- 1643 Michigan Avenue West
- Battle Creek, MI 49037
- (269) 964-4701
- No Known Website
Daddy daughter dates are the best. Don’t get me wrong, I love nights out with J and damn do I look forward to them, but it’ s something special when it’s just L and I.
The last couple of months, we have taken advantage of a few of the Knee High Naturalist programs at Binder Park Zoo. This past Wednesday was the final program for the season so L and I went one last time before the zoo opens for the summer.
Afterwards, I was hungry and J wasn’t going to be home when we got there, so I decided L and I should go get lunch.
When J and I moved from Lansing to Kalamazoo four years ago, our first trip we had to take the long way and do two lane highways the whole way. Just before we got to the Lansing Road exit on WB I-94 in Lansing, the mattress I had tied to the bed of my truck when flying out. That scared J a little bit and she wanted to get off the highway.
Our trip took sort of around Battle Creek and we ended up going through the Urbandale of Battle Creek and passing an old timey hamburger joint. Four years later, I finally found the time to get back to it for lunch.
The place is Ritzee Hamburgers and it’s just to the west of the corner of M-37 and M-89 northwest side of Battle Creek. The old fashioned hamburger joint probably hasn’t changed much in all the years it has been open. They even still have a $.69 hamburger on the menu…it’s probably not the same burger that was $.69 when they opened, but there is still one on the menu that is still advertised on the sign that looms over M-89.
I walked in with L and looked over the large menu hanging above the order counter. The menu is kind of a mix between fast food and a full service restaurant. You order at the counter like a fast food joint, but a waitress brings your meals to you on real plates.
I started with L’s order first. I didn’t notice the kids menu because it was actually posted on an overhang right above me and not on the menu board with the rest of the food. Didn’t really matter. I ordered her a ham and cheese plus an order of fries.
I knew I wanted a hamburger, but I really wasn’t sure how to read the menu. I saw something simply called Ritzee Burger and inquired as to what that was. The lady taking my order told me it was just their hamburger with ketchup, mustard, pickles and onions. I decided that was what I wanted so I ordered with cheese and in the half pound form which takes an extra 10-15 minutes to cook. I also added on an order of fries to my order which rounded our meal out to just a little over $11.
After paying, L and I went to a booth for two near the middle of the restaurant. The old table still had a “No Smoking” sign attached to the table which I had to laugh at a little. L crawled in to one side of the booth while I sat down in the other. She kind of played with the salt and pepper shakers while we were waiting and when the waitress brought us our plates after about ten minutes, I looked away for just a second and L took the time to pour a whole lot of salt on to the bun of her sandwich.
After wiping off the salt, I ripped up L’s sandwich in to smaller pieces. The ham and cheese was a large slice of ham and a single slice of American cheese on a sesame seed bun. L really liked it and ate about 3/4’s of the sandwich. I took a few bites of the remaining sandwich. It’s a pretty quality ham and cheese. This was a pretty thick cut slice of ham and it was very delicious.
My burger was also pretty tasty. I guess I didn’t hear her say there was onions on the burger, so I took a napkin and wiped most of them off which took off some of the ketchup and mustard mix from the bun. The burger was cooked pretty much all the way through, but it did taste like fresh beef instead of the frozen patty I was expecting. I’m glad I went with the half pounder because the sandwich was awfully good.
The fries we both got were pretty simple crinkle cut fries. Nothing special, but very filling. I ended up grabbing a handful of L’s leftovers for the ride home. She only ate a few and was still kind of picking at them, but we needed to get moving. She ended up eating almost all of them between Battle Creek and Kalamazoo.
Ritzee Hamburger is one of those fun places to eat. The food is all pretty solid, yet nothing out of the ordinary. The atmosphere of the old fashioned hamburger joint is really great and the fact that nothing seems to have changed in ages.