Chicago Hamburger Company vs. Boomer's Sweet Home Chicago
This week we went to two Chicago-style restaurants to compare sliders, those adorable mini burgers that are so small they slide down your throat. Why Chicago? It's not completely clear but apparently Walter Anderson, the founder of White Castle, wanted burgers to be cheap, so he made them small and called them "slyders." They originally sold for a nickel a piece back in the 1940s. Now White Castle was started in Wichita, Kansas, not Illinois, but the design of the eponymous castle was based on the Chicago Water Tower.
In One Corner: Chicago Hamburger Company
3749 East Indian School
Chicago Hamburger Company is a hole-in-the-wall at the corner of 38th Street and Indian School. It smells of fry grease, and on the far side of the dining hall, a couple of TVs seem permanently set to sports channels.
"You couldn't cram more Chicago memorabilia on the walls if you tried," our friend said.
The restaurant advertises itself as the "home of the Windy City slider." They offer four options: single, single with cheese, double and double with cheese. An "everything" order comes with spicy mustard, onions, ketchup and pickles. We ordered the single with cheese.
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The sliders arrived quickly in a little basket. They were warm and delicious. When we bit into them, one of the first things we noticed was that unlike most hamburgers you get at fast food restaurants, these burgers were served with a generous portion of pickles. And to boot, the cheese was gooey and the bread was warm.
"The bun is good," our friend remarked. "It got moist instantly. It's wrong in all the right ways."
Within the blink of an eye, we'd finished off the burgers. It took about four or five bites and we agreed we could easily go for another order. The only downside was that the hamburger meat was too slim. We unanimously agreed that next time, we'd order the double.
In the other Corner: Boomer's Sweet Home Chicago
2755 N. 91st Avenue