If you have ever been to Chicago, you have undoubtedly been out on Division in Old Town. It is the late night spot, home to a lot of debauchery. Having said that, one would be shocked to know that there are actually great restaurants in the area, and Hopsmith is one of them. The downstairs of the restaurant is where the rowdy crowd hangs out, while the upstairs, where I went, has more of a “restaurant” feel. There are regular tables, high tops and TVs for the casual sports viewer. It is a great place to have a beer and a burger while rooting on your team. They just so happen to also have burgers that many of my friends suggested I try.
Burger Ordered: Smokey 11
The Taste: Hopsmith did everything they could to make this burger as spicy as possible. I give them credit, it was relatively spicy, but there were components of the burger that weren’t needed. For example, the beef patty was crushed in black pepper, which was great but it was hard to taste because of the egg that they put on it. I would remove the egg going forward. The bacon was cooked perfectly, with the right amount of burnt and salty flavors that were impeccably paired with their giardiniera relish.
Another component of the burger that I thought was a little different was the thickly cut tomato placed right on top of the patty. I can only imagine this ingredient is supposed to temper down the spice, as a tomato is naturally juicy and cooling. I think it did the trick as well as provided good texture.
The Verdict: I am a fan of this burger and they have many others I would also like to try. I will be back at Hopsmith soon to try another savory beef sandwich. Also, their egg buns are out of this world. All the juice coming off the Smokey 11 were absorbed well and the bun maintained its structure. That’s a huge plus.
Hopsmith Tavern is located at 15 West Division Street in Chicago, Illinois.