“Fill ‘er up with Ethyl.”
We went to Bing’s Burger Station and were immediately transported back in time.
Over in one corner stood an old gas pump that proclaimed Texaco Ethyl.
Along another wall sat a Hot Rod Supreme gas pump.
And parked in front of this renovated 1950’s gas station, between the old Gilmore Blu-Green gas pumps, stood a bright red 1950 Plymouth Special Deluxe that had been lovingly restored by the restaurant’s owner.
The floor was made from black and white tiles; the chairs, stools, and booths were made from a metallic blue and white upholstery reminiscent of car seats;
and one wall held a large mural depicting Bing’s and the red Plymouth
along with a giant spiffily-dressed gas station attendant. (Unless you live in New Jersey or Oregon where self-service is illegal, you may not be familiar with this almost extinct breed of homo sapiens. And uniform? Forget it.)
Judd Wasden opened this small (six seats at the counter, eight seats at tables, twenty seats at booths, and sixteen seats on the covered outdoor patio) burger shop about eight months ago. A former project manager, owning his own 50’s nostalgic burger place had always been his dream. With no background in food service, he has managed to do things right with a small, but familiar menu with food that’s prepared right.
As we came through the doors, we were immediately greeted by Bing’s version of the spiffily-dressed attendant – a cute young man in a bright pink Bing’s T-shirt. “Is this your first time here?” he asked. When we replied in the affirmative, he suggested that we take a seat and he’d be over to explain the menu – all ten items – that is printed on a check-off card. “First, you write your name on the card. Then comes the easy part, choosing what you want to eat.”
Bing’s offers a “Deluxe” burger, a “Deluxe” cheeseburger (these two named in honor of the Plymouth), a “Hot Rod Salad” with chicken, a grilled chicken sandwich, and a veggie burger. For sides, there are fries. Period. Also on the menu are vanilla and chocolate shakes and malts and “Dick’s Old Time Soda Fountain Drinks” in peach, lime, and mulberry.
Judd Wasden’s philosophy is quality over quantity. The burgers are handmade daily from never frozen 100% Certified Black Angus ground beef. Real cheddar, not processed cheese, is used for the cheeseburgers. The French fries are cut daily in house using whole Idaho potatoes and are cooked in rice oil. Bing’s also offers a char-grilled chicken sandwich. The chicken breast is marinated overnight in a special blend of spices. The Hot Rod salad starts with fresh cut Romaine and Green Leaf lettuce with fresh cucumber, carrot, and tomato and top it off with sliced grilled chicken. Even the ranch dressing is made in-house.
We both ordered the Deluxe Cheeseburger with an extra patty and extra cheese. (We were hungry. OK?) But I pulled out all the stops and added bacon, mayo, lettuce, pickle, tomato, and onion. And, yes. I did manage to get my mouth around this.
And we shared a large order of fries.
So how was it? Judd does it right. The burgers were beefy, juicy, and slightly pink in the center. You can always tell the difference between fresh and frozen meat. And the shoestring style fries were crisp and light. I’m not sure that I have ever tasted fries cooked in rice oil before, but I really liked it.
We had been talking to Judd earlier during our meal, so when it was time to order dessert (a shared chocolate shake), he made us an offer we couldn’t refuse. They were adding a strawberry shake to the menu and had been tinkering with the right syrup to ice cream ratio that morning. He would charge us for the chocolate shake but would make us a strawberry shake at no charge if we would give him our opinion. Would we ever!
Both shakes were super thick and needed to eaten with a spoon. The chocolate was decadent with a deep intense almost bittersweet taste. The chocolate flavor came from the brand of ice cream used and not from syrup. We both agreed that the strawberry shake needed more strawberry, but we also agreed that the chocolate would always be our choice.
We be-bopped out the door to the stains of classic 50’s music feeling as if we had made new friends at Bings’s Burger Station. I liked the food, I liked the atmosphere, I liked the staff, and I liked the owner. What else can I give Bing’s than the ultimate 5.0 Addie rating?