On a Saturday recently I decided to try a local burger joint that has been on my radar for awhile. The smallish place is located near old downtown Overland Park at 8039 Santa Fe Dr. It was like taking a trip back to a simpler time before chain restaurants started to dominate the burger scene. This is a quintessential mom and pop diner that served up one of the best burgers I’ve had in a long time. There were no tables or booths and only limited counter seating inside. The whole place might have been able to hold maybe 20 folks.
This is an old-school diner and they make no qualms about having supplies and equipment out on full view to the customers. Every spare inch is used for dining, kitchen, or storage. I knew when I walked in and saw rolls of paper towels on the counters that a juicy burger was in my future. When I am trying out a new burger joint I like to use the same ruler at all of them, the venerable double cheese burger with fries. If a burger joint can stick the landing on this classic you just know they are the real deal. I placed my order for the double cheese and they had a 50-50 option of fries and o-rings so I went with that. The cashier at the counter took my order and was very welcoming and friendly. Got me my drink fast and I settled in to wait for my order. The walls are adorned with many pictures and photographs so various that I could not figure out a theme but it was fun looking at them while I waited. The have some picnic tables with umbrellas in an area at the side of the restaurant and it features an old style walk up window where you can also place an order.
After a short wait my burger was delivered to me and it looked very nice sitting there but I was here to EAT not admire. My first bite was one of those OMG moments where your pupils dilate and your eyes bug out! This burger was hitting on all cylinders! The bun was soft and held up well to the juiciness of the burger. Ketchup was added from the bottle on the counter so I got exactly as much as I wanted. I got my usual toppings of lettuce and pickles. The lettuce was fresh and crisp the pickles added a nice tartness. But the burger patties stole the show! Thin, but not too thin, seasoned perfectly, and crisped up just right with that delicious caramelized crust that only a flattop can give a burger. There seemed to be, in my opinion, an almost perfect ratio of tasty, melty cheese to burger.
I gotta say that it is difficult to describe how good this burger was. Definitely a case of the whole being greater than the sum of the parts. There is some magic at work here. Nice size too, some places seem like they are in competition to make the burgers so big you have trouble finishing them. This one went down real easy and I had just a pleasantly full feeling, not stuffed. The sides were also commendable. The fries were fresh-cut in the kitchen and came out somewhat crispy but with a soft bite. The browning of the fries (as you can tell from the photo) was just like what you would get if you made them at home. Just potato, salt, and oil. Basic but so good! The onion rings were also very tasty with a crisp coating and a ring about a half inch wide. Again, really good. To sum it up..Go.To.This.Place! They have a different menu on weekends than on weekdays so will have to go back to see what other goodies they have but go back I will!