Our quest continues...
During a family gathering yesterday (Mothers' Day), we planned our next outing. This time we invited John, Jr's, bro-in-law/compadre, "G," to go with us. This morning, I talked to John over the phone, and we then decided that while they were going to ride their Harleys, I would go ahead and meet them at a local place known for having a huge selection of beer on tap, The Hoppy Monk. They also reportedly have a great burger.
I am now a bit embarrassed to admit that while I looked at their web site for their address, I didn't bother to look at their hours of operation. Had I taken that extra minute or so, I would have learned that our planning was very incomplete. We were to meet at this place around 1:30 PM, and it is a long, long drive for us, since we live in far east El Paso, and The Hoppy Monk is in West El Paso. And, they do not open until 3:00 PM on Mondays (and Tuesdays and Wednesdays and Thursdays)!
Obviously, this presented us with a bit of a dilemma since we were hungry, and did not really know what to fall back upon. "G" suggested a place, back down Mesa Street that he said had great Philly Cheese Steak sandwiches. Personally, I don't care for Cheese Steak sandwiches, but "G" said they also had good burgers. So, a quick turn around, and back down Mesa to Chicago's Street Food.
I shoulda known better. One look at the cute decor, and I just know that Robert Irvine would have screamed that the place needed to be stripped down to the bare walls. The inside of this place looks like a small street scene, with the tables in the center of what would be the street of, possibly, a small neighborhood somewhere in Chicago, in happier days. You know, store fronts, office buildings, apartment buildings, and so forth. Kinda like the casino, New York, New York, in Vegas, but on a very small budget.
I looked at the menu and chose what read like a pretty good idea, the Mayor Daley Bacon Cheeseburger. What could go wrong? 6 oz. patty is a good size for me, not too big; not too small. Cheddar cheese, as opposed to Processed Yellow Cheese; that's good, right? Crispy lettuce. Onions? check. "loaded with bacon!" Wow! That's cool. And, a Kaiser bun? That's great.
I gotta say I went into this place with no expectations, and they were met.About all I can say about the cheese was that it was very yellow. The lettuce (not iceberg, and that should be a good thing, right?) may have been crispy when it left the field a few weeks ago, but not today. I'm still trying to taste the onions; I'm not even sure there were any onions in there. I had to put the tomato and the (did I mention that the lettuce was limp?) lettuce on myself, and I don't recall seeing any onion. One might be forewarned that Chicago's Street Food's idea of "loaded" apparently means one thin slice of packaged bacon, torn in half, and then the two halves sort of criss-crossed, one over the other, on top of the patty.
What about the patty, you ask? Believe it or not, it was cooked to my taste, which is medium rare. But, there is no hiding the fact that this patty sure looked to be pre-formed, and quite possibly, previously frozen. As for the Kaiser bun, I found it to be a poor copy of the real deal. Obviously, it did not receive a lot of attention from actual human hands in the kneading and baking process.
"G" showed us a photo on his phone of the Cheese Steak sandwich that he enjoyed on a previous visit. The sandwich ordered today by John did not appear to be related to the one in the photo. Maybe a distant cousin. The bread was processed, as opposed to being a roll. The meat most closely resembled something you can buy here at the local carniceria called pulpa bola, being very thinly sliced, tough and dry.
In short, our adventure turned out to be less than great. And, the Chicago Street Food would probably be better left on the street.
And, the quest goes on...