Chicago >Food & Dining > Boston Blackies
164 E Grand Ave, Chicago, IL | Directions 6061141.891838 -87.622852
Neighborhoods: Central, Near North Side
Burger? – Back when this restaurant first open it was the best burger in town. Now not so much. The quality of the burger has changed in a not so good way. It does not taste fresh anymore. The last several visit it was inedible in a really bad way.
A Bit of a Let-Down – A chef friend in Chicago suggested I go to Boston Blackies for a good burger. On one visit in the past I was out-voted and had to go elsewhere, but this last visit I was on my own. The place seems like a nice, friendly bar (I don't drink), not too dark, not too loud. I was really looking forward to a burger. The let-down was in the bun. What I got was a store-bought, run-of-the-mill, light, tasteless, limp. I once worked in a restaurant where we baked our own buns, and they really make a difference in the burger experience. Maybe I should have asked for the Kaiser roll, but the wait staff was not good about offering options, and weren't that attentive anyway. The atmosphere was pleasant enough, but as for the food, there are national chains that offer a better experience.
decent food not worth incredibly rude service – I will admit, I used to love Boston Blackie's. A few years ago, I might have posted one of those great reviews you'll see here. That all changed for me this past weekend.
Since my last visit to BBs, I have developed a severe food allergy (but a very manageable one with slight recipe alterations). So when I eat out, I always have to ask about the ingredients, just to make sure I can eat an item as-is. Everyone has always been accommodating, except the waitress at Boston Blackie's. She refused to check for me, and after I pressed her about it, she walked away, completely annoyed that I had asked her to do any work. When she returned, she told me there was "no way to tell, and the chef doesn't know" and that I should "just order a salad."
My party and I decided to leave, but I felt incredibly embarrassed that we had to go because of me. I have never, ever, ever had a waitress refuse to even ASK about the ingredients in the food. From fast food to fancy, everyone has always been nice about it, except Boston Blackie's.
So I guess bottom line, Boston Blackie's will cook you a decent burger and bring it to you fast, but you'd better not ask any questions about the menu, because even the chefs don't know what is in their food.
I have a note in to their management and will let you all know if they respond.
Good Burgers, Not Great, but Good Enough – Eh - I wasn't amazed by the food, it's not the best but it hits the spot for a random burger craving. The service is friendly, but you really have to ask for your food to be out fast otherwise they'll take their time with it. I'd go back, just not on the night that a movie opens at the AMC around the corner - it's way too crowded.
GREAT burgers, just off Michigan Avenue – 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.
consistent! – Get great burgers and fast service. Always cooked to order and just what the doctor ordered! Perfect "huge " and very good side dishes. Overall excellent...
Damn, that's a good burger! – Between Navy Pier and Michigan Ave, this tiny joint serves MONSTER burgers that make your mouth water just thinking about it. My Blackie-Burger comes out on a plate that had a tomato slice about as thick as a burger patty at some other "so-called" hamburger joints. They also serve it with a cup of cole slaw that was delicious - and I normally despise cole slaw. The buffalo wings were great. Just a great experience.
Just an overpriced burger joint... – If you want a true review, here you go?Overpriced burgers in a bar atmosphere. Food is average at most and the service is not worth mentioning. This place is just too old fashioned without any character. Not sure if this place wants to be more of a bar (projection TV) or a nicer restaurant (Can?t wear baseball caps)...Don't ask the owners, they won't know either... Too many nicer restaurants in Chicago to waste your time at this depressing burger joint.
Unique Restaurant/Bar just off the Boule Mich – This neighborhood styled bar and restaurant is unique in that most of the sounding establishments are significantly more upscaled and trendy. The food here is simple but very well prepared. The grilled Pork Chops rule. They are a great value and are nicely complimented with the house BBQ sauce and side of their wonderful coleslaw. Another house favorite are the potato skins. These are truely loaded and are dangerous for anyone over the age of thirty, but they really are scrumptous.
Best Burger in Town! – I have always heard great things about Boston Blackies, but I didn't realize how great this place was until last Friday. I met a friend after work for a quick dinner before we went to a movie. The location is perfect because you are only two blocks from the movie theater on illinois and a block away from the shops on michigan ave. The burger was delicious, cooked exactly the way wanted it. I opted to get a side salad instead of the fries and the salad dressing was wonderful. My friend got a side of the dressing to dip her burger in. I will definitely be back for another burger!
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