18 Years Later, and Just as Greasy as Ever!

Man, am I getting old! (You are welcome to talk me out of this conclusion!) Today, Sara and I went downtown to Moody Bible Institute where both dated and graduated for the Gary Chapman conference, Toward a Growing Marriage – first let me just say, it was a GREAT seminar and exceded even my high expectations. I would highly recommend his books and seminars to anyone who is married whether you think you need it or not. :)

But as great as the conference was, the HIGHLIGHT of the day (sorry Sara) was going to MR. G’s! That’s right! The burger joint on Clark Street just North of Chicago Avenue:

Mr. Cheeseburger in front of his favorie burger joint!

I have not been to Mr. G’s for about 18 years! (That’s why I’m feeling so old) Has that much time gone by? Were the student here really babies when I was here! Yikes!! SO MUCH has changed in the buildings around MBI but I was soooo happy to discover that my favorite place for a burger run in college is still there! This little burger joint, just a block away from Moody holds many memories!

All ya have to say is “#1” as you enter Mr. G’s

The famous #1 is stil about the same price, though you can’t get it with a chocolate shake any more – but this place was an old favorite to the ‘old’ people when I was a student from 1988-1992. I don’t know how it survives in this budding River North area, but it is!

A Historic Momment Documented Live!

In case you wanted a close up of mine and Sara’s #1’s being grilled!

The restaurant is like traveling back in time… the same pictures still hang on the wall, the bathroom hasn’t been cleaned since before my days at Moody, and I half wondered if the fake plants were the very same ones. The only improvement I was happy to discover was that you can now get Mountain Dew at Mr. G’s – who used to sell Coke products. (blah!) The fries were as yummy and thick and greasy as they were back then!

I got a few looks for all the pictures I was taking!

Isn’t it nice to know that in these rapidly changing high tech days of constant moderization and remodeling that you can still go to Mr. G’s and get a Number One? There is hope for the world!

My Kind of Date! Greasy and Cheap! (oh, and Sara along too)

One of my favorite memories was when I was eating at Mr. G’s with my dad while he was visiting downtown, and I was showing him a new magic trick I was working on. A Chicago Policeman was sitting near us and made some demeaning remark about ‘how cute, a magic trick, maybe you can be a magician someday’ not knowing that I was a magician and was enjoying a good level of success earning my way through college as a professional magician. In a moment of vain humor, (and to impress my dad), I walked over to the officer and asked him if he wanted to see a magic trick with his cigarette. He hesitated, but agreed and handed me his lit cigarette. I placed a silk over my other hand, poked the cigarette into the silk, which should have burned a hole in it, and then showed that not only was the silk undamaged, but my hands were empty, and the lit cigarette was vanished!* I then said with a smile, ‘Sorry, sir, but this is a non-smoking restaurant’ and returned to my seat. I was nervous, but the officer seemed dumbfounded enough to not arrest me for grand-theft-cigarette! My dad still talks about the story often! Today I sat where that cop sat years ago!

The historic bite – after 18 years, still just as juicy and artery clogging as ever!

Some Things Never Change. And that’s a good thing.

* For all my magician friends, I think you can figure out how I did the vanishing lit cigarette, but don’t post it in the comments, but I’m curious if you have any fun magic stories that happened in public like that!

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Karl Bastian is the founder of Kidology.org, the creator of ToyboxTales.com, and the author of OrderoftheAncient.com. His personal website is Kidologist.com He is Big Kid with a passion for equipping and encouraging those who minister to children.


  1. What an awesome story!

    Patty and I really enjoyed your Mr. G’s story and all the photos. Before you even mentioned the cop story, I was thinking about it (of course).

    After we sat back down, the cop mumbled a couple of times under his breath… “that’s pretty good…that’s pretty good”.

    Love, dad

  2. Hey Karl I’ll have to think of a good magic story for you – I have a lot! They conference you and Sara is a terrific conference. I usually pay for all of my pre-marriage counseling couples to attend during the first year of marriage. They all love it!

    Brett from Montana

  3. Pastor Karl,

    It was awesome to see you the other day in the plaza at Moody! It is amazing to me how we crossed paths at school. It is crazy to be a senior, but God has been working in me in mighty ways. It is crazy to think that I am starting to fill out applications for Grad School.

    BTW I have the photo of you at G’s on my computer and I want to e-mail it to you.

    Karl I hope you are doing well. I still pray for you and Sara, and now I am praying for Luke as well!


  4. I have a memory of Mr. G’s with you and Sara too. Except this one involved a bad fry and you getting…well…kind of sick. Wasn’t that at G’s? I always loved their burgers but never wanted their fries after that. :-)

  5. Looks like fun. Glad you could take us down memory lane. I know how you did the cigarette trick. . .

    very carefully!!


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