The burger at Au Cheval has earned laurels from Bon Appétit, Thrillist, and the Food Network. And partially on account of those laurels, it’s also sprouted lines of burger-hungry diners growing like ivy from the corner of Randolph and Halsted.
The restaurateur Brendan Sodikoff has conceived of a way to supply more burgers to those ivy tendrils, reconcepting his Roxie’s by the Slice into Small Cheval (1732 N. Milwaukee Ave., no phone yet), a counter-service, stripped-down version of Au Cheval. Small Cheval’s short, wall-painted menu saves its patrons the indecision of considering ordering the bologna sandwich instead (which, we’ll have you know, is also pretty good).
“Hamburger, cheeseburger, fries. That’s the whole menu,” Sodikoff says. “A portobello mushroom can be swapped for hamburger. Actually, that’s it.” The burger will be almost identical to the one at Au Cheval, but not exactly the same (for instance, it's losing the fried egg topper). Shakes, draft cocktails, and beers will be offered as beverages. The food's available to go or to stay (there's a 100-seat patio!) starting, ideally, on August 1. Laurels to follow at an unspecified date.