It’s no secret that I view the cheeseburger as one of the hallmarks of modern civilization, and am always up for a good burger. While I will maintain until I run out of breath that Roy’s Big Burger is the best small-time burger joint in Richmond, if you’re looking for a good quality chain, Richmond is a city torn between advocates for Five Guys Burgers and Fries and Cheeburger Cheeburger. Seeing that there was a Five Guys a stone’s throw away from my college, and I’m a sucker for free peanuts, I was firmly in the Five Guys camp, at least until myself and some friends found ourselves near a Cheeburger Cheeburger with some time to kill and a stomach to fill.
For those who don’t know Cheeburger Cheeburger is a burger chain famous for serving up 1950s nostalgia with generous portions of burgers, fries, onion rings and milkshakes, loaded to the brim with toppings of your choice. In addition, another claim to fame lies with it’s eating challenge, where anyone who eats a ‘Pounder’ burger gets their photo put on the wall. In the establishment my friends and I went to, the decor is laced with Neon, cut outs of Elvis and James Dean pinned up on the wall, and next to our table, a poster with Mickey Mantle touting Moxie to us, all while classic rock pours out over the speakers. While many places try to emulate nostalgia for the era, Cheeburger Cheeburger managed to do it sincerely adding to the atmosphere greatly.
Of course, a large part of that might be due to the menu, which screams old-school Americana, offering egg creams and malts in addition to it’s burgers and fries. For drinks, you can’t ignore their milkshakes, which come in dozens of flavors and can be combined in literally over a million combinations. While there I myself had their Cinnamon Bun milkshake, and it tasted more like a fresh cinnamon bun than the last few times I’d had the actual pastries. With the basket of onion rings and fries they brought out, my only question is which was better, as both were well cooked and seasoned. Of course, the main event was the collection of ‘Pounder’ burgers my friends and I ordered and then promptly devoured. The buns are toasted to perfection, the beef juicy, and the toppings are all generous and fresh (I got mine topped with Provolone, Copped Garlic, Grey Poupon and Onion Rings – very tasty combo!) and every bite was a joy. Plus, for the portions and quality of the food, the prices are a steal – my friends and I got away with paying just above $15 apiece, and most of that was for the burger.
Given the superb food and atmosphere, I am somewhat forgiving that the service was nothing too special. Maybe it was just the location I went to or the server, but I was disappointed with the service. My group had to wait for our menus, our drinks and had to ask for refills. Not a deal breaker, and shouldn’t be an issue as long as you come with friends, but sub-par service is the only thing holding Cheeburger Cheeburger from a hat trick.
So overall, service aside, it’s easy for me to see why Cheeburger Cheeburger is one of Richmond’s favorite burger joints, and Roy’s aside, it’s earned a spot as one of mine. The atmosphere is classic Americana which I’ve always been a sucker for, and the food all around is top notch, between the variety and choose in flavors and toppings to the high quality and taste of the food itself. I highly recommend it, and while you’re there, keep an eye out for the picture of your humble narrator on the wall.