Checkers

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CHECKERS, A Different Kind of Burger Joint, hot dogs too.

Jan 21, 2004 (Updated Apr 1, 2004)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Quick Service

Cons:No inside dining during winter months. Be sure you car is warmed up.

The Bottom Line: I had mixed feeling about this place. Some items I really liked and other were terrible. I rate Checkers a generous three stars.


After seeing and passing a chrome trimmed, retro diner looking, red painted building with black and white checks on a busy corner for the last few years, I finally stopped in. I should say, "drove through."

They are Different

Checkers is a franchise burger business with a few differences from the McD's and B King's of the burger world. It does not have a dining area inside. On the outside there are a few round concrete tables for eight that have fixed plastic red umbrellas that stay up all year. Of course you could always eat in you car or take home.

It also sports a double drive through. The Checkers theme of checkered flags as in auto racing runs through the business in a few different ways. The workers are all part of the "crew". To "Speed" things along they have two stations to order take out. One way in and then divided up into two lines, one on each side of the building. If you know how Dairy Barn does drive through business then you already understand what Checkers is doing. Unlike a Dairy Barn, the building is all sealed in, windows for service only.

There is also a small walk up window in the front where you place your order and then go to the next window for pickup.

There were a few vehicles in front of me. They quickly moved up to the open side and ordered through the usual two way sound system you see at other fast food take outs. The voices were easily heard and the menu's were easy enough to read. As soon as I drove up the gal was quick to ask for and take my order. If anything they are too quick. I was still contemplating another item and she was giving me the total and direction to move right up to the pick up window.

The drive through does move pretty quickly. What was odd is that they took my money, gave me the product and then gave me my change.

BURGERS

I saw a sign stating burgers 99 cents. That sounded good to me. They offered three different kinds, a Chili Cheese, the Bacon Cheddar, and a Mushroom Swiss. This happened to be a special price for the month. I tried them all.

I first tried some of the Chili Cheese. I found the meat pretty good tasting though the overall taste was too salty. The chili was OK, nothing great. I liked the soft, very fresh feeling roll. It wasn't too bready and didn't detract from the taste of the meat and other flavors.

The Bacon Cheddar was much too salty, however, the Mushroom Swiss was fantastic!! You have to like the taste of well cooked mushrooms. I do, and this burger I recommend.

Now all these burgers where a good size. Much bigger than a White Castle Burger yet smaller than a quarter pounder or Whopper. It was a good size and when I found one I really liked I felt it was a great value.

Checkers has their Champ Burgers. These are more in the Whopper/Quarter Pounder size. The doubles are loaded with meat that you can really taste well above the lettuce, tomato, onion, mao, and ketchup on it.

The onion and tomato were very fresh and good tasting, the lettuce was limp. Again, I liked the fresh tasting, soft, light roll.

If I could put the meat and roll of a champ burger with the fixings of a Whopper, I would have the perfect burger.

CHICKEN

Checkers offer chicken sandwiches on that same roll I like. They have a Spicy Chicken Sandwich. It was spicy to perfection for me, however the chicken was tasteless and there seemed to be a bit of freezer taste on the batter. I didn't think it was all that great.

Also on the menu is a Premium Chicken Breast sandwich and a Honey Grilled Chicken Sandwich. I never have had the opportunity to try them. These were both a dollar more than the Spicy chicken so maybe there is something better about them.

All three of the chicken choices along with the Champ burgers are sold in meals , small medium and large. The prices vary on the different meals. The prices all start at about three dollars or four dollars for a small. Add forty cents for a medium and another thirty on top of that for the large. The meal includes fries and a soda.

They serve Coka Cola Brand sodas. That includes Sprite and Dr Pepper. They also had a HiC drink.

FRIES

These fries were very different in that they have a coating on them. They are tasty but greasy. You don't get much potato taste at all. I can see that they can get habit forming but they just weren't the kind of fries I like to have with some ketchup. They would probably be great with vinegar.

Hot Dog!!

Don't bother. These were terrible. I suppose I am just too used to a Nathan's Hot Dog and some other good hot dogs that are sold at street vendors in the city. These were those fat plump kind. They reminded me of the hot dogs I got while in grammar school with a slice of white bread.

Maybe the Chili Dog or Chili Cheese added helps. The basic dog was 99 cents ad another forty cents for chili and twenty for the cheese.

Checkers also serves shakes. No, I didn't have one. I was already quite full and sharing the food with my dog. He loved the stuff.

Final Thoughts

I had mixed feeling about this place. I liked the retro, 50's feel of the outside of the place. I didn't like the impersonal feel of ordering through tiny windows both in the drive through or walk up. I think I would get claustrophobic working in the place. I also didn't like the fact that there isn't an inside place to sit and eat.

On a positive note, I know that when I am on the road and in a bit of a hurry or just can't wait to get the taste of food, this place does get the drive thru lines moving quickly, very quickly.

Most of the food was very fresh tasting. I particularly liked the taste of the meat and roll of the burgers but they were a bit too salty.

The 99 cent Mushroom Swiss was an excellent value. The spicy chicken wasn't good and I really didn't care for the fries, though, I can see how some people would love them.

I suppose I'll be going back for a Whopper at the Burger King when I'm in a two fisted mood or the White Castle for some quick "belly bombers". I suppose I like the royal treatment of a king and castle.

More chain eateries by popsrocks

Romano's MACARONI GRILL / KFC / OUTBACK STEAKHOUSE / Wendy's

OUTBACK Restaurant / Cozymel's / Cheesecake Factory / McDonald's / Checkers Burgers / Red Lobster

The White Castle / TGI Friday's / Charlie Browns / Burger King / Arthur Treacher's Fish and Chips /

Friendly's / Cold Stone Creamery / Dunkin' Donuts / Krispy Kreme / Ralph's Famous Ices


Recommend this product? Yes

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