Anchoring the south end of Third Street, home to Geneva’s dynamic dining district, is The Burger Local.
Its name a siren call to burger lovers, the restaurant welcomes patrons into an urban chic interior, where the chandeliers have attitude, and televisions tune in the sports action for a lively, convivial vibe.
Trying to savor every moment of summer, we opted for outdoor seating. The restaurant has patio tables along the exterior, and in the last year has added five, spacious tables on the other side of the drive leading into the adjacent Geneva parking garage. The umbrellas provided comfortable shade, and we settled in for a relaxed al fresco meal. Train watchers will love the proximity to the station.
I chose the house salad, which featured mixed greens, orange segments, avocado slices, a tangy queso fresco, sunflower seeds, cucumber, and thinly sliced mild radish, with citrus ginger vinaigrette on the side. I added some nicely grilled chicken to the mix. Fried chicken, shrimp and salmon are other options for this refreshing salad, delivering different tidbits in every bite.
My dining companion studied the elaborate list of burger options, and landed back at the first item, the Local Burger, starring a thick, 10-ounce, hand-formed beef patty on a potato bun, with choice of cheese. He picked Swiss, and added bacon and caramelized onion.
The flavorful patty was grilled exactly as requested. Burgers come with a choice of fries, side salad, or mac ’n’ cheese, with add-ons available including onion rings, truffle fries, fruit and one my companion zeroed in on, Brussels sprouts.
The side blew away all expectations, a decadent version elevated, as all things are, by bacon. The beautifully prepped vegetable with crisped outer leaves was dotted with a sweet chili jelly for subtle, mild heat.
Our terrific server was overheard recommending some of his top picks on the burger menu, the Black + Bleu Burger with sauteed garlic mushrooms, Gorgonzola, onion strings, and black pepper aioli; and the French Dip Burger with caramelized onions, Gruyere cheese, fried leeks, and rosemary au jus.
The Burger Local pairs its dishes with an extensive selection of craft beers, as well as cocktails.
The libations continue with the dessert menu, featuring milk shakes with The Burger Local’s own twist. We watched a carryout customer clutching two colorful shakes along with his takeout food.
And the restaurant doesn’t neglect its youngest patrons. A family at a neighboring patio table ordered the kids’ house board. Think mini charcuterie with deli ham, crackers, cheddar, fruits, vegetables and Cheetos to name some of the treats. It was a hit.
The restaurant has a designated spot for curbside pickup via the south-side door closest to the parking garage; online ordering is requested. And reservations are recommended at the hot spot.
• The Mystery Diner is a newsroom employee at the Kane County Chronicle. The diner’s identity is not revealed to the restaurant staff before or during the meal. If the Mystery Diner cannot recommend the establishment, we will not publish a review.
IF YOU GO
WHAT: The Burger Local
WHERE: 577 S. Third St., Suite 102, Geneva