I Tried Illinois' Supposed 'Best Burger' Joint, Farren's Pub & Eatery In Champaign

I Tried Illinois' Supposed 'Best Burger' Joint, Farren's Pub & Eatery In Champaign

So, did Farren's burgers live up to this generous title?

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Back in August, the Champaign-Urbana community received some exciting and tasty news: one of our local gigs, Farren's Pub & Eatery, was crowned the top burger spot in the state according to a TripAdvisor report. Ever since I caught wind of this news, I've been dying to try this burger mecca, but I never got around to it because it's located off-campus in downtown Champaign. With my graduation just about three weeks away, I knew it was now or ever. Unfortunately, I came down with a cold, so I wasn't able to physically go to the restaurant. Instead, I had my purchase catered to my apartment via EatStreet so I could grub in my germ-contained apartment and in some cozy pajamas. Nonetheless, I'll share my opinions and experiences from the online shopping to the final, meaty bite.

The restaurant offers a fair selection for its customers, from the traditional sandwiches and burgers (of course) to tacos and even cupcakes! Though many options were mouthwateringly tempting, I just had to pick one of the burgers to investigate this tasty case. I ordered one of Farren's most popular items according to EatStreet: "The Motherlode," which was garnished with sautéed mushrooms, bleu cheese sauce and Swiss cheese atop a hamburger patty. I asked for extra onions on the side to help open up my congested cavities, then I waited about 50 minutes for my order to arrive. The food itself was about $10, so not a bad bargain at all!

While I was waiting, I was able to track my order thanks to EatStreet's real-time updates that communicated to me which step my order was in between the order processing to the car dispatch. The order came almost right on time, give or take a few minutes. The food was packaged tightly in its container and was still steaming hot. Here it is in all its shiny, greasy glory:


The extra onions and my choice of fries came on the side, along with a container of bleu cheese dressing. I peeled back the burger to peek at its layers; from the bottom up, there was a bun, patty, mushrooms, melted Swiss cheese and a generous amount of sautéed mushrooms under the top bun. The patty was thick, juicy and soft but still held a distinct shape. See for yourselves how big this beefy boy was!

After letting my eyes and camera eat first, I went to town. The buns overall were nice, not tough or soggy. I'm not a big mushroom fan, so the 5-10 mushroom cuts were plenty for me, but that probably also means there would be more left to desire for others. The onions were sweet, reminding me of caramelized unions a bit, but perhaps the Swiss cheese contributed to this taste a bit. The meat? It hit the spot, but it became heavier and heavier as I ate. My burger was also tiptoeing on the rare side, increasingly pink as I bit closer to the center, which isn't something I normally go for. The patty also fell apart, making it messy to eat because the buns that held the entire sandwich together were, as I stated, rather soft. I had to scoop up my scraps and eat them separately at times. My favorite part about the burger was, without a doubt, the bleu cheese sauce. That sauce was so rich and made this burger a stand-out that I'll remember for months to come. As for the fries, they were pretty average. The taste and texture were very similar to other fries I've had, so I wouldn't be surprised if they came straight from a vendor.

All in all, I really enjoyed the burger, but I wouldn't say it's the best I ever had in Illinois. Out of 10, I'd rate it an 8.5. Messy food is oftentimes the tastiest, but because the meat and buns were both a bit soft, it was hard to enjoy all the flavors together once things fell apart. Nonetheless, each ingredient was tasty on its own, but they also each worked together to better the burger. Plus the bleu cheese sauce was simply incredible. I was pleasantly satisfied for the price, and I'm happy to finally check this experience off my list before parting with C-U!

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12 Symptoms You Get When You're Addicted To Chick-Fil-A

It is your one true love.
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Chick-fil-A, I love you.

Truett Cathy, I owe you my life.

If you love Chick-fil-A, you truly have withdrawals when you're away from it. You may suffer from these symptoms, just like I do.

1. No other breakfast will compare to CFA's.

2. No other fast food joint has hash brown's like CFA's.

3. When you go on vacation, you type in Chick-fil-A to see if there is one nearby.

4. If there isn't, you eat it as soon, I am talking, like, the second, you get back from vacation.

5. You truly don't understand how people "get tired of Chick-fil-A"

6. Besides the occasional change up on Sunday's, CFA is always your number choice of fast food.

7. You legitimately crave it more on Sunday's.

8. Nothing on the menu seems gross to you.

9. Yet, you seem to get the same thing every time you go.

10. Their ice cream is literally the b o m b.

11. You defend CFA to any and every hater.

12. CFA is probably your actual one true love.

SEE ALSO: The Top 10 Struggles Of Every Chick-Fil-A Employee

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4 Breakfast Spots Near The University of Kentucky That Will Actually Get You Out Of Bed In The Morning

These places will satisfy all of your breakfast cravings.

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If you're a breakfast foodie like I am, you know that is an absolute priority to find the most popular breakfast spots despite the city you may be in. You don't want to visit the touristy and basic restaurants that everyone else goes to, but instead, you are determined to uncover the locations that are the best of the best. Most foodies will go to great lengths to discover these places. As a University of Kentucky student and major foodie, I have searched all over Lexington to find my favorite places to visit on Saturday and Sunday mornings. This took my entire first semester and many trips to the ATM, but today, I am now blessed to say that I am a regular at all 4 of these incredible breakfast spots.

1. The Great Bagel

The Great Bagel is one of my all-time favorite restaurants to visit on Sunday mornings. The restaurant offers a variety of bagel sandwiches and freshly squeezed orange juice, and it makes for the perfect early morning start to a day filled with homework or relaxation.

2. Chocolate Holler

Though not a true restaurant, Chocolate Holler is one of the most popular coffee shops near the University of Kentucky. Because it is only a 3-minute drive from campus, Chocolate Holler is always buzzing with UK students who come to socialize or study. The coffee shop is most well known for its chocolaty drinks and the music is great there, too!

3. Stir Krazy

Stir Krazy is a local smoothie bar down the street that serves protein shakes, smoothies, and tea. Though It only consists of these three beverages, the shakes at Stir Krazy are enough to fill you up for breakfast or lunch. Each shake or smoothies range from 200 to 250 calories and serves as the perfect energizer before a workout or a filling recovery drink after a workout.

4. La Madeleine

La Madeleine is a French breakfast and lunch cafe conveniently located on campus (and only a 30-second walk from my dorm). Their breakfast is served all day long and their croissants are to die for. I highly recommend building your own omelet for the most fulfilling experience. Not to mention, their iced caramel macchiatos are a great refresher on the side.

No matter which city, state, or country I am currently in, I make it my mission to eat as a local would. In Lexington, Kentucky, these four breakfast spots are guaranteed provide you with a plethora of different types of food to get you through even the worst cases of morning hunger. Though these places are my current favorites, I am now looking forward to containing the search for more breakfast restaurants, cafes, and juice bars throughout my next four years in this city.

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