It’s time to bring back Hardee’s Husky

Published 5:09 pm Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Alas, the Hardee’s Husky disappeared about 25 years ago.

Alas, McDonald’s Cheddar Melt also disappeared about 25 years ago.

Alas, the demise of Burger Chef about 30 years ago also meant the demise of the Super Shef.

Woe is me, woe is me.

I am a Baby Boomer. Hamburgers are a part of my history. And with me being history buff, I am a hamburger buff.

Although some of my favorite hamburgers have become extinct, over the years I have found some hamburgers that deserve mentioning. They also deserve to be eaten.

Take the steamed cheeseburgers found only in a small area of Connecticut. As steam cooks the meat, the fat drops into a collection pan. That pan gets the fat, not the consumer.

Steamed cheeseburgers have different texture from cheeseburgers cooked by more-traditional methods. The steam melts the cheese, which melds with the meat to produce a product that begs for grilled onions, mayonnaise and pickles as condiments. You dress your steamed cheeseburgers your way, and I’ll dress them my way.

I cannot write about hamburgers without mentioning the little slider burgers sold at Krystal restaurants throughout the Southeast. Sad to say, Krystals cannot be found in eastern North Carolina. Although similar to White Castle’s sliders, I much prefer a sack filled with Krystals.

Not to belittle other eateries’ hamburgers — there are plenty of great ones in the area — but I’ve been enjoying Slatestone burgers for more than 25 years. I once ate three of them at a single sitting. These days, I treat myself to about one Slatestone burger every three months.

For those not in the know, Slatestone burgers are available at Slatestone Grocery ‘n’ Grill, 2040 Slatestone Road, Washington.

For a Carolina classic, try the Carolina burger at the Mecca on North Market Street in Washington. It’s a cheeseburger (the patty is made by hand) with mustard, chili, onions and slaw. It’s the slaw (made at the Mecca) that makes this burger a Carolina classic.

If nothing else, going the Mecca to watch owner Michael Hunnings perform his maneuvering magic at the flattop grill. I do believe the man was born with a spatula in his hand. Fred Astaire would be proud of Hunnings’ movements during the breakfast and lunch rushes.

For the sake of nostalgia, perhaps Hardee’s should bring back the Husky. I would eat one. OK, I would eat two of them. And should the Cheddar Melt make a comeback, got out and buy stock in McDonald’s.

Mike Voss is the senior member of the newsroom at the Washington Daily News.

About Mike Voss

Mike Voss is the contributing editor at the Washington Daily News. He has a daughter and four grandchildren. Except for nearly six years he worked at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in the early to mid-1990s, he has been at the Daily News since April 1986.
Journalism awards:
• Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, 1990.
• Society of Professional Journalists: Sigma Delta Chi Award, Bronze Medallion.
• Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award.
• Investigative Reporters & Editors’ Award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Public Service Award, 1989.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1990.
All those were for the articles he and Betty Gray wrote about the city’s contaminated water system in 1989-1990.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Investigative Reporting, 1991.
• North Carolina Press Association, Third Place, General News Reporting, 2005.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Lighter Columns, 2006.
Recently learned he will receive another award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Lighter Columns, 2010.
4. Lectured at or served on seminar panels at journalism schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland, Columbia University, Mary Washington University and Francis Marion University.

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