There is no shortage of burger joints in Chicago—the city is home to dozens. And the themed fast-food counter is nothing new here, either. The Windy City metalhead can satisfy his need for beef at Kuma’s Corner, and the gourmand can sample the fare at Burger Bar. It’s a market where standing out can be difficult.
Now diners seeking a more Zen-like experience may have found a home with The Burger Philosophy, which is now providing Andersonville with freshly cut hamburgers and fries with a side of illumination. Opened at the end of last month by the Verveniotis family, father Miltie and sons Nick and Chris, its walls are dotted with quotes from celebrated thinkers like Friedrich Nietzsche.
Although they’ve carved out a unique theme, the family’s actual philosophy toward their product remains simple and straightforward: fresh and fast. The restaurant is as stripped down as they come. They make everything essentially from scratch, grinding the beef and cutting the fries daily, preferring to let the food, not the luminaries covering the walls, inspire guests. The menu includes The Devil’s Advocate, a spicy jalapeño burger, and the Good Morning Chicago, which is topped with a fried egg, along with malts and milkshakes.
“Being familiar with the Andersonville neighborhood, we came to the conclusion that what the neighborhood needed was a burger joint that served a quality fresh burger, as opposed to the frozen patty alternative,” says Nick Verveniotis. Coincidentally, The Burger Philosophy is located directly across from a McDonald’s.
The family, originally from Albany Park, opened up the restaurant last month in their first foray into the restaurant business. While they searched for the best way to convey their simple, no-frills approach, they eventually settled on the one phrase that kept coming up.
“As we began discussing how our theory of the ideal burger joint would be put into practice,” Nick Verveniotis says, “our conversations constantly revolved around making sure customers reap the benefits of our philosophy. That word was used over and over again, and it was only a matter of a few days before we started thinking ‘what better name for our restaurant than The Burger Philosophy.’” (Alex Baumgardner)
The Burger Philosophy, 1541 West Bryn Mawr, is open Monday through Thursday 11am-10pm, Friday and Saturday 11am-11pm and Sunday from 11am-10pm.