July 9, 2010 by Ashlee Clark Thompson
Regret is the bitter smell of onions on The Boyfriend’s breath.
He had just slipped into my apartment after a meal at Burger Boy, a 24-hour restaurant in my new neighborhood of Old Louisville. He had offered to bring me a Kentucky bison burger ($3.99), a menu item that the restaurant frequently runs out of but had in stock that particular night.
I blame my fatigue from moving as the reason I turned down the offer. But as soon as I detected the remnants of bison burger lingering on The Boyfriend’s breath, I knew that I had made a mistake. I should’ve gotten the bison when I had the chance.
According to one of the owners, a gentleman I ran into on a visit to the diner, he orders the local bison in small quantities because he’s never sure how it will sell and he doesn’t want it to go bad. Fortunately, Burger Boy offers an extensive menu of cheap, good food that makes up for the often-absent bison burger.
Burger Boy is everything you think of when you hear the word “diner.” The menu is filled with burgers and breakfast food, which is served 24 hours a day. A jukebox with a heavy selection of country, rock and roll and 80s hits is displayed in the corner. And the long counter provides courtside seating to the grill and fryer, but you can easily watch your food being prepared from anywhere in Burger Boy (think Waffle House, but a lot smaller).
The easiest way to order is to sit at the counter, grab one of the few menus stuck between the condiments and let the one of the employees on duty know what you would like. It was tough to choose from the surprisingly full menu. The sandwiches, which were all less than $5, included down-home (read: fried and delicious) selections like country-fried steak ($3.25), Kickin’ Chicken (fried chicken with pepperjack cheese, $4.29) and the traditional patti melt ($3.49). On the breakfast side of the menu, Burger Boy offers everything from steak and eggs (the most expensive menu item at $12.99) to raisin bread french toast ($4.49). They also have a special that I must try soon — biscuits and gravy, two eggs, home fries, toast and a choice of bacon, ham or sausage for $5.99.
Since I tend to use the restaurant’s name to help me pick what to eat, I ordered a cheeseburger ($1.99) with pepperjack cheese. I had a couple extra bucks in my pocket, so I ordered the platter, which means adding a drink and fries for an additional $2.99. I ordered my burger dressed with lettuce, onion, tomato and mayo for an additional 39 cents.
I was disappointed that the restaurant used frozen patties, but you couldn’t tell after one bite. The gentlemen working the Saturday evening of my visit, who was the waiter, cashier and cook, brought out platter piping hot right off the griddle. My patty almost toppled over atop a huge leaf of fresh lettuce and several rings of onions. The mayo slathered on the toasted bun combined nicely with the pile of pickles to create a tartar-sauce taste that goes well on any burger. The fries were just as hot and fresh from the fryer. I just wished there were more of them after I inhaled the stack on my plate.
The Boyfriend said his burger was just as good, but he decided to make an additional order of breaded mushrooms ($3.99, but not included in the Challenge).
The appetizer made me wish that vegetables could just stay in their purest form instead of battered and deep fried. The first bite sends a stream of grease and mushroom juice into your mouth before you can start to chew. I made it through one mushroom, then decided to let The Boyfriend enjoy the dish by himself.
Other than the mushroom mishap, my meal at Burger Boy was enough to send me back to the diner. There is a lot of food I still need to try, and it’s so cheap that I could eventually work my way through the menu. And one day, I will get my bite of bison.
- Burger Boy (formerly Juanita’s Burger Boy), 1450 South Brook Street, Louisville, Ky.
- Cheeseburger platter, dressed: $5.37
- Total (with tax): $5.69