I almost missed LITTLE big BITES Burger Bistro (LBBBB). Tucked into a shopping center where the signage for every store boasts the same bold, red lettering, the outside gives no indication of what’s inside. The room is canopied in branches with LED lights flashing to the music. One wall has self-serve taps pouring beer and wine. (And don’t even get me started on the bathroom—you’d think you were in a designer showroom, not a counter-service burger joint.)
And just like the bold décor, the menu packs with big flavors between pillowy buns. Start with thick-cut fries—they’re served by the pound (one pound equals one big paper cone)—and choose from 25-plus dipping sauces, such as bright and herbaceous basil aioli, smoky chipotle aioli, and buffalo brown gravy that was like eating chicken wings on gravy fries, in the best possible way. As we dipped our way through every sauce on the menu, my fellow editor, who lives in Thornwood with her painfully adorable family, assured me there’s nothing else like LBBBB in the area.
Out next from the kitchen: towering burgers served on artistic planks of knotty wood, featuring a signature Pat LaFrieda blend, creative toppings, and an array of unique buns like black-pepper brioche or garlicky Texas toast. The Beef Wellington Burger—ground beef with savory mushroom duxelles—is completely encased in buttery puff pastry, and the deep-fried old fashioned is a whole burger coated in bread crumbs and fried until crisp.
Our favorite: the “SSS” topped with pulled pork, barbecue aioli, bacon, cole slaw, smoked gouda, and horseradish pickles. Sandwiched between black-pepper brioche, it managed to be sweet, smoky, briny, crispy, beefy, and spicy all at the same time. The Mac Attack, with bacon, bacon-onion jam, and a croquette of macaroni and cheese, was another surprising favorite. As was the osso buco burger—a veal patty with rich, molten-hot osso buco sauce and mozzarella cheese—that we couldn’t stop eating. And the Guinness burger, which came after we’d consumed three-quarters of the menu, is what I’d order if I went back, just for the spicy jalapeño-bacon jam and Guinness-cheddar cheese sauce.
Still need a good excuse to eat some burgers and pound of fries? National Burger Day is this Sunday. Have at it.
LITTLE big BITES Burger Bistro
652 Columbus Ave., Thornwood