The Shil-Shul Diaries

The story begins in a cramped booth at the "faux" New York deli 'Noshville' in Nashville TN on a blustry day after thanksgiving November Friday day in 2008. In between my wife, Rachel, and my brother, Michael, I sat across from my "cooler than me" cousins Mark and Sarah, and Sarah's just as cool husband, Danny. Mark, who lives the awesome life being a lawyer living in San Francisco working for Facebook, with his only downfall being his SEVERE lactardation..which has never been medically or scientifically proven to exist in Mark.. Sarah and Danny are foodies from NYC who have tried every dive "chicken finger" hut and "curry on a stick" in the big city. Danny and Sarah had discussed that they were trying to go to as many places from Bobby Flay's 'Throwdown' show as they could, and that there was one in Nashville we had to try.....a place that I had never heard of in my 13 years of living there..I will get to that adventure later.

I got an idea from my cool cousins idea. An idea became a hobby. And the hobby became an obsession. And thus produced the list.....a world-famous spreadsheet...of every restaurant that has ever been featured on Food Network and Travel Channel....every restaurant from the famous shows like "Throwdown", "Man V. Food", "Man v. Food Nation", "Food Feuds", "Food Wars", "Best Thing I Ever Ate", and "Diners Drive-Ins and Dives" to the obscure "Best Food Ever", "Meat and Potatoes", and "101 Best Places to Chowdown", plus my additions of the restaurants of famous chefs and local places of legend. Names, cities, food they are famous for, and addresses. It was and still is an obsession. As of 9:24am on January 7th, 2015, THE LIST HAS 3,116 RESTAURANTS ON IT...WITH A FEW OVERLAPS HERE AND THERE. And then over Pastrami Eggs Benedict at Nate N' Al's Deli in Beverly Hills, Hannah and Andrew, our good friends, gave me the idea of the blog. Document every place I went. And thus, "The Shil-Shul Diaries" was born. I will log the places, the shows they are from, and what I had. So far, every place I have been has been amazing, except two, one being mediocre, and another being down right awful.

If there is a city you have been to, or are going to, or are from and want to know what from my list is in the city, send me a email at shilshuldiaries@gmail.com

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Kuma's Corner










Chicago
2900 West Belmont Chicago, IL, 60618

From Best Thing I Ever AteDiner's Drive-In's and Dives, Manliest Restaurants, Burger Paradise, and Best Burgers in America.

"Burgers named after metal bands. "Kuma Burger" (beef patty with applewood-smoked bacon, cheddar cheese on a pretzel roll topped with a fried egg, red onions and lettuce)"

This place is one of the most incredible casual dining experiences of my life.  Kuma's corner has been on my "want to/have to" list for a long time.  A tiny neighborhood heavy metal/biker bar with insane burgers, what could go wrong!  Urban legend claims that the line on weekends for this tiny dive turned neighborhood phenomenon can reach upwards of 6 hours.  We went on a Wednesday night, and there was no wait.

While this place is known as the "Bovine Genocide" with amazing beer selections and ear blasting music with incredible burgers, there is a secret to Kuma's. Kuma's corner signature appetizer is a create-your-own mac and cheese bowl with a plethora of mix-ins.  This is the best mac and cheese I have ever had.  Better than southern better than anything.  We got bacon and sauteed onions mixed in.  They encourage you put hot sauce, like saracha and tabasco in.  

Onto the burgers.  My god the burgers.  Other than Thurmans in Columbus and Bub burger at Umami, this is the third best burger of my life.  Each burger is 10 oz of perfect meat goodness. The burgers are enormous and so juicy and so perfectly cooked.  The hamburger is the star and the toppings are the compliment.

I got the Neurosis.  Cheddar, swiss, sauteed onion and mushroom.  It is pure perfection.  

Max got the Kuma's.  Cheddar, fried egg, bacon.

Scott got Weekend Nachos. merkts cheddar, jalapeno, pico de gallo, pickled red onion, tortilla strips, cilantro

Erik got goatsnake. herbed goat cheese, poblano corn relish, cholula lemon vinaigrette, buttermilk breaded fried red onion

I cannot stress this enough.  Kuma's corner was one of the greatest casual dining experiences of my life.  Best mac and cheese. top 3 burger.  This place is worth the 6 hour wait.  just incredible!

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