I’ve had Swensons Drive-In on my Burger Bucket List for years. I got dangerously close to visiting their oldest location in their hometown of Akron, Ohio, a few years back.
My wife Marcela was driving, but sitting out this meal, she’s not cut out for the burger road trip life. She turned on our car lights so the curb server would know that we’re ready to go. I was this close to eating a sloppy joe (same recipe since 1934 according to their website), but those potato teezers were calling my name. These deep-fried cheesy potatoey jalapeño-e bites are highly addictive. In other words, don’t share.
The Galley Boy, their signature burger or hamburg as it’s known at Swensons, arrives beautifully wrapped with an olive garnishing it. It was just like unwrapping a birthday gift that someone got you. You’re super excited cause you already know what is, but you’re pretending to be surprised when the big reveal happens. Everything about the Galley Boy is perfect: The buns are toasted, the cheese is melted, the meat is tasty, there is a sauce on the top bun, and a different sauce on the bottom bun.
A burger expert will tell you that the order in which the ingredients are stacked will make the difference between a good and excellent sandwich. The tartar-ish top sauce is the first flavor profile that stands out on the initial bite with the bbq-ish bottom sauce batting cleanup to finish things up. It was exactly as I’d hoped for, super crave-able.
Now, before I even took one bite of the Galley Boy, I realized that I had forgotten to throw in a coney dog. I corrected that problem with the quickness. While I was sitting back in my chair pontificating about the Galley Boy to Marcela, the coney arrived. Those sliced onions topped the sweet coney sauce and dog. You’ll hear no complaints from me about the coney dog at Swensons, I loved it.
I ate from the Swensons location in Dublin just outside Columbus. Swensons also has locations in and around Akron, Canton, Cleveland and, Columbus, Ohio. This is a good 18-hour drive or three-hour flight from where I live but totally worth it.