Mr. Burger – Hudsonville
On a couple different occasions now, I’ve driven past what looks to be a local burger joint. The first time I saw it, I thought I needed to find time to go back. Then, I noticed another location. Then today, another. Not two hours after seeing the third location, I was heading through Hudsonville and found yet another. I actually had time for dinner so I did a u-turn and made my way back.
Mr. Burger is a local chain in the Grand Rapids area. There are six locations with the original being on Lake Michigan Drive NW in Grand Rapids. They’ve been around since 1967.
The store I stopped at today was the one in Hudsonville on Balsam Drive just to the northeast of Chicago Drive. The building looks fairly new and it’s hard to tell from the outside whether it’s a fast food joint or a sit-down family restaurant. There was a sign for a drive thru, so I assumed it was going to be some kind of quick service joint which played a part in my decision to stop.
Mr. Burger is kind of somewhere between a fast food restaurant and a family restaurant. The set-up is almost a cafeteria style but not quite. There’s a long counter in the front of the building and the menu board hangs above the far end which is right next to the kitchen area. The set up does have trays in this location and rails to slide the trays on which made me think I was going to order and wait for my burger then slide down to the cashier.
It took a few minutes for the cook to acknowledge me. The restaurant wasn’t packed by any means, but he was working on a drive thru order. After a few minutes, he did finally say he’d be right with me, but it did take quite a while.
When it came time to order, I decided to go with the Mr. Burger Combo. For $4.99, I got a Double Cheeseburger, Fries, and a Pepsi. The cook told me to head down to the cashier and they’d bring my food out when it was done.
Along the way, I passed a case with home made pies, so I could have grabbed a tray and loaded up on pie if I wanted, but I continued down to the cashier where my told was just a little over five bucks. I don’t think I could have eaten that cheap at one of the national fast food competitors.
I grabbed my Pepsi and headed to a booth in the large dining room. The space is kind of a throwback. Maybe it was the time of day, but it just seemed more like a 60’s style family diner than a fast food place. The other patrons were all older and as I sat there eating my dinner, more and more groups started coming in.
Not five minutes after I sat down, the cashier came out with a tray containing my sandwich and a paper boat of fries. I unwrapped the wax paper and greadily dug in. I was really hungry and at 5:00, eating my first meal. The burger patties were pretty thin and very greasy. Just the way I like them. They actually had a taste that reminded me a lot of Dairy Queen. That’s not a bad thing. I grew up eating DQ burgers and loved them. This burger had a really good, greasy flavor like it had been cooked on a well-seasoned griddle.
The fries were pretty bland, but nothing a little salt couldn’t fix. They were just pretty typical out-of-the-bag restaurant fries, so nothing special.
Mr. Burger is a really good alternative to fast food. The food is all made fresh so there’s a little bit of a wait, but not much. Mr. Burger has been around for 40 years and I would guess not much has changed. It’s a comfortable family atmosphere without many surprises. The food is solid and I will definitely be checking out the other five locations when I get a chance.