Midwest Living Review
Known pretty much just to the folks who live or grew up in Chillicothe, Ohio, Sumburger is a retro gem with great fast food. The restaurant opened in a trailer in 1953, but the digs have advanced significantly since then. Order from a take-out window, pull into the classic midcentury carport for intercom service, or snag a seat inside and tell the kitchen what you want on the phone in your red-vinyl booth. Sumburger's surprisingly expansive menu lists fried chicken, fried fish, hot dogs, hot and cold deli sandwiches, and even a couple of salads, plus funnel cake and a daily Kool-Aid for the kiddies. But ordering anything other than the signature Sumburger feels like a cop-out. Right away, it's easy to see how it's different from the competitors. It is wide and flat versus the typical tall, multitiered burgers served at other restaurants. No onion. No tomato. No pickle. Just a thin, softball-sized patty, melted cheese, barely detectable shredded lettuce and a tangy and sweet special sauce pressed between a sesame seed bun, served sliced in half and wrapped in wax paper. They come on their own ($3.95) or as a platter ($6.95), which includes a side of tangy coleslaw and binge-worthy crinkle-cut fries. Our fave accompaniment for this salty, greasy deliciousness: a Pepsi flavored -- soda-fountain-style -- with vanilla syrup. For dessert, Sumburger offers a rotating selection of cakes and pies. But when strawberries are in season, the locals show up en masse for the homemade strawberry pie ($2.99). The recipe dates all the way back to the restaurant's debut. The draw? Lots of sweet strawberries and plenty of whipped cream.