August 20, 2012
($10) at The Bad Apple (4300 N. Lincoln Ave. 773-360-8406)
Toppings: Braised goat chili, avocado, roasted garlic puree, goat's milk cheddar
Weirdness rating: 3. Though Chicago lately is obsessed with all things pork, the enthusiasm hasn't totally extended to goat, a meat that's standard fare in other countries.
Messiness rating: 1. This chili-topped creation should look like the lovechild of a burger and a Manwich, but there was virtually no sliding-bun or finger-licking action.
A chili burger conjures expectations of oozing, finger-coating sauce and a south-of-the-border pepper kick. Unfortunately, this had neither. The bland chili did have a welcome gaminess courtesy of the goat meat, but it's totally outshined by the flavorful, juicy La Frieda beef. Avocado, garlic and goat's milk cheddar are all fine enough, but when I finish a chili burger without reaching for a single reinforcement napkin, something is very off. Next time, I'd opt for one of the other equally exotic choices on Bad Apple's menu. --Kate Bernot