Holy Chuck Burgers
Holy Chuck Burgers wants to satisfy. no, stuff its customers. Even their bovine logo is in on the action, literally offering up his head on a plate. A little morbid yes, but with that big goofy grin he at least looks happy with his decision.
Holy Chuck looks like your run-of-the-mill fast food place. When it comes to ambiance, it's on par with any establishment that has primary colour splashed walls and swivel chairs bolted to the ground. Customers place their order at the counter and wait for their name to be called a la Lick's. The one fun touch comes in the shape of a table-top arcade game which is a leftover from its past life.
We perused the wall-mounted menu to make our choices from burgers with names like The Farmer's Threesome, The Mad Cow and the Go Chuck Yourself, as our arteries proactively hardened in anticipation.
My friend chose the Grind n' Shine ($9.99) and made it a combo with Crispy Fries and a Nutella & Salted Caramel Shake (for an extra $7.99). The Grind n' Shine consisted of a double-bacon cheeseburger, topped with caramelized onions, a fried egg and hiding out in the middle...crispy fries.
Staff here recommends that you add nothing else except lettuce and tomato in order to reap the full benefits of their burger experience. Steve enjoyed his burger, but compared the overall taste to a certain restaurant with golden arches. I think this may be attributed to the processed cheese and plain bare-bones buns. He did however say the patty itself was more tender and juicy.
I opted for The Grazer ($10.99), Holy Chuck's meatless option, to see how they stacked up in that category. Now don't go thinking that a veggie burger at Holy Chuck constitutes healthy eating, and those looking to eat healthy probably shouldn't be looking in a burger joint anyway.
The Grazer consists of what they call "animal feed", or to be more specific, a Panko-crusted portobello mushroom stuffed with feta and cream cheese (no vegan burgers here...). The aforementioned 'shroom is then deep fried, slathered with a mixed herb aioli, topped with lettuce and tomato as recommended, and stacked between two grilled cheese sandwiches (see: slice of cheese in between 2 burger buns).
The filling itself was very rich and the aioli was a nice complement - they were right about skipping out on the ketchup and mustard. I didn't order a combo as my friend already had and I considered these to be communal, and I'm glad I didn't as my burger alone had me itching to undo a button or two. I've heard of the meat sweats, but mushroom?
They were both decent burgers, but my return to Holy Chuck would be purely shake-based. My friend's Nutella & Salted Caramel concoction was tasty, but my Reese's Pieces and Banana milkshake ($5.49), made with 90% ice-cream and 10% milk, was heavenly and every sip brought with it chunks of peanut-buttery candy and fresh banana. This milkshake required some chewing.
It's obvious that co-owner Johnny loves what he does (I watched him have way too much fun deep-frying a Twinkie), and he is proud of the quality ingredients that go into their food like the meat with no added fillers, ground in-house daily. He's created a fast-food restaurant with more soul and fewer question marks.
If competitive eating is your thing then be sure to order up the Go Chuck Yourself ($19.99). Finish this 6 patty, triple bacon & grilled cheese behemoth in under 6 minutes to secure a place on the Wall of Fame (and a free t-shirt). Excessive? Well, as Johnny said on my way out, "We're Greek. It's our business to overfeed." I couldn't have asked for a better sound bite.