When I read about the opening of Cheeburger Cheeburger in Forest Hills, I was understandably excited. I’d gone to the Port Washington location once, years ago, with my family, and had loved the fact that all the toppings are free! even though I’m not really a burger-topping-crazy kind of gal. I’d also loved their milkshakes – something I indulge in far too seldom – and liked the kitschy decor. It was a hit with me, pre-foodie days, but I couldn’t see why I wouldn’t like it again.
In fact, last year, during a stressful few days that were spent at the hospital (visiting) in Port Washington, I actually pushed for a visit to the same location, and won over my companions who decided greasy burgers, fries and a milkshake might be a good idea after our strenuous day. Unfortunately, we got there at 8:30 or 9? and it was already closed. I don’t recall the exact time, but it was early to me for a burger place to be closed…
In any case, I was understandably excited when I heard about the opening, and made plans to go as soon as humanly possible.
Unfortunately, extenuating circumstances hit, and I was waiting there for a while the first day I went, and decided instead to take something to go.
Before that, though, I want to share my incredibly interesting conversation with the hostess that first day:
The Feisty Foodie walks in.
Hostess shouts over to me “HI CAN I HELP YOU”
FF turns and faces hostess stand on left. The restaurant is pretty busy and looks full.
FF: Hi! Can I put my name down for a table for two?
Hostess: We don’t take reservations.
FF: Umm… ok… I want a table now…
Hostess: There’s a 20 minute wait.
FF: Ok, my friend isn’t here yet, can I put my name down for a table?
Hostess: We don’t seat incomplete parties.
FF: … That’s fine, but you said there’s a 20 minute wait, right? So can I put my name down for a table?
Hostess: We don’t take reservations.
FF: I don’t want a reservation. You just said there’s a 20 minute wait. How will you know it’s my turn for a table unless I GIVE YOU MY NAME?
Hostess: There’s no wait for a table.
FF: … You just said there’s a 20 minute wait.
Hostess: That’s for food.
FF: … *thinking, You’re an IDIOT!*
In any case, I finally ordered onion rings and a mint chocolate milkshake to go. The mint flavor was not pronounced at all, though the shake itself was delicious – not super super thick, which I don’t like (you know, when you’re trying to drink it through your straw but it’s so thick you suck on the straw and the straw collapses in on itself?), but not watery or thin, either.
As for the onion rings, crispy, delicious, and real onions. Not thick batter, as some people like (and I enjoy, but it has its time and place), but a thin coating that made the onion rings tasty, but let the onion flavor shine through. Loved these!
The next night, still determined to have a burger, I went back before a movie. A different hostess was there this time, and she didn’t tell me anything silly like the wait for food or you can’t have a table, thankfully (though there was a short wait).
My date suggested the half & half, though I said just onion rings were perfectly fine by me – and we got the medium. WAY too much for just two people who both ordered burgers, in my opinion, and the onion rings far outshone the fries, which were very bland. Too thick to be crispy goodness, and too thin to be considered steak fries or intentionally thick and mealy… well, they were just fries.
My date and I both ordered the smallest burger size they offer, and though it comes with your choice of toppings FREE!, my darling really likes plain burgers. Guess it’s not really his kind of place… but he was happy with the bacon and ketchup he put on the burger. I have to note the odd shape of his hamburger patty – I guess to prove that it’s handmade and not factory formed? Or perhaps they ran out of our size of patty and just ripped some meat off to make it the right size? Who knows? It still tasted good.
My EXTREME CLOSEUP! of the burger I ordered with onion rings, bacon, tomato, and pepperjack on top. I’m not sure why this is the only picture I took of the whole burger – perhaps I was hungry, and we were running late for the movie (we made it just after the trailers ended).
Requisite cross section shot! (We need a cool name for this shot, like “pizza upskirt” but for burgers…) As you can see, my burger is cooked just to medium rare, though a touch too done for my tastes as I like my burgers juicier than this. However, it was really tasty and I loved the toppings I chose, they all combined to make the taste experience perfect. Of course, you may find yourself wanting guacamole, or raw onions, or peanut butter, or pineapple… pepperoni… Seriously, those are just some of the FREE toppings they offer. Whatever your taste, you’re sure to find it on here – they even have a grilled portobello burger for the vegetarians! With all the toppings to choose from as well. Come on… how great is that?!
Also, apparently Cheeburger has this thing where, if you finish their largest burger within an hour, they take your picture and hang it on the wall. We were surprised, while waiting for our table, that there were so many photos on the wall when the place had just opened the week before. But while we sat there and ate, 4 different tables completed this feat, and amusingly, I overheard the guy next to us, the last one to get his picture taken before we left, “That’s the 3rd time I’ve done this…” so I guess it isn’t that hard afterall. You don’t win anything, though, just your picture on their hall of fame.
In fact, I got my picture taken too! …nah, while we were waiting, my BF grabbed the giant burger that was sitting on the counter, handed it to me, and made me pose for this picture. (You may not be able to tell, but that’s a forced smile. I wanted my damn [real] burger and wasn’t happy at having to wait, and I was positive we’d miss the movie if we didn’t get seated like, RIGHT now.)
Yvo says: A nice addition to the Forest Hills landscape. Decent burgers, great shakes, fantastic onion rings (for those that aren’t into batter), and kitschy decor, so yes, it’s like another Johnny Rockets, but free toppings! Plus it’s closer to the movie theater. I can see myself going here somewhat often (often for me is more than once or twice in my life, though).
108-50 Queens Blvd
Forest Hills, NY 11375