Best Fast Food

Big V's Burger Joint

Seventeen words into this paean to Big V's glorious victuals, and already Vito Racanelli is gettin' sassy: "It's not fast food. It's Big V's." The owner's slogan is understandable -- after all, "fast food" isn't typically synonymous with super-fresh, insanely tasty eats. But lo, Vito and his coterie of cooks make our meal in about the time it would take to idle in a drive-through -- and what we get in that spiffy white box (no greasy bags here) is awesome. Carnivores delight in Big V's signature burgers, from the basic single to the aptly named Animal: three patties further delish-ified by barbecue sauce, American cheese, bacon, grilled onions and roasted jalapeños. But it's not just the burgers that make the joint so great. A sourdough chicken club is rendered flat-out craveable by the addition of avocado and a sweet chili mayo. Humble potatoes achieve their highest calling by becoming seasoned, hand-cut French fries. And as if all this weren't enough, Big V's offers daily specials, like a killer Cajun turkey burger or an ahi tuna salad (!) made with sushi-grade fish from Market in the Loop neighbor Bob's Seafood. Vito Racanelli can call his food whatever he wants -- as long as he saves some for us.
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