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Andy’s does burgers, fries and shakes with classic aplomb

by Brian Clarey

There’s not much to offer besides burgers, fries and shakes at Andy’s in Greensboro.

Fortunately, that’s not a problem. (file photo)

Saturday afternoon, me and the guys. We’re hungry, and we want the kind of lunch we cannot get if the women in our family are with us. We’re talking about meat: fried chicken, steaks, barbecue… whatever we can get our hands on. A drive to the barbecue joints on our end of Summit Avenue is fruitless — they are all closed on Saturdays (Note: Why?) And we’re almost ready to settle for pizza, when I remember something from my publisher’s hamburger jaunt a few weeks ago.

“You guys want to see a three and a half-pound burger?” I ask the guys as I swing into the shopping area by Wal-Mart off Highway 29.

Andy’s Burgers, Shakes & Fries offers the Big A Challenge: a six-patty burger weighing 48 ounces. Eat it with a side of fries and a 24-ounce drink in fewer than 30 minutes and it’s free; if not, you’re out about $22.

Naturally each of my sons wants to order the Big A. And naturally I look forward ton the day I can watch one of my sons — or both! — devour a chihuahua’s worth of ground beef, today is not that day. We make do with the regular menu.

Andy’s is one of those throwback joints styled to look and feel like Arnold’s from “Happy Days”: burgers and fries, milkshakes and malts, a 1950s jukebox and frozen custard — more on that later.

Andy’s is a chain that began in Goldsboro in 1991 and has since grown to more than 100 stores across the region. The menu is simplistic: besides burgers and fries are cheesesteaks, chicken and shrimp items, a hot dog, onion rings and fresh-squeezed lemonade and orangeade. My youngest son gets a kid’s meal served in a cardboard 1957 Chevy which will be played with for days after the meal is consumed. My oldest does not like to order off kids’ menus, so he gets a straight up cheeseburger with fries and a chocolate malt, as do I, though I add chili and slaw to my burger. Also: onion rings.

I will say that the burger is as good as any I’ve had, based on a fresh, hand-formed patty from which the grease has not been fully squeezed atop a soft, seeded bun. It’s the kind of burger that drips just a little bit. Everybody knows that’s the best kind.

But after we finish this big meal, we have no room left for frozen custard, a problem because frozen custard is my favorite cold treat, richer and more lusty than simple ice cream, with a richness that makes gelato taste like an ice pop.

So no joke, I’m back the next day musing over custard. They have vanilla and cookies ‘n’ cream, the flavor of the week, available with an array of mix-ins that a sales associate assures me will be mixed in throughout, unlike at other similar places. I want a quart of vanilla — does that seem like a lot — with Butterfingers mixed in. To go.

To say a man who brings home frozen custard will be well received is an exercise in understatement. After I surreptitiously sneak into the house with the package, my oldest son recognizes the logo on the telltale bag.

“It’s frozen custard,” he tells his younger siblings. And together they do a sort of cheer-dance in the kitchen. It is exactly the kind of reaction I’m going for.

wanna go?

Andy’s Burgers Shakes & Fries 2101-100 Pyramids Blvd 336.621.3775 3702-105 Elmsley Court 336.272.5390

Greensboro www.andysburgers.net

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