Burger joint of the week: Hurley House Café | Rock Candy

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Burger joint of the week: Hurley House Café

Posted By on Thu, Dec 16, 2010 at 10:30 AM

TWO GOOD BURGERS:  In a cast of half a dozen
A good, meaty burger is a thing of beauty. Whether it’s a lovely ovoid between two rounds of bread devoid of any accessories or buried under layers of vegetation, cheese and add-ons, it’s one of those very American and by extention very Arkansawyer things.

Now, I will agree that few burgers are meals in themselves. We have come to a point where too many commercials drilled into the subconscious have sparked some to believe that a perfect meal is burger, fries and soft drink. This sort of thinking is like to kill us all.

Well, that may be a bit dire, and it doesn’t really start the conversation we should be having — about the burgers at the Hurley House Café in Hazen. That’s burgers - plural. Because Hurley House does a good share of burger-ish things.

I have mentioned before the excellent Patty Melt offered at the restaurant. Lightly seasoned meat, grilled onions and cheese on toast… it is da bomb, and I must give that nod.

I have even previously consumed the BBQ Burger — three cheeses and barbecue sauce soaking a patty on a bun, a big hot orange mess. But good.

Grav and I recently revisited the restaurant while on assignment. His choice for the day was the Big Joe ($5), a half pound burger under a big pile of schtuff — bacon, mushrooms, grilled onions, Colby and Monterey and Pepper Jack cheeses. Big, hot, a little sweaty with juice, plenty of cheese, a ton of bacon… a satisfying and filling burger with a lot of flavor.

The flavor wasn’t just from the toppings - burger patties at Hurley House are nicely crusted, salt and pepper seasoned rounds that pick up just the right amount of grill grease to convey the idea “this is not health food.”

They are a meal in themselves, so it is best to be aware before ordering any sort of accompa-niment such as fries, spicy fries or onion rings.

Of course, I knew better but ordered French fries ($1.50) with my Chili Cheeseburger ($4.75) — because there’s something fabulous about dipping fries in chili and cheese. I knew there’d be no way I could finish the burger… but the homemade chili full of tomato chunks and beef and beans simmered together so long to become a happy cumin and onion scented stew coated in a thick layer of melted cheese made stepping away from it difficult at best. This is cold weather food — good chili, good meat, good God let’s eat.

Other burgers offered by the Hurley House Café include a Hot Cheeseburger (three cheeses and Jalapenos), a Bacon Cheeseburger and the traditional regular burger and cheeseburger. There are also plate lunch specials each day and steak or catfish (or both) for dinner.

You’ll find The Hurley House Café on Highway 70 across from where Highway 63 comes in from the Interstate. It’s open at six every morning and open through lunch on the weekends and dinner during the week. For more information call (870) 255-4679 (870) 255-4679 or check out the restaurant’s Facebook page.

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