There isn’t much to the white building that houses Hometown Hamburgers. This little locally owned stop sits right on Main Street in downtown Farmington, but if you didn’t know it was there, you’d easily drive right past it. To do so would be to miss a little burger gem, one that warrants a visit or two when you’re in that neck of the woods.
We came across the faded wood building for Hometown Hamburgers on a quick jaunt to Farmington earlier this month and found ourselves intrigued with the rickety old drive-thru burger palace. A quick Google search affirmed that while not a fancy joint, this place might be worth stopping at. Between the positive Yelp reviews and the out-of-the-box menu – they have mac ‘n’ cheese bites! – we were sold.
It took a minute to figure out how to order from this place, as the marquis with the menu that sits behind the restaurant doesn’t have a speaker connected to it, although it looks like it should. You actually have to drive around to the window to order; the menu is just for show. And, when we arrived at the window, we were surprised to find it was an old school ordering system. There was an actual human person standing there to take our order, pen and notepad in hand. When is the last time you ordered a meal at a window while speaking to a person who was writing said order down? We’d venture to guess it’s been a while, unless, of course, you have eaten at Hometown Hamburgers recently. It felt a bit like stepping back in time, and we were there for it.
And, there is plenty to order from. Hometown Hamburgers, while clearly a hamburger joint, has a menu that ranges from 1/4 pound cheeseburgers to Philly steaks, and you can add sides like seasoned fries, mozzarella sticks, or thick onion rings to your order, too. We opted for a couple of standard menu entries: the New Mexico patty melt, a delicious mix of burger patty, cheese, and green chiles, and a plain ol’ 1/4 cheeseburger with all the fixings. On the side, we opted for an order of onion rings and some mozzarella sticks.
It took a minute to get our order solidified – our cashier must have been new, as he had to ask a couple of questions to his coworkers to clarify how to write down our order – and then even longer to get things paid for. That’s OK, though – we weren’t in a huge hurry anyway, and we knew that this wasn’t the type of drive-thru where things were wrapped and ready to go under a hot light.
Once we’d paid our tab, we were instructed to pull into a parking spot alongside the ramshackle old building to wait for our food. We noticed that even at 2 p.m. on a Wednesday we were in good company. Several cars were parked alongside us as their occupants also waited for their orders. It took about 20 minutes for our food to find its way to our window, and we were encouraged to find that the bag was full of piping hot burgers ... and fries. Whoops. We were missing the two sides we’d ordered, but a quick trip back to Hometown Hamburgers resolved the issue. The fries looked delicious, by the way. They were covered in a thick layer of seasoning, and made us question our choice of sides.
It took about ten more minutes to get the correct sides, but as we waited, we shoveled our burgers into our mouths. And I do mean shoveled. My dining partner kept commenting on the soft bun that housed her patty and green chiles, and she in between gulps, she made sure to tell me how spicy her burger was. The fresh cut onions were an added bonus. My burger was just as solid; the perfect ratio of fresh onion, pickle, lettuce, and tomato piled on a hearty helping of mustard. The added mushrooms were a good call, too.
And, when our correct sides finally did arrive, we were equally as stoked with those. The cheese sticks were a solid mix of crunchy breading and melted cheese, and my onion rings? Well, let’s just say we fought over the strays that fell into the bottom of the bag during transport. They were sweet, salty, and just about perfect.
Was the service perfect at Hometown Hamburgers? No. But the food was solid, and we felt good about supporting a local Farmington business in the process. This little joint will be on our short list of drive-thrus on trips to Farmington, and you should add it to yours, too. Just make sure you aren’t in too big of a hurry. This just ain’t that kind of place.
Angelica LeichtHometown Hamburgers is located at 2133 East Main Street, Farmington, NM. Visit them at hometown-hamburgers.com or call 505-326-5580 for more information.