For a soulless chain most commonly found in Florida, Cheeburger Cheeburger isn’t half bad.
That sounds like damning with faint praise, but we enjoyed our meal at Park Slope’s significantly more than we expected to. Though that could just be the soft bigotry of low expectations talking.
Cheeburger Cheeburger (named for the classic Saturday Night Live sketch, itself inspired by a Chicago greasy spoon) occupies a big space on Seventh Avenue and Third Street.
The space is decorated in aggressive tones of bubblegum pink, turquoise, and silver. A constant medley of 50s tunes plays over the stereo, just in case you forget for a second that you’re in a 1950s-themed chain founded in 1986. Though Cheeburger Cheeburger had only been open for a few days at the time of our visit, it’s already been thoroughly discovered by the stroller set — our meal was interrupted several times by a handsy toddler.
Unsurprisingly, given the restaurant’s name, burgers are the thing here. Customers create their own from a lengthy list of topping options. My dining companion and I sampled two creations. A 5.5 ounce patty (the smallest available) with cheddar, barbecue sauce, onion rings, and bacon was very tasty indeed. Sure, the patty itself was dry and tasteless (in part, due to the fact that they’re only available medium, medium well, and well done), but the cheese melted beautifully, the barbecue sauce was a good mix of tangy and sweet, and the bacon was crisp.
A burger with blue cheese, onion, lettuce, and tomato did not fare as well. It was, perhaps, the most poorly-constructed burger we’ve ever encountered. Upon picking it up, all the onion (which, incidentally, was probably half an onion) made a run for it, leaping to our plate. The blue cheese tasted exactly like feta with none of the funk you’d expect from a blue. The wan tomato just made us sad.
We also indulged in a “half and half” basket of french fries and onion rings. The french fries were, in contrast to the burgers, nicely seasoned and looked great. The fries are cooked skin on and they have the agreeable color of a burnt sienna crayon from childhood.
Unfortunately, they were limp. It’s a shame: if they had been just a hair crisper, they’d be a strong contender for the Park Slope fry echelon. The onion rings, on the other hand, are recommended with no reservations whatsoever. Rail-thin and ultra-crispy, we could have happily polished off a whole basket.
Perhaps the worst thing about Cheeburger Cheeburger is the fact that, as a chain restaurant, they are required to post calorie counts. That’s how my dining companion and I realized that we had ordered a dessert worth over 1700 calories. 1700!
That being said, the dessert in question, the Oreo Mousse Mountain, was awesome. Chocolate and peanut butter mousse come swirled together within two Oreo wafers. That gut bomb is topped with vanilla ice cream, surrounded by crumbled Oreos, and drizzled with chocolate and caramel sauces. It’s totally ridiculous and indulgent and I loved every sweet and salty bite. Note: it would probably be an appropriate dish for at least four people to share.
Service is friendly, if obsequious. I arrived late and my dining companion reported that, in the ten minutes he’d been sitting there, the server had already tried several times to persuade him to order the “Famous Pounder,” a 20-ounce behemoth that, if finished, will result in Cheeburger Cheeburger’s entire staff coming to your table, cheering, and making you pose with a giant stuffed cheeseburger for a picture for the restaurant’s wall. We declined. Our food took a while to come out, but once it did, our server dropped by our table approximately every five minutes. At the very least, we never felt forgotten, even if sometimes it was a bit suffocating.
The meal was, at the end of the day, fine, if uninspiring.But why settle for a fine burger when transcendent ones are available at and , both just blocks away?
Cheeburger Cheeburger may not be as bad as we feared, but it’s still not very good.