Billy Goat Tavern

Monday, December 15, 2014

Billy Goat Tavern – 2700 East Grand Avenue, Chicago, Illinois, USA
Double Cheezborger
Dress Code:
5 minutes
Would we recommend:
Don’t expect much
$4.55 USD

This Chicago institution dates back to 1934 when a young Greek immigrant named William “Billy Goat” Sianis bought the Lincoln Tavern for $205. Yes, there was a goat, and it (and its descendants) became the mascots. If you’re a classic SNL fan then you’re probably familiar with the Olympia Restaurant skit. If you don’t know it then check it out later because it’s features half the Ghostbusters and Cheezborgers! You see, Bill Murray and John Belushi (also in the skit) used to spend a whole lot of time in Chicago, so it was only right for them to eat at the most famous burger joint in town; Billy Goat Tavern. They loved the place so much they wrote a skit with Don Novello about the very-particular order method and the new to USA wait staff. Don’t try and order fries, only “cheeps”. There’s no coke, only pepsi. You can see these signs still around today the place. If you’re a burger geek then your choices are simple: Single Cheezborger, Double Cheezborger, Triple Cheezborger and then the Homerun (x4 patties). They do other kinds of sandwiches and dogs but you’re really not there for them. These world-famous burgers have allowed them to open over 9 locations in the city and led me to their Navy Pier location where basically, a boardwalk meets Luna Park style attractions. My Double Cheezborger came on a freshly baked Kaiser bun with two “designed to be stacked” patties and double cheez. No fries, only cheeps.

“I first saw the skit when we first started the blog. Little did I know it was based on real life. Went down the pier expecting to see tourists all over this place, but as it turned out, they were everywhere but the Tavern. The burger, made right in front of you as you line up at the counter, was really just a fancy cheese burger. Super simplified but fancier. I didn’t believe that’s the same bun they were using back in the old days. But I do buy that those fatty patties and cheese are the same recipe. I was only passing through but I can see the appeal of this kind of burger when watching “da Bulls” and downing a whole lot of beer. It’s not the kind of meal you walk a million blocks to try and find (like I did) but it isn’t bad. It was a quick, really soft and cheesy experience. But I think the hype sort of ruined it for me. Next time I’d clear my schedule, order a jug and a Triple, and settle in.

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