Kids Eat The Darnedest Things: Chapp's Hamburger Cafe

Chapp's Hamburger Cafe (Arlington location)
2596 E. Arkansas

Maybe it's because we were all half-starved by the time we had dinner, but Chapp's provided the best meal that Iris (11), Lyle (7) and I enjoyed all week.

Kinda sad, really. Iris had just finished a soccer game--which always seem to be scheduled right at meal time--and was begging for Sonic, where she could get a foot-long coney, one of her favorite meals. But from the field, a run to America's Drive Through would have entailed going the wrong way down a one-way access road.

I've got no problem taking the occasional traffic risk when hunger demands it, but Sonic's greasy burgers are hardly even worthy of a left turn, let alone something for which I could be ticketed.

Fortunately, Chapp's also offers a chili-cheese dog.

As the name would imply, of course, Chapp's is best known for its burgers, for which it uses Nolan Ryan meat (beef from cattle raised by Ryan, that is--not aged pitcher, ground into burger). My half-pound bacon-cheeseburger was fine, if not outstanding. The meat was a bit lean, but I liked that the default onion for all burgers is grilled rather than raw.

This week, the Kids Eat crew was not interested in burgers. Iris opted for her beloved chili-cheese dogs, sans mustard and onions. Lyle, as usual, ordered a chicken strips kids meal, which came with gravy and fresh-cut fries. The sight of the chicken strips brought back SYSCO memories from my days as a short-order cook.

Despite Lyle's middling grade, the kids were both impressed, saying they'd love to come back. Their thoughts:

Iris, what did you think?
Iris: If I had more than two thumbs, I'd put them all up. I was half-full because I drank a lot of water at the game, so I didn't enjoy it that much. But I did love it. Next time I would get fries, too. The chili was just good. It wasn't great, and it wasn't blechh. I liked it because it wasn't spicy at all.

Lyle, how about yours?
Lyle: It tasted like any ordinary chicken fingers. I had better, but it was pretty good. Out of 100, maybe 78 or something.

Did you like the gravy?
Lyle: No, not really, but I ran out of ketchup, so I had to use gravy.

You didn't just pour yourself more ketchup?
Lyle: No, I didn't. That was stupid of me!

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