Month of Burgers, Day 1: DMK Burger Bar

21 Jul

When I tell people I’ll be living in Malaysia for a year as a trailing spouse, the question I’m most often asked (besides “…And where is that?”) is, “What are you going to do?” Since saying “Sit by the pool and eat bon bons” will make people too jealous, I’ve been telling them I’ll start a food blog. And eating is Malaysia’s national sport, despite the how thin most Malaysians are.

To get into practice, I’m kicking off the blog with a farewell tour of foods I won’t be able to enjoy outside of Chicago. And what’s more American than the hamburger? (Also, whatever it is they’re selling as hamburgers in Malaysia, they ain’t.)

First up: DMK Burger Bar. Yet another entry in the high-end-chef-goes-downmarket trend (cf. Big Star and Xoco), this time from Michael Kornick of mk and David Morton of … Morton’s? Not that I’m complaining; in just hope the trend lasts long enough for me to come back and open my haute tater tot emporium, Hottie Tottie.

The menu has 8 beef and 6 non-beef variations on the patty-cheese-condiment combination, including a house-made (because this house is not a home) veggie patty. All burgers, except the Big DMK, are $8, and come unaccompanied by nary a fry or a garnish.

Ironically, I was invited to DMK by a vegetarian. The waitress foiled our plans to split an order of cheese fries by pointing out that they’re fried in beef tallow; thankfully, DMK fries other things in animal-friendly (though not allergy-friendly) peanut oil, so we sated our appetite for crunchinesswith the fried pickles and okra.

And how are the burgers themselves? Well, I really liked…the bun. It’s more like a soft ciabatta or roll than a typical burger bun, and holds up to the rich toppings. But the patty itself wasn’t very memorable, and it didn’t have the juiciness that I look for in my schmancy burgers. My lunch companion was similarly underwhelmed by her veg patty.

I did see that they have a Cubs fan special: come after a home game with a ticket stub and get your burger for $5. If only I’d known, I would have mugged a Cubs fan for their ticket.

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