Kuma’s Corner is famous in Chicago for big, bodacious burgers, a heavy metal theme, being visited by Lady Gaga and a very, very long wait for a table. Which is the reason the first time I tried to eat there, I ended up down the street at Square. I was too hungry to wait an hour and a half at 9 PM on a Monday night.
Last Tuesday, around the same time, some friends and I decided to try going to Kuma’s again.
The wait was a mere hour, so we decided to stick it out. Everything about this loud, noisy restaurant and bar is heavy metal themed. Every burger on the menu (I counted 22) is named for a heavy metal band: Plague Bringer, High On Fire, Lair of the Minotaur to name a few bands that were new to me.
My friend bravely ordered the Megadeath burger that towered with chorizo, red potato hash, pico de gallo, cayenne avocado cream and tortilla strips. I ordered the Led Zeppelin burger, which was a meaty mess of beef, bacon, pulled pork, cheddar cheese, BBQ sauce and pickles on a pretzel bun. I knew I had to recreate my Kuma’s burger photo as audacious and greasy as it really was.
My goal was to show a big, juicy, greasy burger that looked completely indulgent. I wondered, how much taste appeal can go into one burger? So, I made the burger look as juicy as possible––just bordering on the edge of it being too greasy. I placed hints of grease and juice all over the surface. There is a lot going on here: tons of bacon, cheddar cheese and a big chunk of succulent pulled pork. How I kept from going over the edge was, I chose bacon pieces with nice curls and slices of heirloom tomatoes and fresh pickles.
I kept the lighting and atmosphere moody and dark, in order to match what the restaurant looked like to me at 10 PM; rocker-esque, a bit raw and slightly gritty. I came in tight on the burger, from a strait-on angle to emphasize that this was one big, huge burger.
Kuma’s Corner | 2900 W Belmont Ave Chicago, IL 60618-5804 | (773) 604-8769