A reach for burger relevance in Vinnin Square
By The BaldOne
Less than a mile past Dead Mans Curve on Loring Avenue sits a border. You can't see the map line drawn across the street, it appears only on the map itself. Across that line exists another town know to locals as Swamp-skit, or Swamp-scott. There is often discussion as to which pronunciation is correct.
The BaldOne says Swamp-skit.
On the left just over that line in the Marshalls strip mall sits a burger joint called Cheeburger Cheeburger. It has been there since last May. I cannot explain the spelling game being played here, perhaps on your first visit you can ask about it. Maybe it was a typo that some marketing type found clever.
The motif is that of a 1950's diner. Lots of color and tile accentuate the place. Neon shakes are on the wall alongside cut-outs of Elvis, Marilyn, James Dean, and The Three Stooges. As is to be expected the Stooges cut-out features Jerome "Curly" Howard. After all of these years poor Shemp still can't get any love, not even in a burger joint.
Walking in with my good friend SBJ (Sits-By-Josh) we were greeted by Sarah and offered the table of our choice. There were two tables already taken. We chose one right in the middle of the floor.
The menu has some variety. The burgers run from 1/4 of a pound at just under $6 to a full pound at just under $11. If you eat the one-pounder they'll post your photo on the wall. There is also a two-pound burger available for those who dare. The toppings are numerous, to include a choice of cheeses and are free. They include pepperoni, pineapple, or roasted green chili peppers.
Chicken, Salmon, Turkey, and Veggie options are also available as are wraps, melts, and a 10-inch hot dog.
SBJ chose the regular burger, medium-well with american cheese, onion and mayo on a kaiser roll. My selection was the one-pound burger, medium-rare with cheddar jack cheese, onion and pickle on a kaiser roll with chipotle mayo on the side. SBJ and I opted to split a small order of the fresh-cut, house breaded onion rings mixed with french fries.
My medium-rare request prompted a conversation with the manager. He explained to us that there is a corporate policy prohibiting any temperature under medium. I stressed my objection to that, as did another customer at a nearby table. The manager is trying to get that policy changed and asked that I go on-line to the company web site and give them the benefit of my years of burger eating wisdom.
When our burgers arrived I declined the offer to compete in the "5-minute Challenge". It is always my preference to enjoy my food. Scarfing down a full pound of red meat in five minutes or less is not my idea of enjoyment.
We both enjoyed our burgers very much. They were cooked properly. Mine was much closer to medium-rare than I had expected after my conversation with the manager. The rolls were fresh, the meat very juicy without being drippy and sloppy. There was a savory flavor to the meat that did not scream out salt, salt, salt.
The onion rings were excellent with the french fries being cooked to a good brown color with no sogginess to them.
The beef is angus, with no additives, no antibiotics, and no added hormones. It is supplied by the National Beef Company using a proprietary handling program called Naturewell.
We did not try any of the shakes, but they are considered a house speciality.
The Salem Food Digest proclaims Cheeburger Cheeburger the best burger just over that imaginary line on the southern side of the Salem map.
We will go back because we like to see if consistency is there. Impressing us once is easy, twice maybe not, and the third time's the charm.