The Meat Is On

. November 2, 2014.
2014-09-21-18.26.241

Hunter House Hamburgers

 609 E. William st., ann arbor
Phone: 734-368-9592
Hours: mon-Wed: 11am–11pm; thurs-sat: 11am–3am; sunday: 11am–9pm

www.HunterHouseHamburgers.com

“You’re not going to like our next Food Fight restaurant,” I told my kids solemnly.

“Aw,” whined my 7 and 11 year olds. “What is it?”

“It’s a restaurant that serves hamburgers, cheese- burgers, tater tots and milkshakes,” I said, breaking into a smile.

“YAY!” they exclaimed.

Hunter House Hamburgers history

And so it was with enthusiasm that we arrived at Hunter House Hamburgers on William Street. The restaurant opened in August, the second location of a beloved Birmingham diner in operation since 1952. Hunter House took its name from Hunter Boulevard, the original street name before Woodward Avenue reached that far. Per the restaurant’s website, “our name is a tribute to the quality of our food and the generations of customers we’ve happily served over the years.”

The décor is simple and evokes a 1950s feel. White walls contrast with the chrome and black tables and chairs and the bar stools along a long counter. The grill is visible from any seat. Detroit sports memorabilia dots the walls.

On the night we visited, hungry college kids also visited the restaurant, perhaps due to its proximity to the Diag. We were the only family dining, which surprised me due to the low-key atmosphere and kid-pleasing menu. Hunter House is known for its sliders, small

burgers topped with juicy, sweet onions in a steamed bun. You can order single, double or triple burgers, with or without cheese ($2.10-4.25). Add chili or bacon for a small upcharge.

The restaurant also offers grilled cheese with or without ham, a hot dog, and a Coney dog. ($2.75-4.25) There are tator tots and fries, which you can top with cheese, chili or bacon, onion rings, milkshakes and malts. That’s it for the menu. But that’s all you need.

We were unsure if the casual restaurant was counter- service so we walked up to place our order. Later, we noticed a server wait on the table next to us. In any case, our plates of hot hamburgers were brought to us quickly.

Between the four of us, we ordered four cheeseburg- ers, one hamburger, a double cheeseburger, triple cheeseburger, large fries and tater tots with cheese and bacon. The sliders come standard with onions, but were easily left off my picky 11 year old’s cheeseburgers as requested. A smattering of thinly sliced dill pickles is served on the side. Ketchup and mustard are available at each table.

Unanimous thumbs up

The verdict on the burgers was as straightforward as the menu: Yum. The burgers, about the size of a small fast food burger, were hot, fresh and full of cheesy, tangy onion goodness. I recommend the cheeseburger vs. the hamburger as the cheese complimented the sweetness of the onions. Next time I would order double patties, too, for a better meat to bun ratio.

“Two thumbs up! It’s very cheesy and stuff,” my 7 year old praised.

“This burger is amazing,” said my 11 year old.

The fries were thin, hot and crispy; the tots with gooey cheese and bacon crumbles were decadent. The kids could only make it through a few rich bites.

We finished sampling the menu by sharing one choco- late malt and two vanilla shakes with cookie dough pieces. Shakes start at $3.25 and come in four flavors with various syrups and fillings extra. The malt disappointed, as it tasted and looked like chocolate milk. I’m not sure what happened, although the restaurant had run out of Stroh’s ice cream and substituted a different brand. The shakes were cold and sweet, but not stellar like the burgers. 

THE SHORT COURSE

Kid-friendly: Yes

To avoid wait: Shouldn’t be a problem unless you frequent burger joints when college kids get the late night munchies

Noise level: Moderate to high

Bathroom amenities: No changing tables in restrooms

High chairs? Yes

Got milk? They have it for milkshakes, but don’t serve it plain. Pop, lemonade and bottled juices are available.

Kids’ menu? No, but the regular menu is kid- pleasing

Anything healthy for kids? Um, no!

Food allergy concerns? They do not use peanut oil for frying and buns do not contain peanut products. For other concerns, call ahead.