By Mason Johnson
7545 N. Clark
Hop Haus has more TVs than any other bar I know of, but unless they’re made out of cheeseburgers, who the heck cares?
If you can get past the TVs and packed sports nights, Hop Haus makes a mean burger. In fact, they make many mean burgers with their cadre of meats and toppings. BUT, how do these burgers measure up to all the other burger bars in the city? Let’s find out…
To find out what standards I’m using to judge Hop Haus, read this article.
Hop Haus refers to their patties as “gourmet steak burgers,” and while I can’t confirm this–I didn’t watch the cook as he made my meal–my tongue tells me I should take their word for it. They’re juicy and full of flavor without too much seasoning trying to trick and/or confuse you into thinking the burger’s something it’s not.
Also, they’re gigantic. It’s a challenge to take a bite out of one of these burgers without toppings, imagine what it’s like to eat one of these with toppings.
I got my burger medium rare and it was practically falling apart – which I like. I don’t mind if the juices and the meat slide down my chin as long as it tastes good, which it did. If you’re particular about your burger falling apart or being too rare, make sure to get yours medium well (lame!).
Hop Haus is yet another bar that has a long list of burgers for you to choose from.
There’s no problem with this.
They have the staples a lot of burger bars have started to put on their menus. You want a fried egg? Fine. Roasted red peppers, bacon, pepperjack chese, roasted onions? You’re good. One interesting burger you can have is the Guacamole Jack (bacon, pepperjack cheese, guacamole, mayo, lettuce, and tomato). I’m not a big fan of guac, but I know quite a few people who’d love this.
Hop Haus also has a bunch of other non-beef choices for their sliders. Wild boar, lamb, ostrich… the list goes on. Feels a little gimmicky, but it’s not bad to have choices. One of my favorite alternatives to beef is their BBQ chicken sliders, which comes with onion strings on top. They also have steak sliders; apparently this is a step up from their usual burger meat. If you’re lookin’ to have some filet mignon between buns, this is the place to go, I guess.
As far as sides go, they’re another place with homemade mac & cheese that just won’t fail. Had you told me as a kid that mac & cheese would soon invade all the bars and restaurants in the city, I’d have been ecstatic.
Hop Haus is nice and big, but go there when “the game” is on – be it baseball, football, or especially basketball – and the place will be packed. If, like me, you just want to get a seat and eat a burger as fast as possible, this may make you murderous. If you want to see Bulls games without D. Rose, feel free to waste your time there if you want, I’m sure it’ll be fun. Games always seem nice and rowdy there.
Every server I’ve had there has been nice. Sometimes things take awhile. You’ll find yourself wondering where the heck your refill is or why the heck it’s taking so long to make your appetizer, but the place gets busy, and this is almost to be expected. If you’re not in the mood to go to a bar with a couple of friends and hang out for a few hours, maybe you should just call ahead and get your order for pick-up.
Hop Haus is great! But… It’s definitely not my favorite burger in Chicago. I doubt it makes my top 5, but it definitely makes my top 10. Everything at Hop Haus, while good, just seems a little generic. There are a hundred bars like it that are all capable of carrying a huge selection of beers. They have great burger, but when you stack them against a lot of the other places that have risen up the last few years, they suddenly don’t seem as amazing.
We’re blessed, beautiful reader, to live in a city with options. We shouldn’t have to settle.
With that said, Hop Haus is great. You should try it yourself, and lemme know if I’m wrong.
Want to see me review your favorite burger place? Leave a comment below!
Mason Johnson, CBS Chicago