This is who we are.
We represent old-fashioned kitchen values. We believe meals are meant to be shared among family, friends, and neighbors. Hax stands for real food, whole food, and good food.
A Family Burger Tradition
As the oldest girl in the family, the job of cooking fell to our great aunt, Bebe Hackney, after her mother died. She was 10 years old. Since she wasn’t tall enough to reach the kitchen counter, she stood on an overturned box to cook for her brothers. But over time, Aunt Bebe became an excellent cook. We still use her recipes today.
The Hackneyburger, which Aunt Bebe developed, uses special “butchers only” choice cuts, such as the scottie, which are not typically found in other burgers. Aunt Bebe’s Dark Rye Bread has a much more even flavor than most rye breads. And her original cole slaw is said by many to be their favorite.
Today, we still grind our own burgers according to Aunt Bebe’s recipe. Our burgers are always served fresh, never frozen. Aunt Bebe’s bread is still baked fresh daily in our own bakery. And in the spirit of Aunt Bebe, our cole slaw, along with most of our menu, is prepared fresh in our own kitchens.
Our old-fashioned kitchen values extend to our method of preparation. When you eat a burger at Hax, we want you to taste real beef. For that reason, we grill our burgers using natural beef tallow from Slagel Family Farms in Fairbury, Illinois. This is the way Hackneyburgers have been cooked since Aunt Bebe’s time in the 1920’s. We grill our chicken using kosher chicken schmaltz. The healthy fats in these products do not break down in high heat, and they preserve the natural flavor of the beef and chicken. Char-grilling not only alters the taste, but contains harmful carcinogens. Natural beef tallow, by contrast, is rich in heart-healthy fatty acids, and it preserves and enhances the delicious real beef taste of the Hackneyburger.
In Aunt Bebe’s kitchen, no food went to waste. One of the strictest rules in her kitchen was that we shouldn’t buy, cook, or eat more than we need. At Hax, we still live by that lesson. We try to purchase only what we can use, donate, or sell. Since 20% of municipal landfills are made up of food waste, Hax composts leftover food. We recycle our cooking oils. We use only recyclable carry-out packaging. For us, reducing food waste is not only a modern imperative, it’s part of our family heritage.
We are a restaurant family in its 4th generation. Being a good neighbor is part of our DNA. At Hax, that means we strive to give friendly service, and to get to know our customers by name. It means we support local schools, organizations, and charities. It means we buy from local businesses. It means we hire employees from the neighborhood. It means we strive to create a work environment where our staff members can flourish and advance. Being a good neighbor means that, in Hax, we have created a space where people can come together and enjoy each other’s company around food and drink.