10 fast food burgers you will never eat again

Take a beefy bite out of the past.

Image: Sandy's / YouTube

Who doesn't love a burger? We'll be honest with you — making this list set off a craving. We had to stop midway through and grill up a patty for lunch. 

Alas, that Beyond Burger could not quite capture the feeling of biting into these burgers from the past. Some of them we had. Some of them we can now only dream about.

Which was your favorite? What other burgers do you miss?

1. The Big Shef

We begin at Burger Chef, the chain that decided to curiously call its namesake burger the "Shef." Two all-beef patties, golden melted cheese, garden-fresh lettuce, special sauce on a toasted triple-decker bun. The description sounded a good deal like the Big Mac jingle. Those who ate both settle the debate — which was better?

Image: Reddit

2. Druther's Burger

"I'd ruther go to Druther's," the commercial campaigns declared. The franchise that began as Burger Queen — no relation to the King — rebranded itself nationally in 1981, the year this here burger was shown in a TV ad. Like any self-respecting burger chain, Druther's had a mascot, Andy Dandytale, a banjo-plucking vagabond with a feather in his cap. 

Image: YouTube 

3. The Big Barney

Mayberry and Flintstone fans might have flocked to bite into the "Big Barney," Red Barn's version of the Big Mac. Actually, the pioneering, farm-themed chain introduced the Big Barney a few years before the Big Mac. Likewise, Burger Chef introduced its "Fun Meal" before McDonald's came up with its Happy Meal. Remember the innovators!

Image: eBay

4. The Ollieburger

Lum's was best known for its hot dog cooked in beer, a nostalgic meal so fondly remembered it got its own scene in Martin Scorsese's The Irishman. The Florida-based chain had more unique flavors. The Ollieburger, a recipe whipped up by Ollie Gleichenhaus, who was pitched as sort of the Colonel Sanders of hamburgers, mixed "23 herbs and spices from all over the world" into its patty. The stuff was so intoxicating, there are websites today offering the seasoning for sale.

Image: Newspapers.com

5. The Big Scot

Sandy's, "home of the plaid beret," carried a Scottish highlands theme, much like the fictional McDowell's in Coming to America. The Big Scot, like the Big Barney and the Big Shef, was a Big Mac–like triple-bunned beheamoth. 

6. The Hi-Lo

We're doubling up on Sandy's, the star of our image at the top of this post, as the Midwestern favorite served up another burger that continues to linger in our tastebud memories. Speaking of doubling up, the "Mighty" Hi-Lo lured customers with its two patties, cheese oozing in between. "Come as you are…hungry," the slogan proclaimed… perhaps influencing Nirvana?

Image: Eastern Iowa

7. Wetson's Superburger

"2 Big W's for 79¢!" Two Superburgers! That's a full pound of hamburger for less than a buck. Ah, the day of buying meals with change…

Image: Long Island '70s Kid

8. The Little Boy Blue

With its sherbet orange and teal color scheme, "HoJo's" holds a place as perhaps the most beloved bygone restaurant in Americana. It helped that the hotel chain's restaurant served up 28 flavors of ice cream — and not ones you might expect. We're talking Burgundy Cherry, Buttercrunch, Frozen Pudding, Fruit Salad, Lemon Stick and Pineapple, just to name a few. Anyway… this is a burger list, right. The "Little Boy Blue," the namesake dish of the chain's kid mascot, was a deconstructed burger for future Atkin's dieters. It was a grilled hamburger patty served with mashed potatoes and vegetable (peas, often). Okay, there was roll, too. And that ice cream on the side! Bonus: the menu turned into a basecall cap!

9. The Samburger Jr.

The most unique burger on this list comes courtesy of Sambo's. It's hard for this image to do justice to the scale of this tiny little treat. The fact that it cost a mere quarter in 1980 gives away its diminutive size. Check out the commercial for a better look. The bun has the circumference of a squash ball.

10. The Mr. Steak Burger

This child actor is going to town on this Mr. Steak burger in a 1981 commercial. You can't teach acting like that. He's in heaven. The ad for the steakhouse chain had some spiel about offering "burgers for the kids," but c'mon, adults love burgers, too, Mr. Steak.

SEE MORE: 7 extinct steakhouse chains you will never eat at again

Mr. Steak has some company in the graveyard of beef restaurants. READ MORE

 
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feekie 15 days ago
Was it Sandy’s that had the burger with coleslaw on I? It was so good. I wish I could have one now.
justjeff 29 days ago
Burger Chains came and went with the times... In South Florida we had Burger Giant, Burger Castle, Royal Castle, Wuv's... White Castle has 2 locations in both Miami and North Miami Beach, but were sent packin' because folks were loyal to Royal Castle, Ollie's Trolly, Champburger, Broadway Joe's - even a single White Tower that was once in Downtown Miami... and probably others I'd either not known nor read about... all gone now...
Diz 1 month ago
Anyone from around Pittsburgh remember Winky's? They had a number of locations but I believe they folded not long after I left there in '78.
RedSamRackham Diz 29 days ago
Winky's makes you happy to be hungry!
Diz RedSamRackham 26 days ago
Yes! That was their slogan.
Diz 1 month ago
I just recently had out my Burger Chef ashtray when a friend who smokes came over.
DarrylHeine 1 month ago
Not on the list:
The Hulaburger (McDonald's)
The McFeast (McDonald's)
McD.L.T. (McDonald's)
Arch Deluxe (McDonald's)
CharlesQuackenbush 1 month ago
How could you leave out the burger from the chain owned by one of TVs most famous chain owners Toy Rogers. Their Double R Bar Burger combined a burger with cheese and sliced ham on a roll. What great combination.
Probably because no one East of the Mississippi River heard of or knew where the closest ROY Rogers restaurant was.
AgingDisgracefully 1 month ago
Yous forgot The Whamburger at Chicken Unlimited. As it wasn't a "Hamburger" or a "Beefburger," it wasn't required to 100% beef.
And it wasn't.
Maybe the words hork, spew or blow chunks paint a better picture.
If it wasn't a hamburger they didn't "forget" it.
Terranova, you run rings round me logically.
I'm all a-tingle being on the same thread as you.
BUT, the first line of the story speaks of...burgers.
Just sayin'. And keep a close eye on the strawberries.
TheDavBow3 1 month ago
I had a Burger Chef in my home town in VA growing up. Was gone by the time I was a teen. My very first job in 1981 was a car hop. The restaurant was on the cover of The Statler Brothers album, "Carry Me Back". No roller skates, thank Goodness! My first job was my most fun job. They first opened @ 1952 and still going strong today. Same family owned. They serve a great hamburger called the super burger. Really neat. 😊
Jane 1 month ago
I remember Sandys French fries were so good!
SirMichael65 1 month ago
Burger Chef had such cool kids meals with toys and things to do on the box it came in.
jimmyvici 1 month ago
Never heard of most of these. I do miss Big Boy though
Inrodwetrust jimmyvici 1 month ago
Bobs big boy? They still have at least one that I know of in New Jersey love that place
jimmyvici Inrodwetrust 1 month ago
Rub it in buddy.
Inrodwetrust 1 month ago
Sadly growing up in the 5 boroughs of N.Y.C I only know of and have eaten at wetson’s but I do remember them being better then mcd’s and B.K. Whatever happened to jack in the box?
daDoctah Inrodwetrust 1 month ago
He got blown up. Then a few years later they brought him back and he blew up the boardroom before becoming yuppie scum.

From my perspective as someone who drives third-party food delivery, I'll let you in on a little secret: Jack in the Box has some pretty decent egg rolls. They're sold by the each, or in a three-pack, the three-pack costs less than buying two at the single price, and although the menu considers them "sides", three of those egg rolls is enough food to count as a full meal.
StrayCat Inrodwetrust 1 month ago
Back then the first Wetsons i saw was in Staten Island. We stopped to eat and saw the price of a burger was 15 cents. We figured they must be about the size of a White Castle burger so we ordered several. They were much larger, we couldn't finish them.
I think Wetsons got bought out by another burger chain.
Inrodwetrust StrayCat 1 month ago
Yes burgers were a nice size and juicy loved that place.
MichaelSkaggs 1 month ago
Burger Chef was THE hangout for the high school crowd. Sadly, in Indiana, Burger Chef is mostly and sadly remembered for the November, 1978, murders of four Burger Chef employees in Speedway (West of Indianapolis). While the Indy PD believes they know the ones who did it, there's no evidence to confirm it. They did say at least one of the guilty is still alive. In 2018, a Go Fund Me drive collected money for a memorial with trees and a memory bench. In fact they raised the money in the first 24 hours and they were able to build a larger memorial than planned. I also believe the reward is still there for any information that leads to the arrest and conviction of those responsible.
leannie429 1 month ago
I went to Clancy’s when I was a kid only because it was the only burger joint in town. As of now, I think there is only one of them in the state of Ohio (Go Buckeyes!!)
Barry22 1 month ago
Growing up in Miami, Lums was our go-to place. But for some strange reason we called it "Slums".
justjeff Barry22 1 month ago
Lums was more famous for its hot dogs steamed in beer. The chain grew out of the purchase of one hot dog stand on 41st Street (Arthur Godfrey Road) in Miami Beach by two brothers named Perlman from Mrs. Lum. The Perlmans eventually sold the chain to former kentucky governor John Brown (who also had purchased KFC and had started the Laugh-In restaurants) and they used that money to purchase Caesar's Palace in Las Vegas.

Brown has been brought by a friend to Ollie's Restaurant on 23rd Street near Liberty Avenue (also on Miami Beach) and he was smitten by the unique taste of an Ollieburger.

According to Ollie Gleichenhaus [whom I used to chat with on numerous occasions until his passing], the "million dollar contract" he'd signed with Brown never came to any real fruition, but he had a ball traveling around as the company spokesperson.

Brown eventually sold Lums to an Austrian entrpreneur who introduced his Weinerwald roaster chicken, but poor management eventually spelled the demise of the chain. Former franchise holders were allowed to keep the Lums name, but one restaurant near downtown Miami had actually reversed the name an called itself "Smul"... Sadly, there are no more Lums left.
Barry22 justjeff 1 month ago
Good Lord, we had a Laugh-In restaurant in Hollywood FL, very close to where we lived. Didn't last very long.
David Barry22 1 month ago
Florida kids made up derogatory names for just about everything back when the Dolphins played in the perpetually decrepit Orange Hole stadium!
justjeff Barry22 29 days ago
Wasn't it on 441? I know it was short lived... in fact, the North Miami Beach Neba's Roast beef [that was on 163 and Collins] had Laugh-In tables inside of it (each table top had "graffiti wall" sayings, just like on the TV show!

For the uninformed, Neba's was a South Florida chain that emulated Arby's. The very first one [I believe] was located on Hollywood Circle. The roast beef sandwiches were bland and tasteless, but their potato tots were great... hadn't thought about them in YEARS!
justjeff David 29 days ago
I used to call Burger King "Burger Sewer"... and try to think of a name that sounded *close* to Royal Castle...
dictracy 1 month ago
could go for burger chef right now...
BobD 1 month ago
Had a Red Barn and Arthur Treacher's near my house in the 60's. LOVED when dad took the family out to eat on occasion!
MrsPhilHarris 1 month ago
I am not familiar with most of those restaurants. The only 2 I know are Red Barn and Sambo's which I loved.

The Howard Johnson's menu for kids is interesting. I'm not sure if I would be keen to eat fried clams as a 5 year old.
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