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Feast: A Juicy Lucy Local

January 5, 2012

Northampton’s Local Burger doesn’t get high marks for wait time. Yelpers berate the place for increasingly slow operations, long lines, and small tables – I can’t disagree. The (only) guy working the register was also taking phone orders, which meant he had a 3 minute phone call between every live order standing in front of him. Judging from the amount of time he spent punching at his computer screen, I think he was taking online orders too. This means that even if the line seems short, you’re going to be there awhile. And even if you are number 17, your order could come out after number 25 (ours did), leading you to panic a little and contemplate giving up altogether, if it weren’t for the 30 minutes you’d already invested and the table you’d already been hoarding. But fortunately, the food is (mostly) worth it.

Pickles fried in a cornmeal batter were crispy and juicy, though the “homemade” ranch dressing looked and tasted suspiciously bottled. The fries were good though not noteworthy (we’d actually ordered the highly recommended onion rings, but didn’t mention their mistake for fear of having the whole order whisked away). Dave had the Westhampton Burger (bacon, cheddar, and BBQ sauce) which he enjoyed but made a point of saying was not really worth the wait. I had the Juicy Lucy (“patty stuffed with American Cheese served molten hot”) which was fantastic. It was huge, and seemed like two burgers molded around a golf ball of cheese. As hungry as I was after the wait, I stopped a few bites short of finishing.

Bottom line: If you have an hour for a burger, try Local. But order a shake (made quickly to order) to tide you over until your food comes.

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