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.
6011 Roosevelt Rd, Cicero