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Mayhem burger at Kuma's

Everything but the kitchen sink

How can I possibly start off my first ever post in a blog meant to explore the economics of frugality with a visit to a restaurant? Does this not go against the concept of my musings? Well, gentle reader, I feel one must always be open to research and what better place to research the concept of making do with what you have on-hand than Kuma’s Corner – a burger joint in Chicago known for throwing everything but the kitchen sink on a burger, slapping a band name on it and serving it to you with Death Metal screeching in the background. This is not a place for suburban Muffy’s and Buffy’s or their citified kin, Trixie (aka Buffy in training). No ma’am. Now, I’m not saying the staff would turn your Burberry-clad self away, but if you would prefer to dine without having to listen to the likes of say, Skeleton Witch, blaring at top volume, Kuma’s probably isn’t for you. Since my angst-ridden youth was spent listening to Ministry and Bauhaus, I figure I might somehow relate to the heavily tattooed, black clothed waitstaff. Just maybe…  

Yesterday was my third ever trip to Kuma’s. I don’t want to discuss the second trip as we never got seated. We had a party of six which proved to be a problem in a place with only nine tables consisting entirely of two and four-tops. I vowed never to return. Until, of course, I had a week off of work, could go at weird hours and in a party no more than two. This wintry day, my husband and I walked in the door around 4pm and although there was already a line ahead of us, we were immediately seated (the hostess informed us how lucky we were that there were only two of us). As I stated before, Kuma’s is known for their burgers. On my first ever Kuma’s experience, I had the Lair of the Minotaur – caramelized onions, pancetta, brie and bourbon soaked pears. My husband had the Mastodon – bbq sauce, cheddar, bacon and frizzled onions. Today, I wanted to branch out and get the “make your own” macaroni and cheese. I chose Andouille sausage and sundried tomatoes. My husband ordered the Mayhem – sliced jalapeños, pancetta, pepperjack and giardinara mayo. Like I said – everything but the kitchen sink. Our order arrived and we dug in. Everything I hoped it could be and more. Hands down best mac and cheese in Chicago – and I’ve sampled a lot.

So now we come to the frugal part of the post. Due to my recent weight loss, there was NO WAY I was going to eat that entire place of mac and cheese. I ate half and had the other half wrapped up for a future meal. I think when you know the caloric intake your body needs to maintain your weight and balance that with what you are putting in your mouth, you eat a lot less. Which is a win-win – for your pocketbook, your body, and your mind (not having to come up with a meal plan for the following day is a definite score in my book).  In fact, right now sounds like a good time to sneak another bite. I’m off…

For creative burger toppings (or bands to explore), check out the menu at Kuma’s Corner. Proof that anything in your fridge can top a burger. Perhaps you’ll get an idea for the Build a Better Burger competition offered by Sutter’s Home. Hmm…that reminds me, it’s time to go perfect my Thai burger.

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