Reach for a Better Burger

Ajasteak serves up an inventive and upscale burger lunch menu

Sure, there are a bevy of burgers out there. Some are thin, some are thick and some even are made with mystery meat. Our point? Lots of places make burgers, but not all of them make quality burgers. Ajasteak, the sophisticated Asian-inspired steakhouse in the Dana Hotel and Spa in River North, is upping the ante when it comes to Chicago burgers with a lunch menu featuring 10 intriguing options.

These are no bland, flat-as-board patties. Ajasteak executive chef Joshua Linton starts with quality cuts like USDA prime and Australian Kobe-style beef and lets his imagination take over from there. Some of the inventive combinations include the "135° SW Burger" with avocado, pico de gallo, torn cilantro, queso Chihuahua and chipotle mayo; the "Bacon 'n' Egg," with Neuske's Canadian bacon, fried organic egg, oven-dried tomato and cracked pepper; and the "Local Mushroom Burger," made with seasonal local mushrooms, caramelized onions and truffled pecorino. Each of these burgers can be made with eight ounces of USDA prime beef for $14 or Australian Kobe-style beef for $20. There are also Kobe sliders ($20) and burger variations made turkey ($13), South Indian-style lamb ($14) and skate ($14).

Ajasteak (660 N. State St., 312-202-6050) is open daily for lunch from 11AM until 2:30PM.

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