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April 10, 2008

Fuddruckers - making a good name for fast food

by Greg Kohn, Online Sports Editor
One of the newest additions to the Downtown Silver Spring scene, Fuddruckers huddles in between the popular Cold Stone Creamery and Z Pizza. Its bright yellow awnings draw the eye in, and a taste from inside will ensure that people come back.

Its reputation as a fast food restaurant puts it in the same league as McDonald's, which is unfair. Though there are no waiters, the great food at Fuddruckers puts it far ahead of any drive-thru chain.

Subtle hints of this emerge on the overhanging menu. There is no crank to switch from McBreakfast to McLunch, nor is a quarter-pounder the biggest sandwich of the bunch. Instead, Fuddruckers offers a one-pound burger, cooked to the customer's specifications.

The center of the menu contains all eight of Fuddruckers' specialty hamburgers. They're diverse, ranging from a simple Bacon Cheddar to the Southwest Burger (bacon, guacamole and pepper jack) to the Inferno (sauteed jalepenos, onions and pepper jack). These burgers are not served with traditional toppings such as lettuce and tomatoes, because this is left up to the customer. It is often easiest and cheapest to order a plain burger and deck it out with the free toppings: fresh lettuce, tomatoes, onions, pickles, pico de gallo and peppers, in any proportions, are all located at a convenient produce bar. Although Fuddruckers does offer various salads, a quick and easy side salad can also be prepared from the fresh produce as well.

If the many toppings aren't enough, bottles of pepper sauce, relish, A1 barbecue sauce and Tobasco are also available. Hot melted cheese is provided, if you want to save a buck and order your burger cheese-less.

Fuddruckers also goes in other directions, with delicately spiced chicken sandwiches and fresh-from-the-sea fish. However, they choose to advertise themselves as having the "World's Greatest Hamburgers" for a reason, as most customers will be most pleased with the specialty.

A "healthy options" menu offers veggie burgers, turkey burgers, buffalo burgers and ostrich burgers. There are even desserts: fresh baked cookies, authentic milkshakes and delicious brownies. The shakes come in the three traditional flavors and Oreo - and every one is worthwhile.

Two steamy one-pound burgers with perfectly seasoned fries. Greg Kohn
Two steamy one-pound burgers with perfectly seasoned fries.
As its menu sports many options, Fuddruckers also has some prices that may be high for the average teenager; burgers cost much more than they do in a typical fast food restaurant. But because food is definitely something you don't want to skimp on the extra bucks are worth it.

The food is ready quickly, rarely taking longer than five minutes. When picking your meal up it's not hard to see the impressive quality of the food. The hamburgers are thick and fresh, snuggled in between two buns that were baked that day. The french fries are an excellent side, potato wedges that are perfectly seasoned and dwarf regular fast food fries. The crispy chicken sandwich is also a hearty size, peeking out of the bun on all sides and sporting a fresh golden-orange hue.

A difference in class between Fuddruckers and the average burger joint is even more revealing after the order is placed. Sitting down in booths or tables itself isn't special, but the soft light from overhanging lamps is a much welcome change from the fluorescent lighting of many fast food places. Uninterrupted oldies music flows out of the speakers, bringing back the popular tunes of one's parents definitely a plus for the ambiance.

Fuddruckers has all the benefits of a fast food restaurant namely a short wait and reasonable price in the setting of a sit-down one. But while they offer a little something for anybody's taste, paying a visit to Fuddruckers should really be about their burgers.

Fuddruckers is located on 819 Ellsworth Drive in Silver Spring. Open 8 a.m. 9 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 8 a.m. 11 p.m. on Friday and Saturday.



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  • liberal on April 13, 2008 at 3:27 PM
    no i am not a vegetarian. I think their burgers are really soggy and not that good.
  • ... (View Email) on April 14, 2008 at 6:54 PM
    i am a vegetarian. i think their burgers are delicious.
  • Obbop on December 9, 2010 at 5:04 PM
    Though pricey the burgers meet my Disgruntled Old Coot standards. I will sample their fish and chips offering next venture forth to Fuddruckers. Thanks to the constant, steady depletion of fish stocks across the globe the quality and size of fish available to the end user has declined greatly. Back in the later 1960s and early 1970s I recall the LARGE hunks of very tasty high-quality "white fish" used by various fish and chip outlets and offered via eating establishments. So yummy!!!! Nowadays, the finest quality fish tend to appear in Japan where prices of hundreds to thousands of dollars are paid in their wholesale outlets for the finest specimens of individual fish; one reason the fish quality available to the average USA consumer whose income has actually fallen over the decades, unable to keep up with the continually rising cost of living. This can also be noticed in the quality of canned tuna that has greatly declined across-the-board!!!! Oh how tasty those fish and chip meals were "back in the days" before declining fish herds led to drastic reductions in quantities and quality us commoners in the USA were relegated to obtaining via fish and chip meals even if you live upon one of the coasts. Sniff. I am hoping that, perhaps, Fuddruckers may have access to some above average quality fish compared to the typical fish and chip fare so common across the USA nowadays. I remember especially fondly the fish and chip output of London Fish and Chips located in the San Francisco Bay area of California back in those long-ago days. So yummylicious!!!!!! So tasty and delightful!!!!!! Awesomely delectable!!!!! Sniff.
  • Obbop on December 25, 2010 at 2:22 AM
    Tried the "Fudd's" fish & chips a few days ago.
    Arrived around 1:30 pm to avoid the lunch and dinner rush.

    That allowed ample time for the cook to prepare the meal without having to rush to meet a demand influx.

    Four pieces of fish, neither large nor small by typical standards of today. An average-sized pile of nothing-special fries and a, to me, rather small bowel of coleslaw merely average in taste and texture.

    All-in-all a "ho-hum" meal that neither appealed to my tastes nor repulsed me.

    The price, though, for what I received was in my opinion outrageous.

    I will not be ordering fish & chips again and I will likely shun Fuddruckers in the future along with restaurants in general due to price/benefit analysis that indicate it just makes too much sense at many levels, including health reasons, to eat what one prepares at home.

    If I want to dine outside the shanty I believe the cost/benefit analysis points towards the local Golden Coral all-you-can-eat buffet for lunch with its lower cost.

    Ample choices with plenty of healthful offerings via the well-stocked salad bar and hot veggies.

    Meat offerings of the non-fried variety assist in healthy dining and the large selection ensures that most folks will find at least a few delectable dishes.

    Still, it is likely that visits to the buffet will remain a rarity what with the USA economy likely on a permanent decline due to the ongoing class war.
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