posted by June 27 at 9:45 AMon
This past weekend I was drinking at Al’s Tavern in Wallingford, a classic little dive a few blocks from Dick’s Drive In. After several beers and a couple shots, I volunteered to fetch some burgers to bring back to the bar for dinner. I’d never had a Dick’s burger and I was psyched.
The kid at the window told me I couldn’t get a Dick’s Deluxe minus mayo. WTF? But OK, my first time here, I’m not gonna argue (and I’m not eating mayo on my burger). Instead I went ahead and got a bag full of regular Dick’s cheeseburgers (no mayo/special sauce) and another bag full of fries. I returned to the bar and doled ‘em out.
The ravenous locals I was with immediately tore into their burgers. I unwrapped mine ceremoniously and took my time looking and smelling before taking a bite. All eyes turned to me, waiting for a reaction.
I chewed. I swallowed. “Just like McDonald’s,” I said.
If there was a cross in the room I would’ve been crucified. Apparently I uttered some sort of blasphemy, not just a faux pas but a serious affront to Seattle civic pride. I offended my companions—at least until they started laughing at me.
But I was totally right. Dick’s cheeseburgers are just like freakin’ McDonald’s. Soft, processed, whitebread bun; smooshed onto a tasty, greasy, beef-like patty; a gooey, melted film of cheese. Nothing more, nothing less. The woefully delicious McDonald’s prototype, offered with a less-corporate-beheamoth-y flair. (Sort of. Why couldn’t the assembly line leave the freakin’ mayo off the Deluxe?) The fries were really good, too.
I was informed that Dick’s pays its employees more than minimum wage, that they pay them to volunteer, that they’re a local institution, that it’s a true drive-in where middle school kids hang out after their Dick’s-sponsored softball games, etc. I appreciate all that—I truly do. But that doesn’t obscure the fact that Dick’s burgers taste like McDonald’s.
Which is just fine—I don’t eat Micky D’s, but I’ll go back to Dick’s.
Addendum: Let it be known that I hail from the land of In-n-Out, which everyone knows is the best fast-food burger on earth.
(photo from www.loosetooth.com)
[Ed. Note: It appears that Dick’s wasn’t in our dining database. It was totally one of those things where you are looking for your eyeglasses and the whole time they were right on your head. We sincerely apologize, and the problem has been rectified. Make sure you weigh in with a review that will last forever and beyond.]