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A 50's Throwback

BY BEN VERHILLE | OCTOBER 24, 2013 5:00 AM

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It was a simpler time …

When going out on the town and the regular hang-out spot were the same thing. When the only thing that you needed to eat (aside from Mom’s cooking) were burgers, fries, and a shake.

The golden days, after the war was over, and we just needed each other to get by. Well, I know how to bring it back.

Teddy’s Bigger Burgers, the hybrid of the baby boomers and Hawaii, all in one.

It may come as a shock to you that this ’50s throwback restaurant, the only one of its kind in Iowa City, comes from the Aloha State itself, having opened its first restaurant in Honolulu.

Now with locations in Washington state, several in the islands of Hawaii, Japan, and most recently, Iowa City, Teddy’s Bigger Burgers was smart in coming to a city that ranks high on almost every scale.

Recommended to me by a frequent customer at Gabe's, right next door, I was told that this burger joint was “flame.” Now, with descriptors like that, how could I possibly turn this place down?

And man, was this place loud. Not just because it is next door to a music venue, but the personality of the place is more than just a theme, it’s the culture.

Immediately upon walking in, it’s hard to miss the black-and-white checkered tiles along the walls, the primary-color tables, the classic Coca-Cola labels, and oh, the massive metal palm tree right in the entryway. Giving it a closer look, you can see the swivel-stools in the corner in case you feel like getting a classic shake.

I didn’t, but that’s only because it’s freezing cold out. Maybe when it’s warmer, I’ll give it a try.

So here I came, just a man, looking for a burger.

Listed as 100 percent fresh-chilled ground chuck, Teddy’s also hand patties its burgers every day.

All the toppings listed, I started to order based on those. Then I looked down and saw such names as the the Kailua style, Volcano Burger, and Kilauea Fire burger.

All of these options sounded delicious, but I was here because I was told the Hawaiian burgers were amazing. So, because I take directions literally, I ordered the Hawaiian burger.

Optional as chicken, this burger is served with grilled pineapple (and you know how much I love grilled pineapple), teriyaki, lettuce, tomato, and special sauce.

Good thing I explained that — it takes a good 10 minutes to get your burger out.

The pineapple addition to the burger is bar none the best topping I’ve ever had on a burger. The bite of pineapple with the teriyaki creates a messy but flavorful entrée.

With all the dressing up of the burgers, coming down to the burger itself wasn’t anything amazing. The toppings and culture of the location were superior to the burger itself, but I would definitely recommend this place.

Even if it is just for a little sample, I always like trying new things.


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