9/26/2012 02:32:00 PM

Two Meaty Imports Land On Chicago’s Fast-Casual Scene

Mmmm...loose meat?
Be warned Chicago, the loose meat sandwich has infiltrated the city. Nearly 100 Made-Rite’s are scattered around Iowa and now Chicago boasts one, with the “Original Made-Rite” sandwich on the menu. It claims that the creation contains “perfectly seasoned ground beef loose meat” sandwiched in a warm bun. But the words “loose meat” make us skeptical. Compared to a sauceless Sloppy Joe or a freeform hamburger, the creation is an homage to midwestern simplicity: just meat and bread (and sometimes cheese).

For those who share our fear of the loose meat there are other options on the menu such as pulled pork and beer-battered cod sandwiches, veggie wraps and salads, or old fashioned milk shakes served in a tall glass with a straw or two and a cherry on top. The decor is nostalgia-driven with Formica tables, blue vinyl chairs and a glowing neon clock. It’s open until 3 AM on the weekend, so maybe after a few drinks the thought of crumbled meat is more appealing.

Moving on to more traditional meaty treats, we present Meatheads, that recently opened its first urban location in Roscoe Village. It’s been warming up with several suburban locations, but is ready to take on the big boys with their burgers. The original “meathead” is made with 100% Angus beef and topped with ketchup, mustard, mayo, lettuce, tomato, pickles and onions. Throw on two slices of cheese for an extra dollar and while you're at it, why not upgrade form a 1/3-pound patty to the 1/2-pound?

It also has a few specialty varieties including Texas ranch, Hawaiian and Cajun burger. Chow down in one of their wood booths surrounded by bright orange walls. An open kitchen lets the smell of sizzling meat to waft into the dining room - mmmm, burger-licious.

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