America’s Best Burger 2015! The Brilliant Cooking At Chicago’s Au Cheval!


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Maybe you didn’t hear me….I said: ARE YOU HUNGRY??????

fried bologna sandwich

Well, if you aren’t, you soon will be. The Food Network has just named Chicago’s Au Coeval restaurant as the source of America’s best burger!

Here’s a great shot of it, courtesy of “The Burger Guide” website:

best burger in america au cheval

Here is a look at the night I tried this beauty at Au Coeval in Chicago…

Chicago skyline

Say hello to the Sears Tower…nobody in Chicago calls it anything else. Just west of Chicago’s Loop, there is a burgeoning food district. Along with such hot spots as “The Girl And The Goat” and “Publican”, there is a restaurant that is taking foodies by storm:

Behold “Au Cheval”!

Au Cheval at 800 W. Randolph

The west loop neighborhood, just west of downtown Chicago, has exploded with new restaurants, and Au Cheval has quickly earned a reputation as one of the best!

best new restaurants Au Cheval Chicago

The inside of Au Cheval feels like a modern french bistro, with an american pub feel…there are no reservations, so you can expect a wait, but they are friendly and keep things moving…

au cheval kitchen

One seated, you quickly realize that the chefs are serious about their food. It is, simply, one of the best places to eat in all of Chicago. Here is our amazing food adventure, beginning with some appetizers:

Foie Gras Terrine With Strawberry Jam!

Au Cheval foie gras

Since my son Jeff lives in California, he’s had to do without foie gras. So naturally, we ordered it here…and this dish is a masterpiece of simplicity. It is a delicious foie gras, buttery and smooth – served with thick toast and strawberry jam….

World's best foie gras

My daughter Jessica and her husband Mike were with us, so we were able to try a number of different items…like one of my favorite dishes that has never been done better:

Au Cheval roasted bone marrow

Roasted Bone Marrow, Beef Cheek Marmalade And Toast!

Yes, this is a beautiful roasted bone marrow – and it comes out of the kitchen looking like a sculpture:

world's best bone marrow recipes

The process is easy: you scoop out a glistening spoon full of marrow, and then place it on the toast with a dollop of beef cheek marmalade…the savory sweetness of the marmalade was perfect for the marrow.

Au Cheval bone marrow dish

Now onto a classic french dish – that the kitchen at Au Cheval has re-imagined for a new generation!

Toasted Open-Faced Ham And Cheese Fondue With Fried Egg!

Yep, this is fondue!

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Au Cheval’s take on this classic french dish is a plate of sizzling baked cheese on top of ham – with a gorgeous fried egg on top! You take a piece of toast and slather it up – after breaking this gorgeous egg of course…

best fondue recipes

Remember, these are just appetizers! Even though we were already beginning to get full, we had one more shared appetizer to go: Au Cheval’s fried chicken!

Au Cheval's fried chicken

General Jane’s Honey Fried Chicken With Chili, Sesame Seeds And Cilantro!

There is fried chicken, and then there IS FRIED CHICKEN:

world's best fried chicken recipes

First of all, look at how this chicken glistens in the light – the honey glaze has an Asian kick to it, and the chicken itself is crispy outside but moist in the middle:

Au Cheval Chicago fried chicken dish

This is the perfect appetizer for sharing – the dish is large enough for everyone to have a couple of pieces – and trust me, everyone will:

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The sauce is a bit sweet, with a nice bite of chile as well…and then you have the toasted sesame seeds – all of it coating your fingers as you eat…and you WILL lick your fingers afterward!

best fried chicken dishes

Time to move on to the main courses: we ordered two dishes and cut them into quarters. Au Cheval has won many awards for their food, and these two dishes are their masterpieces – first, take a look at THIS!

Chicago Au Cheval burger

The Au Cheval Burger!

world's best burgers

Yes, this is the Au Cheval take on a burger…first of all, take a look at the homemade slab of bacon:

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Not only do you have the burger, cheese and bacon on the bottom bun, but you have a fried egg on the other! All you have to do is close and enjoy!

world's best burger au cheval

Not only does this taste amazing, but look at how this burger remains standing after being cut into quarters! One of the biggest problems with a “loaded up” burger is that it all fall apart when you eat it – but not this one…

best bacon cheeseburger recipe

You can see why The Food Network has bestowed Au Coeval with the coveted title of best burger in America!

And now, time to unveil another of Au Cheval’s crowning achievements:

Au Cheval classic bologna sandwich

Yes, in a world where food fads come and go, Au Cheval and reached into every single person’s past to offer up a taste of legendary goodness:

The Fried House-Made Bologna Sandwich!

Au Cheval Fried Bologna Sandwich

When was the last time you ate bologna? Exactly! But just like the rest of the food, this dish harkens back to comfort food, yet it is presented in a modern, inventive take. Here it is cut in half:

Au Cheval Fried Bologna Sandwich

And here is what it looks like when held up proudly by my son-in-law Mike Minick:

Mike Minick And The Bologna Sandwich

Take a look again: this is a FRIED BOLOGNA SANDWICH! Every kid had a bologna sandwich in their lunch pail at one point or another in their formative years, but Mom NEVER thought to load it up like this!

fried bologna sandwich

It has a creamy gruyere cheese on it…the Mortadella is juicy and crispy on the edges – and the flavor – it’s honestly your fondest memories of bologna turned up to eleven!

World's best fried bologna sandwich

Au Cheval also has any number of other great dishes, like the Matzo Ball soup, one enormous matzo ball in chicken broth…Alex and I had it once when we dropped in on a whim and sat at the bar. I didn’t have it on this trip, but it is terrific as well.

Here is the latest menu from the restaurant:


Au Cheval is a terrific place to eat – and the prices are very reasonable…I cannot wait to go back – if you have been there, leave a comment and let us know how it was!

Au Cheval classic bologna sandwich

Categories: Awards, BACON, Books / Media, chicago, Exotic Travel, Food, Food Review, Hamburgers, Recipes, Restaurants, Travel, Travel Adventures, Travel Memoir, TV Show, Uncategorized, Wacky Food

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5 replies

  1. Reblogged this on johnrieber and commented:

    Dreaming of a fried bologna sandwich…YOU?


  2. The Burger….No thanks , too fatty and unappetizing



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