Short Stop Burgers tastes like a chain and that’s a good thing here

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click to enlarge GRIFFIN SWARTZELL

  • Griffin Swartzell

The last vestige of a Texas chain that went defunct in 1995, Short Stop has soldiered on unimpeded, despite competition from modern chains, and now, despite the demolition of their original location to make way for a CVS.

Reopened in a strip mall still attached to the vacant husk of a long-shuttered Kmart, the drive-thru offers a largely unchanged menu, now with some outdoor seating. As for the food, it’s fast food, right on par with the king and the golden arches. We get a bbq bacon cheeseburger and small strawberry milkshake. The burger bears chewy, bland bacon under sugary Sweet Baby Ray’s barbecue sauce and grilled onions.

I love the tender, savory onions; they make the sandwich, more than heavy cheese or a thin, overcooked burger patty on a fast food bun. That milkshake tastes artificial, sure, but the phrase “thicker than Santa’s thighs” comes to mind, and it’s creamy smooth, pure childhood nostalgia. Let’s be blunt: Short Stop serves food on par for price and quality with the chain burger gang without lining the pockets of multimillionaires. So if you can’t eat the rich, eat local.