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Saturday, 05 November 2011 20:05

Kuma’s Corner; The ultimate burger? Featured

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As some Americans look just for the simple food dishes to make them happy, others are looking for something extravagant. Some people are driven by seafood, others by pizza, but for quite some time the burger, for so many, has been comfortable All American food.

Hamburgers have long been consumed by Americans for years, but the wonderful ground meat delight didn’t start to become a staple in the American diet right away. At first when the hamburger was introduced, it was commonly served as fair food at county fairs. As we have come a long way with the burger, some Americans are still searching for the ultimate burger.

On our quest we entered the heavy metal realm of Kuma’s Corner at 2900 W. Belmont in Chicago, Illinois. The atmosphere is a corner bar that serves burgers with a nice little theme. The place is small for the business that Kuma’s attracts, so the wait can be long at times. As we arrived in mid-afternoon the place was packed and had to wait for about an hour for a seat as expected.

Once seated, you couldn’t help but to let your eyes wander at the way this place was decorated. Music memorabilia was all over the place! Album covers, pictures, and even a B.C. Rich bass guitar was up on the wall above the bar. Hard rock and heavy metal music is played during your dinner at a level that can be a little loud for some. If you are looking for a nice quiet place for conversation, Kuma’s may not be exactly for everyone. The music isn’t over powering where you can’t hear anything, but if trying to have a conversation, you may have to repeat yourself a couple of times. It really is a nice place to go on a date.

Every sandwich is named after a band, or song or something related to hard rock and heavy metal theme. The burgers at Kuma’s Corner all start out the same way, a 10 oz. burger on a pretzel roll. All of the burger creations can be served with either a chicken breast, a garden burger, or chicken tenders in place of the burger, but why would you want to do that at a burger place? They come with names like; Led Zepplin, Pantera, Megadeth, and Slayer. They have numerous choices on the menu, but the toppings are far beyond mustard and ketchup.

The Plague Bringer is topped with roasted garlic mayo, tortilla strips, a nice house made hot sauce, fresh garlic, pepper jack cheese, and sliced jalapenos. The garlic within this burger is guaranteed to ward off vampires; combined with heat from the bowels of hell, it makes a good burger. The zing of the hot sauce mixes well with the garlic in the mayo to cool it off a bit creating a lot of flavor. So much is going on in this burger it’s almost scary delicious.

The Kuma burger has a classic All American breakfast on top of it. Bacon, cheddar cheese, and a sunny-side up fried egg complete this trendy masterpiece. Putting it all together makes some nice comfort food. Biting through the pretzel roll and tasting the bacon, the meat, and the yoke from the egg mixed with everything; this is quite a tasty sandwich.

The Black Oak Arkansas burger is topped with a thick red wine BBQ sauce, bacon, aged white cheddar, and fried shallot rings. The burger was cooked to perfect temperature, the BBQ sauce is very thick almost like a paste rather than a sauce, but is unique and full of flavor. This is a fancy version of the bacon cheeseburger. The fried shallot rings topped off the burger nicely complementing all the other flavors well with a little sweetness.

Another favorite at Kuma’s is the macaroni and cheese. This is not the stuff out of the box and there is a long list of ingredients that can be added to this pasta dish. The options to your to add to your mac and cheese vary from meats like prosciutto and chicken to veggies like mushrooms and sundried tomatoes. Cooked in a nice creamy cheese sauce - a broiler crusted casserole style top gives this dish a nice all around taste and texture that couldn’t be better.

The portions are huge with all the dishes, burgers, or appetizers. A burger and fries from Kuma’s is enough to fill you up all day and at a fairly reasonable value maxing out at $13 for these delicious burger creations.  The beef patty can be cooked to your liking of rare, medium rare, or well done. It’s a nice sized burger that needs some spices. The burger itself was just a beef patty and didn’t seem to have any seasoning in it at all. Only complaint at all was the lack of seasoning to enhance the flavor, which is a big complaint when talking about food.

The wait staff is always very polite. It’s a small place and they need the customers to eat and clear the way.  Overall Kuma’s Corner is an excellent place to go and eat. The atmosphere is a delight to see for the head bangers of the world. The food is excellent and overall the wait staff is a class act.

In the quest for the ultimate burger, it has not been found yet and our search continues. Kuma’s Corner ranked high on the list and they make a delicious burger. Good quality ingredients, huge portions, and overall a good experience.  Between two burger critics Kuma’s ranked the place as a solid eight on the scale of one to ten, with ten being the highest. It’s definitely a worthy burger that with a little seasoning inside the meat, could easily reach eleven. We will be going back!

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