Have you guys heard of this place? If you have, then you probably know that this is a world famous burger spot that originates in Chicago. There is nothing new or revolutionary about it. The quality of ingredients, atmosphere and service is just top notch. They bill themselves as a “diner” but I have a hard time thinking this is a diner in any way shape or form. The main location in Chicago takes no reservations and routinely has a wait of a few hours for a table. Recently, they opened up their second location in New York City. We went a few weeks ago on a Friday around 4pm and it was a 4 hour wait. Yea, no thanks. I guess people of New York City don’t like waiting (I know I don’t) so the restaurant decided to open up a reservation system for the first time. We took advantage and went this weekend to see what all the fuss is about.
Let’s just put this out in the open as clearly as possible. This burger is fantastic. However, you are committing a very serious food crime if you get one of these burgers and don’t order it with bacon. The bacon, in my opinion, is what makes this burger as great as it is. It is steak thick and seasoned to absolute perfection. The egg on top is a nice touch, as always with any burger. The sweetened mayo with onion bits is also amazing even though I’m not really a fan of mayo. If you don’t like mayo make sure that you ask for this burger to be plain because they drench it in this thick stuff.
So why isn’t my rating in the 9s? After this rave review you would think a mid-high 9 is warranted. It would get that score but unfortunately for us gluten free folk, Au Cheval does not offer any gluten free buns. I had to bring my own bun (GF BYOB) which is fine but takes away from the overall experience. To make matters worse, Au Cheval actually makes hash browns (which are cooked in a dedicated fryer) and are delicious. They usually use those for buns for gluten free orders but have stopped doing that recently. Speaking of which, both their fries and their hash browns are both cooked in a dedicated fryer and are absolutely delicious.
They have a gluten free menu but they were re-printing them to remove the hash brown bun option so I didn’t get to see it or take pictures. But you can see it online on their website. Almost everything on the menu is gluten free and the spuds are cooked in a separate fryer which is amazing.
The service is top notch here. The servers are very knowledgeable in terms of gluten free needs, celiac awareness and cross contamination. I alerted my server that I had celiac and she immediately was able to describe all of my options and the kitchen procedures that are followed to ensure food safety. I was very impressed.
Did I Get Sick (NO)
I had a burger with fries (with my own bun) and had no issues. I was a bit nervous but once I spoke to the staff and realized how knowledgeable they were, that nervousness turned to excitement.
If Au Cheval offered gluten free buns or still offered the hash browns for a bun option, then this score would be much higher. But an 8.7 is still a great score and this place very much deserves it. I highly recommend this place for anyone who loves a good burger, fries on a bed of gluten free safety. Just make sure you BYOB (bring your own bun).