Category Archives: The Venues

As a 33 year old Man-Boy (as I’ve been called), I enjoy heading out drinking and getting into general shenanigans. I may or may not tell you about the evening depending how much I remember, or how much I think I should reveal.

Red’s: Blues Burger

Bonus post for today.  I’ve been slacking on my posts as of late.  I’m not sorry about it, I’ve been busy…drinking…and other things.  Anyway, this post is going back to late summer.  I’ve been putting it off since it is outside of Anchorage.  I was down in Seward doing some halibut fishing (see the pictures, we slayed that shit).  It also happened to be when the POTUS was cruising around Alaska.  It sucked a little bit when we had to wait in the harbor for an hour while my Commander in Chief decided to go out for a little boat ride.  This was a free charter fishing trip through the Army’s BOSS program (Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers).  It was a 4 day paid trip to Seward for some of the best fishing in the world.  Stayed at a military resort they have down there that was decent.  My favorite part was the bar (shocking), and the grill your own steak dinner.  Fucking money.  They just give a big old slab of beef and let you go nuts on the grill while you’re drinking.  How awesome is that? It was a 4 day trip that had two days of fishing planned, however day one of fishing was canceled because of weather.  So I basically walked around Seward for a couple days trying to hit every bar they have to offer.  Mission accomplished.  My new friend, Hannah, saw this burger joint on the north side of town so we went and checked it out.  Best idea of the weekend (well, other than sneaking a fifth of whiskey onto the boat).

This joint is basically a food truck they built a little wooden shack around.  If you don’t like food trucks then I don’t like you.  In typical Alaska fashion their menu offers a slew of game meat patties you can get on any of the burgers. Another gimmick this place has going for it is that they took and old school bus and basically gutted it and turned it into a dining area.  I went of card since I was out of town and strayed from the typical cheeseburger option.  I went with the Blues Burger which is your standard patty with steak sauce, a healthy serving of blue cheese and topped with an onion ring.  It was like there was a party in my mouth.  I wish this place was in Anchorage because it would rival Tommy’s.  I’m not saying this because I was drunk and walked like 2 miles to get there, it was actually really good.  I had already had a burger at the brewery earlier that day and this blew it out of the water.  I love burgers so I was obviously excited to eat one.  But this was different.  It is like when you are going to see a movie you are really anticipating.  Like when I saw the new Bond movie this last weekend.  I’m going to like it because its a Bond movie, but then I find out they have this hot like number, Lea Seydoux, who looks like a young Amy Smart with a better rack.  Double bonus.  Just takes it to another level.  So to any of my peeps out there who are going to be in Seward any time soon (well, next summer because it basically shuts down in the winter) hit up Red’s, you won’t be disappointed.
  
  

Tastee Freez: Double Cheeseburger

I am breaking one of my rules with Tastee Freez.  It is a chain, which usually rules out the establishment for rankings.  However, this Tastee Freez has been in Anchorage since 1958 and has been a part of the community since it’s opening.  They had a lot of history up in the restaurant that I forgot but I do remember something about their trucks helping the city by providing power after the earthquake of ’64.  With it being locally owned and operated I decided to make an exception and include them on this list.  Plus their burger kicked ass and they have some motherfucking cheesy tots.  Tater tots please the fat kid in me, which has had me called a man-boy before, but I give zero fucks.

When you walk in it has that old school burger joint feel.  A bunch of high school kids working the grill and shit.  I of course got a double cheeseburger, because I’m a man.  I ordered it with bacon, which they forgot, but I ate it anyway with out complaining.  The place was busy and I didn’t feel like waiting any longer, I was pretty hungry.  I don’t have to say anything about the cheesy tots, they are cheesy tots, they explain them-self.  The burger was hearty without being too big and was not over cooked.  Just all around a solid sandwich, nothing crazy but it was refreshing finding someone who can still make your regular cheeseburger without fucking it up.  It is not the best burger in Anchorage but it is better than most.  I would put it on par with Kriner’s Diner.  It is on the south side so it is a bit out of the way for me, but worth it if you live out that way.  I’ve also heard good things about their whole menu so go nuts, eat like a fatty and enjoy it you tubby bastards.

Tommy’s Burger Stop: The Sicilian Mobster

There are only a few things that bring me to a state of pure jubilation.  Touching boobs, beer, a good day fishing, a good cheeseburger (obviously), and until this last weekend, football.  I was going to go on a long rant about the Michigan game, or the Seahawk’s game, but that would take away from what I have to say about this burger. and I’m really trying to move on.  This masterpiece deserves no negative context along side its glory.  So let me compare it to boobs.  Everyone loves boobs.  For the most part, bad boobs are still good, however, great boobs go into the history books.  This burger is like great boobs.  Any good man knows that it’s not all about size.  At a certain point it starts to become a novelty.  Don’t get me wrong, a novelty is great from time to time, but it doesn’t last, and you get tired of it quick.  This is true with burgers as well.  This burger is big enough that you definitely get your fill.  Could I have eaten more?  Of course.  Was I left satisfied?  Abso-fucking-lutely.  Not every burger needs to be a Heidi Montag, and to be honest, I would rather have a Marisa Miller every day over a Mia Khalifa.  Once you start serving up Heidi’s you start crossing the line into cuisine for fun and not cuisine for quality.  Plus we all know more than a handful is risking it anyway.  Could I continue to the eat this burger over and over again?  Yes, the answer is yes

When I first read the ingredients that went into this beautiful son of a bitch, I was a little skeptical thinking they added too much.  5.5 oz Australian beef patty, loaded with grilled mozzarella, balsamic onions and pepperoncinis, topped with house bacon jam.  I was very wrong.  The balsamic onions were a little sweet and didn’t give that overwhelming vinegar tinge, but cut the bacon jam perfectly with a slight tartness.  Just look at that grilled mozzarella too.  A lovely golden brown tan like it has been sun bathing on the beaches of Barcelona for weeks (which are topless beaches, FYI). Throw the rest on with a side of cajun fries and you have yourself a Sports Illustrated swimsuit model of a burger.  Only downside is that this was a special and no longer available.  But the good thing about swimsuit models is that once they are gone, there is always a new one to replace it.  So if you missed it, hit up Tommy’s for their new special, you will not be disappointed.  This burger took Tommy’s to the top of the Anchorage Rankings, breaking its tie with the Arctic Roadrunner, and I don’t see it losing the top spot before I leave in 2 months.  
  

The Alaska State Fair

Today marks the glorious return of the NFL.  First game of the season, which they call Sunday Night Football on Thursday night because they are a bunch of unoriginal fucktards.   Same reason that when any quasi-scandal happens they immediately call it whatever-gate.  Deflategate, spygate, Dick-selfie-gate, or whatever we are going to have this year.  They even dubbed the interception last year the “Immaculate Interception.”  They had an entire off-season to come up with something, but no, they just spit out some recycled shit from like 30 years ago.  In the 2 minutes I’ve been writing I could come up with something better…”The Superbowl Giveaway.”  See, not hard.  It wasn’t even that great but it is better than what they put out.  Why even try to be clever though when people are going to watch anyway.  That’s why people like John Madden and Joe Buck have careers.  You could have John Madden farting on a xylophone for 2.5 hours and people would still just mute it and watch the game.  But I digress.  Thursday night football also means that my posts will be more regular.  Eat a cheeseburger on Wednesday, write about it on Thursday while watching football.  Unfortunately they closed the sports bar on post that I would frequent and drink (by myself) while writing.  So now I have to sneak my booze into the day room in the barracks, use the free wi-fi and order pizza.  Desperate times call for desperate measures.  Here is my Thursday night football kick off.

I’ve eaten a lot of burgers since my last post.  Don’t worry, you will hear about them.  However, I’m kicking off the blog season with a post about the Alaska State Fair.  I grew up in Puyallup, Washington.  A small/medium-sized town in the suburbs of Seattle (hence my love of the Seahawks).  Puyallup has the 4th largest fair in the country.  The fair is a big deal and growing up there is “fair day.” From elementary school through high school on fair day you get a free ticket and a day off of school to attend the Puyallup Fair.  It is not just locally, it is all of western Washington.  Everything from the pig races to the scones to the hypnotist are fond memories of every Washingtonian’s childhood/adulthood.  I love fairs but my 15 years in Michigan deprived me of this joy.  When I got stationed in Alaska and people talked about the fair I got excited.  As an adult a care less about the rides and the pig races as much as I care about the food and the beer tents.  With my memories of the Puyallup Fair there was no way I was not going to be disappointed even though I knew not to get excited.  Outside of the 2×4 Jenga, the beer tents were Alaska priced and disappointing, the rides lacked, people watching was prime (but that is true anywhere in Alaska), but the food…the food fucking killed it.

The first place (besides the Sluice Box) that I had to hit was Gourmet Burgers, home of the famous “Doughnut Burger.”  They have some other burgers on the menu that look absolutely delicious but a fair is the for the freak show.  This is by far the most novel burger I have tried.  It is basically a breakfast with a burger patty.  You get your burger with bacon, cheddar, a fried egg all sandwiched between a glazed doughnut.  It was delicious, and at the same time it is nothing I will ever eat again.  You have to try it, but if I wasn’t at a fair I would never think about getting this monstrosity of calories.  I would compare it to a fancy McGriddle, only it cost me about 5x as much.  It is the burger version of an Alaskan strip club.  You know it’s expensive, you know it’s not that great, you go for it anyway, and yet you have zero regrets when it is all over.

Second stop was M.A.’s Gourmet Dogs…immediately after the burger.  M.A.’s has been featured on T.V. but I can’t remember what shows.  They do have one of the best reindeer sausage in town and there are some bomb.com reindeer sausage carts downtown.  I decided to switch it up since I don’t think I could pick a best reindeer sausage in town and see what else they had.  I went with their Louisiana Hot Link, I added sauerkraut, Sweet Baby Ray’s Honey Mustard, and Sriracha.  Fuck yeah.  I even got props from the vendor for my creativity in condiments.  The first thing I noticed though was that the link filled up the bun in a matrimonial pairing.  Next, the link was spicy, add the Sriracha, sweet mustard and cut from the sauerkraut and it’s a party in your mouth.  If any one visits me in the next 3 months, I will take you to M.A.’s downtown, you’re welcome in advance.

Third and final food stop was on the way out. After all the shenanigans I had enough money left over for some tacos for myself and my friends as we departed.  We wondered the grounds searching for what looked like the best tacos and I’m pretty sure I wasn’t wrong.  It just said “Steak Tacos.” Sold.  Solidly filled with seasoned steak, all the taco fixings and their spicy salsa.  Now, I have had better tacos in many places outside of Mexico.  Mexican Town in Detroit, Southern California, pretty much anywhere in the lower 48.  But in Alaska you have some bullshit Mexican so this was a nice treat.  One taco is not much but this is pretty much a fair spot.  Only grip I have is that they use one soft corn tortilla.  That shit falls apart when you look at it wrong.  You need two to hold that glory together.  But their salsa made up for it, so I’ll give em a break.  Plus they are raping consumers with fair prices and cutting corners, can’t blame them it was the end of the night either, they may have been running low.  I’d eat it again.

All in all the fair trip was a success.  Big Jenga, good food and Alaskan beer all with good friends.  And now that I have drank about half a fif of Evan Williams and eat a whole large pizza its time for me to chill and watch the end of this game…and maybe finish that fif and regret it tomorrow at PT.  Deuces.

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Slippery Salmon: Burger with Pepper Jack and Bacon

The Slippery Salmon is connected to the Marriot or some shit like that.  Typically the only time I go there is when it lands on a pub crawl around Anchorage.  A couple years ago it putting a hurting on me during the 12 days of Christmas pub crawl.  Ran Ito Eric Metcalf, because why wouldn’t a former Cleveland Brown be a shitty Anchorage bar.  But some wanna be rich kid bought my buddy and I and extra round of beers and a shot.  Well when you are trying to have a drink at all 12 bars, and extra tall boy and shot will make the end of the night kind of blurry.  It was bar number 3 at that point so we didn’t know it was going to be the death of us.

But back to the burger. They advertise on the radio a lot about their juicy half pound burgers and blah blah blah. The burger was definitely juicy and with a half pound of beef it had the meat to be competitive. But if you have a slab of ground beef that big it needs to pack some flavor.  It was rather plain, needed some kind of seasoning.  The beefiness (which is always good) drown out the bacon and cheese a little.  Also, not sure how you can have too much bun with 8oz of beef on your plate, but they did it.  Mostly because the bun didn’t have anything to it, it was just bread in bun form.  Although I feel like I’m hating on this burger it’s still a decent option on their menu for the bar that it is probably not going to be on your list of places to visit in Anchorage.  I’d order it again if I was there and had to eat there.  But not something I’m going to hit up with all the other options around town.  Humpy’s around the corner would be a much much better place to go.

Also, this was the day that my burger partner’s baby finally got a lifetime ban from Cheeseburger Wednesday.  I don’t like kids, and I had been putting up with that thing for over a year.  At first it couldn’t move, which was cool.  It usually just laid there and slept like the selfish beast it is.  But now that it can walk it did nothing but crawl all over the table, run around and grab things and throw them on the ground and finally smashed an ornemant on the ground and broke it.  I don’t need this when I’m eating burgers.  Kids are the worst.  Period.  Don’t fuck with my cheeseburgers.

Also, I’m drinking now, at 14:00 on a Thursday so there was no proof reading, just rambling.

Spenard Roadhouse: Bacon Jam Burger

As I sit here sipping on whiskey watching the NBA finals I thought to myself “Self, you should make another burger post that you have been slacking on for weeks you fucking slack ass.” Who am I to argue with myself.  I do have to make it known that I am rooting for Golden State in this year’s finals.  Usually once the Pistons are out I don’t care too much.  However, consider that in recent history that is usually by the all-star break, I’ve been trying to keep somewhat involved come playoff time.  Stephen Curry is like watching lightning strike. pure electricity and will shoot the lights out (even though he is struggling tonight).  I’m still impressed with the show he put on in the NCAA tourney a few years back.  That shit was legendary.  Also, I am a huge fan of any team playing anybody from Ohio.  Fuck Ohio, fuck Cleveland, fuck OSU, so on and so forth.

That out-of-the-way, let’s get to the Roadhouse.  This has been one of my favorite breakfast spots in the city since I’ve been up here.  They took a hit when they inexplicably took chicken and waffles off the menu, that shit was the bomb.  What they still have going for them is their excellent whiskey selection (yes, for breakfast, don’t judge me), and their bacon of the month.  It is what is sounds like, every month they have a new appetizer that is purely bacon focused.  Last one I tried was cubed pork belly with a watermelon jam for dipping.  The salty-sweet combo with the very thick pork belly was delectable.  This leads into the Bacon Jam Burger.  It’s not some fancy name, they actually have a jam made from bacon.  Typically I’m not all about the crazy ass burgers that some places like to put out there.  The bacon cheeseburger has worked since the dawn of burgers.  This is probably the craziest burger you will find on my list and it’s fucking out there.  The burger consists of a beef patty (obviously), bacon jam, cambozola, grilled apple, arugula, house mayo all on a toasted bun.  So if you are like me and have no idea was cabozola is, it is defined as ” a cow’s milk cheese that is a combination of a French soft-ripened triple cream cheese and Italian Gorgonzola.”  Or most often marketed as a blue brie.  With arugula and what not this is turning into one high maintenance burger.  All this does come together very nicely though.  The sweet-salty bacon jam cuts the cheese nicely, somehow that grilled apple slice makes up for the arugula on this burger that is kind of pointless other than color and that crisp lettuce texture that goes so well with a beef patty.  This is definitely one of the top burgers in Anchorage, but without trying the other “regular” burgers at the Roadhouse I’m going to hold of on ranking this place.  Roadhouse is a local restaurant that needs visiting, and this a burger that you won’t find anywhere else.  But it’s just a little too off the chart to make a reasonable comparison.  Plus it is pricey for a burger.  You upgrade to the super tots (mandatory by the way) and you are spending $20 on a burger.  The super tots are amazing, which you can also order and an appetizer.  They take tots, add cheddar, bacon, green onions and sour cream.  Fabulous.  Now, this game just went to overtime and I’m about hit my 4th glass of whiskey.  Later nerds.

AmVets: The Heart Attack Special

I enjoy a good food challenge from time to time.  Shit, I’ve been known to eat a monster sandwich when the opportunity arises.  Reminds me of one of my favorite motivational quotes…”Any pizza is a personal pizza, if you try hard enough”…  Not exactly sure who said that but it was probably somebody awesome like Ghandi, or Carrot Top.  This brings me to the Heart Attack Special.  As you can see on the menu below this beast packs enough meat to choke Pamela Anderson.  With 1/2 pound of beef, 1/2 pound of spicy Italian sausage, ham, bacon, 6 slices of cheese and a fried egg it’ll fill you up.  They also, don’t use buns, they use grilled cheese sandwiches to hold this glorious bastard together.

A good friend of mine has been talking about taking me to this event for a while and it never lined up in our schedules until now.  It happens on Friday’s during the winter months here in Anchorage (so almost year round) and the reviews have been well received.   Another friend of mine just got back from Kosovo and we decided to move our weekly Ale House visit to the burger party.  People underestimate my stomach all the time, its OK, I don’t hold it against them.  But when they start talking shit is when I have to put them in their place.

I was late to the party do to a ‘work event’ that went about 5 hours longer than it should have.  My friend, I’ll call him Nancy for the amount he bitched, decided to order the Heart Attack as well, in an effort to show me up before I could even get there.  Of course I got berated with text messages and pictures of Nancy eating this burger while I’m putting in real work.  I don’t know the exact head start Nancy had, but it was at least 45 minutes.  He She was down to about 4 bites left by the time I got there.  I still came within minutes of slaying this beast in his her face. All I heard was excuses about his huge vagina small stomach, the sausage was too hot, so on and so forth.  It took me roughly 25 minutes to put this one in the book.  I’ll give Nancy some credit, she finished though (unlike most girls I take out).  So he she can write home about that.

I think there is another burger night left this season, and I’ll head back for a real cheeseburger.  This was a great burger but no way I can put it in the running for best burger in Anchorage.  It would be like putting Miguel Cabrera up against a high school kid in a home run derby.  They don’t even belong in the same ball park.  The Heart Attach was delicious on top of being a novelty.  Everything about it makes me think this place has some good as burgers.  Fat cooks, juicy patties and melty cheese.  Keep an eye out for another review on this place.  Hopefully Nancy will have manned up by then.

    

Tommy’s Burger Stop: The Bacon Cheeseburger

So, I’ve been a little M.I.A. since I got back from the desert.  2015 hasn’t been one for the ages (yet) so I have wasted spent some time catching up on my drinking and chasing some tail around Anchorage.  The jury is still out on how well I did with one, or both of those endeavors.  Either way it was enjoyable.  Throw Fur Rondy in the middle of that and I guess I’ve been “busy.”  Enough excuses, I did eat a burger that was fucking phenomenal.  Previously I had Tommy’s holding down the number three spot in Anchorage with Long Branch.  I have had several conversations about this because many people will argue it the top spot.  It had been about 8 months or so since the last time I went, and this visit put them in a tie with the Roadrunner.

This time I went with the standard bacon cheeseburger, the first time I went I had a jalapeno burger.   This burger though, with two cheeses melted on and some bacon that screamed ‘put me on a burger,’ was magnificent.  All their patties are Cajun seasoned.  I got there later in the evening, and they are always busy, so all that goodness cooked into the grill cooked into my burger and gave the beef patty and immaculate flavor.  This burger was like the first time I watched Desperado.  You know any Robert Rodriquez movie will be good so you want to watch it, then you find out you get a Tarantino and Cheech cameo with Salma Hayek doing full frontal.  Instant classic (side note, if you get a chance check out El Mariachi, the movie that made Desperado possible).

Other notes about Tommy’s is that my friend (who is being so lady like in the picture) got the blue cheeseburger and I was slightly jelly.  The slab of blue cheese they threw on there was cooked on the grill first and looked goddamn amazing sitting on top of that patty.  I will be eating that soon.  However, Tommy’s is small, really small, even smaller in the winter time with out the 3 extra tables they have outside. So seating is premium.  Fuck character, give me some space where I don’t have to listen to a kid yelling 2 feet away.  They also have a good, but expensive selection of beverages (also cheap fountains) which includes some Mexican Coke.  It’s a much different selection of burgers than the Roadrunner which makes it hard to pick a clear winner between the two.  After I try some more at Tommy’s it might change.

Baby’s Badass Burgers: The Original Beauty

As I sit here during my last night in this shit hole called Fort Irwin I feel it’s appropriate to make my final review. Yes, it’s Valentine’s Day, and as is tradition I don’t have a date. But hey, at least I got fucked this year (thanks Obama…). Baby’s Badass Burgers (or Titty Burger as my brothers in Comanche Co so affectionately dubbed it) is close enough, and probably more satisfying anyway. We all I know how I feel about my burgers. The name Titty Burger came about either due to the pin ups painted on the truck, or because the girl taking your order coincidentally wears very low-cut shirts and has to bend over to take your order. Hard to say no to that $3.00 can of soda with those headlights shining right in your eyes. I wouldn’t say it isn’t worth it since we have been living on cots in a warehouse with 150 other dudes for almost 40 days.

This is the burger truck I wanted to try in the first place when I had to go to that turd factory, Varsity Grill. If you happen to watch shitty reality TV, I hate you, but you have also probably heard of this place already. They appeared on ‘The Shark Tank’ where people pitch their stupid ideas in hopes that rich people will “invest” in them. Baby’s also claims best burger in LA according to the Travel Channel. Getting food advice from the Travel Channel would be the equivalent of getting your political advice from P. Diddy.

All that aside though this burger was tits. Just all around fantastic. I’m not giving it extra points because I’ve been eating field chow for the last 5 weeks either. The Original Beauty comes with swiss cheese melted over sautéed onions and mushroom with Baby’s Sauce. Thick, juicy, hand pressed patties cooked to perfection. A good pink throughout the patty that would drip on your hands with out disintegrating the bun. I would say that 90% of the time when a place has their own “sauce” it is just thousand island. Not the Baby’s, it was actually an original flavor that complimented the beefiness superbly. Couldn’t tell you what it was but I liked it. I may never know if this is the best burger in LA (not that I won’t try) but it blows the pants off almost all the shit I get in Anchorage. The fries where on point as well. Reminded me of the ghetto fries the cook would make us back at Kettering in Flint, MI. Whatever seasoned salt they used did the trick. In conclusion, if you get a chance you should flag down this food truck, it’s what dreams are made of.

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Fatburger: The Fatburger, Large

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So far I’m going to say 2015 has sucked. After I blacked out on NYE it’s been a downhill slide. First I have to spend my birthday month at Ft. Irwin, CA doing some bullshit, next I have to watch the Seahawks games in the goddamn laundry room here because it’s the only place with a TV, and the fucking Buckeyes win the National Championship. Seriously, what’s next?

This is also how I feel Fatburger has been sliding over the years. It’s been almost 10 years since the last time I had Fatburger. It was outside of Seattle and was glorious because I could get my value meal with a Red Hook ESB. They still do it on an open grill, you know, because people like to watch. But let me back up a minute to explain something before I get into the burger.

Fatburger started as Mr. Fatburger in 1947 in LA, until Lovie Yancey bought out her partners in 1952 and dropped the Mr. Much like In-N-Out it remained mostly a California chain and rivaled In-N-Out for cult status. If you are like me you know that even Ice Cube enjoyed some Fatburger at 2 in the morning. Where I feel that Fatburger started slipping and let In-N-Out take over as the burger to have was when Fatburger sold out to an investment firm in 1990. In-N-Out is still owned by the same family that founded it. With an investment firm taking over the franchise it was no longer about the burgers, but about making money. It’s a commodity, not a legacy. You can see this when you enter a Fatburger these days, it is more and more like a fast food joint than a burger joint. The one I stopped at in Barstow, CA even sells wings. WTF? They have also expanded globally with franchises in places like Pakistan and at sports stadiums where In-N-Out has barely reached Texas. Even back in the day McDonalds and White Castle where real burger stands and we see what franchising has done to them (even though I’ll still crush a crave case like it was my fucking job).

With that aside, the burger hasn’t gone by the wayside yet. One thing that I like is that they do cheeseburgers, and that’s it. No fucking around. All you chose is medium, large, XL, XXL or even the XXXL which is 1.5 pounds of beefy goodness. They make it fresh right when you order it, no frozen patties. This burger is still better than most of the shit I get in Anchorage so they haven’t abandoned all their principles in the quest for riches. Another thing I love about Fatburger is you get to chose your fries, skinny, regular or fat fries. No other places let you do that and I love me some shoestring fries. All in all I’m still a fan of Fatburger but get it soon because who knows what the next 10 years will have in store for this chain.