Sky Full of Bacon

Once Every Ten Years #3/#4: Hub’s/Booby’s

When my kids were small, we ate at a lot of hamburger joints. It’s not that I wasn’t trying to introduce my kids to new things, but you’re always running errands with little kids and so you find yourself out by some mall, and suddenly your kid has to eat right now, and you can try to convince him that falafel are the yummy yummy good answer to that, or he can eat another damn hot dog. And so, back in the day, I tried a lot of hamburger joints I haven’t been to since. This post is about returning to two of them, for the first time in a long time.

A few weeks ago, I was running around, coming back from around Skokie on Lincoln, and I just wanted a quick bite, and I remembered Hub’s, one of those Greek burger places I’ve railed against, but I figured, it should meet minimal acceptability standards, I went in and ordered a burger and fries…

It was a limp, careless desecration of everything a burger should be. Flavorless frozen patty, then the grilled onions proved to be a sodden mass of cold jellyfish which had immediately soaked the heel of the bun into pulp. It was like eating grilled pasteboard between two wet rags, and the fries were the coated kind like Burger King has now, the fries covered with a crunchy fried-snot crust. It is not often I wish I had gone to McDonald’s or Wendy’s, but both were in my path home and either would have been an infinitely more honorable choice than this crapburger.

Hub’s has some fame due to a series of Saturday Night Live sketches it appeared in, attempting to make the lightning of Billy Goat and “Cheez-borger! No fries, cheeps!” strike again.  The Greek staff leers “You like-a da sauce, ehhh?” over and over, in sketches that last forever. I could find one on Hulu and embed it, I suppose, but they suck so badly, you should just find it for yourself if you really care.  Anyway, as I say the sketch is a lame, unpleasant and shoddy imitation of something that was good once, so it fits Hub’s to a T.

5540 N Lincoln Ave
Chicago, IL 60625
(773) 784-4228

To demonstrate my point (and, further, to demonstrate that I’m not simply in a scorched-earth mood), I found myself in a similar situation yesterday, at the intersection of Lack of Time and Lack of Imagination, somewhere around Golf and Milwaukee, and popped into another Greek-burger joint, the improbably named Booby’s (who have on the menu, believe it or not, a double-patty burger called the… wait for it… Big Boob).  I’m not saying this was anything great, and it has one oddity— they put cole slaw on their burgers— but you know, at least they knew how to do right the first ten things Hub’s does wrong.  I could actually taste char-grilled meat, the cole slaw was okay and didn’t soak the burger (at least within the normal eating timespan; it was starting to get that way toward the end), the fries were anonymous but acceptable crinkle-cut fries with no goo encrusted upon them.  I still wouldn’t put it anywhere near this top ten, but it’ll do in a pinch, and did.

All in all, though, I’m glad to not have kids so young that I find myself constantly at the Stride Rite store in Golf Mill, and then hunting for somewhere to feed them a hot dog and fries afterwards…

(847) 966-4733
8161 N Milwaukee Ave
Niles, IL 60714

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