159. Barrington EATS: Kookin’ Up Memorial Day Burgers

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When I think about Memorial Day food, like most everyone else, I think burgers. There’s a reason they are one the most eaten meals in America. The simple combination base of beef and buns is reliably good! Like many good meals, a burger is one I refer to as a palette. Like an artists palette, it’s a meal that can be decorated with so many options and ways – whatever suits your fancy.

Kookers Bacon Cheeseburger

My favorite burgers to prepare at home include avocado and salsa, mushrooms and Swiss and fried onions with chipotle mayo.  When it comes to finding great burgers out and about in Barrington, I have long had a favorite place in Kooker’s on route 14 just West of 59.  This classic burger joint has everything you want from your hometown burger place and more.

It starts with friendly service when you walk in the door…

Every one of the many times I’ve been in Kooker’s, I’ve been welcomed by owner Bill Seger with a warm greeting that includes a reference to either the bacon or the baseball he knows my 9-year old boy loves, just from getting to know him over the counter. Following the friendly chatter are accommodations of special orders, and tremendously quick service.

With burger boutiques being all the rage these days, I decided to challenge Bill on what they might have that Kooker’s doesn’t…

In my opinion it’s not much, as Bill’s shakes and malts are unbelievable, with fresher flavors and more variety, and well… as for burger toppings… “Jalapenos and BBQ?” I asked. “Sure” he replied. “The trendy bacon and fried egg?” I challenged. “In a heartbeat” he said “Just ask, I’ll make it”.  Their extensive menu does, after all contain omelets made to order all day. It also includes things you will not find on a boutique menu, such as pork cutlet and fresh soups made daily, tacos and burritos in addition to throwback fried mushrooms, pizza puffs and sloppy joes.

The burgers at Kooker’s are classic, as are the prices.  They use high-quality beef from Orchard Prime Meats in Lake Zurich, a partnership they’ve had since Kooker’s opened in 1990.

One thing you’ll also find plenty of at Kooker’s is parking and space for dining.  They have two counters with bar stools, and many booths, including outdoor seating, plus a television and newspapers for your sports and other enjoyment.

And if you want the burgers brought to you, Kookers also offers catering and party services. Order for take out a large variety of platters including fried chicken and Italian Beef, or contract Kooker’s to provide your party or outdoor event with hot dog carts, Weber grills, and a custom-made menu. Almost all parties are staffed by Bill himself, and his attention to customer desires and personability will add the nicest touch to your event.

Kooker’s is located at 228 Northwest Highway in Barrington.  For more information about Kooker’s and to check out their menu, you’ll find them on Facebook by clicking HERE and you’ll find their website at KookersRestaurant.com.

If you’re cooking burgers at home you’ll surely find a good deal on ground beef this week. Take advantage of the sale and stock up. If your family, like mine, enjoys ground beef dishes, having a few pounds on hand can make it easy to make a dozen different dinners on a moments’ notice.

Check out my website, OrganizingDinner.com, for ground beef recipes such as stuffed peppers, ground beef enchiladas, meatloaf, meatballs, baked pasta and shepherd’s pie. And if you’re making burgers for Memorial Day, I have easy recipes for favorite burger toppings such a fried onions and chipotle mayo that can make the simple simply divine. I also have stuffed burger recipes for bacon and cheddar stuffed burgers, or the special patriotic Red, White and Blue stuffed burger. Have a great Memorial Day, with honor to those who have served. And as always, eat well!

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About the Author

Kelly Donlea is a Barrington mom, chef, cookbook author the owner of Organizing Dinner, a company that brings sensible cooking solutions to busy people. She has published several cookbooks and one of her specialties is helping parents plan family meals with fewer trips to the grocery store. Kelly also offers cooking classes and demonstrations in your home or public facility. To learn more about Kelly, her recipes and her services, you’ll find her Facebook page by clicking HERE and her website at OrganizingDinner.com. Kelly is going to be sharing recipes, cooking tips and special features about chefs and popular menu items at area restaurants right here at 365Barrington.com.

Please join us as we discover local culinary treasures and new kitchen classics in our new, local and regular food feature here at 365Barrington.com called “Barrington Eats” with Kelly Donlea!

If you’d like to us to feature you favorite chef or restaurant or if you have a food related question that you’d like Kelly to answer, make a quick stop at the 365 Barrington Suggestion Box and leave us a note in the form which you’ll find by clicking HERE.

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