Main Line Food Blog

Charlie’s Hamburgers – Folsom

NOT on the Main Line, but highly recommended by transplanted Delco types:

So I finally made it to Charlie’s in Folsom (it’s a little out of the way, so I waited for an opportunity to catch up with a Delco buddy who appreciates this kind of cuisine.) Got there at 11:00AM and was shocked to see a “Closed” sign, but thankfully at 11:02, they flipped it and opened the doors. I had to eat a bit early due to a Cardiologist appointment in Bryn Mawr at 1:00 (I’m fine.. Thanks for your concern.) The flattop apparently needs little heating time, as they were able to accommodate our requests immediately (after a few minutes of joking around.) The staff are GENUINELY friendly people who really love flipping burgers and whipping up shakes. This is a “back in time” experience similar to Joe’s (formerly Chink’s) Steaks up in the Northeast. So.. The burgers are fresh and hand made ground chuck/round. No fancy brisket – Wagyu – short rib. I’d estimate 70/30 lean to fat. Burgers like this don’t get dry cooked through. Don’t even THINK of asking a burger cooked a specific way. It’s not that kind of place. I assumed (correctly) that only a double would do. I also estimated (correctly) that it would require a pair of them to be satisfactory.

Fried onions were a must have accompaniment. Spatulas flew, as the onions were chopped, browned perfectly, and integrated with the bright orange (think Velveeta or Welfare) cheese which melted on contact before the fresh no-nonsense Wonderbread roll was closed.

A black and white milkshake (made with tons of real ice cream) was a perfect accompaniment. Like a good martini, the milkshake is served in a glass with the chilled metal shaker placed next to it so you can finish it at your leisure. The burger itself was reminiscent of childhood treats at full service drug stores or Woolworth lunch counters.. Probably better than most once the nostalgia factor is removed. The patty itself is not “worked” so the beef is loose.. just bound enough to not be sloppy Joe textured. The thin patties seared nicely on the flat top (similar to what Smashburger does.) It makes for a pleasant burger that is consumed all too quickly. I really wanted a third, but just in case I was due for a blood screen, I restrained myself. Next time I find myself in that hood, I won’t.