You can hear the oldies music at The Original Burger Brothers before you get out of your car.
It’s in the background, surrounding this corner drive-thru and walk-up burger shop in downtown West Palm Beach. With its tile exterior in cool retro colors and outdoor (covered!) patio, it’s no wonder folks are attracted to “The Brothers.”
The origins of this national chain date back to 1964 and the Bronx, where Eddie Vallines operated a restaurant. Burger Brothers is now run by his sons and headquartered in Jupiter, and has two shops open, this location and one in Deerfield Beach. The family’s emphasis is on fresh, quality ingredients, nothing frozen (except their ice cream products) and hiring the friendliest staff they can find.
The menu is fairly short and to the point. Start with the basics: hamburgers (beef, turkey or chicken) and hot dogs. Add some necessary sides: fries, onion rings, chili and chili cheese fries. Available condiments include lettuce, cheeses, onions (raw or grilled), relish, sauerkraut, bacon and BBQ sauce. There are three salad options: chicken, chicken Caesar and chef’s salad. And to finish your meal: sundaes, root beer floats, malts and shakes.
What’s so much fun about this place is the simplicity of it. Not a lot of thinking with the menu, though the different combinations of mains, condiments and sides expands your options considerably. The combination of carhop looks and downtown convenience makes it a great place for lunch or dinner, whether you’re courthouse-bound or clubbing on Clematis.
This is good food served fast, but not fast food. The few minutes’ wait is worthwhile. The burgers are hot, the condiments stacked and fresh, the size of the side orders generous. And the buns are toasted, a small but sure sign of caring. Toasted buns keeps the sloppy factor to a minimum. You’ll need an extra napkin or two to handle this food, not a full package.
The employees are engaging yet professional, and they want you to enjoy the experience and come back. On a recent hot day, the server got cold drinks out first while folks waited for food, and in between cars pulling up to the service window, offered free refills to those dining at the outdoor patio area.
Prices are higher than the average burger chain, but this food is made one order at a time; nothing is sitting under heat lamps. Burger prices range from $2.99 to $5.59 depending on size (single, double, triple) and meat chosen. Hot dogs are $1.99 to $2.49, salads $4.49 to $6.99 sides around $3 and ice cream specialties $2.99 to $3.99. Eight “Meal Deals” priced from $5.49 to $8.99 are available: choose a main course burger or hot dog, fountain drink and one side (fries, chili or small salad).
Next time you want a burger, drive by the arches and leave the king sitting on his throne. Try an “Original” instead.
The Original Burger Brothers, 1209 N. Dixie Highway, West Palm Beach, FL Phone (561) 935-3975. Open Monday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Closed Sunday.
The local “First Man of Food Trucks,” Jochen Esser, is staging another event, and this time, it’s a double header. The YMCA of South Palm Beach is hosting a family-oriented Back to School Bash at two locations on Saturday, July 30 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Food trucks will be at these locations:
- The Peter Blum YMCA, 6631 Palmetto Circle South, Boca Raton. Call (800) 798-1814 for more information.
- The DeVos-Blum Family YMCA, 9600 S. Military Trail, Boynton Beach. Call (800) 893-1814 for more information.