Thursday, November 12, 2009

Hot Dog!

I knew that we were going to end up at Burger ‘n’ Beyond (979 Farmington Ave. Farmington, CT) when we first drove by. It just looked right, set apart in its own building, refusing to socialize with the other stores. The exterior was plain; the name said it all, so what more did anybody need to know? It promised to be a joint that dished out good old comfort fast food, one of the remaining holdouts against the bland conformity of a chain restaurant world.  I’m a sucker for places like this, the unique places that a lot of people don’t value until they’ve vanished.

Sure enough, my Wolf Conservation Center colleagues and I rolled up to the entrance a few hours later, famished after completing a program at a nearby nature center.  Our faces fell when we realized that we had arrived a few minutes after the posted closing time, but the owner smiled and quickly reassured us she was still open.  She wasn’t going to let us drive away hungry even though it was obvious that she and her daughter had already cleaned up the kitchen for the night.

The menu surprised me. The “Beyond” extended to pasta dishes, fried seafood, vegetarian options, soups and salads. The burgers looked great, but I opted for a cup of the tasty Tuscan Bean with Sausage soup and a Beyond’s Home Dog. I even felt healthy eating this grilled hot dog  - there were so many fresh toppings on it I felt like I had ordered a side salad.  No stinting on portions here; they even put an extra meatball in the order bound for the canines waiting in our van.

The friendly attitude and drive-in service (if you call in an order they’ll bring it out to your car if you ask) aren’t the only throwbacks - the prices are so low I thought they had miscalculated our bill. A half-pound burger is just under $4.00.  I know I’ll be swinging by again to try one out the next time I’m in the area. Then again, the wings are enticing, and the Golden Retriever dog with bacon looks good…

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Gotta Gettaway by Josh Lewis is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.