Friday, September 6, 2013

What's your best local burger/dog shack?

Most people, if they are fortunate, have a local place they always love to go for summertime comfort foot: burgers, dogs, shakes, onion rings, and all those other cholesterol bombs we're not supposed to have, but love indulging in. My favorite is the Half Moon Drive In, located in Lockport Manitoba. The Half Moon is one of those roadside stands that seems to have been there forever, and at 75 years, the Half Moon fulfills that role for most people alive today. When I was a kid, The Moon was located in a string of old quonset huts placed side-by-side, and their half-curve shapes is probably what gave the place it's name. Originally there was just drive-up service, but The Moon has been rebuilt as a 50's themed sit-down restaurant. The Half Moon was always the burger stand on the East side of the Red River. The west side was controlled by "Skinners", the rival burger/dog stand that claimed to have the "world's greatest hot dogs". While Skinners probably has more authentic period "charm" than The Moon (booths with little juke boxes, faded pictures of hockey players on the walls, vs. retro-looking 50's style), Skinners has become fairly dingy over the years. I pick The Moon any day for it's comfort, style, and of course, it's great food. Here's a couple of my favorites. The Moon Dog! Just saying it makes me feel like I'm back at the start of the space race. The Moon Dog is a smokey foot-long weenie in a fresh bun, filled with bacon, shredded cheddar cheese, fried onions, mustard and a long-cut pickle! Bliss! Add an order of home fries and a fountain pepsi, and you have to have the best meal experience a mortal can enjoy. For the rare occasions when a Moon Dog, just won't cut it, how about a Saturn Burger? DOUBLE bacon, DOUBLE cheese, tomato, BBQ Mayo sauce, topped off with fried onion rings! Only a trip to the ringed planet itself could weigh you down as much as this burger, only not so deliciously. Like any good 50's-style diner, The Moon has booths, vintage signs, coolers and stuff, and classic rock n' roll playing for you. Usually I sneer a bit at places that try to pretend they are "vintage", but I figure The Moon really was there back in the day, so they deserve a little slack. In all your world travels, I sincerely hope you get to experience the Half Moon at least once.

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