Wednesday, May 30, 2007

The Box

17th and Main Streets, Downtown Little Rock, Arkansas


Distilled down to one word, that's what it would be. But for most, it would come down to "hamburger."

Simply, the best burgers and fries in central Arkansas, and has been for longer than I can remember. The Box had already been there a long time when I started going in the seventies. It was called the Bandbox back then and was mainly a biker hangout. It's always been a good place for a cold beer in a dark brown bottle and there was a lot of color to the place back then as well. I remember a sign inside that said, "This ain't Burger King. You don't get it the way you want it. You take it the way we fix it." And the drink menu listed "Dr. Pecker" as a soft drink. Bikers in colors mingling with lawyers in suits and a few of us regular Joes for good measure.

I still laugh about the new owners cleaning the place up, back when? In the late eighties early nineties? Always thought the burgers weren't quite the same after they cleaned the grill. And the kitchy signs went away too.

But you can still get a great burger and fries there. Some things just don't change, and that's good. I can't recommend the "hot cheeseburger" enough. Hand patted fresh ground beef, grilled to perfection, on a bun with jalapeno jack cheese. If you've been going there as long as I have, you have always taken it "the way we fix it" and liked it. So just take it the way they fix it. Split a basket of fries with your companions and you'll leave happy. Might need a nap, but...

If you only have thirty minutes for lunch, you should probably skip this experience until a day you get off early or something. They'll get you in and out in time to take an hour lunch, but you'll use up the best part of the hour.

Depending on how many beers you have, you can get out of there for less than ten bucks easily. Burgers are $4.25 and a basket of fries is $2.75 and enough for two people. Iced tea comes in huge glasses that normally don't need to be refilled.

Not the healthiest lunch in town, but definitely one of the best...


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