A shout out to Chicagoan Tim Schmidt who suggested I give Alfie's Inn in suburban Glen Ellyn a try. His e-mail to me a couple months ago said, "They have the best burger in the western suburbs. You won't be disappointed in their sirloin burger."
Alfie's is located on Roosevelt Road about 2 miles west of I-355 or the North/South Tollway in the west suburbs (see map). They've been in business since 1967 and are famous for their burgers and ribs. It's a family restaurant and a great place to take the kids for a meal.
After a long trip from St. Louis to Chicago one day recently, I pulled into Alfie's parking lot just after 2 p.m. I was particularly surprised to see a large number of cars in the parking lot at that time. The dining room as about 3/4's full of patrons, so I ducked into the bar to the side of the dining area. In there, it was about as full with people having lunch or drinks.
I sat at the bar and ordered an Old Style and took a menu. (Go to Alfie's web site and click on "menu" to view.) It certainly was a full menu with appetizers, salads, burgers, sandwiches, ribs, steaks and chicken. And the prices didn't seem to be too high for their main entrees.
Since I'd been told their sirloin burgers were very good, I went with a sirloin cheese burger with swiss cheese. I had a side of fries with it - the other choice was cole slaw. I didn't want either, so I just took fries.
Looking around at the interior of Alfie's Inn while waiting for my burger, it's probably not changed since the place opened 40 years ago. Dark wood paneling throughout, kind of a "medieval" look to the place. But it was comfortable and cozy, the kind of place that would attract a lot of people for lunch or dinner.
My burger was brought out - a 1/2 lb. chopped sirloin burger cooked to a perfect medium with a little pink in the middle. They gave you a slice of tomato, a couple dill pickle slices, a red onion and lettuce. (You have your choice of grilled onions or raw onions - I love grilled onions, but they don't like me!)
From the first bite to the last, it was one of the better burgers I'd ever had. Moist, flavorful, juicy - it was very, very good. The burger was definitely a spot hitter.
Thanks again to Tim who turned me on to Alfie's. I'll go back there, that's for sure. It certainly didn't disappoint.
(Update March 2012 - I've been back to Alfie's one more time since this entry was written and got an equally very good burger. However, when I went to add an Urbanspoon link to this entry, the Urbanspoon page said that Alfie's was closed. I drove by Alfie's not long ago - probably a month or so - and it was still open and the parking lot was packed around 1:30 in the afternoon. Urbanspoon is the only place I can see where it says Alfie's is closed, so I don't know if they're still open or not. I'd call ahead to make sure.)