In my youth, my family would frequently go to a small building across from Sears on 15th St in KC, MO, it was fondly called “The Stand” or occasionally “The Hamburger Stand”. My Uncle owned it along with his father-in-law. We kids just loved it, it meant a special treat, the equivelant of a trip to McDonald's today, but without the play equipment.
“The Stand” was a magical place, surrounded by smells that were so appetizing that your mouth started watering at least 3 blocks away. There was very little air conditioning in those days and the big fan that circulated the air out of the back of “The Stand” worked in more ways than one, not only did it help make "The Stand" more comfortable by pulling the heat of the grill outside and moving in cooler air, but it also served to circulate the amazing aroma of hamburgers being fried on the grill right on the onions for blocks around and, reduced to almost zero, any need for advertising. A taste that McDonalds has completely overlooked by putting the onions on raw after the hamburger has already been cooked. That beautiful smell also permeated the inside of the “The Stand” and some how mingled with the music being played on the Jukebox. Songs like “Take an old cold tater and wait”, “Don’t fence me in” and “Shoo Fly & Apple Pan Dowdy”. The music mixed with the taste of a cold Coke that burned your nose and throat, a hamburger fried on onions and fresh french fries. One of the glorious memories from my childhood. This from a time when the McDonald Brothers were just thinking about opening their second restaurant and the only famous Kings were not Burger, but The Little King from the comics and the King of England.
Why am I reminiscing about a hamburger stand, you ask?
Because I was in Carthage Missouri recently and when I am any where near Carthage I like to time it so that I can eat lunch at Whislers, a true Hamburger Stand! Whislers is one of those rare places that not only exceeds your expectations but doesn’t put a hole in your wallet at the same time. Hamburgers are 5 for $3.20 and cheeseburgers are 5 for $3.70. They only sell canned pop and bags of potato chips along with a small assortment of candy bars for dessert. If there are more than 5 people waiting you can expect to wait for your order about 10-15 minutes. The call-in orders get in line status and if it is a large order you can expect to salivate all over yourself while the counter people fry and pack all the orders that are ahead of you. But it is worth the wait! My recommendation is the double cheeseburger with all the fixin’s, add to that, chips and pop and you will have lunch for less that a Fin and well worth it! A meal fit for a king!
So the next time you are anywhere near Carthage Missouri, it will be well worth your time to stop and build yourself some memories!
Copyright 2007 BS Brash