Hungry Z, NBC5 Street Team
Paradise means different things to different people. To some it’s a tropical island, but for me it’s amazing food. At times the search for amazing food is just as elusive as that tropical island. A small restaurant claiming to have that special something is “Paradise Pup”. A tiny shack of a restaurant located in Des Plaines, “Paradise Pup” would not be your first stop in your search for paradise. Talk to the locals and they’ll tell you they have the best burgers around, period. Let’s find out.
First thing you notice as you pull into the small parking lot is, that this is a really small place. Step inside and then you really notice how small this place is. This joint is smaller than most people’s living rooms, and that includes the kitchen! Want to sit inside? Good luck, belly up to one of the six possible stools and rest your food on the counter. But the loyal patrons don’t seem to mind. During lunch hours the line stretches out the door (even in the winter). Seating is a little more reasonable during the warmer months since they do have a few actual tables outside.
The menu here is pretty basic and pretty small. Burgers, dogs, Italian beef, a chicken sandwich, and milk shakes are pretty much it. Since this place is known for burgers I decide on the double cheddar burger and a hot dog. Just as my food arrives a stool opens up and I grab a seat. The dog is a hot Vienna beef dog that is good but a little wrong at the same time. Whenever I order a hot dog I ask for everything, this time that included a slice of cucumber. Cucumber? No, I’m not talking about the pickle, but a separate slice of cucumber that had no place on my dog. The other small complaint was that the sport peppers were really dark green and almost as long as the dog itself. The burger on the other hand was 2/3 lbs of deliciously charred beef topped with cheddar, grilled onions, lettuce, tomato, and ketchup. Wow! This burger was simply amazing. It’s like the sky parted and the heavens handed me a burger! This is stranded on a tropical island with both Ginger and Mary Ann good. Charred on the outside and dripping with juice from the inside. I honestly had to pace myself otherwise I would have finished it in two minutes. Paradise found!
Since my burger was so good I had to stop by again and sample something else from the menu. On this day I went for the Italian beef and seasoned fries. While not as good as the burger, it sure doesn’t disappoint. The thinly sliced beef is tender, juicy, and has wonderful flavor. The bread at some places is too soggy for my taste, but their bread balances crustiness and juice soaked goodness perfectly. The fries were nicely seasoned and had a nice crisp texture.
All that’s left is dessert. My brother orders their Oreo shake while I go for the banana and coconut shake. Both shakes start with real ice cream and milk, my brothers is loaded with Oreo and is really good. My shake is a little different since they blend a whole banana in the mix and then top it with whip cream and toasted coconut. Different and wonderful.
Want to stop by and grab some dinner? Forget about it. Hours of operation are 11am-5pm Monday-Saturday. This place is family owned and operated and they are happy with their hours as they are. Prices are bargain for the high quality of food here. A double cheddar, fries, and a pop will run you about $8. Worth every penny. Overall “Paradise Pup” offers excellent food, good value, short hours, and cramped seating. My recommendation? Come after normal lunch hours or take it to go, and you’ll have one of bestburgers anywhere.
1724 S River Road
Des Plaines, IL 60018
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