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TASTE TEST: The Boathouse Grill's Chicago Burger a Chicago dog in burger form
Taste Test

TASTE TEST: The Boathouse Grill's Chicago Burger a Chicago dog in burger form

Don't be fooled by the exterior, the drive-thru or the picnic benches.

The Boathouse Grill in downtown Michigan City makes a point of not being a fast-food restaurant, but rather an eatery that "serves food prepared by hand in a timely manner."

You can taste the difference.

The Boathouse Grill at 701 Washington St. in downtown Michigan City, a block from the Lighthouse Place Premium Outlet Mall and 3/4 of a mile from Lake Michigan, was founded by a couple who come from a family of restaurateurs who also owned Roxannes Drive In and The Rib Crib in Michigan City.

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The menu offers an array of Chicagoland favorites, including Chicago dogs and Maxwell Street Polish. It has shrimp baskets, sandwiches, burgers and appetizers like cheese curds, cheese fries, cheesy fried cauliflower and garlic fried mushrooms.

It has a Chicago Burger, a burger version of the iconic Chicago dog that "runs it through the garden." 

The cheeseburger has the standard roll call of Chicago dog ingredients: mustard, relish, chopped onion, tomato, pickle, sport peppers and celery salt. It swaps buttered brioche for the poppyseed bun.

It's a big, half-pound backyard-grill style burger made with a fresh hand-formed patty. The mustard enhances the savoriness of the freshly grilled beef, the pickles add a tangy crunch and the sport peppers give it a kick. It's a substantial burger, a two-hander.

As is common at many old-school Chicago dog, gyros and Italian beef joints, it automatically comes with a side of French fries. They're golden, crispy and cooked to order.

Just don't desecrate the Chicago Burger with any ketchup.

For more information, visit or call (219) 814-4127.

Taste Test is a weekly feature showcasing specialty dishes at Region restaurants.


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Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.

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