The return of Dearman’s
Sometimes you just need a good old-fashioned burger. I’m not talking about some fancy, over the top, bizarrely dressed creation; just a solid burger that hits the spot every time. This is what the iconic Dearman’s has been delivering to local fans for over fifty years. When a fire ravaged the property two years ago, the owners and staff were determined to get it up and running again. They re-opened their doors in December 2017, much to the excitement of the “Save Dearman’s” Facebook crew of 1,300 strong. I decided to check in and see what’s new and if our beloved Dearman’s cheeseburger was just as we had remembered it.
The renovated space still gives you that Happy Days vintage vibe. There are plenty of booths for bigger parties and a lunch counter, in addition to a sea of red tables. I had a quick chat with the owner, who was gracious and friendly, before getting down to business. First thing was first: I ordered a chocolate malt before doing anything else. Everyone knows one always makes the best decisions when full of chocolate. When I glanced over the menu, I was happy to see the classics were all still there. There were also some new additions, like a veggie burger, for those who don’t do beef. The grilled chicken salad ($7.25) tempted me but I stayed true to my original purpose. I ordered a cheeseburger, fully dressed (with mayo, pickles, onions, tomato, lettuce, and mustard) with bacon, some cheese fries with jalapenos, and a nectar shake just in case I ran out of chocolate.
The staff was friendly and excited to give suggestions. We waited a little longer than usual (about twenty-five minutes) but it was well worth it. The toasted bun made all the difference, giving each bite that perfect crunch. My fries were still piping hot from the fryer (another one of their newest additions) and smothered with cheese, just as I like them. The jalapenos gave them that extra kick for those who are eager for a twist. It was not a light meal by any stretch of the imagination but it was exactly what I came for. The shakes were my favorite part, with great consistency. They are thick but not so solid that you had to wait for hours to get them through the straw. I enjoyed the nectar flavor (peach) as much as my chocolate appetizer. Next time I will be indulging in a phosphate to get my sweet tooth going.
All and all, Dearman’s is the same as it has ever been. A friendly staff gives you just what you want without a pretentious atmosphere or the high prices. Sandwiches range from $2.95 for a peanut butter and jelly to $6.75 for a grilled chicken. Burgers are in the $6-$8 dollar range, a bargain for the freshness and quality. Shakes are $4.25. I will be definitely back and look forward to getting my buns toasted for fifty years to come.
Photos by Mandy Samson