Friday, May 1, 2009

Return With Us Now

A fiery flat top with a speedy spatula, a cloud of steam, and a hearty, “My, Oh, Burger.”

The Lone Fryer.

“My, Oh, Burger, The Way!”

With her faithful counter companion Sarah, the daring and resourceful master fighter of the chains, led the fight for quality in every order in the early West.

Return with us now to those grilling days of yesteryear. The Lone Fryer fries again!

(With apologies to the writers and creators of The Lone Ranger.)

Return with us now to those thrilling days of yesteryear.

To me, those thrilling days were the ‘50’s. I remember fondly Buddy Holly and the Crickets (I was never an Elvis fan), too sweet cherry cokes, and a real juke box where the arm moved across the line of 45’s until it reached my selection. I remember poodle skirts with crinolines (did anyone look good in these?). I remember dancing at the CYO on Wednesday nights and at Club Pep on Saturday nights. To quote Hermione Gingold “Ah, yes I remember it well.”

It was in 1954 that Milt Galbraith and his wife Audrey moved to Moab, Utah from Burlington, Iowa and opened Milt’s Stop and Eat. In the days before McDonalds, et. al. were ubiquitous, Milt’s would have been considered “fast food.” With only nine stools and table seating for eight inside and picnic tables alongside the building, Milt's provides much of the food “to go” or to be eaten sitting in the car in the parking lot. Milt and Audrey ran Milt’s for twenty-four years and then sold the business to John Sensenbrenner. John operated Milt’s for twenty-six years, and since then Milt’s has had three different owners.

The day we sought out Milt’s, the picnic tables were full and there were only three spots left at the counter. But the counter afforded us a view of the cook working her griddle/flat top and we could hear her banter with other customers. Milt’s hand-forms their burger patties daily, and hand-cutting the fries is an ongoing process. Milt’s specialty is the open faced, double patty, half pound chili cheeseburger and also serves what they call the “Chicago Beef Hot Dog.” Neither of these was our choice. Chuck went with his standard double cheeseburger with onion only.

I ordered the Santa Fe Burger – a quarter pound patty topped with pepper jack cheese, a grilled green chili, chipotle pepper sauce, romaine lettuce, and onion. We shared a jumbo order of fries.

The hand-cut fries had not been double cooked but were crisper than most hand-cut fries we’ve had and the order was indeed jumbo. The darker brown color is always the give-a-way that the potatoes have only been cooked once. I have gotten hooked on the Utah Fry Sauce, and it especially complimented the brown toasty taste of the fries.

Chuck thought that his cheeseburger was the equal to Slacker’s Burger Joint in Torrey, UT. With minimal toppings, he was able to detect nuances that I missed with my mile-high toppings. He particularly enjoyed the crisp exterior imparted by what we were told was the original flat top. My burger was very good, although I still give a slight edge to Slacker’s. The spicy chipotle sauce with the grilled chili and the pepper jack cheese gave my mouth quite a tingle.

We were intrigued by an entry on the dessert list – the Whip. A Whip is soft serve ice cream blended with either orange soda or root beer until smooth. Seeing this as a way to expand our food repertoire, we ordered the root beer whip and shared it while looking at the Milt’s scrapbook that our server Sarah dug out from under the counter (see third photo above). The carbonation from the root beer gave the Whip a “fizzy” mouth feel that we enjoyed.

Milt’s was a fun experience. Chuck thought it as good as Slacker’s (I joked that where he has eaten his last meal is his favorite), while I give the edge to Slacker’s. Still, Milt’s earns 4.0 Addies with a strong probability we’ll be back before the end of our visit to Moab.

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