Dave’s hamburg is nicely sized—bigger than a slider, smaller than a megaburger. It’s filling, yet small enough that you can eat a double out of hand without utensils and without having the thing fall apart. Dave’s uses a flavorful cut of fresh chuck, brought in every other day from a Grand Rapids supplier and ground daily. The meat patties are cooked on a griddle to medium and retain a good deal of juiciness. You’re encouraged to “create your own legend” from an order-form checklist starting with either a single or double patty setup, followed by four bread choices and thirty-four possible condiments, cheeses, and sauces—most free, some for an additional fee.
I started small, with a single 3.5-ounce patty on a sesame bun complemented by lettuce, tomato, pickle, and what the menu describes as “Hoffman’s super sharp cheddar.” Fresh off the griddle, this minimalist proletarian burger was tasty, but the cheese was so devoid of flavor I thought after the first bite the kitchen staff had forgotten it. (I looked and indeed there was something cheeselike there, but it remained undetectable in flavor.) My friend’s basic double-decker was pretty much twice the same: juicy beef, respectable trimmings, and twofold flavorless cheese; thankfully, Dave’s does without the padding of an extra midbun.