One of the simplest joys of childhood is a burger , fries, and a shake. It is the first menu item that we order as a child. It’s Americana, Norman Rockwell, and “Happy Days.” Now the Chicagonistas are flocking to a great new place in River North. It specializes in burgers, great fries, and a most unusual twist , a milk shake that is made with liquor. 25 Degrees is named with the premise that twenty five degrees is the difference between a raw and well done hamburger. The burgers are perfection here, but the real story is these amazing milkshakes. These sweet treats are making a name for themself in People and American Airlines Magazines. Owners Mac and Joe make everyone feel welcome at this cozy , nostalgic bar.
We began our leisurely lunch with two of these heavenly concoctions. Jen ordered one of the El Pirata milkshakes. It reminded her of her favorite , Malibu , with its coconutty taste. What made it special was the pineapple and the coconut ice cream , and of course the two kinds of rum. I savored my Night Owl with chocolate ice cream and Godiva dark liqueur. Mac brought us a small sampling of their starters to gnosh while we sipped our shakes. The best thing about the appetizers was a combination of h’or derves and old favorites. Jen couldn’t stop raving about the potato and three cheese fritters. I savored the savory tuna on crispy eggplant. The wings were a delight with their tangy chili and honey glaze on them. But bravo goes to the tempura green and beans. This would have made my mom happy because I finally ate my green beans. The spicy aioli sauce helped and we munched those right up.
Burgers and sandwiches are also an art form here. Their veggie sandwich featured savory grilled mushrooms, roasted tomatoes, and carmelized onions. It was a healthy feast. The classic grilled cheese is a gourmet delight , especially paired with the Tuscan tomato soup. The star , however is the burgers. You can either create your dream burger or choose from one already on the menu. Pesto and proscuitto are paired with roasted tomato to make what is known as #2. The Number Four was an original offering and tastiest. Made with yellowfish tuna spread generously with the spicy aioli, it was a tasty option for sea food lovers.
New to Chicago , 25 degrees also has locations in Huntington Beach, Bangkok, and Los Angeles. They have been open since 2004. The Chicago restaurant has only been open for a few months. Give yourself a treat and go to 736 N Clark Street.