Au Cheval (Chicago)
Au Cheval is a diner in Chicago that serves a cheeseburger which has been declared by many media outlets as the best cheeseburger in America.
We knew going into our visit that the diner would have a long wait, but we were quite shocked when we went to put our names on the wait-list and was told the wait was four hours. 4 hours.
On the bright side, you don’t have to physically wait at the restaurant for an open table. Instead, you leave your number and register with an app and the app will alert you when your table is almost ready. While I’ve never waited 4 hours for a restaurant before, I did really want to try the burger, so we decided to go have a light meal somewhere else while waiting for a table to open up for us.
Almost exactly four hours later, we were seated inside the dimly lit diner at a small table. The menu has a good selection of food but we were here for the cheeseburger only.
Double Cheeseburger with Bacon
The double cheeseburger comes with three 4-ounce prime beef patties (the single comes with two), layered with slices of American cheese, served on toasted buns, and dressed with a creamy dijon mustard mayonnaise sauce and pickles.
My first bite in, I wasn’t exactly blown away. After four hours and all the anticipation, it wasn’t love at first bite. But as I continued to eat the burger, my appreciation for it grew. I racked my brain for a better burger I had tasted in the past, and while there may be burgers that had individual elements I enjoyed more, none of them as a whole quite compared to this burger.
I think what was most appealing about this burger was that there was nothing bad about it. Every component of this burger was well executed. The buns are toasted on both sides to prevent any sogginess. The burger patties are incredibly juicy and soft, the cheese slices cover the patties like velvet blankets. The dijon mayonnaise packs just the right amount of punch and the pickles are thin and crunchy, providing just the right balance of acidity without distracting from the burger.
Single Cheeseburger with Egg and Bacon
We also ordered a version with a fried egg and bacon. The thick cuts of bacon were well cured and slightly sweet. The egg was perfectly cooked as well. Both were good, but not really necessary.
Overall, this was one of the best cheeseburgers I’ve had. I don’t know if it’s worth the wait, but if the wait was shorter, I’d definitely come back again. If you just want a small taste of this burger, they also have several Small Cheval restaurants which serves a similar and smaller version of this burger and Small Cheval burgers are also sold at 3 Greens Market food court. I didn’t have a chance to try Small Cheval during my trip but I do plan on trying the one in the food court next time.
800 W Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60607