FYI – This is no longer “Patty’s” Burger Time, and the first things the new owners did was to start buying pre-formed burger patties and scrap the local dairy and produce. Buyer beware!
Generally speaking, little drive-through burger joints don’t get a lot of coverage in print. Burger Time (or Patty’s Burger Time, if you prefer) is an exception to that rule, and for good reason. Patty’s is the only fast food restaurant in Idaho to be certified Idaho Preferred, and since the meat is local you can always count on a fresh burger. Also, I’ve heard that the ice cream machine is cleaned daily, which results in a much better milkshake. All of that coupled with my $15 worth of food for $7.50 certificate from Boise.biz is what finally brought me to try out Patty’s recently. At this point, do I even need to mention that I’ve known about the place for years, driven by it a million times and for whatever reason just never stopped? I’m beginning to suspect I might have started this blog as both excuse for finally trying all of these places and motivation to do so…
So anyway, Burger Time is located on Orchard Street between Overland Road and Kootenai Street. At first glance, you wouldn’t realize how diversified they are. For example, they’re also Coffee Time and serve breakfast sandwiches and burritos on weekday mornings. Their lot fills with classic cars and hot rods on Saturdays (and they sell their own calendar on the topic). I didn’t know most of this myself when I pulled up and checked out the deceptively simple menu.
|The menu. Or part of it, at least…|
I wanted to get the most out of my $15 certificate, so even though I was tempted to try one of the specialty burgers I opted instead for the Bacon Deluxe cheeseburger combo meal. For my poor sister, stuck toiling away at work, I snagged a turkey sandwich, and I also ordered a serving of sour cream fries and a chocolate shake. This allowed me to build my own combo, keeping the sour cream fries and the shake for myself and giving Sis the regular fries and soda that came with my burger. While I waited at the window, I couldn’t help but notice some of the signs and notes pasted to the side of the building advertising new items and various other things not even hinted at on the main menu (including sweet potato tater tots and thirty or forty different milkshake flavors). My advice: unless you’re a regular, park the car and hit the walk-up window so you can get a grasp on everything that they have available. While I waited for my food, the woman working the drive-through window engaged me in small talk the way only a genuinely friendly person with a lot of regular customers can. It’s refreshing and much different than little Q&A session you get from many fast food places. Once I had my food, I headed back to the office. I could tell by the clock in my console that I was going to be a few minutes late, just as I could tell by the smells coming from the bags of food that it would most likely be worth it.
|Turkey sandwich and fries|
Believe it or not, I never discussed with my sister what exactly she thought of the food I had brought back for her. The best I got out of her was a noncommittal “It was good”, the underlying tone conveying “It’s a turkey sandwich, stupid…do you want a soliloquy or something?” I can, however, vouch for the fries since I tried one. Crispy and golden brown, nothing special but certainly nothing bad.
|Sour cream fries|
I think I had eaten about a third of the sour cream fries without being able to figure out just how I felt about them. I finally took a few to my sister, who tried one and immediately said that they were basically the french fry equivalent of sour cream and onion potato chips. She was exactly right, and in that context I was able to enjoy them but I did find myself getting a little tired of that flavor as time went on, wishing I had just gotten regular fries (or maybe those sweet potato tots). Still, they are good, and if it sounds like your kind of thing I’m sure you’ll enjoy it.
|Bacon Deluxe burger|
Why can’t fast food places pack their burgers more carefully? Don’t they know that everyone takes pictures of their food nowadays? But I digress. Patty’s does better than the standard mom and pop fast food drive-through hockey puck burgers. Not as juicy as I would like (I sometimes question whether such a burger exists), their proprietary white sauce picks up the slack with the help of ripe tomato and fresh lettuce. Even the pickles are good. Most importantly, the meat is obviously fresh and has a very good flavor. Speaking of fresh and flavorful, everything you’ve heard about Burger Time’s shakes is true. Even though I ordered just a simple chocolate shake, it was unlike any I’ve ever had before. Not better or worse (well, maybe a little better), mostly just different. The consistency was perfect. The chocolate tasted more like real chocolate than just chocolate syrup, and the dairy component did taste very fresh, so whatever it is they’re doing to their machine and whatever ingredients they’re using, it’s working for them.
While my hunt for the ultimate juicy, medium cheeseburger continues, I’ve found a fast food joint to replace some of the ones that have been disappointing me lately. Now, all I have to decide is whether my next trip will be at lunch time for those sweet potato tots or in the morning for a bacon, egg and red potato breakfast burrito.
Final Grade: B