I have some great memories of growing up in the 60's: one being my father taking me to White Castle for car service, where I ate my first hamburger. I can't tell you how much I wish I could transport myself back to that time. Regardless of my views of the modern-day Mickey D's, I’d love to be able to sample the meat and toppings of that bygone era again – they were much closer to farm-fresh and not nearly as processed as today’s meat. The lack of demand for healthful foods, the profuse use of salt and rendered animal fat, and the freedom to order without guilt is as appealing as it is impossible in today's world (unless you visit Charlie's).
Walking into Charlie’s Hamburgers only to smell that old-fashioned greasy-beef-and-minced onions aroma was heaven. At Charlie’s, I was transported to a simpler time…a time when a man could live his life unrushed without do’s and don'ts every step of his life. In this respect, to me it was much, much more than just a greasy old-fashioned burger joint – it was a place of reflection, a place of peace and serenity and of all the stuff that comes from great childhood memories.
On to the burger...
The staff couldn’t be nicer (or prouder) of these little gems, and rightfully so, as this burger was one of the best I've had in all my years.
In the American ideology of "if a little is good, a lot must be better,” I believe Charlie's simplicity is what makes their burgers so great.
They are first smashed on the flat grill alongside finely diced onions and a fresh bun, then fried until a crispy brown ring encircles them, and finally, topped with American cheese and then assembled (don't even consider putting ketchup on this perfectly juicy lump of perfection).
I spent some time just holding my Double up to my nose and smelling it for a few minutes before eating it. AMAZING!
This is one of those burgers that I have a hard time commenting on because it achieves perfection at every one of my review points. I honestly wish I could say more but I can't...it's simply perfect in every way (just check out that toasted ring on the lower bun). Click on this photo to see the larger version – you can almost taste it! And get to Charlie's as soon as you can. 10/10
One last interesting note: In 1942, Charlie's closed its doors on Tuesdays in observance of "Meatless Tuesdays,” their food rationing contribution to help the war effort…and they still close on Tuesdays to this day. Talk about tradition! A perfect product, untouched by time…it goes to show, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. It makes me wonder what this country would be like if all Americans stuck to tradition like Charlie Convery's family does…