Sometimes you hear about a restaurant long before you actually make a visit. That was the case for us with the Lombard location of DMK Burger Bar. It's a place I've wanted to check out for a while, but it never quite worked out. This year, for Father's Day, it worked out.
After a year of searching the USA for a great burger, David Morton and Michael Kornick opened DMK Burger Bar. The focus was on serving 100% grass-fed beef patties (something we wholeheartedly endorse), along with other burgers, all paired with artisan buns. Philanthropically, DMK Burger Bar supports local charities benefiting hunger, wellness, children and the environment. Nice.
So, Lombard. One of three current locations with a fourth forthcoming (at Navy Pier). At this location, close-in parking can be a bit difficult, though plenty of spaces are available if you just park a bit further away. A small patio sits at the front of the restaurant, though it was too warm for us to try that out. Neither a straight up bar or restaurant, this has a bit of a fast food chain feeling - the design is understated, with some highbrow elements and comfortable seating, with a decent overall feeling. Wide aisles and incredibly high ceilings make this place seem somewhat vast and add to the general noise level. A bathroom sign warns you that the floor is slippery and they were not joking. This almost feels like a work in progress, with finishing touches to come later. We'll see.
A variety of burgers are joined by options for salads and sides (everything is à la carte), as well as a decent beer list, with some local options included. Hopefully moving forward the local aspect will be played up more, though I can't fault them for what they're doing now.
Six people, three types of burgers (The Paleo - Grass-Fed Beef, Marinated Portobello 'Buns,'Arugula, Pistou; a #1: Aged Cheddar, Smoked Bacon, Charred Balsamic Red Onion, Rufus Teague's BBQ Sauce; and two basic cheeseburgers, along with mac 'n' cheese for the boys (Mac 'n' Cheese #1: Aged Cheddar, Parmesan Crust). We also added three varieties of fries (Parmesan with TruffleCream; Wisconsin Cheddar and Scallions; and Sweet Potato Fries with a Lemon Tabasco Aioli).
As mentioned, each dish is à la carte - what was surprising was how it was served. Tasting sizes of the fries were ample for all of us (can't imagine getting the larger shared size) and on reasonably sized plates. The burgers were served on saucers, filling each plate - not sure who came up with that idea, but it just appeared wrong to me. I suppose with larger plates it would be more obvious that no garnishes or sides came with the burgers, but even a small salad plate would have been more attractive visually.
The food itself was great, with no complaints at all. The sweet potato fries were crispy, which is not an easy thing to do. Quantity of food was adequate, though it seemed like there was less than usual due to those small plates). The variety keeps things interesting, with plenty of choices available on a return visit - it would take a while to eat through this menu.
The food and drinks (an order of wine, a tap beer, and four Blood Orange and Watermelon Housemade Sodas) came out to be $100, which is a lot for lunch. It's not an unfair price, as the quality of food and drink were very high. If they tweak the service (bigger plates please), add some garnishes, and rework the layout, this could become a regular place for us to visit.
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