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Zimm's Burger Stache

Hawkins Pac-Out opens an outpost on Fairview

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It's hard to drive past Zimm's Burger Stache without giggling. The sign on the Fairview Avenue fast food joint features a giant, curly mustache sandwiched between two buns. And though the mustache trend jumped the shark ages ago, the WTF factor was enough to draw me inside.

As it turns out, Zimm's Burger Stache is owned by the same folks behind the Bogus Basin haunt Hawkins Pac-Out. The menu features an almost identical (and slightly cheaper) selection of burgers, fries and shakes that have lured ski bums and North Enders to the Pac-Out for the past 18 years.

So that prompts the question: What the heck is a burger stache? According to Zimm's website, "A Burger Stache is just that, a burger mustache. Look at your friend as they take a bit [sic] of that delicious burger. They hold the burger in front of their face as they take a bite. That's a Burger Stache!"

Challenge accepted. My date and I swung in for a late lunch one weekday afternoon and had the entire dining room to ourselves. Though the upholstered booths, red vinyl chairs and dated carpeting would be at home in any fast food franchise, Zimm's added one quirky accoutrement: a giant metal mustache suspended near the ordering counter.

The menu features an array of burger staches, chicken staches, shakes, spins and floats. But the mustache theme ends there. Sadly, you can't order the burger equivalent of a Charlie Chaplin, a Salvador Dali or even a Ned Flanders. In fact, the wackiest the menu gets is the Super Cheeseburger ($3.99), which comes with cheese and grilled ham.

With the faint hum of Queen and Michael Jackson buzzing on the radio, our meal arrived clad in papery jackets and baskets. Though it was all standard fast food fare, everything was just a tad better. The Super Cheeseburger patty was thin but well-seasoned and topped with a couple shavings of ham, a slice of melty American cheese, pickles, tomatoes and fry sauce. The gems had a perfect golden crunch and the fry sauce was just the right consistency--thick enough to cling to the gem but not so viscous that it globbed on like straight mayo. The Oreo milkshake ($2.99, 12 ounce), on the other hand, was dense enough to attack with a spoon.

Unfortunately, the veggie burger fell prey to the form's Achilles' heel: The rice and mushroom patty was too starchy to stand up to the equally bready bun. Aside from the crunchy February tomato and a slice of Swiss, it was hard to tell where the bun ended and the burger began. As I sank my teeth into the sandwich, letting ketchup and fry sauce squeeze out the sides, I asked my date whether I, indeed, had a burger stache.

"You look more like a burger Joker," he retorted, smirking.