The Burgers of Chi (land)
Everybody has something that lets them know or reminds them that spring and soon summer are here. In fact we all have quite a few things like baseball season starting or being able to walk the lake on a beautiful May afternoon, the smell of BBQ smoke in the air or the sound of the ice cream truck. One of mine happens to be when two old school Dairy Queens open up for the season. I know your thinking "WHAT! Dairy Queen? they're burgers suck, its shat fast food" and I totally agree but the two spots I visit now and then are old school and haven't changed things like the menu and so the burgers remain the same as they were way back in the day. The first of these two DQs is on Lake in Wilmette, IL and across the street from my old high school (for frosh and soph until I got the boot) Loyola Academy. I been hitting up this DQ since 1996.
locals favorite in Wilmette, IL
I cant say exactly how many years this particular DQ has been in operation but its been a while. Anybody who is from the area or went to Loyola has been or worked here. Since I was never able to get on the Pace bus that picked students up on campus due to being in detention most of the time, I had to walk across the bridge down to Borders to get the bus to take me to the Purple line. So I always stopped at DQ before taking the walk and to this day I get the same order as always-triple cheeseburger with mustard, onions and pickle and maybe one of them slushie floats with the ice cream and blue raspberry slushy mixed together. These burgers taste the same way today that did 14 years ago and other people tell me they've been eating them alot longer than that for the same reason. These aren't your typical franchised DQ burgers. just old school partly steamed burgers that were popular during the 50's and 60's. As far as other foods, nope, the burgers are all they do.
Triple cheese and a burger from the Wilmette DQ
If you are from Park Ridge then odss are you've been to the next DQ stop on our journey many times over spring and summer. I havent been to this one nearly as much as the other but I have been over the years. Last summer I stopped in for one of them slushies above and just like the old time one in Wilmette they have a small but effective little parking lot.
locals favorite in Park Ridge, IL
This dairy Queen is a little bigger than the Wilmette spot and so is the food menu.Its not just burgers but dogs, fishwich, nuggets, fries etc..The menu for the food had a Vienna Beef logo so I assume they use their products which is a good thing. I ordered a double cheese with mustard, onions and pickles and watched the guy in the back steam my bun and cook some thin pattys on a flattop for a couple minutes aside and dress it up perfectly. I must say it was a great example of the old style of burgers with the steamed bun, melted cheese and perfect blend of toppings and the best burger I ever had for under $3 and it was just over two dollars. They pack quite a punch for being such a cheap treat.
Dairy Queen of Wilmette
3510 Lake Avenue
Wilmette, IL 60091-1063
Dairy Queen of Park Ridge
2 Devon Ave
Park Ridge, IL 60068-5510