What’s worse than being single on Valentine’s Day: sharing a drink with your friend or dining alone? Sophomore Jake Longoria and freshman Ben Miner jokingly sip a vanilla milkshake at Rick’s Dessert Diner.

Couldn’t find the perfect date for Valentine’s? Reviewers discover the best restaurants to bury your broken heart in grease

What’s worse than being single on Valentine’s Day: sharing a drink with your friend or dining alone? Sophomore Jake Longoria and freshman Ben Miner jokingly sip a vanilla milkshake at Rick’s Dessert Diner.
Adam Ketchum
What’s worse than being single on Valentine’s Day: sharing a drink with your friend or dining alone? Sophomore Jake Longoria and freshman Ben Miner jokingly sip a vanilla milkshake at Rick’s Dessert Diner.

Squeeze Inn dresses up burgers in greasy yet delicious cheese ‘skirts’

“What is the greasiest item on your menu?” was my first question for the waitress at the Squeeze Inn (1630 K St.).

At first, she was perplexed by our question, but then said the Doublesqueeze Burger with Cheese & Bacon was the way to go.

Because we had two more stops on our food crawl, I opted for a single.

Looking around, the first thing that caught my eye was a bright orange shed in the corner.

This shed is a replica of the entrance to the original Squeeze Inn, where seating was limited and customers had to “squeeze in.”

It had a booth that could fit up to six people and was slightly secluded from the rest of the restaurant.

Squeeze Inn’s signature is the “cheese skirt” that almost all burgers come with.

The patty is covered in shredded cheddar cheese – substantial to the point that the excess spills off and is grilled along with the burger, forming the “skirt.”

When we were handed our burgers, we all turned laughing towards each other, jokingly asking, “How are we supposed to eat this?”

“Just rip it off,” Ben said.

So I did, tearing off pieces of my skirt and eating it separately.

Unfortunately, fries are not included with any item on the menu, but you can add a small order for just $2.75, which we did.

The burgers range from $5 to just over $10. Or you can opt for a steak sandwich, a grilled cheese or even a taco.

After devouring them, we concluded that the burgers were 10/10 on the greasy scale.

Although the Squeeze Burger with Cheese & Bacon may drown your sorrows on Valentine’s Day, the couples may turn you away.

To the single Valentine’s customer’s dismay, our waitress confirmed that the Squeeze Inn is a hotspot for couples on Valentine’s Day.

“Lots of people bring their dates here,” she said. “It’s packed with couples.”

However, there’s no better way to drown your sorrows than with a fatty burger, especially if it’s dressed up in a skirt.

—By Jake Longoria

Spend Cupid’s special day with thick shakes, Oreo Tarts at Rick’s

After my friends and I had stuffed our faces with cheese skirts and fries, we headed to  Rick’s Dessert Diner (2401 J St.).

Arriving, we were overwhelmed by neon lights and pictures of Elvis Presley and other musicians of his time period.

We were just as overwhelmed by the desserts.

Persimmon Spice Cake, Orange Cranberry White Chocolate Torte, Hazelnut Praline White Chocolate Cheesecake, Strawberry Amaretto Poppy Seed Cake and Framboise Cake are just some of the items on Rick’s signature dessert menu.

Adam Ketchum
Rick’s Dessert Diner offers a variety of desserts, including a spread of cakes.

I ordered a slice of the Oreo Mousse Tart ($9.15) because, like everybody else on the planet, I love Oreos.

While Jake and Sahej waited for their milkshakes,  I devoured my sugary slice of heaven.

Even though the tart was delicious and made me want more, it gave me a big headache. For some reason, all the heavy cream made my head hurt, but I couldn’t resist.

When the vanilla milkshakes (one with malt) arrived, everybody dug in.

Not a word was said during the first two minutes, as we gobbled down our confections as if we had been deprived of food for several weeks.

Finally I commented on how good the dessert was; Jake and Sahej looked at me with mouths full of milkshake and nodded.

“Yeah,” Jake said. “This would be perfect for someone alone on Valentine’s Day.”

“Mmhmm,” Sahej mumbled.

We finished our food but there was a problem – we still had two hours left before we could go to  our next destination, Zelda’s Original Gourmet Pizza place, because they don’t open until 5 p.m. on weekends.

So we played on our phones until we could continue on our adventure.

We were picked up by our chauffeur (Sahej’s dad) and driven to Zelda’s.

As I sat in the back seat of Sahej’s Chevy Traverse Crossover, I wondered, “What if I really do end up alone on Valentine’s Day?”

I would go to Rick’s.

When you go through a rough Valentine’s Day, you’re not thinking about if your jeans will fit you the next day or if your trainer judges your gained weight.

So if you’re alone this Valentine’s Day, like I know I’ll be, come on down to Rick’s Dessert Diner and we can cry together.

—By Ben Miner

Too dark for Snapchat filters, Zelda’s lets singles wallow in misery 

For our last stop, we headed to Zelda’s Original Gourmet Pizza (1415 21st St.).

After eating dessert before dinner – and greasy cheese skirts – we were all nearly stuffed, but we made room in our stomachs for Zelda’s pizza. Yes, it’s just that good.

We drove up to a conspicuous brown door in the center of a slate grey wall right as the spot opened. It seemed the epitome of a “hole in the wall.” Emblazoned in bold, swirling letters was “Zelda’s.”

As we entered, we immediately noticed the slightly medieval, Hogsmeade-like aesthetic of stone, dark wood and very minimal lighting. It was so dark, in fact, that the Snapchat face filters couldn’t find my face.

“How am I supposed to share my misery?” Ben asked.

We chose a booth in the corner that was directly beneath the air conditioner. If you’re one for cold air accompanying your gloom, definitely go for those corner booths.

Perusing the menus, we went simple with a four-slice Cheese and Pepperoni ($10) in their famous Chicago deep-dish style.

If we hadn’t already eaten, the small would not have been enough. However, Zelda’s slices are deceptively filling – be cautious when ordering so that you don’t overcompensate.

During the 20-minute wait, we took stock of our surroundings: small, secluded booths (“perfect for wallowing,” I said), many hanging photographs of the Chicago skyline (wishing for a vacation to the Windy City, anyone?) and only slightly tacky Christmas lights (“for year-round festivities,” Jake added).

When our food arrived, it looked so delicious that we didn’t feel full anymore.

Our waitress cut and plated a slice of smoking hot, greasy, cheesy goodness for each of us. The cornmeal crust was perfectly complemented by flavorful tomato sauce, and the strands of cheese were so elastic, they almost resembled delicious rubber bands.

“So many calories, but so good,” Ben said. We agreed; the pizza was incredible – foolproof comfort food for the lonely.

—By Sahej Claire

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