Classic Double Burger ($5.00)
This is my ideal burger style: thin, griddled patties, toasted bun, and a simple garnishing of American cheese, white onion, lettuce, tomato, and plenty of pickles. Ketchup and mustard are added tableside, which is fine by me. However, the meat itself needs work. The under-salted 85/15 blended patties are pressed a bit too thin without taking on much crust and approach backyard hockey puck territory. Interestingly, the meat itself is a 70/30 blend of beef and pork, something the manager says is a thing in the South, though cursory internet research netted no such confirmation. Rather than adding a porky dimension to the burger, though, it just means that the burger tastes roughly 30% less beefy.
Classic Single Burger ($5.00)
Though the bun to burger ratio is a little off, this is a mid-sized option for kids or those who find two patties one too many. Points deducted for the lack of a price decrease from the double, though: lighter eaters and kids gotta eat, too.
Classic Double Black Bean Burger ($5.00)
Second verse, same as the first, except this time with a black bean patty. Said patty is immediately more interesting and flavorful than the meat version, though the soft, beany texture may be off-putting to some. Adding bacon for $1 would fix the texture issue, and who doesn't love pork and beans?
Fried Giardiniera ($3.00)
It's too late to go back and amend my best bites of 2013, but this would have certainly made the cut. These sizable chunks are more Mezzetta than what we're used to on our sandwiches around here, which is actually a good thing: the vegetable to batter ratio is just about perfect. Throw common courtesy out the window and bogart each and every deep fried hunk of pickled cauliflower. The icy stares will be worth it.
Curly Fries ($3.00)
Who serves the industry standard in curly fries? Arby's, of course, and every once in a while, I can't suppress a hankering for the orange-hued, piggy-tailed spuds. These are more like crank-cut country fair fries, just not as crispy or salty. Until they work out the kinks, I'll keep enjoying my curly fries as part of a 5 for $5.
Onion Rings ($3.00)
No such trouble with the onion rings: the thick rounds stick close to their bubbly batter, are nicely seasoned, and are easily the best side west of the Fried Giardiniera.
Fried Pickles ($3.00)
After a few years on the fried food beat, I've come to realize that fried pickle slices tend to fall into two camps: crispy ones that have been patted dry of brine and flavor and soggy ones that are breaded as is and actually taste like pickles. These punchy rounds fall into the latter category, which I tend to prefer as the lesser of two evils.
Simple Salad ($3.00)
Comprised of nothing more than iceberg, tomato, onion, and cucumber, this salad takes its name quite seriously. What it doesn't take seriously is a vinaigrette's need for seasoning.
Cheeseburger Salad ($7.00)
Remember when Wendy's used to sell shredded cheddar topped side salads? The single slice of tomato ones that used to slightly steam as they shared bag space with Junior Bacon Cheeseburgers and fries? Anyway, this is like those, but better, and somehow the best use of the cheeseburger patty yet. I dared Nick that topping this sucker with bleu cheese dressing might be the best thing ever. Let's find out together... soon.
Root Beer Float ($5.00)
Heavier on the root beer than I'd like, this soupy version doesn't do much to instill confidence that ordering a float is a worthwhile endeavor these days. Especially at five bucks a pop.