As I promised myself long ago, I wanted to complete the trifecta that the Weber Grill restaurants serve. I've tried their steaks and chops, had their barbecue earlier this year (see that entry here), and I had yet to try one of their charbroiled hamburgers. I had that chance a few days ago.
I stopped into the Lombard location for a late lunch recently and ordered up a Weber Classic burger topped with jalapeno-jack cheese. Fries and a small container of cole slaw came with the burger.
Like nearly everything else the Weber Grill restaurants cook, the hamburgers are broiled on a huge 42" stainless steel Weber Grill over charcoal. They also toast the buns on the grill, something I like to do when I make my burgers on my Weber Grill at home.
The bartender brought out my burger and fries - it was a good sized burger. It was a 1/2 pound patty pre-cooked and I could tell it was a good cut of meat that was used for the burger - there wasn't much that was cooked out of it.
I'm still a big proponent that the bun can make or break the burger. Too much of a bun can overwhelm the burger. The bun the Weber Grill restaurant used bordered on overwhelming.
The onion, tomato and romaine lettuce they put on it were all fresh and flavorful - something that was a large surprise in the middle of December.
But the biggest problem I had with the Weber Grill burger was that it tasted almost TOO char-broiled. I've talked on this site many times about how people tend to over-smoke their ribs giving them a very smoky taste that hides the true flavor of the meat. That's how the Weber Grill burger was. If there is such a thing as having too much of a charcoal taste, this burger had it.
The Weber Grill burger wasn't cheap - $10.50 for a burger, fries that were half cold and a small 2 oz. container of cole slaw, which wasn't all that bad tasting. I've had burgers for half the price that were much better, and I have to say that I've cooked burgers at home on my Weber Grills that were way better than what I had at the Weber Grill restaurant.
By the way - a couple of developments in regard to the Weber Grill restaurants. Earlier this year they closed the original location in Wheeling saying that they wanted to be able to expand the restaurant to the new lay-out they have employed at their Lombard location and at their new Schaumburg location next to Woodfield Mall. They just didn't have the room to do so. According to the web site, they're not abandoning the far north suburbs and are looking for a new site on which to put their new restaurant.
And Weber Grill restaurants have just announced they'll be expanding into downtown Indianapolis in the summer of 2007. The restaurant will be huge - approximately 10,000 square feet - and will employ 150 people. God, it would be great if they'd open one in the Quad Cities.
So, all in all, the Weber burger was good, but had too much of a charcoal taste - if there can be too much of a charcoal taste. Given the other great things on their menu, their burger is not something that I'd go back to the Weber Grill restaurant for.