Hwy 55 Burgers, Shakes, & Fries // 50’s Style Dining in Ttown

Some of my favorite movies and sitcoms take place in the “diner that everyone” goes to, whether it’s The Peach Pit in 90210, The Max in Saved by the Bell, or even Luke’s Diner in Gilmore Girls. Though I’ve always wished something like that would come to Tuscaloosa, I never knew if it could actually be done or not. Enter, Hwy 55 Burgers, Shakes, & Fries, a 50’s style eatery with several locations across the U.S. Debuting this past March, the Tuscaloosa location is preceded by the other Alabama locations in Homewood and Pell City.

Though I didn’t have a poodle skirt on hand, I thought I’d give one of Tuscaloosa’s newest eateries a spin for lunch. Immediately upon entering I was greeted by two waitresses who opened the door and welcomed me to any open table in the restaurant. As I happily sat myself in a booth near an Elvis statue, I was impressed with how many folks were already in the restaurant for an early 11 a.m. lunch. I had been a little skeptical driving over to the McFarland Boulevard location, especially with how far away it was from campus and the positioning within the strip mall not giving the diner the exposure that it needs.

I quickly glanced through the menu and noticed a variety of options. Classic burgers and more of your non-traditional burgers dazzled the menu in addition to a variety of cheesesteaks, platters, salads, and a variety of frozen custard desserts. My server was quick to recommend the “Original” special of an Andy’s cheeseburger with fries and soda which I opted for and then excitedly chose my free toppings. I quickly noticed that not only were the basic mustard, onions, tomatoes, and pickles an option, but fun toppings such as chili, jalapeno peppers, grilled mushrooms, onions, and green peppers were all at my disposal as well. To round out a complete diner experience, I asked my server to also serve up a vanilla ice cream, cookies n’ cream milk shake.

While waiting on my order, I took in the ambiance of the place, including the decade specific tunes coming through the speakers. Tables and booths were filled with construction workers, families, and aging couples. As I continued to observe my surroundings, I noticed a patron at a table of four ask the server if his burger could be sent back. Judging on the manager’s inspection, a few waitresses, and 2 cooks, I imagine there was a discrepancy in how well his burger was cooked. Despite the multi-person burger inspection, I was impressed with how quickly the server took care of the situation and had a new basket of food ready to go.

My burger, fries, and shake were soon brought to me, and I was ready to eat. At first glance the crinkle-cut fries appeared a little on the skinny side but the lacking was soon made up in the texture, taste, and overall flavor of the fries. As with the burger, the presentation wasn’t anything to rave about, but the flavor was all there. Thinking back to any other great diner meal that I’ve had, presentation wasn’t always at the top of my list when taste made the basket a clear winner.

I quickly transitioned to a few sips of my shake and was quickly in heaven. The quality of the vanilla frozen custard used to create my dessert concoction was obvious in every sip. With a swirl of whipped cream and cherry on top, it was quite the heavy but delicious lunch.

Overall, I considered my visit to Hwy 55 to be a great one. I was worried about my wait time compared to other reviews, but made it in and out in about 45 minutes. Having a quality cheeseburger, fries, and milkshake around ten bucks in such a cute atmosphere was quite the steal. Though I’m still disappointed in the eatery’s location, the proximity to the interstate may bode well for the restaurant after all.

Hwy 55 Burgers, Shakes, and Fries is located at 3615 McFarland Boulevard next to Dunkin Donuts and opened daily Monday through Sunday.  Tweet us @ThePlanetWeekly and let us know where you are eating!

Sheena Gregg, MS, RDN,LD is a registered dietitian and local “Filipino foodie.” Follow her on Twitter @AFilipinoFoodie




About The Author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.