Flip Flops in the Windy City: The American Dream

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The title of this post may be misleading.  The following is not about a life fulfilled, except it is.  It is in fact about the greatest hamburger experience in Chicago.  It’s name, The American Dream.  You may begin to salivate at any time, dear reader…

The Restaurant

The American Dream can be found at the Square Bar & Grill, 2849 W Belmont.  This is a ways away from the Belmont stop on the red/brown/purple line, but it is well worth the extra bus ride.  The Square Bar & Grill serves above average pub food, with great appetizers and a diverse & interesting beer selection.

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The Burger

Without further ado, I give you The American Dream:

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So, yeah.  Hungry yet?  Allow me to quote the menu: “10oz. char-grilled burger topped with sauteed mushrooms, smoked apple-wood bacon and swiss cheese packed between a pair of grilled cheese sandwiches”.  Did you catch that?!  SANDWICHED BETWEEN A PAIR OF GRILLED CHEESE SANDWICHES!!!

Hamburger Ethos

Before I say more, allow me to at least say that I consider myself nothing if not a connoisseur of hamburgers.  Seriously, it’s pretty much all I eat when I go out to a restaurant.  So the first thing I suggest is get the mushrooms on the side.  Mushrooms can be a great way to augment the flavor of the overall hamburger experience, but their taste can often be overwhelming, taking away from what you’re really there for.  Here’s how the texture of a burger usually breaks down.  A decent burger is juicy, sure.  But most chefs put so much effort into the meat and toppings that the bun is often left plain and dry.  Literally.  Add to that the typical cheese on a burger (cheddar, jack, swiss).  After 5 minutes, the melted cheese is back in a solid state.  Combine with the saltiness of your bacon, and you have a burger experience that can really dry your mouth out.  Want to know a cheese that is never dry?  American cheese.  Combined with the bread on the grilled cheese that’s been cooked with butter, you’ve suddenly kicked your hamburger experience up several wonderful notches.

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Please don’t be put off by the apparent rareness of the burger in this picture.  I order all burgers medium, and this one came just so.


The American Dream can be an intimidating meal to attempt.  Not only are you eating a bacon cheese burger with two grilled cheese sandwiches, they give it to you with enough fries for the table.  It can look daunting at first:

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The way I see it, you’ve got three choices:

1)  Take the whole thing down on your own.  Satisfaction guaranteed, bragging rights, and economical considering you won’t need to eat breakfast or lunch the next day.

2)  Take it on with a partner.  There’s definitely enough here to be split by two, especially if you get an appetizer beforehand.  Not quite as gross, a fun shared experience.

3)  Attempt to take it on by yourself, take the rest to go.  Not quite as gross, food for the next day.

Any way you spin it, please go to the Square Bar & Grill and order The American Dream.  Only then will you truly understand the meaning of the phrase.

USA!  USA!!  U-S-A!!!