Armando’s – The Real Old Fashioned Burger

Saturday, February 1, 2014 - by Willie Mae

With the ice and snow sticking around for a few days I didn’t think I would get a chance to visit a restaurant for one of my jaunts last week. Luckily, it warmed up just enough to melt the snow in my driveway so I was able to get out.

When I called Lois, she first told me she wasn’t getting out and I had to talk her into it. I really had no idea where we would go so we just took off driving down the expressway and got off the Highway 58 exit.

We spotted a little place in a shopping village called Armando’s. I had heard of them before so I think they have been there quite a while. I was in the mood for a juicy hot burger but Lois was thinking about ordering spaghetti.

When she heard me order my Bacon Cheeseburger (hold the onion) for $3.95 she wanted a sandwich too, but decided on the Reuben for $5.45. Fries did not come with either meal so we ordered them for an extra $1.70. I thought it might take a while because they looked a little busy and when I saw that they had fried pickles for an appetizer for $3.27 I wanted to try them.

For an old lady that doesn’t like fried food (except French fries) I have been trying more of these fried novelties since I started this little hobby. When I tried my first fried pickles in Trenton (which were gruelingly salty) I found myself on a mission to find good fried pickles. I had found a few places that served really good fried pickles and now my comparative curiosity gets the best of me whenever I see a restaurant offering them.

Our little waitress named Jessica was the friendliest down home girl who seemed to really care about pleasing us. She told us that she would get the fried pickles right out! They were silver-dollar-sized slices and not the least bit greasy looking. They were actually kind of purty.

Jessica didn’t bring us any utensils, but I wasn’t about to pick up steaming, fried anything with my hands. I got up and asked for silverware and she apologized and handed me utensils for Lois and me.

When I got back to the table Lois had already dug in and I hadn’t even taken a picture! She said they were good. I took a picture with the few cavities in the pile and shot her a look… she knows the drill, but she must have been hungry. The pickles must be esteemed with a Willie Mae “whee-ee-doggie!” because they were the best I have eaten (I think I am becoming an expert on fried pickles).

After we staved off our initial hunger with a few of the fried coins, Lois and I reached for our menus again as both of us were thinking about dessert before the little girl came back for the menus.

Lois couldn’t find them and I told her they were listed on the very back of the menu at the bottom. She hollered out, “Moon Pies! Oh Boy!” I never was fond of Moon Pies myself, but the Chocolate Overload Torte looked delicious. Satisfied with our choices we lay the menus back down on our table and little Jessica came over to our table pleading with us to place the menus back in the holder on the wall where we got them. I couldn’t understand why we were in trouble for not putting the menus back where we got them and she said, “…if you don’t, my manager will think I didn’t take your order.”

I had forgotten we even pulled the menus out from the holder on the wall, but I sure didn’t want that little thing to get in trouble. In no time, our meals were brought out. This time I reminded Lois that I needed to get a picture before she dove in!

The fries weren’t greasy either and they were the perfect sized cut, but the burger was absolutely marvelous. Unlike one of those fat burgers that you can’t even get your jowls around, this burger was pattied perfectly with just the right amount of bacon, lettuce, tomato and cheese. The only thing I would have preferred differently would have been to omit the mayo – I missed that in the description.

Lois said that her Reuben was good too. When she first made that comment, I wondered if she meant it or if she was just trying to change her reputation for not liking what she orders. I could tell she really did like it though, because she started making “yummy” noises as she ate and she quickly picked up her second half of the sandwich to try and finish it.

Our meals were so good, we ate more than we normally do and were afraid we weren’t going to have room for dessert. There was a picture of that Chocolate Torte on the napkin dispenser and I couldn’t stop looking at it. I think they call that ‘brain-wash marketing’.

Though the price of the Moon Pies were listed on the menu as $0.69 I saw one of those antique signs on the far wall that read “Moon Pies five cents”. I wanted to joke with our waitress about the price when Lois ordered hers, but then Lois let me down by saying she was too full.

I went ahead and ordered the Chocolate Overload just to try the decadent looking dessert for $1.95. Jessica was so eager to please that as she headed toward the kitchen with a bounce in her walk she turned back to say, “I will bring two forks just in case she decides to share with you.” If I wasn’t so full, I might have had a problem with that.

I heard a loud “ding!” when my torte was placed in the order-up window. It reminded me of the old-fashioned places. Lois was sticking to her guns about being full, but I coaxed her into just trying a bite.

I turned the dessert to point at Lois and I just gathered a taste from the back of it onto my fork and Lois grabbed a fork and said, “You have to go all the way down and get the whole thing!” I didn’t realize that she was an expert on eating a torte, but she managed to get all the flavors of the mousse-filling, the chocolate cake, the shavings and the Oreo crust onto her fork for the full effect. It wasn’t bad, but we both agreed that the cake part of it was a little dry and was not worth the calories or making ourselves miserably full.

As we were paying for our dinner at the counter, Lois saw the giant Moon Pies in a basket so I got her one to take home. She has a special way of eating them - 10 seconds in the microwave.

We thoroughly enjoyed our meals and I would recommend this place to anyone who wants a good old-fashioned burger that reminds you of the good old days.

Hours:

Mon - Sat   

10:30 AM - 8:30 PM

Closed Sunday


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