The Burgers of IL
We continue with our virtual road trip this July, that is taking us to many of the must stop food spots located near popular day and weekend getaways within a short road trip from Chicago. So since the Illinois State Fair is around the corner (8/13-8/22-2010) I wanted to share some of my finds from on a recent trip down to the capitol before it starts and people head there from all over the state. So today I am going to sing my praises to the Sunrise Cafe in Springfield, IL aka Hamburger Dan's aka a locals favorite aka the place that serves one of the best burgers I have ever had and one of my favorite finds on my lifelong roadfood journey. In case you missed my historic report from last year on Springfield, you can CHECK IT OUT HERE and you'll see there's some great burgers in the Illinois capitol. Today's stop might be the best burger you've ever had. Its one of them for me.
a locals favorite in Springfield, IL
I was hanging out with a chef and butler from the Governors mansion all night one night when I was down there and we eventually got to talking about food. I asked where their favorite joints were etc...and then what their favorite burger was in the area. They told me Hamburger Dan's was the spot for Springfield's best burger. They also told me Krekels (seen HERE) was the second best but they loved how at Sunrise Cafe aka Hamburger Dan's they only put grilled onions and pickles on their burgers. It sounded like my type of spot and a place I had to visit. I happened to drive by while cruising around the next day and had to stop on in. Sunrise Cafe seems to be Springfield's main breakfast spots. I spied some police in the parking lot and quite a few people at the counter and at the tables. I placed my order of a double cheeseburger with the super nice waitress and spied the flattop to see how they were done. You can see this procedure in the video below.
Grillman at work smashing balls of beef into burgers
How were they done? to perfection. The grillman took two balls of beef and threw them on and followed it with this slick procedure with his spatula that turned the balls of beef into as thin of patties as possible without piercing thru. He then threw a whole sliced onion on top of each patty and let them cook a couple minutes followed by flipping them over. The cheap bun was put on the flattop for a few minutes and then the pickles and cheese went on and I couldn't wait to see and try this highly rec'd burger. I am all about the smashed super thin patty, old school style of burgers and Hamburger Dan's met these requirements to perfection.
Double Cheeseburger from Sunrise Cafe
I took my burger to go to eat at a table outside and was given a couple packets of mustard (no ketchup, I'm fine by that) and some napkins. I don't really have to explain how good it was after seeing that photo do I? it was the best burger I have had in a while maybe my new favorite ever. It reminded of of a long gone place called Glenn's on Fullerton off Ashland here in Chicago. So simple and so good. Seek this out, I had one for breakfast today on the way out of town the next day. I'm planning on heading back to Springfield when the state fair starts later in August and Dan's will be my first stop upon arriving in town.
Hamburger Dan's perfectly crisped edges
Sunrise Cafe aka Hamburger Dan's
1201 South 2nd Street
Springfield, IL 62704-3008