Saturday, July 18, 2009

Scenes from the Road

Yesterday, I had lunch in Lincoln with Chris Simpson, one of the professors at the college. When he found out that my weekly commute takes me through Logansport, Indiana, about two hours from Fort Wayne, he told me I need to stop at Mr. Happy Burger sometime. He told me that all of their meat is locally grown.

Mr. Happy Burger. Sounds like something you would name your restaurant if you live in Bangkok or Tokyo and English was not your first language.

So when I left campus about 4:00, it was with my sights set on waiting until I arrived in metropolitan Logansport before braking for dinner. Between the time zone change and the need for a short nap somewhere in Western Indiana, it was 8:50 by the time I arrived at the much ballyhooed Mr. Happy Burger. As you can see from the sign below, the restaurant's hours are 10:45 AM to 9:00 PM.

So I strolled in at 8:50. It was clear that they were not planning on serving any more customers that evening, with bags of trash on the floor and closing clean-up in full swing. Gotta love it. I said, "I drove 200 miles just to eat here" and one of the employees told me that I could still visit the other half of the Mr. Happy Burger empire by driving another 4.1 miles to Mr. Happy Burger East, so that's what I did.

Ironically, Mr. Happy Burger East is located directly between a Burger King and a McDonald's. All three were advertising their Angus burgers. In any other situation, I can assure you I would have walked into the McDonald's. Or the Burger King. Not Mr. Happy Burger East. (As it turned out, it was good to have Mickey D's right next door. Mr. Happy Burger East only sells caffeine-free Diet Coke, so I grabbed my sandwich and fries then went through McDonald's to get a drink . . . I'm a very big fan of the "Any Size for One Dollar" promotion.)

So . . . was it worth the effort? Kind of. The hamburger was pretty good, but I chalk that up primarily to the fact that it had mayo, which is clearly one of my two favorite condoments. The fries were basically the same as McDonald's fries, which is not a criticism in my book. And the food was not overpriced ($1.75 for a quarter pounder). But I'm not sure that it merited a slow cruise through downtown Logansport. All-in-all, I'm glad I took a walk on the wild side and experienced a piece of Americana. Maybe I'll try Mr. Happy Burger East again sometime when I'm driving by with Phillip and we can sample their pizza and salad buffet or try the pork tenderloin burger.

1 comment:

Blogger said...

Anybody here wants a FREE BURGER KING GIFTCARD?