There are not a lot of different choices available from the White Hut’s brash, open kitchen, but it has become a Roadfood destination for cheeseburgers and hot dogs.
The cheeseburger (or, as it is known here, in New Englandese, cheeseburg) is a modest-sized patty cooked through on a grill and sandwiched in a tender white bun. It is a likeable lunch-counter hamburg, but what puts it in a class by itself is grilled onions. Look at the grill, next to the frying beef patties and there you see a hill of onions cooked until soft and limp and caramel-sweet. Heaped atop the cheeseburg, they complete a simple but perfect study in diner-style burger excellence.
The hot dogs are exemplary, too. Sizzled on the grill alongside the hamburgs, they are medium-sized tube steaks that blossom under a mantle of mustard, relish, and raw onions (applied by the waitress, as you specify); and they are served in a bun that is soft on the inside, but buttered and toasted to a luxurious golden brown on the outside.
Seating inside is limited to a few counter stools; but there is plenty of standing room at a counter that runs around the back of the room, as well as at a broad metal table where the lunch crowd can gather and scarf down weenies by twos and threes.
When finished with this fine feast, walk over to the cash register at the far end of the counter, tell them what you ate, and you are charged accordingly. It is truly fast food: you can be in and out, and well-fed, in five minutes.
When traveling on Interstate 91 through Springfield, MA be sure to stop at the quickest hot dog and burger joint off the highway. The White Hut’s setup ensures a fast and fresh eating experience. The small counter hosts a dozen stools and nearby is a metallic kitchen table to supplement the overage to customers who wish to eat while standing. A friendly sign posted above the counter also reminds people not to read newspapers between 12-2 PM to keep the flow moving. Count on being off and on the highway in 20 minutes flat.
To order, just take a look at the sizzling griddle behind the counter: decide if you fancy a burger or a hot dog and then let the staff know your topping preferences. Don’t look for a menu because the White Hut only servers burgers, dogs and fries. The classic is a cheeseburger (or two) with grilled onions—and if you order a hamburger, the staff will always ask if “you want cheese on that.”
The hamburger is a small, thin and juicy patty served on a butter toasted bun. Be sure to order a cheeseburger with cooked onions. The sweet and soft onions are cooked slowly in a large heap and seem to melt into anything they touch. Combine that with melted cheese and you have a gooey sandwich in your hands. The hotdogs are initially fried and then grilled for a few minutes before served on a New England style buttered bun.