(Nerd) Lunch Special: Bulldogs Grill


The Diner BurgerBulldogs Grill is a local joint with two locations in my area of the Chicago ‘burbs. After some recent rave reviews on TV and one of my favorite food blogs, Burt’s, I quickly moved Bulldogs to the top of my fast food itinerary. Aside from Five Guys setting up shop in the area, the premium burger craze has been a trend that I’ve mostly missed over the last few years. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but when the line to order snaked out into the street at 7 PM on a Saturday night in the dead of winter, I knew Bulldogs was doing something right.

 

The formula at Bulldogs is pretty simple:

  • Premium ingredients with all the fat and sugar
  • Lots of specialty burgers with interesting toppings
  • BIG portions
  • The Asylum Wing and Bluto Burger Challenges that would be worthy of Adam Richman

 

Fresh cut fries, with mustardRather than diving into the deep end with one of the specialty burgers, I went with the conventional single burger, The Diner, so I could more easily compare it to my other favorite burgers. The Diner can be outfitted with mustard, ketchup, pickles, onion, etc. and at 1/2 pound is the smallest burger on the Bulldogs menu. To round out my meal, I got a small order of fries and a small vanilla shake. Yeah, all of the photos in this post are the smallest sized items on the menu.

 

The burger was fantastic; high quality beef and cooked on the griddle like the best hand-formed, pan fried burger I could make at home. The fries and shake were also quite good, though did not stand out as much as the burger. I think I may be spoiled from all the places in my area which serve fresh cut French fries and custard; it’s just hard to go wrong with those. The basics at Bulldogs were so good that I’m excited to try some of the more adventurous fare. For my next visit pencil me in for the Scarlet Johansson burger with cream cheese, jalapeños, and bacon with some fries cooked up in duck fat.

 

There are two downsides to food of this quality: it doesn’t come cheap nor quickly. In my review of the aforementioned Five Guys, I dinged them for their high prices and slow service though Bulldogs is just as pricey and slow. Somehow the prices and the fact that it took me 30 minutes to get a burger and some fries did not not bother me the same way as it did with Five Guys. It may be because Bulldogs is local rather than a chain or that it feels more like an event than a trip to a quick service restaurant. I’m not sure, but I won’t be deterred from future visits.

 

A small vanilla shakeIn short, Bulldogs is great eats. I fully intend to take my buddies there the next time they visit and if Nick from DudeFoods ever wanted to stop over on one of his Chicago visits, Bulldogs would be a worthy stop for a hossin’ blog crossover.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

The 30 minute wait is unusual. You must have been there at an extremely busy time. I've been a somewhat regular at the original Wauconda Bulldogs andthe average wait for food is about 10 minutes.

Karen Jenn said...

I completely agree with what Anonymous said- 30 minutes is definitely unusual for Bulldogs. They MUST have been swamped/in the weeds.

AND, how can you say that this food doesn't come "cheaply?" If cheap is what you want, there's a Burger King right down the road. You will get that pretty quick, too... Where on Earth are you going to get a 9 ounce hand-formed burger that is perfectly cooked and served with all the fixins for 5.50? Get the Micky D's buck burger if "cheap" is your fancy. Sorry, I've had 12.00 burgers that weren't half as good (Red Robin ring a bell?).
My comment is my own- I am not sponsored by or endorsed by any way or any means by Bulldogs. BTW, The Scarlet Johannson is UNBELIEVABLE!!!!! YOU WILL REMEMBER THAT BURGER UNTIL THE DAY YOU DIE. It's my favorite. <3

Paxton said...

Man, Jeeg, this place looks amazing. Five Guys is good, but this place looks even better. I'm jealous.

And that Scarlet Johannson also sounds epic. There's a place here called the Speckled Hen that used to serve french fries cooked in duck fat. But no longer, and I miss them.

The comments are also my own, however if Speckled Hen would like to sponsor my comments they can contact me through my blog.

-Pax

Jeeg said...

This was my only visit to Bulldogs so I can only speak about what I experienced on that visit. I'm planning to go back in about a week and am looking forward to it.

Let me be clear, I think you do get what you pay for at Bulldogs. However that's not the same thing as affordable. CT has written here several times about the expense of taking his entire family out to eat. CT, wife, and kids wouldn't get out of Bulldogs without spending at least $40 and unfortunately that can be tough to justify for the guys on this blog.

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