By Anna-Marie Menhenott
There's not too much more that spells old-fashioned Americana than hamburgers and rock and roll. Maybe that's why dining at Hwy 55 Burgers, Shakes and Fries in the Treasure Coast Mall seemed like a trip inside a time capsule to a 50s era diner with great food, groovy tunes and super-sweet desserts.
When my dining companion and I walked toward the mall on Saturday afternoon, we noticed the throngs of movie goers and thought, 'what an ideal location for a burger place.'
With a walk-up window outside the mall across from the movie theatre, a walk-up area inside, and inside seating in a secluded area that's ideal for taking a break from the hustle and bustle of walking the mall, Hwy 55 seems to have all aspects of 'eating at the mall' covered. But, it's much more than that. The 'burger place' is a restaurant, with friendly waitresses and plenty of seating, coupled with a full menu of delicious diner food.
"There are 120 Hwy 55 Burgers in North Carolina," said Joe Scheibelhut, restaurant manager. "After being in construction for 30 years, I used to eat at Hwy 55 Burgers all the time in North Carolina. When this franchise opportunity came up, my wife and I jumped at the chance to open the first one in Florida. When this spot opened up in the mall, we knew it was perfect."
Patrons can seat themselves at the bar in front of the restaurant with a bird's-eye view of the grill or in one of the many booths that line the Marilyn Monroe and Elvis Presley-adorned walls.
We were lucky to get to the hot spot before the lunch crowd arrived, and it was obvious by the time we left that they were in for a busy afternoon.
"We get a lot of people coming in for lunch right before going to watch an afternoon movie or vice versa," Mr. Scheibelhut said. "There's always a nice crowd in here."
While enjoying a cool fountain soda and listening to old rock and roll tunes, we looked over the menu. We noticed that besides burgers by the dozen, made every way you can imagine, there were wings, cheesesteaks, grilled cheese sandwiches and a shrimp po' boy. One thing I noticed throughout the menu was the 'John Boy & Billy' sauce that topped everything from chicken sandwiches to shrimp burgers to wings.
We couldn't pass up the chance to see what the fuss was about, so we ordered wings with the specialty sauce. To accompany our wings, we tried the highly recommended cheesesteak and of course, a cheeseburger.
During the quick wait for our food, we were treated to a sample of frozen custard. The creamy dessert is made fresh daily and can be combined with a number of sweet treats... but, more on that after lunch.
Our food came out steaming hot and smelling incredible. I couldn't wait to try the John Boy & Billy sauce on the wings. The sauce was everything I hoped for. There was just enough barbeque taste to bring in a smoky flavor, but after a bite or two, the heat from the peppers gives the sauce a nice kick. I imagine this sauce on any of the sandwiches would be a nice addition.
Our burgers were singles, but they can be ordered as doubles or triples. The burgers were cooked from fresh meat and grilled to perfection. They came with a lettuce and tomato and were served with topping choices of chili, coleslaw, onions, ketchup, mustard, mayo and pickles.
The burgers were mouthwatering and the accompanying French fries were just as delicious.
Our cheesesteak was big enough for two and was full of peppers, onions, mushrooms, melted provolone cheese and served on a steamed hoagie roll. There's no wonder why this is one of the most popular items on the menu.
After enjoying our lunch, both food and atmosphere, we decided to head to the mall to walk around. As we were leaving, we were given one of the incredible frozen custard desserts to take with us.
The 'concrete' contains three scoops of frozen vanilla custard, mixed with toppings such as cookies and cream, Butterfinger, pineapple, gummy bears or mixed nuts. Our dessert was mixed with cookies and cream and was a delightful end to an incredible lunch. Other sweet treats include milkshakes made with fresh frozen custard and fresh strawberries or bananas and chocolate-covered pretzels.
Next time we head to the mall or to the movies, we'll make sure to make time for a visit to Hwy 55 Burgers, Shakes and Fries. What an incredible way to spend a day!
Hwy 55 Burgers, Shakes and Fries is located in the food court of the Treasure Coast Mall. For more information, call (772) 692-7420.