by Jay H. Gorania
Metal and burgers. If you’re a metalhead who isn’t vegan or vegetarian, that’s a win-win proposition, right? Kuma’s Corner, located in Chicago, has a good reputation, so it seems worth the effort to check it out.
Was it worth the effort? Two word assessment: Hell no. (Not on a Saturday night, anyway.)
After a lengthy wait to be seated, they had a table ready for some of us. We had a party of seven, and we were told five could be seated and the other two would need to be seated at the neighboring table once it was free. We took it upon ourselves to pull up a couple of seats to the table of five, prompting the waitress to lay down the law.
“Yea, we don’t do that here. You’ll need to sit at the other table once it’s ready,” she offered in the same manner in which the boss dude in Office Space says, “Yea, if you could come in and work Saturday morning, that would be great.”
The bartender seemed quite knowledgeable about the nuances of microbrews, and the service on that end of things was impressive.
Not long thereafter, the second table was ready. I didn’t think it was a big deal when I flipped my chair around to face our friends and hear them converse. But, yet again, the waitress flexed her muscles of authority. “Yea, we don’t do that here. You’ll need to turn your chair around.”
It was just a little surprising that a “metal” joint had such rigid rules. But we stuck around and waited…and waited…and waited. One hour later, we were fed up, but not with food. It had yet to arrive. Addressing this with the hostess didn’t seem to help matters.
“As you can see there’s a small kitchen, and the room is full, so yea, this is pretty normal.”
I wasn’t pleased. “No, that’s not normal. I have never waited an hour at any restaurant.”
The play list’s focus on sub-par sludge grew tiresome, but, sadly, there’s another rule that applies. You can not make musical requests. Since my patience had worn thin, I really had no choice but to yell, with an exaggerated southern accent, “Enough of this slow stuff. I wanna hear some fast shit! Slayer! Slayer!”
Whether it was coincidence or a request granted, they started spinning some faster songs. But most importantly, our food had finally arrived, a little over an hour after we were seated.
The verdict? It was quite good, actually. I had a bite of my friend’s sandwich: The Pig Destroyer. An aptly named sandwich, it’s made with a generous portion of pulled pork slapped atop a pretzel roll with a side of BBQ sauce.
I kept it real and ordered the very Texan burger. With spicy tomatillo salsa, pepperjack cheese and a trio of breaded deep fried chiles, those who enjoy fiery hot food are in for a treat with the Absu. You couldn’t fully appreciate the red onion/avocado relish or queso fresco in terms of taste, due to the spicy nature of the rest of the toppings, though they offered a moist texture. It was a delicious, juicy burger. But was it worth an hour-long wait? Again, hell no.