Chicago’s Best. I think that dude Ted rocks, and he’s got this crazy-cool vibe that really reminds me of another favorite show of mine from the 90’s called “Wild Chicago”. On the other hand, when Ted’s co-host Brittney Payton does a segment, I find myself groaning… deeply.
It’s not that she’s an unattractive lady, or that her TV hosting skills are lacking, even though, truth be told; she’s really not a great match to be running alongside Ted. But to me, the big issue that kills her segments, is that she’s a stinking Vegetarian! How the hell can you be a credible food show host and not eat meat??
So here’s the deal; while watching Chicago’s Best’s “Guilty Pleasures” episode, they head over to The Bad Apple for what are supposed to be Chicago’s Best French Fries. Now I seriously love great French fries, and this time, Brittney totally sold me on how great those Bad Apples fries are. So as the segment concluded, I immediately fired up my awesomely powerful GalaxyS Android phone, opened up Google maps, and stared the Bad Apple, so it would be on Burt’s “must hit” list.
Father’s day in the Fleisher household is known as a “food and cruise” kind of day, and we pulled up to the Bad Apple at about 2 in the afternoon. After being seated, and reading through the menu, my kids started moaning “but dad, I don’t want to just eat French fries, can we at least get a burger?” I gave in, and ordered two really interesting sounding burgers, a well described in house made peanut butter & jelly sandwich, an order of Poutine, and those reportedly awesome French fries.
When the food came out, I regretted the PB&J order right away. It was like nature stores peanut butter on toasted gritty whole grain bread, and it only had a thin layer of jelly.
The Poutine was lackluster, but hey, it not Quebec, so what can I say? The main issue were with the mushy cheese curds; if you can’t get the firm squeaky ones, then the dish just doesn’t work.
The famous French fries that had me trekking all the way from BFE Gurnee to try, were a bit disappointing. I thought they were over fried, too light on salt, and a touch too dark from the oil. They looked nothing like what I saw on the show. I was about to start cursing the vegetarian for sending us here, when the burgers arrived.
Oh my God! How could they have not even talked about these burgers on the show? These are GORGOUS! Oh, yeah, because vegetarians don’t eat meat! So how the hell would she know that the Bad Apple makes some really badass burgers?!
All my previous criticisms and woe’s fell by the tableside as this outcome was totally unexpected. Great burger superlatives started running through my head and across my lips; thick, juicy, nice crust, great spicing, great buns (and not those stupid oversized dry pretzel buns (although available)), amazing toppings and combinations. Yes, The Bad Apple had just gone from zero, to hero, in two plates flat!
later I did some research on the web and discovered that I wasn’t alone in my being so impressed by The Bad Apples burgers. There are bunches of posts and reviews out there, and they’ve all been reaching the same conclusion I did; those are some pretty damn good burgers!
THE BAD APPLE
4300 North Lincoln Avenue
Chicago, IL 60618