Fast Food Review: The Famous Krystal Burgers from Krystal
If you’re from the South, saying the name “Krystal“, immediately brings a mental image. You think about that little box being handed to you and looking inside to get out your fresh burger. Walking in and smelling the onion aroma that fills all their restaurants. Fresh, hot, small and square are words that best describe Krystal, and it’s the message it has stood by since 1932. Growing up in the South, Krystal is always tops among fast food choices. I can remember getting excited when my parents would take the family there. Something about getting a tiny burger was exciting to me. Seeing it prepared behind the counter. Watching the steam rise up as the onions were added.
It was great seeing the signature box arrive, and a little burger ready to be enjoyed. These are the memories I have and I’m reminded of them even walking into a Krystal restaurant today. The nostalgia…
Founded in Chattanooga, Tennessee over 75 years ago, Krystal has evolved over the years and has enjoyed a growing popularity. Many locations are now staying open 24/7. It has become a place where people of all ages enjoy going. With new business hours and locations adding free wifi (The Krystal HotSpot), it is becoming a great place for college kids to hang out. In 2004 they announced the Krystal Square Off. A competition that is now considered a “Major” on the competitive eating circuit. In 8 minutes, 103 Krystal burgers were consumed by current world record holder, and Celebrity Grubber, Joey Chestnut.
The burger is prepared next to a small amount of minced onions. This allows the steam to help flavor the meat. The bun is also warmed near the burger patty so that it can absorb some flavor. Once ready, it’s all put together with pickles and mustard. Given the small size of the burgers, they are big on delicious flavor. When I was a teenager I could easily take down 6-8 of them, but now I keep it at around 3. There are a couple of regular options for dressing up your Famous Krystal burger. The two main alternatives are the Cheese Krystal or the Double Cheese Krystal. The Double Cheese Krystal consists of 2 patties, 2 slices of cheese, and 3 pieces of bread. It looks similar to a Big Mac but in a mini-Krystal burger form. I think the burger tastes great no matter how you order it. A gripe I have is that I have found them to be consistently a bit rushed when ordered. It’s not unusual to have the pickle and mustard falling out of the sides of your burger. A little adjustment and the Krystal is back to perfect form. In my opinion, I find the Cheese Krystal to be the best tasting. The cheese works great with the taste of the minced onions and the pickles. While many may enjoy the Double Cheese Krystal, I find it to be a little too much. It also tends to be a bit messier and takes away from the easy-burger “on the go” feel the Famous Krystal or Cheese Krystal has.
If you are in the South (as far southwest as Texas) of the U.S. and you’re in the mood for some regional fast food, Krystal has the quick burger fix you might be after. It’s the oldest hamburger chain in the South and is sometimes known as the “White Castle of the South”. The Famous Krystal burger has been enjoyed for decades and it’s small stature is really worth a taste.
Pros: Classic Krystal taste. Cheap and portable. Purchase by the sackful. Worthy of an eating competition.
Cons: Ingredients usually thrown together and require some adjustments.
Grubbing on-the-go: 9.00/10
Price: The Famous Krystal $0.71 ea, Cheese Krystal $0.93 ea, Double Cheese Krystal $1.96 ea
Overall GrubGrade: 9.00/10
More Info: Krystal.com
Famous Krystal Burger, Cheese Krystal, Double Cheese Krystal
Calories - 160, 180, 310
Total Fat - 7, 9, 16 grams
Saturated Fat - 3, 4, 7 grams
Cholesterol - 20, 25, 65 milligrams
Sodium - 260, 430, 800 milligrams
Total Carbs - 17, 17, 26 grams
Dietary Fiber - 1, 2, < 1 grams
Sugars - 1, 1, 2 grams
Protein - 7, 9, 16 grams