Loyola Phoenix

Dining on the Line: The Squared Circle

Normally when I see the Comic Sans font, I run away as fast as I can. The hideous, casual script font can make me dislike almost anything. I have to say “almost,” though, because I was still lured in by The Squared Circle (2418 N. Ashland Ave.) despite having seen the menu online and knowing it was almost entirely in Comic Sans.

The bar / pizza place / burger joint located about one mile west of the Fullerton Red Line stop was the brainchild of a former WWE female wrestler. The place is decked out with mementos from the pro-wrestling world and fans yelling at the multiple TVs on the walls. I’m not a wrestling fan by any means, but I am a food fan, and this place’s menu items were what got me in the door (not the menu itself, because of the whole Comic Sans thing).

Stuffed burgers, pizza, calzones and milkshakes are The Squared Circle’s specialities, all with unique flavor combinations. There’s a pizza with mashed potatoes and pulled pork as toppings; a breakfast burger stuffed with monterey jack cheese and topped with hash browns, a fried egg and bacon, served on waffles; and milkshakes with flavors varying from twinkie to candy cane. If you’re not sold yet, we can’t be friends.

Throughout my day at work, I dreamed about which milkshake I would order. When the time finally came, I ordered the oatmeal cookie milkshake ($5.50). The oatmeal cookie was actually a Little Debbie oatmeal cream pie (can I get an “amen”?), and the little cookie bits added a nice chewy-ness to the milkshake. My friend (who got the Ho Ho flavor) and I finished our milkshakes in record time, and I would go back to The Squared Circle just for this treat.

Now would probably be a good time to mention the place also has spiked “adult” milkshakes. Mixed with Baileys and whipped cream vodka, these will set you back around $11, which is why I ended up ordering the kid-friendly version.

For an appetizer, we split an order of six pepperoni-flavored pizza wontons ($8.50). Instead of being crispy, as I expect from the word “wontons,” the melty cheese and pepperoni slices were stuffed inside an almost sweet dough that was still fluffy. Served with marinara, it was a good appetizer but maybe just a bit too oily and expensive.

By the time my “Mac Attack” burger ($13) arrived, I was already pretty full from the milkshake and appetizer. The burger was both stuffed and topped with Merkts cheddar cheese, and it also had mac and cheese and bacon.

Despite the description, the burger wasn’t overwhelmingly cheesy at all. In fact, I could have used a little more Merkts because the patty seemed dried out (which I always fear will happen when places don’t ask how you want your burger cooked — I prefer medium rare). I could have also used more bacon, and I would have loved full pieces instead of it being chopped. With those changes, the burger would have been more flavorful. For the price of the burger, I was expecting to be wowed and I just wasn’t.

The fries that came on the side were good, but not great. They had a good amount of salt but could have been crispier.

My friend also felt indifferent about her burger. Her “Fat Elvis” ($13) was stuffed with peanut butter and topped with banana, bacon and banana-infused ricotta. Although I didn’t try it, she said it was very dense and could have benefited from something like habanero-infused jelly to break through the fat of the Fat Elvis.

Verdict: The Squared Circle is a unique joint. Although it’s a few years old, it still looks brand new inside and the servers are very attentive and polite. You don’t have to be a wrestling fan to hang out, but if you’re not, I would make sure there’s no event going on the night you plan on going. I would go back for the milkshakes in a heartbeat, but I would definitely swap out the burger for one of the inventive pizzas.

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