Great historic roadside eatery from the 1940s, now occupied by a small local burger chain. Terrific chili fries, Impossible Burger, and some of the best onion rings I’ve had anywhere. Also a shout-out for the coffee shake! Sounds like a great 10am breakfast on Christmas Eve to me!
This place is a complete remodel of the Italian place that was here before. Although I miss that place, this is probably a better space for serving three meals a day for the attached hotel. It’s lighter and more open, and looks more like a diner.
There’s a large selection of various burger styles, but you can get pretty much anything you like on them. The patties are the smashed kind, so they’re all cooked all the way through. I had the Ranch Hand, basically a BBQ bacon cheeseburger, and it was very good.
The accompanying fries weren’t very exciting, but a side order of onion rings was nicely done.
Service was friendly. The kitchen was a bit slow, considering they weren’t busy, but we weren’t in a hurry.
I’m factoring in the fact that this was delivered by DoorDash, so naturally some things, like fries, don’t travel that well.
I’ve had the Impossible Burger–that vegetable substitute that is almost identical to meat–at several places, and always enjoyed it. This version was about as good as I’ve had. It’s important to order it well or medium well so that it gets a nice caramelized crust.
I didn’t actually order the prefab version of it from Kuma’s because I wanted bacon (call me a hypocrite) and real cheddar cheese. So I ordered the Kuma Burger and chose the Impossible Burger as my patty. This was an expensive way to do it, because the Impossible patty is a $7 upcharge, but I got what I wanted, and it was delicious, with all the fixin’s just the way I like ’em.
I also tried the Jalapeno Poppers. These were large, thoroughly cleaned of seeds (so not spicy at all) and stuffed with a flavorful cream cheese concoction, then deep fried in panko batter. They weren’t oily at all, and reheated in the oven beautifully. The accompanying spicy jam was wonderful.
I don’t know if I would order delivery again, just because of the fragility of the food, but if in the neighborhood I would definitely stop in to Kuma’s Corner.
In all fairness I ordered this food delivered, so I’m not going to comment on aspects that didn’t travel well (such as the fries), as I’m sure they’re much better at the restaurant.
What did travel well was the raw ahi tuna taco. The tuna was obviously excellent sushi grade, and the large chunks were still cold, and the fried taco shell crisp.
The other noteworthy item was the deep-fried grilled cheese sandwich. It was essentially fish and chips, except instead of fish there was a grilled cheese sandwich in there. The batter was nice and crisp, but I felt it needed a bit of seasoning, or perhaps the Swiss cheese version (rather than American cheese) is more flavorful.
The cheeseburger was a bit of a disappointment. It basically tasted exactly like a Big Mac.
I also sampled the Samurai fish taco, which was an okay combination of fried fish and pickled jalapenos on flour tortillas.
Based upon the name I was expecting sort of a dive bar, but it’s actually quite modern and nice inside. The menu offers a broad range of sports bar food, and I was pleasantly surprised by how good our selections were.
The nachos were actually better than any I’ve gotten in Chicago’s Mexican restaurants. They were spread out in a thin layer over a huge rectangular tray, so they stayed nice and crisp. We ordered them without the black beans, just our preference.
I had the ribeye, and it was a pretty darn good steak for much less than half what it would cost in any of River North’s steakhouses. About half of it needed to be trimmed away, but that’s what makes a ribeye so tender and juicy, and this one certainly was.
Service from our original server was a bit spotty, but the bartender and manager filled in nicely during her unexplained absences.
I was definitely favorably impressed, and will return.
There’s nothing quite like an authentic Tommy burger. There are imitators all over town, but none of them get it quite right.
There’s something about the flavor of the strange orange glop they call chili that can’t be duplicated. Frankly the stuff might be terrible by itself, but with the slab of tomato, diced onion, and handful of dill pickle slices, it all seems to go together.
Oh yeah, and there must be meat in there somewhere, although who knows what it tastes like.
The fries deserve a shout out, too. They’re not thick or thin, but just fat enough to have a nice crust and soft inside.
Oh, and don’t get that orange stuff on your hands. It never comes off.
I have fond memories of backyard type burgers being served at small grills from my youth, and the burger prepared at Burger Lounge is just like those. It has all the ingredients I regard is essential and a hamburger: a slice of tomato slice of onion and lettuce on the bottom that holds together.
I also tried a 50-50 mix of onion rings and fries. Although the fries were nothing special, the onion rings were perfectly crisp and delicious. I also had a root beer float, which was just like I used to make for myself.
As others have noted, for a counter serve place the service here is terrific. Several people checked on me outside while I was eating and brought me condiments on request. An excellent dining experience.
This is a really fun venue, definitely the best over-the-top themed restaurant I’ve been to. There’s lots to explore, including how to get in and how to get out. To avoid spoliers I’ll just say that the entrance is indeed the door at 60 E Ontario, and let you discover the rest for yourselves.
The food here is surprisingly good. We started with some pretzels, which I probably wouldn’t order again, since they weren’t cooked enough for my taste, but we liked everything else.
The grilled cheese sandwich was nicely browned and very generously stuffed, the spy burger was good, the fries were thin and crispy, and the ahi tuna salad was a good lighter choice, particularly if you like pea pods, as it was full of them.
Service was friendly, and the servers do a good job of staying in character without being overly serious about it.
Highly recommended for families or a fun night out. It was pleasantly navigable on a rainy Sunday afternoon. That’s important, because you’re going to want to explore the whole place. On the other hand, there might be magic at the bar at night…