DMK I’m observing many acronyms in my restaurant choices, not sure why. It’s purely a coincidence and this particular establishment has no full name. I’m guessing DMK is the owner’s initials or the initials of each owner, I don’t know. I also don’t care, and neither do you. DMK specializes in burgers, so vegetarians and meat-phobics beware. Nestled in between Lakeview and Lincoln Park on the 3000 block of north Sheffield, near the Wellington Brown Line stop, DMK is the perfect combination of each neighborhood, both swanky and casual, vintage and modern, lively and understated. It’s situated in a brick and mortar building with large red letters out front donning its name, boldly drawing in customers with a craving. As with many of my favorite restaurants, the brick is also exposed on the interior, the layout is narrow with tall ceilings, a mixture of four and two-top black tables, dim lit modern light fixtures and loud music. Not so loud you have to shout, but let’s just say those who refuse to wear hearing aids won’t have issues enjoying the music. Not that they’re dining in, they’re most likely asleep by the time we’re eating.
We were having one of those Tuesday night cravings for unhealthy food. The kind that would soak up remaining alcohol from the previous night, if you had any. In our case, it was soaking up alcohol and whatever else from Saturday night, so this food had some serious work to do. We braved wicked wind and rain to walk about .7 miles in order to reach our chosen burger joint. Upon entering, I was impressed and horrified by the decor and clientele, mainly because I was grossly underdressed, just gross. I had a burger joint in mind and what I found was a more of a combination of bistro and bar. I love this, I just wasn’t expecting it. We arrived around 8 and the place was hoppin, but luckily we were seated in a cozy two-top right away. It’s very Chicago or New York, where you either have to squeeze in between two tables to sit, as the seats against the wall are boothed, or you physically pull out the table to ensure there’s no drink spillage or coats dipped in food situations. I chose the squeeze option, as I like a challenge.
Great beer selection, we each had a Fat Tire for $3! That’s damn good, especially here. You can’t just have water with a burger, especially not at posh place like this. The wait staff we’re all above average adorable (I also enjoy alliteration), ours resembling Michael Cera’s ex-girlfriend from Nick and Nora’s infinite playlist. Another walked like she was auditioning for America’s Next Top Model. I’m nothing if not referencey.
Let me just relieve the beef haters and strict vegetarians right now...there’s a veggie burger, turkey burger, and salmon burger options, all very popular and highly rated. We did not opt for these options for the aforementioned reasons. And because we’re occasionally meat-eating, selfish assholes. I ordered the patty melt. It was like a heavenly version of Steak ‘n’ Shake’s frisco melt. Grass fed beef, smoked bacon (not sure what that was fed), burnt onions (holy hell in a hand basket, those were SO good!), Leroy’s Remoulade (I’m not sure I want to venture a guess there, but it was good, thousandislandy.), smoked swiss (duh!), on griddled rye bread (yowzah). So if you got through all that and still understood then well done to you. Fancy words and ingredients mean nothing. Did it taste good? Hell yes it did! Could I have eaten another one as I hoovered it in about 90 seconds? Yes, shamefully, I could have.
My partner in tasty murder that evening was Derek, the husband to my wife, and he had the #4, a burger also accompanied by bacon and cheese, but also including a fried farm egg and green chile sauce giving it a really fun kick. His was good too. Now, you can’t have burgers without fries, unless you’re some freedom hating nazi, and we’re freedom lovers proudly wearing our patriotism on our sleeves. DMK has a great selection of fries, including a basic fry, sweet potato and then some fun options you’d expect from a place of this calibre. We opted for the parmesan fries with truffle cream. They were better than they read, crunchy enough, fresh, dusted in actual parmesan shavings and the truffle cream we slathered over them like sloths was the perfect compliment. It should be mentioned here that they have home-made mac ‘n’ cheese that I had trouble resisting and I plan to order it next time. Like their burgers, it’s also highly rated and recommended.
Besides the varied selection of beers to wash down your burger, if you want to be a real American, you also order a shake. As we did. One for each of us. It was one of those nights for sure. And it was 38 degrees outside, we could not be deterred. Like everything else, it was very satisfying.
Each burger is $8, unless otherwise specified and a small order of fries, enough to feed two, is $4. With a big appetite, you’ll make it out of there spending about $25-30, not bad for a burger with a side of swank. I’ll give DMK the highest compliment I can and say, I’ll definitely be back.
Eat. Drink. Eat. Eat. Gulp. Enjoy.