Green Gables | Smashed Crispyburger On Illinois Route 66

Review by: Michael Stern

Lace-Edged Hamburger

Central Illinois hamburgers demand special attention. In particular, I’m talking about the smashed crispyburger. A sphere of meat hits the grill. The cook smashes down on it with a spatula. Enough smashing turns it lacy-crisp around its edges. Plenty of fat infuses the meat, so no matter how hard the spatula pushed down it it, it remains juicy. But its thinness suggests that any hungry appetite make it a double. I suggest a double with cheese, and with pickle, tomato, onion, ketchup, and mustard.

A Juicy Package

That’s the way to do it at Green Gables on the shore of Lake Bloomington. Paper swaddling wraps each smashed crispyburger presented to the customer. The paper causes the whole package to steam into a great savory mound of goodness by the time you unwrap it. What a fine, messy handful of food!

On the Side

Side dishes do their job, but the excellent hamburger eclipses them. Every one of them comes from the fryer: deep fried cheese balls, deep fried corn nuggets, deep fried mozzarella sticks, cauliflower, onion rings, etc. Hudson, Illinois is two hours southwest of Chicago (along old Route 66), so Italian beef has a place on the menu. It’ll do, but it cannot compare to the smashed crispyburgers that put Green Gables on the Roadfood map.

Polymorphous Eat Place

The place itself is an absolutely hypnotic kaleidoscope of culinary genres. Up front, you will find a dark tavern with a pool table. Behind that room, a brightly lit grocery. The grocery is no supermarket, that’s for sure. But look at the way shelves of products are precisely marshaled on shelves like they’re in a museum of contemporary Jell-O packages and detergent bottles. Back here, you can buy liquor or fishing bait, too.

Superlatives!

The hyperbolic menu tells customers they are in the “resort capital of the world.” And they are about to experience “the best food known to man.”

 

Directions & Hours

11am - 1am
  • Monday: 11:00 AM – 1:00 AM
  • Tuesday: 11:00 AM – 1:00 AM
  • Wednesday: 11:00 AM – 1:00 AM
  • Thursday: 11:00 AM – 1:00 AM
  • Friday: 11:00 AM – 1:00 AM
  • Saturday: 11:00 AM – 1:00 AM
  • Sunday: 11:00 AM – 10:00 PM

What To Eat

Double Cheeseburger

DISH
Cheddar Cheese Balls

DISH
Fried Corn Nuggets

DISH
Italian Beef

DISH
Au Jus

DISH

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