April 23, 2014

Chicago reviews: Edzo's & David Burke's Primehouse

Two places from this past weekend's visit to Chicago merit reviews: Edzo's (burgers) and David Burke's Primehouse (steaks).

First, though, a quick recap of what we did...with precious few photos.
  • Friday
    • Megabus departure from Music Hall at 8am - easy trip, front seats upstairs
    • Arrived in Chicago ~1:30pm, slightly but not significantly late
    • Walked ~15 min to Hotel Blake - got upgrade to corner room when I mentioned our anniversary, great view of Willis Tower
    • late lunch at Xoco (marvelous, as always)
    • walked around Millennium Park (under construction using geofoam, fascinating)
    • dinner at Sofi (pasta, helping The Girl stay meatless on Good Friday)
Sofi's dining room (not my pic) - we sat in the center there against the wall
The view from our hotel room at night

  • Saturday
    • breakfast at Xoco
    • boat tour on Chicago River thanks to Chicago History Museum (sort of)
    • walked up to Lincoln Park Zoo & took CTA back - great view of skyline from the north
    • dinner at David Burke's Primehouse - review below
Again, not my pic - we did stand there and see that view, though
  • Sunday
    • breakfast at Meli (attached to hotel) - meh
    • CTA to Addison to walk lakeshore down to Lincoln Park again
    • lunch at Edzo's Burger Shop - review below
    • back to hotel & caught MegaBus @ 3:30 - easy trip, front seats upstairs, each had our own double seat
Ok, to the reviews...Primehouse first.

We chose the Primehouse because of this recent article that listed it as the best steak in Chicago. Let's do the math and see how it stacks up to the best in Cincinnati.
  • Salad/Dessert/Appetizer -average of 9 (10 from me, 8 from The Girl) - They served me a table-side Caesar salad. That's the epitome of elegance to me for some reason. And it was a spectacular salad. The Girl doesn't like Casesar, and she liked it. Awesome. The Girl's salad was a wedge with tomato (not bad for non-summer), blue cheese crumbles and dressing (delicious), and tomato vinaigrette (disappointing to her).
  • Steak - 9 - It's a heck of a steak, yes. We got the dry aged for 35 days KC Strip. The waiter listed others aged longer (including a special, 80-day aged that had notes of blue cheese and truffles - yuck) that didn't interest us. We split the steak. The flavor was strongly beefy, something that comes with the dry aging process. The crust was very nicely done. There was the standard ribbon of fat at the tip (I would rather have that trimmed off). Good, good steak. Not quite the equal of Jeff Ruby's best.
  • Side dishes - 8 - No baked potato because - according to our waiter - it's too boring. That's disappointing to us. Instead they do unflavored, steamed green beans (which are way more boring if you ask us). We went for truffle fries (tasty but not my first choice - 8 & 8 from me & The Girl), steamed green beans (perfectly crisp but with some imperfections and had absolutely no flavor added - can a man get a little lemon juice, please? - 6 & 9), and creamed spinach (with bacon lardons, well done but not for me - 8 from The Girl only). This was the most disappointing part of the meal for me.
  • Atmosphere - 8 - Actually not dissimilar to Jeff Ruby's downtown. Dimmed lights but with good lighting on the tables. Loud dining room with lots of patrons - packed at 6:45 on a Saturday night. Nice caricatures around the ceiling. 
  • Cost - 1 - $54 for a single steak + $19 for three sides + $14 for Caesar + $11 for wedge + three adult beverages between us, but we're not including that = $98, but that's only one steak (a 20-oz that we split). We'd originally factored in a strip and a filet, so we're adding in a $43 filet for comparison purposes. That's $141 before tip and taxes.
  • Service - 10 - Great waiter, great wait staff, in fact...great recommendations for steaks. He also asked us if we wanted to see the aging room without me having to ask him. He said he felt bad that we had to wait a little longer to get initial service and one of the adult beverages, something neither of us noticed as being anything problematic.
  • Bonuses - +2 table-side Caesar, seriously, you have no idea how happy that made me...+1 got to see the aging room...+1 they gave us each an amuse bouche (salmon ceviche on a cucumber round - perfect and so tasty) that we hadn't ordered...+1 they gave us tiny cherry/almond financiers (little, cakey cookies) for closers even though we didn't order dessert. They were the perfect size for a small, sweet three bites to end the meal...-1 no baked potato option, c'mon, it's a classic
Overall score - 9 + 9 + 8 + 8 + 1 + 10 + 4 = 49

It's the bonus points that got Primehouse to within one point of being the equal of Jeff Ruby's, but we both left thinking that this wasn't the equal of Jeff Ruby's downtown. It's close, but the steak at Ruby's is just barely better.

Now, photos that aren't mine...

Not my pic - the back wall is all Himalayian salt bricks...they're proud of the aged beef, but the most extreme (aging since April 2006) was kind of weird

Not my pic - the KC strip steak at Primehouse

Not my pic again - That guy looks excited, doesn't he? We sat in the far right corner of this pic just in front of the bright space leading to the restrooms and kitchen. It wasn't a problem to be there and in fact let us see everything being served. We asked bunches of questions.
We'll tally up Edzo's Burger Shop another day as it turns out...

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