Nestled between the Hill and the SHaw neighborhood sits O’Connell’s Pub. When I lived by the Botanical Gardens a few years ago, this was the only cheaply priced refuge for eats. The atmosphere is highly relaxed, the dining room is nearly always packed on the weekends, and stone empty on the weekdays. The place has an antique shop up above it, and that tells the patron volumes about the vibe. It’s part Irish pub that’s about to close, part south city dive (in a good way, like Rosie’s in the CWE, which hasn’t got burgers, sadly. Another sad note is they opted to stop serving Schlafly to replace it with an awful brew called O’Connell’s ale…
But wait, we’re here to talk about burgs!
The O’Connell’s Burger is a real mixed bag. On one hand it’s small, highly greasy, and a leans on the rare side of things. I’ve never had one without a puddle of grease and blood coagulating on my paper plate at the end of the meal. However if you can get past the rarity (and I can, baby) there’s alot to be said for this burg that makes it a contender.
Taste-wise it’s awesome. This tastes like the burgers my Mom used to make, so it always reminds me of being back in the country in Illinois. The burger may be small altogether, but the patty makes up 70% of it’s size – not bad. The cheese sets the standard for meltiness too.
As far as veggies go, I don’t think you get options, other than the amazing sauteed and grilled onions you can get on it. Try em once, at least. They aren’t to everyone’s taste, but they are great to me.
Garnished with fries (add some mayo on the side for dipping, european style) and you have a meal fit for a king or a commoner.
In parting I’ll say one thing – I double dog dare you to walk by the back door (leading to the kitchen) and not succumb to the glorious smell of burnt bovine that’s always wafting out of OConnell’s.