SpritzBurger News

February’s Collision Burger comes from high-profile Chicago chefs Ashlee Aubin and Chrissy Camba! This one has a special place in our Valentine hearts because of the way the couple met.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Spoiler alert: it was in our kitchen.

After moving to Chicago in 2005, Chef Ashlee took a job with us in the kitchen at Hearty Boys Catering. Meanwhile, Chef Chrissy was working the line at “HB Restaurant”. The two businesses were run out of the same kitchen, and there was always a bit of crossover as the shifts changed.

Ashlee “would try to make sure there was a reason to stick around a little longer or find something work related to talk to Chrissy about.  Eventually, I even volunteered to work some extra shifts in the restaurant to get the chance to know her better.”

EDITORS NOTE: This sounds like a nice story to everyone…even though it smacks of milking the time clock to me. I’ll let it go because…Valentine’s Day. ANYWAY….

Both of their careers grew tremendously; Chef Ashlee went on to “Alinea” and “Zealous” and is now the chef at “Wood” and “Salero” restaurants. Chrissy went on to open her own restaurant, “Laughing Bird” and was featured on Top Chef Season 10. She is currently doing pop-ups as we await the opening of her new concept: “Maddy’s Dumpling House”.

As Chef Ashlee puts it, “Cooking still brings us closer,” and this month’s burger is the couple’s “ideal compromise burger”.  Two thin griddle patties topped with good aged cheddar cheese, grilled onions, iceberg lettuce, and Russian dressing (lots of it). Sounds like love, right? Ashlee and Chrissy got engaged recently and plan to hold the ceremony in the kitchen at “HB”.

EDITORS NOTE: The engagement part is true. The ceremony in HB’s Kitchen is false. But we do know a good caterer.


09 Feb 2016, Posted by SpritzBurger in SpritzBurger News


Thin Mint Ice Cream

2 cups whole milk

1 teaspoon salt

1 ½ cups sugar

4 cups heavy cream

10 large egg yolks

1 tablespoon pure peppermint extract

1 tablespoon pure chocolate extract
1. Heat the milk, salt, and sugar in a saucepan.

2. To make the ice cream, set up an ice bath by placing a 2-quart (2l) bowl in a larger bowl partially filled with ice and water. Set a strainer over the top of the smaller bowl and pour the cream into the bowl.

3. In a separate bowl, stir together the egg yolks. Gradually pour some of the milk into the yolks, whisking constantly as you pour. Scrape the warmed yolks and milk back into the saucepan.

4. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom with a heat-resistant spatula, until the custard thickens enough to coat the spatula.

5. Strain the custard into the heavy cream. Stir over the ice until cool, add the extracts, then refrigerate to chill thoroughly. Preferably overnight.

6. Freeze the custard in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

7. Once frozen to soft serve consistency fold in 1 package crumbled Thin Mint cookies. Freeze the rest of the way in a freezer.

Makes about 1 quart

Hot Fudge Sauce

Yields 5 cups

16 ounces unsweetened chocolate
12 tablespoons butter, unsalted
2 2/3 cups water
2 cups sugar
1 ½ cups corn syrup
1 tablespoon salt
4 tablespoons Cat Daddy Moonshine

Melt the chocolate and butter very slowly in a double boiler or in the microwave, stirring frequently until combined. Meanwhile, heat the water, sugar, corn syrup and salt to boiling in a heavy saucepan. When the butter and chocolate have melted, stir the mixture into the boiling water. Turn the heat up and stir until mixture starts to boil; adjust heat so that sauce is just maintained at the simmering point, stirring occasionally. Allow sauce to boil for nine minutes.

Remove from heat and cool for 15 minutes. Stir in the moonshine and serve warm over ice cream.

Do ahead: Sauce can be easily and quickly reheated in the microwave for 15 to 30 seconds. Stir and it will be shiny and even again.

To Assemble:

3 scoops ice cream, drizzle with bourbon brown sugar syrup, top with hot fudge, whipped cream, and brandied cherry.


09 Dec 2015, Posted by SpritzBurger in SpritzBurger News

Maybe it’s much too early in the game.. Ooh, but I thought I’d ask you just the same.. What are you doing New Year’s.. New Year’s eve?

Join us this New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day for some amazing events!

We’re now accepting reservations for our annual New Year’s Eve dinner party (walk-ins also welcome). The menu, dubbed “The Twelve Burgers of Spritzmas,” will feature our six best-selling #CollisionBurgers (from Rachael Ray, Daisy Martinez, David Jarvis, Sara Moulton, Cat Cora, and Rick Tramonto) and our six best-selling original burgers. The night will also feature dessert specials from Gale Gand, cocktail specials from Holly Reid, door prizes, and a complimentary glass of champagne for every guest! Our hours are 5:00 pm-10:30pm that night.

Then, the following morning, roll out of bed and come straight to SpritzBurger for “The Return of the Pajama Brunch!” That’s right, forget about de-puffing your eyes and washing all the glitter out of your hair, just show up in your pajamas and receive a FREE mimosa! Our hours are from 10:00am-3:00pm for brunch, then we will be open for regular dinner hours that night, from 5:00pm-10:00pm, featuring the same menu as New Year’s Eve (for those of you who might not have been able to join us).

Happy Holidays!

Baby, it’s cold outside… So come warm up with our new #CollisionBurger! Chefs Shah and Yamada have created a “Bombay Breakdown Burger” featuring a savory beef and lamb patty topped with a tomato chutney, pickled red onions, a pickled mango aioli, and greens, nestled between a toasted brioche bun.

December’s Collision Burger comes to us from Chicago-native and guest Chef Zeeshan Shah. Shah’s father is from India, and his mother from Minnesota, so he’s got that wild rice style AND that pakora throwdown, but you can’t look at him and know he can bring it in English, Urdu and Hindi. He helped open The Bristol and The Custom House, and was Chef de Cuisine at Old Town Social for a few years. These days when he’s not running The Biscuit Man inside the Long Room, Zeeshan can usually be found sleeping or eating; dreaming of the next incarnation of food his Indian grandmother taught him to prepare.

In addition to his current position at Long Room, Chef Shah is also involved with current concept “Bombay Breakdown” with friend and co-chef Yoshi Yamada. Chef Yamada is from NYC, where he worked at Babbo and Co., the Sullivan Street Bakery’s pizza joint. After spending a year in Bombay on a Fulbright grant, he rolled out an Indian street food stand, Dadar Station, at the Brooklyn Flea. This is his second iteration in Chicago; back in the day he cooked at Lula Cafe and Blackbird. He will happily honk upon request.

The Bombay Breakdown concept focuses on Indian-ish foods and pops up around the city at markets like the Logan Square Farmer’s Market, Sauced night market, as well as at shared kitchen spaces like Sidecar and Ampersand at Kinmont. Their very next pop up will be on Saturday, December 12, at Sidecar and will be featuring burgers and fries, which makes this the perfect month to feature one of their burgers at SpritzBurger! We’re happy to have them!

Happy Holidays!

Dan, Steve, and Gale


Caraway Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Recipe courtesy Dan Smith; The Hearty Boys


2 pounds Brussels Sprouts; trimmed and halved

2 tablespoons caraway seed

1 tablespoon coarse kosher salt

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place Brussels Sprouts in a large mixing bowl and toss with the extra virgin olive oil until well coated. Add the dry ingredients and toss again.

Arrange Brussels Sprouts in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast for approximately 25 – 30 minutes until fork tender. Allow for the loose leaves to become dark and crisp. Season with additional kosher salt to taste and serve.

Happy Thanksgiving, Spritz Family!

For this month’s #CollisionBurger we’ve reached out to mom, writer, author, Indian food lover, and chef extraordinaire Anupy Singla!

Born in India and raised outside of Philadelphia, Anupy grew up visiting her grandfather’s childhood village in Punjab. She first learned to cook traditional, spicy Punjabi-style food from him. It was this passion that compelled her to leave daily reporting to teach her young girls how to appreciate good Indian food.

An accomplished cookbook author and journalist, Chef Singla is fast becoming one of the country’s foremost authorities on Indian food and cooking. She is the author of three books. Her latest, Indian For Everyone, which was released in October  2014, is a compilation of the most popular Indian recipes outside of India. From Spinach Pakoras to Aloo Gobi, Tandoori Chicken, and even key desserts – it’s all in there. The recipes are authentic but then show you how to make them healthier, lighter, and even vegan and gluten free.

Chef Singla’s #CollisionBurger embraces her passion for both Indian food and healthier eating. Both vegan and gluten free, but by no means lacking in flavor, her burger special features a Chickpea-Quinoa Masala Patty, a Caesar Cabbage Slaw, and a Cilantro-Green Apple Chutney. A little on the spicy side, the burger will be sure to satisfy your taste buds and your waistline alike! So come in this November, get the Collision Burger, and be sure to pair it with our Masala Rum & Coke.

See you soon!

Dan, Steve, and Gale


07 Oct 2015, Posted by SpritzBurger in SpritzBurger News

Chicken & Porridge

Recipe courtesy of The Hearty Boys


1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter

1/4 cup olive oil

8 chicken breasts, 6–8 ounces each, with skin on and wing bone attached (see note)

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Shallot Tomato Beurre Blanc, recipe follows

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Warm 2 tablespoons of the butter and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large skillet over high heat for 2 minutes. Season the chicken breasts with a sprinkling of salt and pepper.

Place four of the breasts in the pan skin side down. Sear for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the skin is crispy and golden brown. The skin will release from the pan when ready. Don’t try to rush it – if you do you’ll wind up leaving part of the skin stuck to the pan. Turn the breasts and sear for 1 more minute, then transfer them to a baking dish. Repeat the process with the rest of the butter, oil, and chicken.

Place the baking dish in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes. Place 1 breast on top of porridge, surround with beurre blanc and serve immediately.

Yield: 8 servings

Shallot Tomato Beurre Blanc

4 shallots, peeled and sliced

1 pint grape tomatoes, halved

2 cups white wine

2 sticks unsalted butter, chilled and cut into bits

1 tablespoon chopped parsley

Salt and pepper to taste

Put the shallots, tomatoes and wine into a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Let the wine reduce to 3 tablespoons. Add the butter a tablespoon at a time, stirring as you add it. The sauce will thicken as the butter is added. Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately.

Herbed Porridge

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter

1 3/4 cups grits

1/2 cup long-grain white rice

1/4 cup wheat germ

4 thyme sprigs

8 fresh sage leaves, chopped

1 bunch chives, chopped

2 sprigs tarragon, leaves stripped and chopped

1 tablespoon kosher salt

3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Put 6 1/2 cups water in a large saucepan with the butter and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the grits, rice, and wheat germ and stir well. Lower the heat to medium and add the thyme, sage, chives, tarragon, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until the water has been absorbed, 20 to 30 minutes. It will have an oatmeal-like consistency. Remove the thyme sprigs and serve immediately.

Yield: 8–10 servings


07 Oct 2015, Posted by SpritzBurger in SpritzBurger News

“Too much is not nearly enough.” That’s the mantra our family has thrust upon my mother in law. It pertains first and foremost to her jewelry; about 6 earrings per ear (none of them match or are paired), a ring or two on each finger (including the thumbs) and a small stack of necklaces that need to be untangled throughout the day.

It permeates throughout her life…literally. I was going mad in the passenger seat of my car once trying to find the source of the cologne I seemed to be wearing until I finally realized I was being assaulted by the seatbelt she had used the week before. And as far as a home is concerned, she’s never met a cleared counter that couldn’t be filled with more porcelain geese.

When it comes to food she is gloriously over zealous. She’s Italian (you saw that coming, no?). Dinner for 2? She’ll just throw on a pound of pasta. Christmas Eve’s Feast of the Seven Fish? She makes eleven. No joke. Eleven.  Even God is like, “Vicki…the 7 was fine…honestly…take a break.” She just dropped by this week for a few days and has left multiple Tupperware containers filled with Bolognese and sweet Italian sausages. There’s a couple of unmarked foil-wrapped items in the freezer that I’ll pull out after work next month for a surprise dinner.

So, Vicki is October’s reason for us loving having more! And you’re going to really love who we are getting more of at SpritzBurger. Doug Sohn of Hot Doug’s is partnering with this us for October’s Collision Burger. More Doug!  His Certified Angus Beef Burger is stacked with stinky French Cheese (Doug’s words), our Housemade Lardon and Whole Grain Mustard Aioli.

You’re also going to love our fall specials at SpritzBurger. Bottomless Sangria on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and Bottomless Mimosas at Sunday Brunch. More what? More Booze! More Sangria! More Mimosas!

My featured wedding this month is a perfect example of more. Amy and Ian took a bland concrete wall and transformed it into a temporary chalk sign-in book. They had more and more paper flowers in the wedding arch and arranged in vintage tin truck centerpieces. Amy had more tattoos and Ian’s family flew in from Scotland which led to more of everything including more dancing to an amazing Scottish rock band.

And weddings bring us to the best part of owning a catering business…being surrounded by more love. More engagements, more first dances, more families joining together for more love. And that, of course, brings us full circle back to Vicki; who holds our family tightly together in a cloud of more perfume doling out more kisses, more support and always…more pasta.

-Steve McDonagh


02 Oct 2015, Posted by SpritzBurger in SpritzBurger News

Greetings, Spritzers!

I hope you’re all as excited about this month’s #CollisionBurger special as we are! This October we are featuring Chef Doug Sohn’s burger creation…You might know him as “Hot Doug”.

A graduate of the culinary program at Kendall College, Doug has held at least 4 or 5 jobs in the food industry. Most notably, he was a vendor at both Wrigley Field and Comiskey Park in the 1980s and was a frequent server/bartender/prep cook for All on the Road Catering in Park Ridge in the 1990s. He cooked in restaurants, catering companies, and corporate dining facilities before becoming a cookbook editor in the later part of the 20th century. One day a friend of his ate a bad hot dog, resulting in the opening of Hot Doug’s, the Sausage Superstore, in Chicago in 2001. It closed in 2014. It was kinda famous in between.

Titled “Burger a la Tarte Flambee” by Chef Doug, his Collision Burger features our certified angus beef patty, stinky French cheese, bacon lardons, caramelized onions, and a whole grain mustard creme. If you ever had a dog from “Hot Doug’s,” you’ll know this recipe isn’t to be missed! Come join us this month for a pumpkin ale, feast on Doug’s “Burger a la Tarte Flambe,” and stick around for Gale Gand’s pumpkin creme brulee. ‘Tis the season!