Finding a healthier burger in Chicago and the suburbs

Want to indulge in burgers and fries without the guilt? Head north to Glencoe, where the newly opened Everest Burgers serves up hormone-free, steroid-free beef, vegetarian burgers and the healthiest version of French fries around.

Owners Mark and Margarita Challenger are adamant about feeding their four children only organic, locally produced food whenever possible. They decided they wouldn’t offer their customers anything less. So both of their Glencoe restaurants, Guanajuato Mexican and the new Everest Burger, serve food that’s organic, antibiotic free and locally sourced whenever possible.

“The burger and fries are a comfortable American staple,” Margarita says. “We wanted to make sure that it’s also wholesome and you know what you’re eating.”

To that end, meat is freshly ground at the restaurant each day. Wild Alaskan salmon is shipped in since they didn’t want to use farm-raised salmon. Three vegetarian burgers-portabella mushroom, walnut and black bean-are served. And fries are made from organic potatoes cooked in rice bran oil. Even the ketchup is organic, and nothing has high-fructose corn syrup. The Challengers prepare freshly made frozen yogurt on-site, using their own family recipe.

To accommodate families who need to avoid gluten, an on-site bakery makes the hamburger buns each day using a gluten-free recipe.

“This is very much for families,” Mark says of the menu items. “The concept was, we raised our kids eating organic, healthy, hormone-free food. So we wanted a healthy restaurant where you still get nice flavor.”

And don’t think you have to eat and run. The Challengers remember those days when their four children were very young and restaurant managers would be eyeing their table, hoping the family would eat quickly and leave.

“We’d always get looks when we walked in with kids, and you’d feel rushed to leave the restaurant,” Mark says. “We wanted to create a restaurant where families feel comfortable.”

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