Diner dive of the week: Thick shakes and thicc burgers at Ben’s Big Burgers

by Amanda Push

Ben’s Big Burgers promises colossal-sized burgers that will make you feel thicccccc after devouring them, and boy, do they deliver.

We’d been eyeballing the divey-looking burger joint downtown on Second Avenue for weeks, but it wasn’t until one late afternoon, when we’d skipped our lunch hour at work, that our companion suggested we finally give it a go. It didn’t take much convincing on their part to get us on board to walk over.

Like any good dive joint, Ben’s Big Burgers didn’t look too shiny on the outside, but the promise of cheeseburgers, fries, and ice cream shakes beckoned, and we don’t judge by appearances anyway. In our humble opinions, the divier, the better.

Upon entering, we were met with a large, mouth-watering menu, which was splayed out haphazardly across the wall. Cheeseburgers. Coney dogs. Frito pie. Chicken strips. Shakes. Fish and chips. Chili. Corn dogs. French fries. For starving journalists, the possibilities were endless, though it was clear we’d need a nap after our burger endeavor. Peeling our asses out of our booth might be a struggle.

We went with the bacon cheeseburger, curly fries, and a salted caramel shake, while our companion went with the mushroom and swiss burger with a side of good ol’ regular fries.

But, while the friendliness of our less-than-thrilled cashier left a lot to be desired, our food was delivered quickly to our seats, and we were thankful to (FINALLY) dig into our very late-in-the-afternoon lunches.

Our burgers were, well, ginormous, as promised. The buns had been fried to crunchy perfection and placed gently over the thick slices of bacon and melted cheese. Under the patty, we found our lettuce and pickles – an unusual placement, but we dug it nonetheless. That stack-up meant our taste buds could pay attention to way more important things, like the cheese and bacon. And our curly fries? Well, you just can’t go wrong with some curly fries, now can you? Not next an extra thick shake anyway, which we used to wash it all down after practically inhaling the cheeseburger and fries.

In our experience, Ben’s Big Burgers was everything one would expect from a local dive – casual and nothing fancy, but with plenty of character and juicy, fried carbs to take your mind off the fact that you’re not in a squeaky clean dine-in. Do you really need a fancy backdrop while you’re just trying to enjoy a decent cheeseburger? Nope. You sure don’t. That would just be hella weird.

Amanda Push


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