“Ohmygawd, ohmygawd!” I gushed as Mary Mathers set a ¾ pound Santa Fe Burger on my table. “This burger is huge!”
The burger arrived in a plastic basket covered with deep fried onion rings.
It had lettuce, tomato, onions, pepper jack cheese, slices of avocado, pico de gallo and chipotle mayo. The onion rings were easy to eat, but the burger was a challenge. It was too big to fit into my mouth. I pushed it down, the best I could forcing avocado and melted cheese to drop out the sides. I finally ended up using a steak knife and a fork.
My wife, Claudia, was much more conservative than me. She ordered a ¼ pound Aloha burger. Her Aloha burger arrived in a basket covered with crisp tasty fries. In addition to the normal condiments it was topped with a grilled pineapple ring and seasoned with Teriyaki sauce.
My wife also cut her burger in half and then remarked to me. “These fries are really crisp and they don’t seem greasy at all.”
My wife sipped on a mango flavored lemonade and I had coffee. The drinks, fries and onion rings, were included in the price of our burgers. My Santa Fe Burger was $9.95, while Claudia’s Aloha was $8.95. We didn’t order shakes, but Mary’s shakes are made from real Ice Cream (not shake mix) and run about $3.50 each.
Mary’s Burger & a Shake is located in the Mount Solo Plaza at 4503 Ocean Beach Highway in West Longview. It can be an easy place to miss, if you don’t know it’s there. The restaurant is situated at the end of the Plaza, well away from the highway.
It was my first time there and I asked Mary how long she had been doing business at this location.
Mary Replied: “We first opened on November 11th of last year. My husband and I have always wanted to have our own place. I’ve worked in the restaurant business since I was 12 years old. My husband Warren and I were looking for a place and we think we found the perfect spot here in West Longview.”
They just expanded. Originally offering only 6 tables, now they can comfortably seat 42 people.
“Will that be big enough for you?” I asked.
Mary grinned, “I don’t know, we seem to be getting an abundance of business. People like our burgers. Everything that we have is fresh and comes in three sizes ¼ , ½ , and ¾ pounds. We use certified Angus Beef and grind a little bit of brisket in for added flavor. Our burgers are hand pressed and charbroiled. Are you enjoying your burgers?”
Both my wife and I agreed that Mary’s burgers tasted wonderful.
“How many people work here?”
Mary refilled my coffee cup. “We have 9 employees and believe me, we need them all.”
I noticed a sign on their wall that read “Mountain Burger Challenge $24.95.”
The Challenge consists of 2 ¼ pounds of beef, ham, turkey and bacon, two types of cheeses, lettuce, onions and tomatoes, 1½ pounds of onion rings and 1½ pounds of fries. If you finish eating it in 45 minutes you get your meal free, a Mountain Burger Challenge Tee Shirt, and your picture posted on their “Wall of Shame.””
24 people have taken the challenge, but only one has succeeded.
Mary’s is open is open seven days a week, and starting June 2nd they will be serving breakfast every day.
If you’re hungry and happen to be in West Longview, I know a place where you can find yourself a great burger and a shake.
Treat yourself. I think you will be pleased.