The Commissary: Between Two Buns
Harry’s Place (Colchester, Connecticut)
All sorts of enticing things can be sandwiched between buns, no?
While it’s debatable exactly what tops that particular list, a juicy slab of meat certainly makes the top five.
But regardless of personal preference, we’re here to talk burgers.
Let’s be honest right now, a solid hamburger, one that makes you actually stop, acknowledge, and genuinely appreciate that you’re not eating crap is often a futile quest.
Most of the time, they’re either overcooked or flavorless, not unlike the ones your mom used to broil in the oven because your dad was on a low-sodium diet.
Also, like, they aren’t even made with ham, causing considerable confusion for visiting Europeans who are already put off because of athleisure and our superior ice-making skills.
Despite the flawed name, a great burger is essentially unparalleled in delivering culinary satisfaction, especially when devoured outdoors on a warm, sunny day.
Sure, that’s a lot of parameters, but Harry’s Place, an outdoor food stand with picnic tables, provides the goods except for the warm, sunny part, because unlike meteorologists, they don’t produce the weather.
Just the burgers.
And, really, thank God, because whatever they’re doing is worth driving all the way to Colchester for.
An institution for more than a century (that’s 100 years for the math-illiterate), Harry’s opened in 1920 and is on the National Historic Registry along with having been featured on the Travel Channel show, “Burger Land.”
Though it’s moved locations and changed hands a few times over the years, it’s been in its current spot for 41 years (that’s 41 years for the math-illiterate) and on most days there’s a considerable line for its signature item: the fish filet.
Okay, no, it’s the hamburger, which we already established. Just checking to see that you’re not skimming.
Why is the Harry’s burger such a treasure?
For starters, the buns are super fresh, fluffy, and jusssst the right consistency. Then the burger itself is seasoned perfectly and cooked on a grill that has fried a million patties through the years, sealing in that deep, meaty flavor.
From the first to last bite, juices drip out and stain the plate, the true measure of a burger done right.
And when you finish, you instantly realize your catastrophic mistake in not ordering two right from the get-go. So, just do it, and don’t think too much about the consequences or your next weigh-in at the doctor’s office.
There’s a lot of stuff you can pile on your burger, but don’t go crazy, because truly, you don’t want to bury the flavor, just enhance it with a few simple condiments like cheese, ketchup, and maybe some pickles or sautéed onions.
When it comes to sides Harry’s offers a decent assortment of options including fries of every kind.
In addition to the usual, there are cheese fries, bacon cheese fries, chili fries, chili cheese fries, the angioplasty-inducing bacon chili cheese fries, as well as sweet potato fries.
There’re also onion rings, which, FTR, are seriously good. Unlike ordinary restaurant rings, the batter doesn’t slide off upon first bite leaving a giant, clunky, uncooked onion to angrily chew.
Bite after bite, it’s batter AND onion, together in a perfect union, for all time, you may kiss the bride.
Harry’s offers a decent selection of hot dogs, too, if you’re into that sort of thing. The chili cheese dog is the most popular but should only be ordered as an accessory to the hamburger, not in place of it.
To completely sabotage any sort of diet, there’s a respectable ice cream menu to finish off your food bender.
Harry’s Place is located at 104 Broadway St., Colchester and accepts CASH ONLY.
Fortunately, there’s an ATM if you forget.
Harry’s is open seasonally from March through October.
For more information visit: https://www.harrysplaceburgers.com/.