Updated: Nov 13, 2019
Just another hipster burger joint
I stopped by here for a quick bite to eat. The first thing you notice is the small, cramped, claustrophobic interior. The place was almost packed when I came in, with only a few bar stools available here & there. Within minutes of me arriving more people came, completely filling up the space & a line formed out to the street. With it being cold outside the large outside area was empty, which was why the place was so packed (although it was most definitely due to someone deciding to bring their 15 person family here for whatever reason as well which instantly left no room for other patrons to sit...thanks.)
The best way to describe it would be Five Guys, but with brioche buns, garlic aioli and not nearly as good.
Luckily I didn't plan on staying, especially since I'm not huge on small, quaint hipster interiors as I don't like feeling a stranger's hot burger breath on my cheeks & our elbows touching while I'm trying to eat myself. The interior is wood paneling, it looks like an old basement inside, complete with the same dim lighting you only find in horror movies. The line to order pretty much immediately begins once you enter the door. There was an employee taking drink orders in line while another took food orders at the register.
I ended up getting the homestyle cheeseburger and fries which came out to a whopping $14.25. This was without a drink, which actually makes Small Cheval outrank Five Guys for the worse price gouging. It took about 10 minutes for my burger to be ready, I promptly ran up to the front once my buzzer went off as Small Cheval's claustrophobic interior leaves you no room to breathe.
Food wise, it's a lesser, but "fancier" version of Five Guys. The best way to describe it would be Five Guys, but with brioche buns, garlic aioli and not nearly as good. The fries were the best part as they were crisp with a good amount of salt. The pickles were lackluster, mostly bland. The dijonnaise sauce was way too subtle as well. You can definitely tell they spent more time on presentation than taste and quality. This burger as a whole reminds me of McDonald's sub-par "Southern Style Buttermilk Crispy Chicken Sandwich." Just throwing dijonnaise and pickles on a sandwich doesn't make it "Southern or Homestyle." There's a lot more that comes with those terms in-order for it to be "just like grandma makes it." The extra kick in the nuts was that the meal wasn't even filling. I walked home only to end up eating another 1200 calorie meal that consisted of meatballs & marinara sauce.
Overall I'm honestly disappointed. This place is way overpriced and on top of that they cant even make a decent burger. It's hard to believe this place has rave reviews.
3 out of 5 stars
1732 N Milwaukee Ave Chicago, IL 60647 Wicker Park, West Town