Posted by: Brian | April 14, 2008

Review – Chicago’s Boston Blackies

Ah, Boston Blackies. I haven’t been there in years, but it all came back to me in a flood of memories of some of the best basic burgers I’ve had.

Except for the smoke. Chicago bars and restaurants are no — thank goodness — smokefree, meaning you can enjoy the flavors even more without ending the evening with the smell of ashtray on your clothes.

So let’s talk burgers: Boston Blackies had great burgers. They come in a half-pound patty (“over half pound” according to the menu, and I’m not going to quibble) and for an unadorned burger they’re hard to beat. The well-formed patties came hot off the grill with melted cheddar (American, Swiss and blue also available) on top, with just the right amount of salt and a touch of ground pepper to make them tasty and absolutely mouthwatering.

The menu at Boston Blackies says, “The main ingredient in cooking is love,” and while I can’t speak for the cook, I can say that I love places where the waitress calls me “hon.” I got great service, although the waitress was so quick I wasn’t ever able to catch her name. She was a sweetheart, though.

What else do you need to know. The burgers come open faced on either sesame bun or kaiser roll, and are severed with the obligatory (flavorless) tomato slice, (uninteresting) lettuce leaf and (slightly better than average) dill pickle spear. And, of course, they’re always served with a scoop of
outrageously delicious Carson’s cole slaw,” which is indeed a great complement to the burger.

But the burger really sells it. If you’re in Chicago take a one-block walk off of Michigan Avenue, just east of Nordstrom’s (you’ll have to walk down the stairs off the street to lower Grand) and enjoy one of the best basic burgers you’ll find in Chicago.

Burger Daddy


  1. Burger Daddy,

    I think I had a Boston Blackie’s burger once years ago, but I don’t really recall…

    The two best burger joints in recent history for me are:

    1.) Goose Island Brew Pub (you can order any of their variety of great burgers as chicken sandwiches too — nice!)

    2.) Robinson’s Ribs — 1/2 pound, single-patty, juicy BBQ burger. With or without cheddar. They cook it before the lunch rush and let it marinate in the juices and stay warm then throw it on the grill to char it when you order… wow. (Not all the locations I’ve been to seem to have this mega single patty. And it’s not the same with two 1/4 pound patties. The walk-up location at Union Station seems to have this down the best.

    ‘Nough said. 🙂

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