After I put Top Notch in my book back in 2008 my good friend and Tribune reporter Rick Kogan admitted that he had never been there. He too saw the light and was undaunted by the long drive down to 95th St. near Western. Kogan was so moved by the burger (and the admission that it was new to him) that he wrote a piece for the Trib about it. To this day whenever I tell a Chicagoan where I'm going I always get the same response - "Way down there? Have fun." And no one ever asks me to bring them one because it's so far away that the burger would be ice cold by the time they got it.
I met Chicago Expert Burger Taster Jay at counter and he told me, "It's a good thing Top Notch is not near my house. I'd be here all the time." But for me it's 700 miles away so I wish it were closer. We both ordered the Half-Pounder King Size with cheese and grilled onions. Just perfect. The meat is ground fresh from hanging beef in their walk-in cooler and the shakes are amazing.
If you have not been yet get yer butt down there already! And Top Notch is now selling red trucker hats for only 5 bucks..