Mystery Diner: Palmer Place is quintessential La Grange
By MYSTERY DINER - firstname.lastname@example.org
WHERE: 56 S. La Grange Road, La Grange
HOURS: 11 a.m. to midnight Monday to Thursday; 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. Friday and Saturday; noon to 11 p.m. Sunday
DRESS CODE: Casual
INFO: 708-482-7127, palmerslagrange.com
Palmer Place gives you options. Eighteen thousand of them, actually. The downtown La Grange restaurant's menu offers more than 30 different burger creations to pair with more than 500 beer options. An entire page of the menu is dedicated solely to the burgers, while the ever-changing beer list earns a menu of its own.
A companion and I visited Palmer Place on a recent late summer night. Approaching the restaurant, you walk through a bustling downtown La Grange. Inside, Palmer Place is just as lively. Follow our example and be sure to dine outside if the weather allows, as Palmer Place's expansive beer garden, which includes rooftop seating, is a true gem.
The restaurant goes by the motto: "Where neighbors become friends," and it lives up to it, from the warm service to the vibrant atmosphere.
A friendly server greeted us within moments of seating, bringing us the famous beer menu. If you name it, Palmer Place likely has it, from all the popular beers down to exotic exports and unique crafts.
It's a destination for dedicated beer lovers, and our server explained that some Palmer Place regulars print up the beer menu and cross off each selection as a checklist, on a quest to sample each libation.
Limiting myself to two beers, I went with the Lindemans Framboise, a Belgian raspberry beer that was a bit pricey, but worth the adventure, as well as a personal favorite that's typically hard to find: Three Floyds Brewing Gumballhead.
For our fare, we started out with an appetizer – the crispy green beans served with a ranch sauce. Palmer Place makes its own ranch dressing in house, and it didn't disappoint, while the green beans were deep fried in a tasty, crispy onion breading.
In the mood for some sandwiches while dining in the beer garden, I chose the Palmer's Steak Sandwich, while my date insisted on trying one of the award-winning burgers, going for The Ultimate Gourmet, touted as a standout at Palmer Place.
The Ultimate Gourmet Burger is prepared from Kobe beef topped with applewood smoked bacon, aged white cheddar, braised Blue Moon onions and a homemade red bell pepper mayo and smoked picante ketchup. The Blue Moon onions were a unique touch, and the pair of sauces on the tender meat made for a juicy burger.
My USDA Prime sirloin steak was charbroiled and topped with bleu cheese – a personal choice – and served on a Turano steak roll. A simple concoction, the sandwich was just what I had in mind for dining al fresco on the Palmer Place patio.
All sandwiches are served with a selection from seven sides.
Other burger options at Palmer Place include the Frisco Burger, topped with sliced baked ham and melted Swiss on a pretzel bun; the unique Berlin Burger, a cheeseburger with a touch of sauerkraut; and the Tuscan Burger, a half-pound patty with basil pesto, shredded Parmesan and red and green peppers.
Palmer Place has an expansive menu outside the sandwich options, including 19 appetizers, a dozen salad creations and many tempting steak and fish dishes.
The Mystery Diner is a newsroom employee at Suburban Life Media. The diner's identity is not revealed to the restaurant staff before or during the meal. Only positive dining experiences will result in published reviews.
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