Hermie’s has been around since 1972. Even though it’s in a fairly remote part of Utah, it is famous statewide among the crowded field of great burgers joints. Its large menu is a complete selection of burger permutations and deep-fried veggies, from battered mushrooms to half-a-dozen different shapes of potato. Prices are impressively low, competitive even with the cheapest fast-food chains. All this only encouraged us to order way too much food.
The signature Hermie Burger is a belt stretching stack of three patties and four slices of bun. Each layer is enriched with an American cheese single and a slice of grilled ham. This stacked burger obviously gets full marks for design and height, but it also gets bonus points for ripe tomatoes, zesty pickles and an exemplary rendition of Utah’s beige condiment of choice: fry sauce.
Hermie’s fry sauce here has been listed as among the best in the state. Being that fry sauce is mostly just a mixture of mayonnaise and ketchup, we can’t say that we’ve noticed much of a difference among most other places. But here, it is exceptionally tangy. We wonder if there is some pickle juice in the mix, but it could just be extra ketchup. However it’s made, the recipe is a secret.
Good fry sauce is important in this place because there are so many fried things available to dip into it. Standard French fries are a long and well-seasoned, preferable to the curly version. The sweet potato version might be even better, its richness well suited to a creamy, acidic fry sauce.
The best fried food? Mushrooms. They are evenly-coated buttons fried until golden on the outside and juicy inside. Like all the other deep-fried savories, they are, of course, great with fry sauce.
Fried mozzarella and a steak sandwich weren’t really memorable, but they were well-executed and very low-priced.
The best deal on the menu might be the Navajo taco, a Southwestern classic that probably is big enough to feed two people. Its filling is the fast food standard, but the pillowy fry bread — made to order and cooked until dark brown — is exceptional. Long frying releases a caramel sweetness from the dough.
Milkshakes are spoon thick and came in all the usual flavors. A burger, fries (or those heavenly mushrooms), and a shake is the way to go. For those rushing up the country, speedy drive-thru service is available.