Wow, I love burger cross-sections. This is the burger from Cullen’s (3741 N. Southport), called the Saloon Burger, done medium well, with American cheese and grilled onions. It’s a good, solid entree by any measure and will cost you $9.50.

It’s half pounder, but I think that means pre-cooked, which is fine. At medium-well, it was still a flavorful, juicy burger, albeit a little “corporate.” By corporate, I mean the burger was perfectly round in its form. Now, this could be because they have a drill sergeant in the kitchen saying things like “you muss make ze burgers perfectly rount” – I say that in my head with a German accent. Or, they could be purchasing them by the stack from a local meat packer. I’d like to think it was the former, but even if it was purchased pre-formed, it was from a local, fresh, quality meat packer because it’s a good burger.

The bun is really nice. Very fluffy, so even though the burger to bun ratio looks to be around one to three, it does not overwhelm the burger. The bun is toasted or popped into an oven of some sort because it’s slightly warmed, with a crispy outside. Very nice, actually.

Now, I don’t know about the math you’re using, but if I were rounding $9.50 to the nearest dollar, it would be $10. So let’s ground ourselves; you better have a damn good burger if you are going to hit double digits in a bar! We know that the Miller Beer Police will revoke your license to sell Miller if you’re going to charge $11.50 for a burger, so Cullen’s must know that they are treading on some serious ground here (cryptic, but this comment relates to a Miller Beer commercial shown mostly during NFL games). You’re paying a little extra for a great atmosphere, a perfect Guinness pour, wait staff with Irish accents, an extensive menu, and one of the trendiest neighborhoods in town. I’ll be back, because I want to try the Buffalo Chicken sandwich, which a member of my party said was great, and the Steak Frites with blue cheese butter, which also sounds great.