Saturday, March 8, 2014

Roadside Delaware County, Volume I: Charlie's Hamburgers Edition

How about a little Americana for the weekend.  I have many future installments in mind.  For now, let me just start with a spur-of-the-moment (well, spur-of-some-moment-last-night, but close enough) trip out to Folsom, Pennsylvania for a Saturday lunch at my second-favorite (Hackensack, NJ's White Manna being the all-time, forever number one burger on the planet, of course) roadside burger shack, the classic Charlie's Hamburgers.

336 Kedron Avenue, Folsom, PA 19033

A dozen and a half stools along the front counter and the window, with standing room for maybe another 8-10 people.

Packed at 2 PM on a Saturday, the line nevertheless moves quickly and I managed to snag a seat at the counter.  One plain cheeseburger and one Charlie's Special, please.  Thank you!

Plain cheeseburger and a Charlie's Special, $6.04 including tax.  Not pictured: milkshakes and drink options.

Plain cheeseburger.  Meat, cheese, bun.  Not pictured for some reason: Charlie's Special.

At about three ounces, on a grill-toasted, no-frills, plain white squishy bun with almost as much tangy American cheese as meat, this is the classic American burger at its purest, and best.  Plenty of moisture from the meat and the cheese, no condiments or other toppings necessary.  Perfect meat-to-bread ratio.  I don't eat burgers often, but when I do this is all I could ever ask for.

The patty gets a nice crust from its time on the grill, the cheese oozes into its nooks and crannies, and the edges of the bun give off a pleasant, random light crunch every now and then to throw in a nice textural contrast.

The Charlie's Special was good, and though I'd normally stay away from tomatoes on a burger, especially during a Pennsylvania winter,  the slice did not offend, though it, not surprisingly, didn't taste like anything, either.  The fried onions were excellent.  Tiny, tiny, hot dog cart-style dices melted right in with the cheese to add a touch of sweetness.  The ample slices of thin pickle added a cool crunch and played very well together with the whole product.

I'd probably just go for two plain cheeseburgers next time, though I do not regret the Charlie's Special in any way.  I'll surely have to try a Bunny's Special sooner or later, too.

The most American food there is, in (well, just outside of) the most American city there is.  What could be better than that?

 On your way back home, you can always pick up a few things at the drive-through dairy store down the street...

2014 snow in its final days.  NOT a flood or spill of dairy product.

1 comment:

  1. The hamburger is the quintessential American food.

    It is iconic.

    I friggin' love a good burger.

    This seems like a very fun and interesting project that you are taking up, Jay.

    It's making me hungry!