted” to try some other items on the menu.  And more fries with that, please.

Twisted Burger Review

Captain America Burger


Twisted Burger Review

Garlic Parmesan Fries


Twisted Burger Review


Twisted Burger Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
Twisted Burger Review

Twisted Burger Review

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Penny Lane Review, Barrington, IL

A pub/grill, not the song. Tho the song is one of my favorites. Let’s pause, shall we?


The Penny Lane Pub is a modestly sized bar and grill with daily specials, live music on weekends, and open til 3 AM.  They have a good bar menu with pizza, sandwiches, wings, tacos, and of course burgers.

I went with the “Olive Burger” which is kind of a thing in the Chicago area, a burger patty topped with sliced green or black olives.  On some menus, it’s called a “Queen Burger,”  and I’ve never been able to find out how it came into being.  It was right up there in the mighty fine category, as were the fresh cut fries.  Great beef taste, ample sized, bun substantial enough to hold all manner of toppings. Delish.

Penny Lane obviously buys quality ingredients, and fresh, attractive produce.  The kitchen again, obviously, takes pride in their presentation.

Despite its location in Barrington, one of the poshest Chicago suburbs, I found the prices to be very modest. Sandwiches and drinks for two, $14.00.

Not far down the road, you can easily pay double that (or more)  at other Barrington watering holes.

I’ll do it again, to check out the pizza and some of the nightly specials, you betcha.  The location is on a not very well traveled road, but easy to find, head north of I-90 on highway 59 and hang a left on Penny Road, the joint is just ahead on your left.

Penny Lane Pub Review

Olive Burger



Penny Road Pub Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Penny Lane Review

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Kookers Review – Barrington, IL

Kookers Review BarringtonI am one of the world’s biggest fans of mom and pop businesses of any ilk, and that goes double for the restaurant biz, a segment so terribly difficult even under the best of circumstances.

Kookers has served the posh Chicago suburb of Barrington for at least thirty years, that I am aware of, perched on US Highway 14.  It was previously in a smaller facility on the north side of the road, and within the past few years, moved to a larger facility across the street.  It was for sale for awhile before the move, not sure if it changed hands or not, but based on visits years ago, I would guess it has different owners.

They serve a typical “Chicago” menu of fast food, burgers, hot dogs, Italian beef, gyros, fried sides, plus some extended offerings in different day parts.  Menu.

I so wanted to come away from my latest visit bubbling over with enthusiasm, but unfortunately, that wasn’t the case.

I popped in mid afternoon and was the only customer, except for a man engaged in conversation with the counter person, apparently a conversation so engaging that it was more important than waiting on me.  Strike one.

I place my order, for a cheeseburger (they have many cheeses to choose from, I went with blue) and walked into the bathroom.  Wasn’t antiseptically clean and parts of it seemed to be held together with scotch tape and wire.  The entrance to the men’s room is through a hallway which was stacked floor to ceiling with boxes of various restaurant supplies.  Strike 2.  I don’t want to see that.  I fear that standards of (lack of) organization or ‘cleanliness’ extends throughout an establishment.

It didn’t take long for the burger to be ready, but it really wasn’t anything special, a machine-formed patty and put together with a not very aesthetically pleasing appearance.  Strike 2.5?

I gathered up some sections of newspaper that were laying around, perused them while eating my burger, which I finished in short order.  Got up to leave (still the only customer) without any acknowledgement from the employee (“thanks!”  “come back soon”).

My recollection of the previous long-time owner was people supported him for a couple reasons;  one, he made a point to ‘know’ every customer and be hospitable, and two, he prided himself on quality ingredients.

Neither appears to be the case at the “new” Kookers, sadly.

Kookers Barrington Review
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Kookers Review

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Barrington, IL – The Bread Basket Restaurant Review

Had a craving for corned beef today, out in the old stomping grounds of idyllic Barrington, IL. So it was off to the Bread Basket, one of the two old standbys for locals in the village. (The other being “The Canteen“).   Been here dozens of times, back in the day, it was a favorite of my daughter when she was coming up.

I opted for the corned beef on rye, and the waitress told me “some people like it cold,” to which I retorted, “no, it’s supposed to be warm.”

End of discussion.

It was a good sandwich, lean corn beef, probably from Vienna, many restaurants in the Chicago area use that supplier, and they have a great product.

My only “beef?”  The restaurant uses “extruded” fries. That’s a potato product, a slurry of  mashed potato-like batch is whipped up, and then “fry-shape” pieces are shoved through a mold and flash frozen. They get a certain crispness on the outside, and are smooth and soft inside.  Just not my favorite.

But!  I was there just before closing, so the waitress gave me a go-cup of coffee, gratis.  Score!  (Great coffee, too, btw).

Bread Basket Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Barrington Restaurants

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