Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Mayhem: Medium Rare with Tattoos on the Side

You can get a bacon cheeseburger just about anywhere. But I would bet money that there is no other place in the city of Chicago - or anywhere else, for that matter - where you can order a Goblin's Cock and not be thrown out on the street.

My BF and I got a tip on great burgers a couple months back while I was playing "Nine" at the Theatre Building on Belmont. Of course the tip came from his cousin who is a bit more progressive than we but nevertheless, we hear "great burgers" and we run to them like a beacon in the sea of boring (healthy) food.

When we arrived at Kuma's Corner around 11PM (post-show) on another typical Saturday night, we were thrilled to discover they had their own parking, tucked against the building. Looking up at the restaurant, we saw dark curtains covering all the windows and I believe I remarked, "wow... it looks nice..."

Sidebar: When playing a show, I carry my violin around with me EVERYWHERE. There is a reason. I'm not nuts. The insurance does not cover if it gets stolen from a car. And my BF doesn't have the best of luck with his car. So one plus one equals driving home to drop it off or - such as this night - dragging it around Chicago with me and praying I don't ram it into too many people. So get the mental picture. BF in a button down and jeans. Me in fancy black show-playing attire and a 10 pound violin case strapped over my shoulder.

We walk in and are immediately assaulted by the sounds of thumping, blaring, ear splitting heavy metal. On sensory overload, we recover our bearings. The bar is dark. And boisterous. And filled with piercings and tattoos and goatees, oh my. And then there is me, BF and the violin - which I had a helluva time trying to tuck under our table-for-two in the middle of the restaurant, within sneezing distance of the other couples to our left and right. One guy looked just like Jim Morrison and was probably just as stoned (I'll admit, I referenced, "Jimmy Hendrix" at first and BF replied "Jimmy Hendrix was black... You mean Jim Morrison?" Yes - that's what I meant - work with me.

We get a table right away, and aside from their intimidating appearance, the hostess and waiters were all incredibly friendly! (Thank goodness... I was starting to look for exits). We ordered some drinks and sat squinting in the darkness and trying to read through the menu - with over 20 types of burgers to choose from, it took some time. I ended up deciding on the "Neurosis" (appropriate) - Cheddar, Swiss, Sauteed Mushrooms, Carmelized Onions and Horseradish Mayo. BF went with the "Black Sabbath" - Blackening Spice, Chili, Pepper Jack and Red Onion. The burgers were amazing. It was too loud to talk but we screamed across the table anyway, seemed to fit right in. What an adventure! I told BF "we don't need to go on vacation - we can just come here...!" We had a fantastic time and an excellent meal.

We went back a few weekends ago and the agreement was that though we loved what we had last time and would be more than happy to rinse and repeat... we would step out of our burger box and try a different one.

I went with the "YOB" this time (don't ask) - Smoked Gouda, Bacon, Roasted Red Peppers and Roasted Garlic Mayo and my BF had - you guessed it - the "Goblin Cock" (I think he just wanted to say that in public) - Bacon, Cheddar Cheese, 1/4 lb Vienna Hot Dog (yes, right on top of the burger), Tomatoes, Onion, Neon Green Relish, Sport Peppers, Pickles and Celery Salt Mustart. Talk about a mouthful.

Kuma's Corner is not only an amazing cultural experience - but it's also reason #2360 for why I love Chicago. Try it if you dare. You wont be disappointed!

Kuma's Corner
2900 W Belmont
Chicago, IL 60618
Phone: (773) 604-8769

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