One of my Facebook fans suggested that I visit Sofa King Juicy Burger located at 1743 Dayton Blvd. in Red Bank. It was easy to find with the cow painted on the building and they had sufficient parking. I picked a spot in the shade by the kudzu hill.
When I walked in, I smelled fresh pine. I thought maybe they filled the place with those scented pine trees people hang on their car mirrors, but the counters still had that fresh-cut pine smell. The place was open and spacious and I went up to the counter to give them my order. I asked for a menu to look over but the young man at the counter told me that I had to read the menu on the wall behind him.
He didn’t smile or even look me in the eye. I don’t think he had much patience for old people (and it looked as though his barber didn’t quite finish his last haircut). The menu items were few and, if I wanted something other than a normal burger, my other choices were burgers with peanut butter and jelly. I’m not lying!
One burger called “The Awesome Burger” had strawberry jam and the one called “The Nutty Burger” had peanut butter. Nothing really jumped out at me so I stuck with “The Classic Burger” for $6.49 with a side order of “Aretha’s Onion Rings” for $2.99 made with Aretha Frankenstein batter and beer. I remember visiting that place! That gal really gets around - other restaurants use her stuff too. I also ordered a milkshake made with Ghirardelli chocolate for $5.50 (that seemed a bit much for the size of it).
Willie Mae was not amused by the racy name. There was only one sofa in the place and 1950’s style furniture painted on the wall, but the name just didn’t sell burgers to me. The menu board also read, “No modifications please”. I guess they didn’t want to be compared with Burger King where you can ‘have it your way’.
I noticed that their sodas were more expensive than their beer and the sodas came in a can, so that would mean no refills. I had gotten water even though I planned to drink my shake too.
The boy with the bad haircut and no smile brought my meal to me on a tin tray and the burger was wrapped like a fast-food burger. The shake had a spoon standing, it was so thick. I realized it was not a shake to drink, but a frosty-style “eat it with a spoon” shake. I had hoped it wouldn’t melt so I could enjoy my meal first before “eating” my shake.
I tried to squeeze ketchup out of the bottle on the table, but it was empty. When I went to other tables to swap bottles, they were empty too! I had to go to three tables before I found one that actually held ketchup inside. My shake was sure to melt by the time I would get to it.
The burger had Bibb lettuce and a special sauce. There were two thin patties and a thin slice of tomato on a poppy-seed bun. The flavor of the burger itself was good and it was juicy, but I didn’t think the special sauce was all that special. The onion rings were sweet and crunchy and they were really tasty.
As I ate my burger and rings, I noticed my shake bubbling up. They freeze it with liquid nitrogen and though I don’t understand what that means, I wondered if the nitrogen was in my shake! I thought maybe it was just an air bubble that escaped, but then it kept doing it. It bubbled up about six times as it sat thawing. By the time I finished my burger, the shake was dripping down the sides and quite messy.
I don’t hold that against them – it was my mistake for thinking I would drink it and then deciding to wait until after my meal. But when I tried it, the chocolate was not blended through the shake and it tasted dull. The chunks of Ghirardelli candy stuck on my teeth.
Kids might like the candy shakes, beer guzzlers might like the cheap beer and a couch potato might like to eat his burger on the sofa, but aside from the good taste of the meat and the wonderful onion rings, Sofa King Juicy Burgers just didn’t moo-ve ol’ Willie Mae.
Open for lunch and dinner