There are several Latin American restaurants in Chicago with the word “brasas” (grill) in their names. Many of these places specialize in chicken, usually cooked over an open fire.

There’s a restaurant called Brasas on Roosevelt road. I went there planning to get a charcoal-roasted chicken. There was, alas, no such chicken on the lunch menu, at least not at lunch time, so I ordered a Tex-Mex Burger.

The Tex-Mex Burger made me glad that Brasas didn’t have the charcoal-roasted chicken.

The Tex-Mex Burger was excellent: a hand-formed patty (maybe one-third to one-half pound of meat), covered in what looked like Thousand Island Dressing (Special Sauce!), crema (the white mayo-like cream you see in Mexican restaurants), about half of a perfectly ripened avocado, what seemed to be house-made pico de gallo, lettuce and, here’s the kicker, griddled chorizo, the spicy Mexican sausage. The seasonings and crisp chorizo helped push this burger way-above acceptable to fully desirable.

The burger was beautifully cooked, just a band of light pink in the center. It was mounted on a very fresh, eggy sesame seed bun, a much high-quality piece of meat and bread than I had a right to expect.

Brasas is a very small place, and it attracts a largely Hispanic clientele, packed shoulder-to-elbow. The people behind the counter could not have been nicer. The chef – who between orders periodically runs to the front to close the door, which had a tendency to stay open when people leave – asked me if everything was okay in a way that suggested that he really cared.

Everything was way more than okay. In fact, this was the best burger I’ve had in a while. With fries, lunch was about $7, tax included.

Brasas

6011 Roosevelt Rd, Cicero

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David Hammond

David Hammond, a corporate communications consultant and food journalist living in Oak Park, Illinois, is a founder and moderator of LTHForum.com, the 8,500 member Chicago-based culinary chat site. David...

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