Have you ever been hit by an overwhelming desire for a big ol’ greasy cheeseburger?! Well yeah, it’s not always the wisest feeling to cave into but sometimes ya gotta do it. Usually Five Guys in Cary would be my dealer of choice. A quick check on Yelp and it looks like there’s a Hwy 55 down the street in Apex. Previously known as Andy’s Cheesesteaks and Cheeseburgers, the re-naming hasn’t changed the concept or food that much. So off to Hwy 55 we go, via Route 1 to a busy little strip in Apex that has quite a few interesting spots to eat at.
As soon as we step into Hwy 55 we’re greeted enthusiastically by the staff which is nice. The interior is all diner like in whites and chromes, stool seating by the main counter. A quick scan around the dining room and EVERY single person in there is a dude so yeah, I’m hoping they do a good burger! The menu at Hwy 55 is pretty simple: burgers, grill sandwiches, chicken tenders, cheesesteaks, probably not more than 20 or so items to choose from. Which is fine if they do it well! You can upgrade your sandwich with a drink, fries, specialty side (onion rings, salad, chili-cheese or gravy fries) or specialty drink (shakes, orangeade, lemonade) for anywhere from $2 – $5. I order up the John Boy & Billy BBQ burger along with some chili-cheese fries! It’s hard holding back when you’re eating at a place like this. Understand that the standard burger at Hwy 55 is over 1/3 of a pound and you know you’re going to be eating big!
Ten minutes later our food comes out, I’ve got a nicely stacked burger and a side plate of fries. The burger is a solid piece of work: irregular patty (hand-formed) nicely grilled, well-melted American cheese along with some wavy bacon and an onion ring! The John Boy is tasty with a broad range of meat, crispy and cheesy on top of a soft bun. And it’s plenty of food, not sure how my friend Dennis downs a double without falling into food coma. The chili-cheese fries at Hwy 55 were also decent but the chili could have used a bit more heft and taste. Service was solid overall but they were probably a bit under-staffed for the busy lunch crowd.
So while it may be a chain, this Apex location of Hwy 55 does a very solid burger at a decent price (under $10 with a diet coke). I know there’s a burger renaissance happening in the Triangle but there’s nothing wrong with going non-frou-frou basic burgers. Apparently there used to be an Andy’s challenge which meant downing a 50 oz burger with 4 toppings, fries and drink but it’s no longer offered at this location. The owner told a funny story about some college kids who came in for the challenge but just didn’t quite finish, ending in an abrupt and messy dining room accident. And that’s a shame cause the burgers here are pretty darn good at Hwy 55, bon appetit!