Check out how we got here, Prelude to Burger 187.
558 Aviation Road
Queensbury, New York
Bus: GGFT 11, 12
Visit: April 5, 2013
The first stop in my 4 day trip to the was along the lines of a rest stop. The city of Queensbury popped up at the right time and we were in need of something to eat. It was out of the corner of our eyes where we saw Friendly’s. Friendly’s is an American diner chain that also touts their wide variety of ice cream.
It was a late Friday night and there wasn’t much open in the small town of Queensbury, New York. The population of the town is just above 27,000 citizens. It isn’t very large, but it does contain all the necessities one would need to make a life for themselves. This Friendly’s outlet is also located close enough to Interstate 87 and the Aviation Mall.
Since we were 4 diehard wrestling fans, Queensbury’s close association with the Greater Glenn’s Fall area allowed us to make our first connection of the weekend. “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan comes from a nearby sister city, Glenn’s Falls. So, we were more than happy to shout out the legendary “Hooo!” that he was so well known for.
We arrived at the nearly empty location just after 10:30 p.m. There were still a few groups sitting in the restaurant. Despite that, things were winding down and that was pretty clear. With the place still being open at that time, it allows weary travelers like us to find a quick bite to eat while other places are not quite operational.
With our first interaction with the server, it was clear we weren’t home anymore. This individual, who later ended up closing the restaurant for the night, had that diner-like demeanor that people come to love. Our order was taken without really being written down and everything was correct as it came to the table.
One of the things we noticed about the restaurant was something that seems to be stereotypical of American citizens. With each passing year, it seems the size of Americans increases. What was funny was that the booth we were sitting in was quite snug. We were four, more or less, average sized people and we had trouble with the space we had left. This would happen to be an issue at other places we were going to throughout the rest of the weekend.
Another thing that caught my eye was the menu. For the first time in over 185 burgers, I encountered a menu that contained an additional piece of information you can’t find in Montreal. Each of the dishes had a calorie count. I’m pretty sure that this is the norm in the United States and I can see why it’s being discussed for Canadian places.
The menu at Friendly’s offers the gamut of dining choices. As far as burgers are concerned, you have two paths you can take. First, you can build your own burger. For a major restaurant chain, it’s rare to be given that option. The second path you can take is to choose from the short list of burgers.
Before getting to the food, I found out something new the very hard way. American iced tea is unsweetened and doesn’t taste anything like the kind I can get at home. That would be a hard adjustment to make over the next few days.
Before getting started with our individual dishes, the others decided to start with sliders. These are four miniature cheeseburgers. I wasn’t planning on trying this since I ordered a larger burger, but the group insisted. The platter comes undone and you have to stack your ingredients yourself.
It wasn’t that bad of a start. The meat was cooked quite well. The only issue is that I found myself reaching for taste. If this was any sign of what was to come with my burger, I was getting worried.
Ultimate Bacon Cheeseburger
This burger contains lettuce, tomatoes, mayonnaise, three slices of cheese, and three slices of bacon.
With a name like that, it piques your attention and heightens your expectations. Putting a word like ‘ultimate’ in front of a bacon cheeseburger can either be asking for a lot of trouble or be a brazen call of superiority. There was only one way to find out and that was to try myself.
Right off the bat, the thing that hit me like a ton of bricks was the size of all three pieces of bacon. I’ve had plenty of bacon in my time, but none ever came close to the size of these bad boys. What was even better is that the taste was just as big as they looked.
My expectations going into this burger attempt weren’t so high. I’ve heard of Friendly’s, but I never really thought of ever really having a burger there. So, ordering a burger was probably a safe bet, but one that I didn’t think I’d be bragging about ever. What was to come really surprised me.
Picking up the burger was quite interesting. I say that because of the bottom bun. Usually, the bottom bun is quite stable and you don’t fear anything. This particular bottom bun was quite soft and mushy. While nothing happened in the line of stability, it was the point I remembered the most about this burger.
The surprising thing was that the burger worked. The combination of simple ingredients meshed well and I wasn’t disappointed at all. What put things over the top were the large slices of bacon. I wasn’t expecting it to really be good, but it really hit the spot. Mind you, it’s not something overly mind blowing, but something worth the money.
To finish things off, I ordered the Friendly’s equivalent of Dairy Queen’s Blizzard. There are a wide range of chocolate bar options and some of them aren’t unusual. The most common item to find in one of these soft serve concoctions are Oreo cookies. Normally, it would be a no-brainer, but I saw something a little more intriguing. There was an option to take Kit Kat bars and combine them in the soft serve. That was enough to solidify my decision.
When looking at the mix, I noticed that it didn’t quite look as full as other treats of this type. The pieces of Kit Kat were more in the way, than a crucial part of the mix. While I have nothing against the taste, it wasn’t as seamless as a similar item with Oreos.
Friendly’s may not be the top American chain. What they offer is enough to hit the spot when you’re looking for that quick fix. The burger was more than satisfactory and provided the necessary winning conditions to allow the ice cream to do its job. In all, I don’t think I’ll overlook this amical name ever again.