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It all started when I was mentioned in a facebook status update from Leeanne to Emily. I don't recall the specific message, but the important part is that a trip to Shady Glen was mentioned....and if I would be interested in joining the ladies for lunch.
I first heard about Shady Glen via Serious Eats as they covered 'Hamburger America' by George Motz, And was immediately intrigued by their signature burger 'The Bernice Original'. The Bernice is a griddled burger that is topped with not 1 but 4 overlapping slices of cheese. The cheese slices hang off of the burger and onto the hot griddle creating crispy cheese 'wings'.
Did you hear that? CRISPY CHEESE??
Heck yes, I was interested.
In the days preceeding our date, I had questions....like, do they have milkshakes? Emily replied in the affirmative. In addition she explained that they would change my life.
So when we met up on that Monday afternoon for lunch I ordered myself a Bernice original and a strawberry shake. Strawberry is the flavor that I judge all milkshakes on - and this one did not disappoint....
In flavor or in size. It filled a giant glass, and I got the metal frappe cup too (filled to the brim). Yes, it was good, and yes, I finished every last creamy strawberry sip.
Leeanne said that people generally fall into 2 categories at Shady Glen. Tearers and folders. I followed her lead and folded the four corners of cheese under the bun and enjoyed the dualing cheese textures.
Basically, if you are that kid who liked putting potato chips in your tuna fish sandwich (or Doritos, which is my preference) then this burger will get you on two levels of cheesy goodness: flavor and texture. The melted cheese on top of the patty is gooey and savory, while the wings are crispy and nutty.
Since the star of this burger is the cheese, and the bun was clearly a standard white hamburger bun, I expected a standard fast-foodish patty (I wasn't expecting much). Underneath its cheesy crust the burger was actually pretty satisfying. It still retained a tiny bit of pink and had a bit more flavor than usual fast food or diner burger.
So, if you're wondering the answer is NO. No this is not the best burger I have ever had....but its good, its iconic, and it was a hell of a lot of fun....And I plan to visit Shady Glen again....and again. But only on days when I don't have many plans for the hours following my meal. After lunching and consuming all that dairy I went home to take a nap!
Thanks Leeanne, Emily and Helder for including me....good food and great fun! Looking forward to more adventures!