That’s an old-fashioned milk dispenser to the left of the milkshake-maker.
I was a busboy in the early ’80s and remember well the milk dispenser (because we were responsible for reloading), although I can’t recall for sure if it held 1 bag or 2 (I want to say 2). But I do remember that the milk was kept really cold and was a great accompaniment for a meal break. The restaurant also had a coffee shop that was open for breakfast and it had its own separate dispenser, and that one might’ve been a 2-bagger. As far as the one at Charlie’s goes, I’m not sure what was going on but the tube on the left looks too short and the one on the right looks too long so I’m guessing the bags were loaded by 2 different people. I used to cut them so the end of the tube was just barely below the bar, which put it close to but not into the glasses we used. And always with a high-low front-to-back angle cut so the glass didn’t have to be pushed all the way in.
The burgers are very thin and are cooked in the grease of the previous burgers that builds up on the grill. I don’t go to Charlie’s very often for health reasons. [;)]
Probably a wise choice. But a bit of a temptation as well.[;)]
If you’re going to try and hit Zac’s and Charlie’s back to back you might as well go for the trifecta and work Freddy’s into the mix as well. Go big or go home.[;)]
I posted a couple times in recent months in the News category with regard to first the possibility of Charlie’s Hamburgers of Folsom, PA, closing; then on the fact that they were remaining open, but moving down the road a bit. I went to the new location for the first time tonight and thought I’d do a mini report on it. Charlie’s is the only hamburger joint in the Philly region and one of only two in Pennsylvania that are in the Hamburger America book.
The new location has a lot less roadfood-style curb appeal than the old one. It sits in a three-store mini shopping center with an auto supplies store on one side of it and an H & R Block on the other. However, they did a reasonably good job with the inside. It doesn’t have a generic fast-food feel to it. There are maybe a dozen small tables, which was not the case at the old location. They also have a counter with a half-dozen stools, which is very nice. My wife and I sat at the counter.
You can see they go back to the mid 30s. This is actually the third Charlie’s location. I was never at the original spot and am not sure if I was even alive when they were there.
That’s an old-fashioned milk dispenser to the left of the milkshake-maker. That young man was busy making shakes just about the entire time we were there.
The menu never changes at Charlie’s, although they did add one or two more flavors of milkshakes as they have a bit more freezer space in the new location (and the prices gradually get higher).
Our bill. They still have the old address on there:
My black and white shake. It was thick, but not so thick that I couldn’t drink it through a straw. Charlie’s doesn’t put a ton of syrup in their shakes. They have a very pure flavor to them:
I had both a single and a double cheeseburger. My wife had a cheese-dog. They have no fries at Charlie’s. The burgers are very thin and are cooked in the grease of the previous burgers that builds up on the grill; sort of like Crabill’s in terms of the cooking method. I don’t go to Charlie’s very often for health reasons. [;)]
That’s the single closest to the camera. The buns were grilled. They have no hot dog buns.
They really did manage to keep an old-school vibe to the inside while also having a bit more space for seating. I didn’t take photos of the tables because most of them were full.
What I’m about to say may be considered sacrilegious, but while I like Charlie’s Hamburgers, the first Freddy’s in this part of the country and still one of the only ones happens to be a similar distance to where I live compared to Charlie’s. I know Freddy’s is a fairly big chain, albeit not around here, but I prefer the burgers at the Freddy’s near me to the ones at Charlie’s. They both serve very thin patties, but the people who work the grills at that Freddy’s (I don’t know if they’re that good at all or most other Freddy’s) do a fantastic job of getting them like the ones you get in parts of the Midwest, with super-thin, crispy edges. I also prefer the overall flavor of the burgers, cheese and toppings to the full package at Charlie’s. The burgers at Charlie’s can be a little overwhelmed by the cheese and condiments. The meat shines through a little better at Freddy’s in my opinion. Having said that, when you go to Freddy’s, other than the food, you may as well be at any other major fast food chain.
I guess the food matters more to me than the atmosphere, because I go to Freddy’s more often than Charlie’s, and not only because of the way Charlie’s burgers are cooked.
I noticed on the way to Charlie’s that there is also a Zac’s Burgers nearby on the same road as Charlie’s. Zac’s is a mini-local chain that has maybe five or six locations, I believe all in the suburban county where I live. I tried one once years ago and don’t recall being that impressed, but I’ll probably give this one a shot at some point. Maybe I can go to Zac’s and Charlie’s back-to-back and do a comparison. I may need a doctor on standby if I do that.
Right. I’ll post on how it went from my hospital bed. [;)]
Freddy’s is in a different direction. so the other two are more likely.
The young guy making the shakes was putting a new bottle of chocolate syrup into the dispenser when I took that photo. There were two pumps. I assume the other had vanilla syrup. I think they just use strawberry ice cream for their strawberry shakes. The chocolate syrup would be for black & white shakes, like mine. Chocolate shakes are made with chocolate ice cream. I think I saw him put a pump of each syrup in when making a black & white shake. The other shakes may all be made of just ice cream and milk. I’m not certain.
Charlie’s Hamburgers’ New Location
Next time we’re out that way, we’ll see if it’s open and maybe eat there. Hopefully it’s open on Sunday. It’s a great alternative to Nifty Fifty’s, which we haven’t been to in years anyway. We like Delaware County but haven’t been in awhile (or through it).
I went back to Charlie’s a few weeks ago and can report that they now offer fries and onion rings, which had never been the case before.
Harriet …. in addition to Charlie’s and Nifty Fifty’s, there is a Zac’s Hamburgers between those two places and another hole-in-the-wall burger joint called Danny’s Burgers (I reported on here when I tried it). Danny’s is a couple miles east of Charlie’s on Rt. 13, rather than MacDade Blvd.
Of those four places, I would say Charlie’s is my favorite. Although I also love Freddy’s in Broomall and sometimes drive the extra few minutes in that direction.
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