The $10 Challenge: Dizzy Whizz

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August 27, 2010 by Ashlee Clark Thompson

I love food because of how it can create and elicit memories.

Every restaurant has significance. Every dish has a story. Every bite has a feeling.

I’ve visited restaurants for the $10 Challenge based upon fond experiences. Moby Dick reminds me of my working, single (at the time) mother coming through the door with her arms full of stained brown paper bags. Annie’s Pizza evokes memories of long discussions about TV and pop culture in the kitchen with my uncle, who would order Annie’s on the nights he babysat me.

This week’s Challenge, Dizzy Whizz, holds those memories for my boyfriend, Rob.

(I gave up trying to come up with a quirky name online moniker for him.)

Rob and I have known each other for nearly a decade. Since the beginning, Rob has wanted to take me to Dizzy Whizz, an Old Louisville diner known for its Whizzburger, cheap prices and down-home feel. Old Louisville is the neighborhood where he spent his childhood, and Dizzy Whizz is where he ate many meals with his parents. I was happy to use the Challenge to not only seek out some inexpensive food in my new neighborhood, but to learn more about what made Rob so giddy when he was a kid.

/sappy lovey dovey stuff

/onto the food

The sign says it all.

Dizzy Whizz has served breakfast, lunch and dinner across from Walnut Street Baptist Church for more than 60 years.  The place is small, but there are lots of options for how you can enjoy the food – dine-in, carry-out (which carries a 25 cent fee for certain specials) or curbside.

The variety extends to the menu, which features lots of sandwiches that can be eaten at all three meals. The featured player on the menu is the Whizzburger, a double-decker cheeseburger dressed with tartar sauce for $2.89 (make it a basket with fries and coleslaw for $5.34). There’s also the Super Whizzburger Double Decker ($3.99), the Dizzinator Double Decker ($6.76) and the Dizzy Whizz Quarter Pounder Deluxe ($2.83). This is on top of your basic hamburger ($1.19) and cheeseburger ($1.29).

And those are just the beef selections – the menu also includes a selection of chicken, fish and even breaded veal sandwiches that are all less than $6.

A hearty breakfast at Dizzy Whizz is easy to score for a low price – the most expensive item is the Big Whizzy Special at $4.19, a feast of three eggs, four pieces of bacon or three sausages, grits or hash browns, and toast. The menu also features hot cakes ($2.49 for three), which I would order just for the chance to say “hot cakes” instead of “pancakes.”

This visit brought Roscoe, Rob and I to Dizzy Whizz for dinner. Since Rob has talked about the Whizzburger since we were in high school, we both ordered the burger with cheese and fries. I ordered a basket, so a side of slaw came with my burger.

Find the shoutout to my alma mater amid the burger goodness.

The fries were fresh from the fryer when the waitress brought our order to the car. The crinkle-cut delights had just enough salt and lots of crunch.

The Whizzburger was initially daunting with its two beef patties and three pieces of bread.

The Whizzburger, the stuff of legend.

But a little smash and the burger fits right into the ol’ piehole. The sandwich is similar to the one I had at Burger Boy because of the addition of tartar sauce, but the bite of the relish helps make a basic burger more interesting. The patties were slightly crisp on the outside, a sign of being cooked on a well-used griddle that has plenty of years of use. To my delight, there was little grease coming from the meat, so the fresh buns didn’t get soggy.

The coleslaw wasn’t anything to write home to Mom about, so next time I might opt for a soft drink instead. But the meal was pleasing to the pocketbook. It might belong in a super category of Challenges, because Rob and I (and Roscoe, I guess) ate for just over $10.

Had I known the food was going to be so cheap and fantastic, I would have considered ordering from Dizzy’s Dairy Bar, a selection of frozen treats like flurries ($2.79 for a small), waffle cones ($1.99) or a piece of fruit pie ($2.09 for a slice). But there’s always more times, and hopefully more memories for Rob and I.

/really finished with the mushy stuff

Notes about Dizzy Whizz:

  • There are a few tables for outdoor dining.
  • The restaurant seemed pretty dog friendly. Roscoe sat under the table while Rob and I ate, and no one seemed to care.
  • You can call your order ahead of time at 502.583.FOOD (how awesome is that number?).

The Stats:

  • Dizzy Whizz, 217 West St. Catherine Street, Louisville, Ky.
  • Whizzburger basket, which included fries and coleslaw: $5.34
  • Total (with tax): $5.66
  • Total for two: $11.32

Mission: Accomplished

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