Bulldogs Grill is a local joint with two locations in my area of the Chicago ‘burbs. After some recent rave reviews on TV and one of my favorite food blogs, Burt’s, I quickly moved Bulldogs to the top of my fast food itinerary. Aside from Five Guys setting up shop in the area, the premium burger craze has been a trend that I’ve mostly missed over the last few years. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but when the line to order snaked out into the street at 7 PM on a Saturday night in the dead of winter, I knew Bulldogs was doing something right.
The formula at Bulldogs is pretty simple:
- Premium ingredients with all the fat and sugar
- Lots of specialty burgers with interesting toppings
- BIG portions
- The Asylum Wing and Bluto Burger Challenges that would be worthy of Adam Richman
Rather than diving into the deep end with one of the specialty burgers, I went with the conventional single burger, The Diner, so I could more easily compare it to my other favorite burgers. The Diner can be outfitted with mustard, ketchup, pickles, onion, etc. and at 1/2 pound is the smallest burger on the Bulldogs menu. To round out my meal, I got a small order of fries and a small vanilla shake. Yeah, all of the photos in this post are the smallest sized items on the menu.
The burger was fantastic; high quality beef and cooked on the griddle like the best hand-formed, pan fried burger I could make at home. The fries and shake were also quite good, though did not stand out as much as the burger. I think I may be spoiled from all the places in my area which serve fresh cut French fries and custard; it’s just hard to go wrong with those. The basics at Bulldogs were so good that I’m excited to try some of the more adventurous fare. For my next visit pencil me in for the Scarlet Johansson burger with cream cheese, jalapeños, and bacon with some fries cooked up in duck fat.
There are two downsides to food of this quality: it doesn’t come cheap nor quickly. In my review of the aforementioned Five Guys, I dinged them for their high prices and slow service though Bulldogs is just as pricey and slow. Somehow the prices and the fact that it took me 30 minutes to get a burger and some fries did not not bother me the same way as it did with Five Guys. It may be because Bulldogs is local rather than a chain or that it feels more like an event than a trip to a quick service restaurant. I’m not sure, but I won’t be deterred from future visits.
In short, Bulldogs is great eats. I fully intend to take my buddies there the next time they visit and if Nick from DudeFoods ever wanted to stop over on one of his Chicago visits, Bulldogs would be a worthy stop for a hossin’ blog crossover.