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  • Au Cheval

    Post #1 - April 25th, 2012, 7:41 pm
    Post #1 - April 25th, 2012, 7:41 pm Post #1 - April 25th, 2012, 7:41 pm
    Only a ten minute wait when we arrived at 6:15. We had two orders of the scrambled eggs w/foie gras, foie gras terrine, bacon, and bratwurst.

    The foie gras dishes were awesome. The bacon and bratwurst dishes were average...not really worth trying again.

    We really wanted to order the 32 oz pork porterhouse. We were told that they were preparing only one per night and that another group had already ordered it. On the menu, there's an asterisk next to the menu item stating limited availability. I guess that's an accurate, but certainly not fair, description.

    Food was delivered promptly.

    I'll definitely go back to try the other items on the menu.

    Another oddity, a double of the house whiskey costs $12, while a shot costs $3.50. It was explained that the double contains more than two shots. It didn't appear so, but hey, I wasn't the one paying for it so I let it slide.

    800 W Randolph St
    Chicago, Illinois 60607
    (312) 929-4580
  • Post #2 - April 25th, 2012, 10:38 pm
    Post #2 - April 25th, 2012, 10:38 pm Post #2 - April 25th, 2012, 10:38 pm
    Wandered into Au Cheval on my last visit through Chicago, prior to res. @ Girl/Goat; we were just looking for a drink(and hell no were we going to that pub-like construction up the street), and though they were a tad pushy on the food front, we enjoyed watching them busy behind the counter, the heat off the stove, the craft cocktails we shoved down before the main event. The reel-to-reel is gimmicky, but nicely-so, the soundtrack well-sourced, but not nearly as hip as it might think itself. It was fun, dark, and my partner and I had our dear friend in from Hong Kong between us... ...she sipped her wine, we perused the menu, it looked okay enough, for that kind of thing...tight t-shirts and skinny jeans...
    Being gauche rocks, stun the bourgeoisie
  • Post #3 - April 30th, 2012, 5:15 pm
    Post #3 - April 30th, 2012, 5:15 pm Post #3 - April 30th, 2012, 5:15 pm
    Right now I am a little obsessed with their burger.
  • Post #4 - April 30th, 2012, 5:53 pm
    Post #4 - April 30th, 2012, 5:53 pm Post #4 - April 30th, 2012, 5:53 pm
    I really enjoyed the General Jane's Fried Chicken...mostly dark meat, double-fried and smothered in an addictive sweet ginger/chile sauce. An order of fries was quite good, too. While the fries themselves were not particularly exceptional, the addition of some Mornay sauce set the plate apart from similar egg-topped offerings throughout the city.

    The beer list might have been broad enough to draw me back on its own, but I feel a craving for that chicken will kick in before too long.
  • Post #5 - May 1st, 2012, 10:50 pm
    Post #5 - May 1st, 2012, 10:50 pm Post #5 - May 1st, 2012, 10:50 pm
    There are many things I find ridiculous about Au Cheval. They don't really have a proper website. Their online menu is nearly impossible to find. They have an $8 bowl of matzoh ball soup on the menu. The list goes on and on really.

    However, none of that matters because their burger is insanely good. I had a single tonight (not sure why anyone would need a double) and it completely blew me away. The meat, the bun, everything. Just wonderful, and it didn't have 73 toppings which was nice.
    -Josh

    I've started blogging about the Stuff I Eat
  • Post #6 - May 2nd, 2012, 5:57 am
    Post #6 - May 2nd, 2012, 5:57 am Post #6 - May 2nd, 2012, 5:57 am
    jesteinf wrote:There are many things I find ridiculous about Au Cheval . . . They have an $8 bowl of matzoh ball soup on the menu.

    Is the matzoh ball prepared table-side, and adorned with gold leaf? Then it all makes sense to me. :wink:
  • Post #7 - May 2nd, 2012, 8:24 am
    Post #7 - May 2nd, 2012, 8:24 am Post #7 - May 2nd, 2012, 8:24 am
    BR wrote:
    jesteinf wrote:There are many things I find ridiculous about Au Cheval . . . They have an $8 bowl of matzoh ball soup on the menu.

    Is the matzoh ball prepared table-side, and adorned with gold leaf? Then it all makes sense to me. :wink:
    It is topped with a shmaltz-fried egg, studded with foie gras de poulet, and a side of kishke poutine.

    -Dan
  • Post #8 - May 2nd, 2012, 8:29 am
    Post #8 - May 2nd, 2012, 8:29 am Post #8 - May 2nd, 2012, 8:29 am
    Unfortunately I was in a bit of a hurry otherwise I would have asked my waitress about it. If no one has it by the next time I go, I'll take one for the team and order it.
    -Josh

    I've started blogging about the Stuff I Eat
  • Post #9 - May 2nd, 2012, 8:32 am
    Post #9 - May 2nd, 2012, 8:32 am Post #9 - May 2nd, 2012, 8:32 am
    dansch wrote: kishke poutine.

    -Dan


    Seriously, this sounds like something I'd like to try, if it only existed in reality. I suppose I could make it myself. Perhaps a visit to Romanian and the Great State of Wisconsin is in order to procure the ingredients.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #10 - May 7th, 2012, 1:35 pm
    Post #10 - May 7th, 2012, 1:35 pm Post #10 - May 7th, 2012, 1:35 pm
    BR wrote:
    jesteinf wrote:There are many things I find ridiculous about Au Cheval . . . They have an $8 bowl of matzoh ball soup on the menu.

    Is the matzoh ball prepared table-side, and adorned with gold leaf? Then it all makes sense to me. :wink:


    The Sun Times said that the matzoh ball soup is "a glorious softball-sized, cloud-light dumpling surrounded by a moat of golden chicken-fat-soaked broth." Doesn't sound terribly special but could still be good.
  • Post #11 - May 7th, 2012, 6:29 pm
    Post #11 - May 7th, 2012, 6:29 pm Post #11 - May 7th, 2012, 6:29 pm
    I read that too . . . not sure that the "cloud-like" matzoh ball would appeal to this fan of "sinkers" . . . but I plan on giving Au Cheval a visit in the near future nevertheless.
  • Post #12 - June 8th, 2012, 7:50 am
    Post #12 - June 8th, 2012, 7:50 am Post #12 - June 8th, 2012, 7:50 am
    Visit 2...Less than 15 minute wait for 2 people arriving at 7:15 on a Thursday. Was seated at the bar near the pass so we had a front row view of the kitchen.

    Foie gras with scrambled eggs...still pretty damn good.
    The fried chicken was over fried and the meat was a bit dry. The sauce was ok. Not something I'll order again.
    Double cheeseburger w/egg. Delicious. Was having 3 patties too much? Maybe. Maybe not.

    I saw the pork porterhouse being prepared and it looked great. According to the expediter, they are prepping at least two per night during the week, and maybe 4-5 for friday/saturday nights. It's also possible to call ahead to reserve your porterhouse...this won't get you in any faster as this does not double as a table reservation.
  • Post #13 - October 1st, 2012, 6:43 pm
    Post #13 - October 1st, 2012, 6:43 pm Post #13 - October 1st, 2012, 6:43 pm
    "Dijonaisse, red onion, house pickles, and sharp American cheese" dressed a $9 burger rather well; the star is the beef, well-salted and griddled, and the expertly toasted bun. I might ditch the cheese next time, which rendered itself into fluorescent butter, but other than the price (with no fries), I can't scoff. They were also cooking beautiful sunny-side eggs and thick bacon rashers up repeatedly; craft cocktails looked competent, and folks including those on the line seemed happy. I still think I may remember the humble entry from Top Notch last week longer.
  • Post #14 - October 2nd, 2012, 4:56 pm
    Post #14 - October 2nd, 2012, 4:56 pm Post #14 - October 2nd, 2012, 4:56 pm
    Bon Appetit names Au Cheval best burger, via Eater.

    http://chicago.eater.com/archives/2012/ ... burger.php

    I haven't had it yet and now probably never will. The two times I went in I just couldn't wait the hour cause I was starving. Have read many reviews and talked to people who have said it's a pretty great burger.
    "I Like Food, Food Tastes Good" - The Descendants
  • Post #15 - October 4th, 2012, 10:14 am
    Post #15 - October 4th, 2012, 10:14 am Post #15 - October 4th, 2012, 10:14 am
    I had the best of meal of recent months at Au Cheval a couple weeks back. Amazingly rich dishes, deliciously over-the-top in many cases (all the foie gras dishes, the bone marrow)... loved the music, the reel-to-reel retro player. Great cocktails.

    I'm already planning a return.
  • Post #16 - October 4th, 2012, 12:38 pm
    Post #16 - October 4th, 2012, 12:38 pm Post #16 - October 4th, 2012, 12:38 pm
    All -

    Been three times in the last month and it is quickly becoming one of my favorite go tos.

    -The burgers are great. As advertised. I prefer one with egg and the other with bacon. Are these the best in the universe? Who the hell knows, but they sure are tasty.
    -The fried chicken is good but not life changing. It is basically general tsos.
    -Fries with mournay and egg. This always is a hit.
    -Side of bacon - a must imo. They do an excellent thick cut, perfectly cooked, well-peppered slab of bacon.
    -We did the brat and it was good but not on my must order list.

    Music is great. I find myself trying to shazam their songs multiple times each visit with no success.

    All in all - very friendly staff, good to great food, nice prices, and an unpretentious atmosphere makes for a place I will keep visiting.
  • Post #17 - October 19th, 2012, 9:30 pm
    Post #17 - October 19th, 2012, 9:30 pm Post #17 - October 19th, 2012, 9:30 pm
    Even with the Bon Appetit press, my friend and I had a relatively brief 40 minute wait for bar seating last night. The hostess agreed to call when the table is ready, so we could enjoy cocktails at Maude's - smoked violet smashes - yum.

    This was a gut busting, rich meal. Chopped chicken livers and bread-n-butter pickles to start. Big texas toast, butter accompanying the excellent chicken liver.

    For entrees, we shared the egg/foie gras and the fried bologna sandwich. The foie is served with a deep rich gravy over light as air scrambled eggs. Sin on a plate. The real sleeper of the meal was the humble bologna sandwich. The house-made bologna has a faint pastrami-like taste. The bologna is shaved razor thin, covered with American cheese, and served on a white (potato?) bun.

    My friend had the (house-made) root beer and whiskey. I sampled off the extensive draft beer menu.

    (No surprise) there was no way we had room for dessert.

    When I return, I'll try the lauded burger. AND order the bologna sandwich again.
  • Post #18 - October 20th, 2012, 11:30 am
    Post #18 - October 20th, 2012, 11:30 am Post #18 - October 20th, 2012, 11:30 am
    This sounds perfect for a preconcert meal. What might the wait time be at about 5-5:30 on a Saturday night?
  • Post #19 - October 20th, 2012, 3:56 pm
    Post #19 - October 20th, 2012, 3:56 pm Post #19 - October 20th, 2012, 3:56 pm
    wendy wrote:...cocktails ... gut busting, rich meal... Big ... butter ... egg/foie gras and fried bologna ... deep rich gravy ... real sleeper ... covered with American cheese... extensive draft beer menu... no way we had room for dessert.

    That sounds to me like a meal that would make me sleep through a concert.
    "Your swimming suit matches your eyes, you hold your nose before diving, loving you has made me bananas!"
  • Post #20 - October 20th, 2012, 7:46 pm
    Post #20 - October 20th, 2012, 7:46 pm Post #20 - October 20th, 2012, 7:46 pm
    hoppy2468 wrote:This sounds perfect for a preconcert meal. What might the wait time be at about 5-5:30 on a Saturday night?


    They open at 5pm on Saturdays and on a recent visit at that time there was no wait for 2 seats at a table or at the counter. I was actually surprised to be seated right away. Apparently the kitchen stays open late so it must not always fill up until later in the evening.

    Katie wrote:
    wendy wrote:...cocktails ... gut busting, rich meal... Big ... butter ... egg/foie gras and fried bologna ... deep rich gravy ... real sleeper ... covered with American cheese... extensive draft beer menu... no way we had room for dessert.

    That sounds to me like a meal that would make me sleep through a concert.


    Ha, I was sort of thinking the same thing!
  • Post #21 - October 21st, 2012, 9:37 am
    Post #21 - October 21st, 2012, 9:37 am Post #21 - October 21st, 2012, 9:37 am
    Lerdawg wrote:
    hoppy2468 wrote:This sounds perfect for a preconcert meal. What might the wait time be at about 5-5:30 on a Saturday night?

    Katie wrote:
    wendy wrote:...cocktails ... gut busting, rich meal... Big ... butter ... egg/foie gras and fried bologna ... deep rich gravy ... real sleeper ... covered with American cheese... extensive draft beer menu... no way we had room for dessert.

    That sounds to me like a meal that would make me sleep through a concert.


    Ha, I was sort of thinking the same thing!

    Yeah - I was in a bit of a food fog after that meal. More people or less liver for me next time. The bologna sandwich is a non-negotiable.
  • Post #22 - October 21st, 2012, 1:48 pm
    Post #22 - October 21st, 2012, 1:48 pm Post #22 - October 21st, 2012, 1:48 pm
    Au Cheval burger (default toppings):

    Image

    Top Notch burger (1/4 deluxe no mayo grilled onions):

    Image

    Call them different animals, but are they really? I've had and really enjoyed two Au Cheval burgers (and wanted to provide even a poor visual aid, to be corrected soon), but I'll go out of my way for Top Notch or Edzo's (both which also grind their own beef and treat their buns very carefully, serving them in a diner-style setting) sooner. That's-A-Burger is still top of the heap for me.
  • Post #23 - October 26th, 2012, 4:20 pm
    Post #23 - October 26th, 2012, 4:20 pm Post #23 - October 26th, 2012, 4:20 pm
    I went to Au Cheval today for a late-ish lunch and yes the burgers are really good. The are served with home made mayo slathered on so beware if you do not like that. Love the bun too. No lettuce or tomato though. Fries are extra and they are fried in pork fat. I did not really like the smell of this...its rather odd and jarring to me and not appealing but after they cooled a bit you could not smell it. It was more of a smell than a taste..not a bacon porky taste but some other off taste. Great garlic aoli was served with the fries. One discordant note was that they made their ice tea in a machine which had processed coffee so the tea had an off coffee taste and I sent it back. We only had to wait about five minutes for a table. Its a young crowd there and it was bustling at lunch. Tab was almost forty dollars for two for lunch. Two burgers, one fries and 2 cokes. I am not sure if its really worth it. I mean a had a good burger at five guys too. Even that was twelve dollars with fries and drink and no ambiance.

    Aside from taste which I think is good at Au Cheval, the plate I see at Top Notch is what I expect when I order a burger. For the price Au Cheval looks a little spare when it comes to you, although it is a big burger. No lettuce, no tomato and no fries. I like to see a nice platter with fries and trimmings. I like to see little metal cups with both mayo and ketchup or at least a bottle of ketchup. Maybe just a visual thing but it seems a greater value. Having said that the taste was very good on the Au Cheval burger.
    Toria

    "I like this place and willingly could waste my time in it" - As You Like It,
    W. Shakespeare
  • Post #24 - December 13th, 2012, 10:25 am
    Post #24 - December 13th, 2012, 10:25 am Post #24 - December 13th, 2012, 10:25 am
    few meals have me thinking about them days later. A quick visit for a snack @ Au Cheval on Saturday was one of them. Hit the spot with my 6 year old and my wife around 4:00 p.m.(planned it that way). no wait, comfortable booth. Interesting spot. They were not serving food til' 5 so we waited a bit enjoying the root beer, and a pretty good Old Fashioned.

    Point of the visit was to try the burger and more importantly the bologna sandwich. Single burger was good, really good. Perhaps one of the better burgers I have had. Great meat to bun ratio, and the burger was really juicy.

    The bologna sandwich, man, saw some pics of this sandwich and was drawn to it. Housemade bologna, peppery, and nice... Melted cheese and and topped with an egg, this was a great sandwich.

    Place was packed by 4:45.

    Gotta get back asap.
  • Post #25 - December 13th, 2012, 10:35 am
    Post #25 - December 13th, 2012, 10:35 am Post #25 - December 13th, 2012, 10:35 am
    A friend and I had a great dinner at Au Cheval the other night. We split a burger and the fried chicken. Both were excellent.
  • Post #26 - December 13th, 2012, 12:03 pm
    Post #26 - December 13th, 2012, 12:03 pm Post #26 - December 13th, 2012, 12:03 pm
    A photo report about my recent, first experience at Au Cheval can be found on this thread. I think their chef-driven approach to comfort food is very well-executed and satisfying. As Jim posted above, it was really a memorable experience, and I look forward to returning.

    =R=
    There are many things that are legal that are not a great idea --Nick Shabazz

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #27 - December 13th, 2012, 12:18 pm
    Post #27 - December 13th, 2012, 12:18 pm Post #27 - December 13th, 2012, 12:18 pm
    ronnie_suburban wrote:A photo report about my recent, first experience at Au Cheval can be found on this thread. I think their chef-driven approach to comfort food is very well-executed and satisfying. As Jim posted above, it was really a memorable experience, and I look forward to returning.

    =R=


    your picture of that bologna sandwich motivated our visit.

    thanks.
  • Post #28 - December 13th, 2012, 3:06 pm
    Post #28 - December 13th, 2012, 3:06 pm Post #28 - December 13th, 2012, 3:06 pm
    What to say about my one visit to Au Cheval except:
    * 6:30 pm on a Sunday yielded a pretty short wait (< than the time it took to order & receive beers) for a seat at the bar.
    * The single hamburger (which is actually a double burger) was fantastic. In particular I love the pillowy-soft brioche bun, which is also used on the fried bologna sandwich.
    * I can't report much about the fried bologna sandwich because I was only allowed one bite before it was devoured.
    * Personally, I liked the fries. We got the version with the egg & accompanying sauces.
    * My boyfriend swears by the matzoh ball soup.
    * We didn't order it, but I watched them assemble a few mille feuilles and would love to try one. Maybe on a night when I'm not already devouring a burger and fries.
  • Post #29 - December 23rd, 2012, 8:24 am
    Post #29 - December 23rd, 2012, 8:24 am Post #29 - December 23rd, 2012, 8:24 am
    Ended up as our 1st stop in the city on Saturday, hit Au Cheval around 3:30, plenty of time to enjoy some drinks.

    Old Fashioned was ok, not sure ill get one here anymore, just does not pack the punch I look for(I had a tasty & quite strong Old Fashioned at Bub City a couple hours later that knocked me on my ass).

    Image

    Did enjoy a $3 tallboy of Hamms and a $3.50 house shot:

    Image

    Matzoh ball soup(had to do it after seeing some chirping recently): broth was nice, hint of dill:

    Image

    bone marrow with beef cheek marmalade was great, a serious contender for the best i have had in the city. Beef cheek marmalade was sweet and a pefect acidic bite, great dish.:

    Image

    Single cheeseburger with an egg, and the bologna sandwich with an egg are prerequisites, both great once again, I rarely get more than a single bite of the burger as it is quickly snarfed, but the tastes I have had leave me impressed. The peppery bologna is a treat taking me back to the fried veal bologna sandwiches i enjoyed as a kid:

    Image

    tough(for me) to get good pics here(shakey hand, cheapo camera and the lighting), didnt get a good one of the bologna sandwich.

    Hard for me not to make Au Cheval a stop when heading into town,
  • Post #30 - January 13th, 2013, 1:13 am
    Post #30 - January 13th, 2013, 1:13 am Post #30 - January 13th, 2013, 1:13 am
    After the praise for the burger from Jim and Ronnie this place got bumped to the top of my list for places to try, and I finally made it by tonight. Donna and I got there around 9 and were told the wait would be an hour and 45 minutes. We'd eaten a small meal earlier in the evening in anticipation of a long wait later and were fine with that. We went up to Maude's for some cocktails to hold us over. They texted us about 1 hour later and we headed over and were seated very quickly.

    We started with the brat/smashed potato and is was good, but not incredible. The potatoes were excellent, and the brat was made with great meat and well prepared, but I thought it could have had a little more complexity in the spices. Overall very good, but not great. I got the regular burger (which is a double as noted above) and it was a great burger. Great meat, well prepared, and served on a bun that was one of the best burger buns I've ever had. Not too heavy, but still substantial enough to hold up to the burger. I would love to know where these buns come from, because they really are my ideal of a perfect burger bun (also perfectly grilled with just the right amount of butter). I ended up getting both the egg and bacon on the burger, which I don't normally do, but after a few drinks at Maude's I was all in. The egg was great and perfectly cooked, and the bacon was excellent as well. We had a side order of fries that were excellent as well - perfectly crisped and browned on the outside while being soft yet still substantial on the inside. I had a nice Horse's Neck cocktail for desert. I thought the beer list was well thought out, with solid selections across all styles.

    All in all a great meal and I plan on returning to try some other items on the menu.
    It is VERY important to be smart when you're doing something stupid

    - Chris

    http://stavewoodworking.com

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