Sure, you saw the list of restaurants for Lollapalooza’s Chow Town elsewhere, a hot media exclusive straight from the Armani-suited muckety-mucks in the corporate management of the mega-festival. But rock and roll isn’t about the suits, man. It’s about the music and the people and the food that the people make. So we’re not waiting for The Man to tell us what we can say about Lollapalooza and Chow Town. Between now and when the festival starts on August 3, we’re going to talk to as many of the people making the food as we can, starting with the guys making hamburgers, of which there are three this year: Edzo’s, Kuma’s and M Burger. We stopped by Edzo’s in Evanston and put the question to owner Eddie Lakin: why is yours going to be the best burger at Lollapalooza? And how are you going to adapt your burger shop to the demands of a festival with 300,000 people at it? His answers, including a two minute video, are below.
Eddie isn’t planning on doing anything different from what he does normally— “You can’t premake anything; you’ve got to grill them all by hand.” He plans to grill about 4000 to 5000 fresh-ground patties a day— “I hope we’re going to get into a place with higher capacity, and we’ll have a guy grinding beef at one in the morning for the next day.” He’s not just being thrown into it with no help, though; Merlin Verrier, Graham Elliot’s operations manager, has provided support including a guy who Eddie describes as “the guy you call when you say you need 14 more outlets and he says no problem. He knows how to pull anything together, so I’m not just standing there trying to figure it out with no clue.” Still, he says he’s glad not to be the only hamburger stand in Chow Town— “I’m glad Kuma’s and M Burger will be there. There’s no way to know what it will be like until you actually do it, so if we totally fall apart, you’ll still be able to get a burger.”
Eddie has more (and funnier) things to say in our video below. We hope to give Kuma’s and M Burger equal time to talk about why they’re going to be the best burger in Chow Town in future installments of The Battle of the Buns. Because The Man can’t stop The Grub, man.